Depression Part VII: Balance (a.k.a. Survival vs. Guilt)


I am struggling with balance in my life right now. Actually I know exactly what a balanced life means for me right now, but the guilt I am feeling for letting some things sit on a shelf right now is overwhelming. Because those ‘some things’ are good things.

What is making me feel balanced right now is sticking to a routine. It keeps me going and it makes my kids happier because they know what to expect.

Another thing that is making me feel balanced right now is that Jason and I have been ‘dating’ each other again. It is amazing. Those early dating feelings are back. Who knew!? Awesome! Dating my husband has been helping me feel balanced.

Balance for me is also watching what I eat. very. carefully. Jason and I are both doing this and let me tell you, I am jealous of his 2700 calories he is allowed to eat a day. I am jealous (and incredibly proud) of the 8 lbs he lost last week. I didn’t lose a single pound and I didn’t even cheat. 😦 It’s the process, right? And it’s how you feel. That is what this is about. I am feeling physically better now that I am making better food choices (I thought I made pretty good food choices before, but there’s always room for improvement and becoming more educated on the subject sure helps) and sticking to portions that keep me at my 1600 calories a day. That’s what it is about.

To me it has also been important to have my quiet time of journaling and reading encouraging stories about healing. Oh and blogging. I need this time to decompress. More often than not, I write a post and it sits as a draft for weeks and never gets posted. Sometimes I post it or schedule it for posting at a later date. I need that time in my day to feel balanced these days.

I am not a victim of PPD. I am a survivor! Somehow, with it comes a lot of guilt for me. I know that I need to do the above things to just survive. I am hoping that soon I move on from just surviving. It’s not here yet, and I know that because I am filled with guilt about things that I shouldn’t feel guilty about. I feel guilty that I don’t have the energy or brain power to go out with friends. It’s too much to plan stuff right now. If Jason plans it, that is fine, I just feel like my brain can’t handle figuring out child care and where to go and what to do and make the call to go out. But my friendships are super important to me so that is where this guilt comes in.

This same guilt plagues me with my MIL being in town for a few months. She wants to spend time with the kids, but waits for me to bring it up. I don’t have the brain power or energy to call and arrange this kind of stuff. It’s just too much. I want her to spend time with the kids. Bring it on! The more the better, but I just can’t plan it right now. Guilt!

And then the guilt of having let go of the leadership of our Life Group. I cannot organize and lead a group right now. I need to sit back and be a participant for a while. We have this opportunity to do just that by being part of a parenting study group this January to April. But I feel guilty for being a participant in that and not being a leader in our own group, which seems to mean that it has dissolved. 😦 Guilt.

So many great things happening within me, within our little family unit, within our marriage relationship on this journey. I try to focus on the great things, but every now and again I am reminded that I am neglecting a couple of other great things. I pray that my strength will come back really soon. I pray that my friends and family will be gracious and not write me off. My spring is just around the corner. I can feel it. This winter season can’t last forever.

2 thoughts on “Depression Part VII: Balance (a.k.a. Survival vs. Guilt)

  1. Kathy

    You're right, this season won't last forever. And because you are in a season, some things need to take a seasonal break. Look at it as the things you feel (but shouldn't) guilt about are in a season of waiting, pausing. The other things are things that give you life now and you are able to handle. Everything in due time, due time….


  2. Monica

    Yes, yes, yes, to all of these things. I so feel you on all of this. Your description of the planning, phoning, organizing …. I get that. Even now that I'm better, when things get overwhelming, the calling people to arrange things (childcare, dates with friends, leading church) are all things that I dread doing, don't do, and feel bad about. It's almost like I just need to cocoon and give all of my energy to my family unit, b/c it comes back to me in some way. When I give that energy to others outside my family unit, it feels like it gets sucked into oblivion and I don't have any extra to just give away for free.



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