We can't know what no one has told us.
If you are struggling with the likes of childhood mental illness, or experiencing behavioral difficulties with your child(ren), or are dealing with the perils of addiction or co-occurring disorder in your teen or young adult, then you are what I call "in the trenches". It's like a dang war zone, folks, and there just doesn't seem to be a darn thing we can do to change things. And guess what? Life pretty much sucks in the trenches...
(I'm really sorry you are dealing with this.)
People talk about self-care. It like it's this zen thing that you are supposed to be practicing, and it's supposed to make everything better. But honestly, when you are in the trenches and you don't know where to turn or which end is up, you can't seem to find the energy to do anything, much less something called 'self-care'. When you are dealing with family situations that put you in the trenches in the first place, and when things keep getting worse, it's like this cloak of depression descends on the family, and the whole house just wallows in a muddy, horrible darkness. It's like Dementors came to live with you in your house, always lurking around the corner to blow their cold breath at you and suck the life right out of your heart and soul. You know what I mean if you read the Harry Potter books. That's how I know JK Rowling went through some really tough times. Who would know how to write about this kind of soul crushing darkness unless you've been there yourself. I swear, I would spend days at my kitchen table just sitting and staring and unable to muster up the slightest energy to do anything, all the while, my mind running a marathon.
There was finally a point that I was able to pick myself up. Most likely, it was the point where something - anything had to get done. I think that's when I could see that I was probably not depressed, but just in a deep funk. (Only because I have witnessed deep depression, and mostly, people cannot just pick themselves up when they need to, and get stuff done.)
Now that I am better, and that my family is better, I look back on those dark times, and wonder how I made it through. It was so tough. And, now that some time has passed, I can see that my heart is scarred by some of the people who I thought were my friends, but who turned their backs on me when thing got rough in my family. I find I am now scarred by places I walked and drove that now represent "that time" to me. Scarred by the then-ages of my children, and now, I probably develop a look of terror on my face when others tell me their children are about those ages. There are times I tell my story to someone, and unexpectedly start to cry. My husband and I refer to this as PTS (Post Traumatic Stress). I really don't know if I could go through those years again if I had to. It was so tough...
But guess what? Self care is what brought me out. Self care is what saved me. I began by taking small amounts of precious time for myself, first in minutes, then in hours, and through the process, I gave myself back to me.
By taking care of myself, I found my heart and soul again. And guess what? I was stronger! And braver. And more resilient. And wiser, kinder. More understanding.So, when times are really tough and you don't know where you can turn, look for your local NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) and find a support group. Sign up for an education class (NAMI's classes are free), or find a way to get involved. You will find a host of people who know what you're going through. They can offer you support in your time of need. Once you find the information you need to know, you can begin to feel better about what you need to do. One day soon, you will see that you are on your road to recovery, and that life is looking better again. I promise, it really does work out like this. :-)
Take care, you.