This is my way of letting go of stress, anxiety and depression. This is what I wrote in my journal today. Please excuse my grammar mistakes and spelling.
My relationship with my daughter is becoming a lot more challenging and I’m not sure what I can do about it. I will call my daughter Ann.
Years ago on Father’s Day when she was 15 years old in hindsight was a first sign that Ann was developing a mental illness but I thought it was teenage angst. It became clear to all of us at the time that Ann may be struggling with depression and anxiety so we took her to a therapist/nurse practitioner who prescribed prozac. After taking prozac she developed an edginess, fears and aggressiveness - eventually the medication was stopped.
I don’t want to go into the years from 15 to 33 years old about what Ann, me and the family went through. It’s too distressing for me to rehash it all. All I know now is that Ann is not well now and I believe she is hearing voices, perhaps seeing things and lots of paranoia and depression. My own personal belief and probably wrongly is that if her depression was finally addressed a lot of her symptoms would disappear but I’m not a doctor, scientist or expert - only her mother.
I’m so frustrated, sad, and angry all at the same time that Ann is still suffering so much and all I can do is stand by. I’m ashamed to say that I’ve become very angry towards her because I feel that the last 18 years I’ve given up my life for Ann and I know its not fair to be angry and resentful towards her but there it is — I’m letting it out. How can I keep my anxiety and worry at bay. Sometimes calming myself down by deep breathing and telling myself all will be okay and long walks works and I’m able to continue the day. However I have to calm myself down on a daily basis and its so exhausting. I enjoy the kids and I want what is best for them - the kids adore their mom and want to be with her but Ann is really not fit to be a mother. Half the time she is another world and doesn’t pay attention to them.
What more can I do. Ive returned to attending church services every Sunday with the kids and it does help a great deal and I’d like to think the kids find their church community helpful and positive. It sure seems like they are having a lot of fun in Sunday School so I feel good about that.
I can no longer listen or read the news on the radio, tv or online — it’s all so depressing so I’ve turned to listening to music — mainly jazz ad classical as well as folk music. Music brings me to another place - I feel peaceful and centered.
Self pity is not an option - it only makes everything worse. So I tell myself, be strong, tough, cry privately when you have to and soldier on.