Monday, June 17, 2013

I blame myself for all the bad things that happen in the world

I have absolutely no doubt in my mind that something died in our garage.  Craig and I looked but we couldn’t find any signs of a decomposing animal.  Maybe the rodent’s in the wall?  Maybe it’s in the attic?  I don’t know, but it stinks.

At first, I thought our garage was smelly because of the trash.  I was reprimanding myself for not keep up with the cleanliness of our living spaces.  I was thinking that I should do a better job of getting the trash out in time for pick up.  I thought, “I am such a lazy loser.  I can’t keep anything clean.  Our whole house probably smells.  People won’t want to come over and visit us after smelling our nasty odors.”

After a while of sulking over my long lost friends that I didn’t lose yet, Craig said something to me about the garage being a little stinky.  His first thought was that some animal probably crawled in while the door was open, couldn’t get out, and then died.


That’s a logical deduction.

I guess I will be able to keep my friends after all.

A few years ago, there was a dead baby bunny in our garage next to the lawn mower.  I saw it when I was leaving for work one morning.  Tell me who doesn’t call in sick because they can’t handle moving the dead baby bunny out from under the tire so that they could leave for work?  Hmm?  Who doesn’t do that?

Now that I think about it, the mourning of a rodent might not be a good enough excuse to skip work.

Anyway, back to my story, there might be another poor little bunny rotting in a grave of work gloves, fire wood, or potting soil.  Where ever his is…we’ll find him…eventually…I guess.  Until then, all the doors will stay open to air out the gas chamber.  Seriously, it will make your eyes water.

Everything in my life, in some way, is a lesson about mental health.  (It’s OK, you can giggle…I said giggle, not laugh out loud.)

My reaction to the stink in the garage was way overboard than it had to be.  Just because we had to cover our noses with our shirts to get to the car, the situation was, by no means whatsoever, cause to feel as if it was the end of the world.

Because of my depressive tendencies, I was blaming myself for the smelly garage.  When, in reality, I had no control over the animal that decided our garage was the best spot for a final resting place.

A common symptom of depression is blaming one’s self for things that go wrong.  This blame is not like an athlete who beats his chest, says “my bad”, and moves on.  No, this type of blame is the end of the world, everything will collapse, and everyone will die because you screwed up, you worthless piece of bologna.

For example, if my sister is upset about something, I blame myself for not being able to see into the future to stop whatever happened from happening.

When a café near our house went out of business, I blamed myself for not eating there enough and supporting them in their endeavors.

I also blame myself for things like bad weather, the weeds in the grass, and other people’s problems.  Things I have very little or no control over at all, still cause me to beat myself up.

One time, there were bugs in a sack of flour that I bought.  I was so upset with myself because I had to throw the whole thing away.  I thought that if I was a better wife, a better person in general, if I paid more attention at the store, if I didn’t have anxiety attacks while shopping, if I could have been perfect, then I would have pick out a good bag of flour.
In reality, blaming yourself for things you can’t control feeds into more depression and anxiety.  If you personally attach yourself to everything bad that happens, you will hold on to more than you can handle.  It’s really difficult for someone with depression and anxiety to let things go and move on from certain situations.  Overtime, the storage of bad builds and builds until you can’t house it anymore.  Eventually, the world will feel like a better place without you in it: whether you just withdraw into yourself, or you want to die.

These thoughts are textbook depressive disorder symptoms.

The first step, as always, is to become aware of what is going on in your head.

Then, the key is to realistically analyze what you have control over and what you don’t.  What you cannot control, you must learn to let go.  If there is something you can control, do your best to make the right decision.
Having a better quality of life is all about letting go of unrealistic expectations and control.
Remember that everyone makes mistakes.  No matter how many times you fail or make the wrong decision, you are still forgiven and given a chance to try again.

My husband, Craig, acts as a sounding board when I am struggling with this particular depression symptom.  When my thoughts begin to rock my peace and calm, I talk to Craig or someone with a clear head about what is going on.

Peace is a good judge of whether or not some thought or reaction is realistic.

If you don’t have peace, it’s a good sign that you might be putting your faith in unrealistic standards.


  1. another one i am famous for, in the same vein, is when someone is sad or angry i seem to think it must have been my fault. i did something or said something wrong. in reality, they might just be having a bad day. right?

    1. Exactly right. I always check to make sure still. I ask, "did I say something wrong?" or "are you mad at me?" Then I know for sure. And if I did create the wrong then I can try to fix it. This practice saves me from wondering and obsessing.