Everything about this situation feels wrong.
I shouldn’t be like this
What is my problem? Why has this happened? I have no right to feel this way. Many people are in much more difficult situations.
My life, in theory, is perfectly fine.
Married with two gorgeous little boys. A close relationship with my parents who live nearby. Fantastic friends, although my closest friends are not local. A good house and no major financial worries. My health dips now and again with my chronic condition, but it generally doesn’t restrict me. The rest of the family are completely healthy. A job in a lovely, but busy, GP practice and I’m a salaried GP so none of the worries and responsibilities of a partner.
So where has this come from? This is what springs to mind:
- Constantly busy
- Continuous noise
- Demands from all angles
- ‘Mental load’ – being the main breadwinner and overseeing the needs of the family; the main ‘thinker’ and organiser behind everything
- Never on top of work or home life
- Feeling inadequate in both; inefficient doctor and substandard parent
- Hating the disorder and mess around me of things always needing and waiting to be done despite feeling like I never stop
- General exhaustion
- I have lost ‘me’ – little time for social contact or my own ‘life’ and things I (used to) enjoy
- Other little blips along the way that weigh on my mind
But a lot of people are out there like this and keep going just fine. Why have I ‘crashed?’
Letting down everyone around me
Why can’t just I get a grip and go back to work? The practice is short of doctor time already and now I’m making it worse. It was bad enough I’ve been off multiple times with minor illnesses in the last few years.
Why was it clear to everyone else that I needed to stop last Thursday but not to me? How is this more than just being ‘busy and tired?’ – the distinction between this and ‘depression’ feels very woolly.
Yet, the very thought of work sends a wave of panic through me at the moment.
I feel like I can’t cope with my own children. I can’t bear the noise, the clambering on me and continuous ‘Mummy, Mummy, Mummy’ followed by demand after demand. I just have to remove myself and let my husband or mum take over. Pathetic. What kind of a mother feels like this? And they don’t understand why I’m hiding myself away.
Surely I can do it really? I just don’t have much energy, patience or tolerance. I need to give myself a good slap and get on with it.
A mixed up mess and no use to anyone.
But I shouldn’t be like this.
I feel a fraud.
3 thoughts on “Guilt”
This sounds so familiar to me . Acceptance is very very hard as is being kind to ourselves . We are human x
These feelings are entirely normal in depression. I suspect there is something in medics’ constitutions that makes them tougher on themselves than others ever are; possibly the same drive that got you to where you are today is not allowing you to accept you need some time to heal – and also that it is OK to be unwell.
Human first, doctor second.
Learning to let go of the control is a real challenge. But trusting those around you who love and care for you, who want to help you, will help you heal quicker.
Let someone else be the ‘main thinker’…. look at the ‘main breadwinner’ role again and ask what is it that burdens you by it- remember that husbands have carried this burden for centuries, because they had a wife to lean on. Could you reassess the division of household responsibilities and roles to see if your burden lightens in any way, even just mentally?
I have experienced similar feelings to those I read in your writing: I am a decade further along my path, and I wanted to tell you that the sun will shine for you again too. I hope it happens quickly.
do you know what? People who have loads of reasons to be depressed and who are depressed think they’re just pathetic for not coping with it and it would be much easier if they were depressed for no reason. People who ‘have everything going for them’ and are depressed feel bad because they ‘have no reason to be depressed’ and think it would be much easier to accept if there was some reason for being depressed.
Heads you lose, tails I win