I wrote this post yesterday afternoon, but I saved it to see how I felt about it this morning. (Which means this post is going to be a mess because I apparently do not have a future as an editor.)
Part of this whole “depression” thing is that I don’t trust my thoughts or emotions right now. I wanted to make sure all of this “Oh My God I can fucking BREATHE again! Oxygen is so AWESOME!” stuck around for more than 45 minutes before I started declaring an epiphany. (I’m still breathing this morning – and I’m wearing make up.)
Part of who I am, depression aside, is that I worry constantly about what people will think of me. I obsess about whether or not I’m being a “good person” or a “bad person”. I’m constantly stressing about what people will think about me, or my marriage, or my parenting.
My friends and my mother have told me a million times that I’m too hard on myself and I’ve sighed that “I know”, but inwardly I’m thinking that if I let my true self run rampant they would all recoil in horror at how selfish I really am.
So OK, fine, I don’t want to be a bad person. That in and of itself is not so horrible an idea. I think it’s good thing to strive to do better. At least, in theory.
The problem is that all that guilt and stress and worry is crippling.
And in my case, it’s gotten extremely counterproductive.
My need to “be a good person” – or rather “not be a bad person” – has morphed into a bizarre cycle of bitching and moaning. Namely, my friends will say “well just do this/tell him this/say no/don’t worry about it/xyz blah blah blah”.
And I predictably respond with, “I don’t want to be a bad person and your solution would make me seem like a bad person and therefore I am not going to do anything to fix my problems and I will just continue to suffer in silence.”
Oh, wait, except I don’t do silence well. So, “I will just continue to suffer and bitch about it until neither of us can no longer stand it.”
This hit me while I was peeing yesterday (shuddup) and it occurred to me that maybe it’s not so much fun to be friends with a martyr. Especially one who hasn’t mastered the Suffer In Silence Course.
So I’m sitting there peeing and thinking to myself and I say “self, would you rather be friends with a happy and possibly selfish person? or a whiny cry baby martyr?”
“Well, self, I think I would prefer a happy and possibly selfish person. Because I bet they are funny and a hoot at parties. But between you and me? Martyrs are kind of exhausting.”
“Yes, exactly. Plus – you know how it ends for martyrs, right?”
“Oh God, that’s right! And we both know I wouldn’t handle a hanging or burning at the stake well.”
“Good point. And good job self. Wait, get back here, wash your hands, self.”
My effort to be someone that no one would ever think badly of has led to me being someone that I, personally, couldn’t stand to be around.
Here’s the other hysterically ironic thing about trying to ensure no one ever thinks badly about you: they do anyway! You can bust your ass trying to make a good impression and someone will still say you try too hard or think you’re a drunken gutter slut who treats your husband like shit!
Can you imagine!?! It’s almost like it doesn’t matter what you do, someone is going to decide not to like you! It’s like.. like… like you have no control over what people think about you!!
I know, it sounds crazy. But I swear to God – I think it’s true!
I’m done being a “good person”. I’m done carrying around guilt and shame and flogging myself regularly instead of just putting on my big girl panties and DOING SOMETHING about it.
Even if that means being a burden. Even if that means asking for help. Even if that means saying no, or dealing with the in-laws, or NOT dealing with the in-laws, or my husband thinking I’m a fucking nag or the Internet thinking I’m a bad mom or whatever.
Enough is enough. Because in the interest of trying to make sure I was a good enough person for everyone else in the whole fucking world, I’ve turned into someone that no one should have to put up with. No one.
Not even me.
It’s time to get fucking HAPPY.
(Which yes, I know, still means taking my happy ass to the doctor. And possibly stapling a honey-do list to my husband’s chest. )