I'm a Dad with Anxiety and Depression
I have had Anxiety years. I'm sure that my very first day at school at 5 when I screamed the place down was down to anxiety. But what did I know then? What did anybody know really? I didn't know what it was until I came to the U.S and at 3 am my wife had to call an emergency number because I was in a panic attack. That's when we got the message of anxiety. I did not have depression with it right away. Even though a lot of reports I have read about anxiety and depression say they go hand in hand. But, I know I had some down thinking then too but did not put it down to depression. The depression gradually became worse over the years. To the point where now I can have some days that are low to point of dark and horrible thinking. Seeing no other way out. Days of gloom and doom. The anxiety kicks in a lot too. Especially when it comes to not being able to work cause of it. I lost a career in the professional Chef world and also in Pest Control. When I knew my Chef career was done for because of anxiety and went and trained and did exams for the pest control industry. Well, the anxiety got me there too. It's the self-confidant part of me. I don't have any! I'm a person that needs reassurance all the time that I'm doing a good job. Which in the professional world is not going to happen of cause. Someone could tell me ya doing great but then a few hours or a day later I don't believe it and need that reassurance again. I was told over and over again how much of a good Chef I was and that I had that special something that good Chefs need. But it didn't matter even though it's very humbling. Anxiety not only messes with my careers it messes with my every day. Some of the things I am starting to work through. Like going grocery shopping. Calling friends on the phone, etc. But it still plays a major part in my everyday day to day life. If ducks are not lined up in a row then it's not happening. Fear of the unknown I guess even though I am working on thinking differently on that too and looking at the unknown as challenges and good things instead of bad.
So, how does this effect being a Dad? Well, my girls see the mental health side of me too. It's not something I really wanted them to see but it's not easy keeping that out and buried either. Feeling that I'm not a good Dad or husband is a hard one to swallow. My daughters see my Anxiety and Depression first hand. They have also seen my rage. I know this must have an impact on them and that hurts a lot. I feel horrible at the fact my eldest daughter has anxiety. I have missed out a lot with them too because anxiety gets in the way. Like taking them out somewhere just the three of us I don't do unless I'm comfortable with it. Even though I did this Friday night and really enjoyed it. I lose out on the bonding with my daughters. Like when Dads use to go up to the school and have lunch with their kids, I wouldn't do it. I did once but it was only once. If I remember correctly there use to be a Dad's and children breakfast put on by the school but I never attended. Fear of being around others I don't know. What do I say? What do I do? I even worry about where will I park? Do I have money for parking? Do I have to parallel park? Crazy right???? But it's my mind and it feels 100% real. What others don't even think about I do! SO not only do I miss out with my girls but I have missed out a lot with friends too. Because of these thoughts and many others. I have turned down going out with friends many many times. There have been times when my depression is bad and we were all gonna be going out say to a Theme Park and I don't go. Just my wife and the girls. What does that tell my girls? How do they feel? It makes me feel terrible because yet again I miss out on times with my family.
I like being the Dad that jokes around with my kids. Make them laugh and have fun. But I want more for them and I. More bonding times of just them and me. What do they think of me as a Dad? Sometimes I don't even feel loved or cared for by them. In some way I understand but it hurts real bad. I always wanted a loving and together with family. But my kids spend a lot of time in their rooms and we all seem separated. I blame myself. Is it me? Why can't we all be together as a family? Is this "normal"? I know through my rage I have hurt them too. Shit spilling out of my mouth like its words that have been lubricated to move with ease. Then comes the shame, guilt, and just total shit feeling after. The alone feeling.
I apologies to my girls. I am very sorry that you have missed out. I am very sorry that we have missed out. I'm sorry for the depressing days and when my anxiety is bad. I'm sorry you hear me in my state of confusion, and when I'm "lost". I'm sorry you hear about my lack of confidence and don't see me grafting day in day out. I hope you don't see somebody that is useless. Cause how I feel sometimes.
I will always love and cherish my family. My girls will always be my babies. No matter how old they are. I will always love them. I will never stop talking to them over disagreements or arguments. They will always be able to find my love.
I will always PROTECT you!
I love you always!