OK - I've been feeling more than a little like this poor Jack O'Lantern pictured above looks - worn out, falling apart, molding, and sad. I woke up one day recently, looked in the mirror, and saw Depression looking back at me.
I can list current "causes", and trace their vicious cycle. In a nutshell:
- People disappoint me. I wish they would be one way, and they just won't be like that. I expect them to step up, and then they don't.
- I start to doubt myself, and to seek validation from those people - the ones who are disappointing me - and they don't validate me either. They say unhelpful things, things like "people treat you the way you let them treat you". I start to feel like everything is my fault, and that the only reason people disappoint me is because I just can't manage people properly.
- I sit with this disappointment and discouragement for a few days, and think about things like just quitting my job or quitting homeschooling or quitting this organization or activity, because what's the point really?
- Then I get mad. I reject this world view, and get pissed that people are basically trying to make me feel bad for clinging to the ideal that if one is nice to people, it will ripple effect into a nicer world.
- At which point anger burns out into depression, and I'm back to feeling disappointed, discouraged, depressed, etc.
But why now? People are people all of the time, and frankly, they rarely measure up to my hopes for them. I consistently want and expect the world to be a bit better than it actually turns out to be, and most of the time I consciously choose this stance. I'm very fond of the idea that a pessimist may turn out to be right more often ... but an optimist gets more done. I'd rather get more done through willful rosy-glasses thinking than be right about everything being crappy and just contribute to more crapiness. I know I'm choosing to be wrong, and I'm choosing it anyway, because that's the world I want to live in and I hope my choice will make it ever-so-slightly more real.
So why am I depressed now?
I found comfort in this recent blog post from Simple Mom: Everyone Wants to Quit in November and February. Aha! Yes, it's just seasonal. It's just the November Blahs. Nothing else has changed, and I just need to put up some holiday lights, give myself a little extra rest, get re-inspired, and charge ahead.
And I need to plan ahead for February so this doesn't jump out at me unexpectedly again.