The Long Road to Betterment

As human beings, regardless of our backgrounds, we’ve become conditioned to evaluate our success in life based on the monetary value of our material possessions. The impact of this trending train of thought has become detrimental to our society, and is especially toxic for those of us who already struggle to find our sense of selves, our true value.

This shift in humanity, in my opinion, grew exponentially with the rise of the technological era. While it’s existed within us for several generations, it’s much more prominent in the last few. And while recently there has been a small faction bringing minimalist living to light, currently more than ever we have become obsessed with the idea of owning the best and newest things.

This has been a difficult post to write because of my own current struggles on the topic. Where is the line between valuing possessions over what really matters, and yearning for a sense of security you’ve never known? There’s obviously financial security in the way of assets, and then there’s having a stable life. Who’s to say when we’ve taken it too far, and how do we separate the wants from the true needs?

I was raised as a welfare baby, my mom on social security, section 8, food stamps, and I’ve had government provided health insurance for my entire life. My mom still survives on the programs, and now I’m raising my daughter on food stamps and free health care as well. It’s not a choice, because while my husband works, it’s not enough, and I can’t bring in enough money with my disabilities to make the pain they’d cause worth the while.

I’m sure my mother wasn’t proud to need all that assistance to raise me, and I’m certainly not proud either. We recently began trying to apply for home loans, as we’ve both lived under mostly slum lords for our entire lives and we want better for our daughter. Long and painfully disappointing story short, we got denied this week and it broke me.

This switch has gone off inside of me, making me feel guilt, inferiority, and judgment towards myself. I swore I’d never raise my child on welfare, but this was before I knew of my physical restraints. Despite my lack on control in the matter, there’s a certain self resentment that comes with that, a sense of worthlessness. I thought I’d found the perfect home for us, actually allowed myself to get excited for once, and now someone else’s family will fill the home.

It’s been an incredibly trying week, with tensions always escalating and tensions always rising due to our current crappy living situation, and I haven’t felt this defeated in a really long time. Especially for those of us with mental illness, stability is incredibly imperative to our success, and it’s my firm belief that if I can finally achieve stability, maybe I can finally begin my journey to betterment.

What I thought was one step closer turned out to be two steps back, but I must still press on. I have to believe that there’s more left in life for me than just the current chapter, that the book will have at least a relatively halpy ending. Here’s to everyone else who’s had a disappointing week or felt broken by something outside of your control. Life gave us lemons, so I guess we’re making lemonade, no matter how sweet or sour it tastes.

Tough Love

Tough love is defined as….

promotion of a person’s welfare, especially that of an addict, child, or criminal, by enforcing certain constraints on them, or requiring them to take responsibility for their

Suffering with depression and crippling anxiety myself, I know all too well what tough love feels like. It makes you feel like a criminal and an addict when sometimes all you feel you want is love… a hug… to take a hand and be reassured.With the early onset of my depression, looking back my family and partner were so kind, and in complete denial. They spoke lovingly to me, used such dulcet tones and reassured me whenever possible that I would be OK!A year in, a lot has changed. My family blames themselves for the way that I am and tell me a lot that I need what they call ‘tough love’.During a medication review I spoke to my doctor about the suggestion of ‘tough love’, he assured me that’s not what I needed at all, I needed help and that ‘tough love’ was not the answer. Medication and therapy would help me solve my inner demons, the therapy being something I am still waiting for. Moving back in with my parents recently allowed them to see the full extent of my depression. And to say they found it hard is an understatement. And it’s here the tough love really began. Moments of which I’m used to like laying in my bed, uncontrollably crying, staring into space just feeling so numb were not the norm for them at all. They became so harsh with me I felt but they kept insisting it was for my own good. Incontrolable crying would be met with shouting at me aggressively to stop. Grabbing my shoulders and shaking me to get a hold of myself. On other occasions my mum calling for my dad for help, to then he met with fire and fury, shouting in my ear, swearing. I have overwhelming feelings of failure and when I’m having a down moment I like to be reminded that “you have not taken a fucking test so what is there to fail”.

It brings me to questions though…. is tough love useful or does it work at all? For me personally no…. It makes me feel worse even though I remind my parents it doesn’t help they are adamant they know best and it will help me. To be met at times of desperation with shouting and shaking, or be removed out of your bed doesn’t help at all. It sets off a nerve in me of panic. I need them to understand that I can’t get better 100mph all at once. I need to take steps in m own time and when I am ready too. I feel that too much too soon will only see me fall back into a downward rollercoaster.Of course, I appreciate what they are doing and I know they are doing it because they love me. But to be told to think about someone else instead of myself, is that really any help to a person with depression and anxiety at all?

unsplash-logoKat J