I have bipolar disorder, anxiety, PTSD and OCD. It’s not easy living with me sometimes, especially if I forget to take my meds. I also have a history of drug and alcohol abuse. I am 41 years old, and I have spent most of the first 40 years stretching my body and mind to their limits. I have put myself in quite a few disastrous situations. I have stared death in the face many times but the Lord has always stepped in and kept me safe.
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Guilt is undoubtedly a fundamental emotion that each and every one of us has experienced to a certain extent on various occasions in our lifetimes. As far back as the 19th century, Sigmund Freud, the father of modern psychanalysis, believed that guilt is the end-result of the collision between the ego and the superego, more specifically the parental subconscious influence.
My kids are growing up. I know it's inevitable, but I want time to stop. I know there are many parents that feel that way, but for me it's heartbreaking.
For many years I have carried a huge weight on my heart, my soul and my mind. While I was battling my bipolar illness six years ago, many things happened in my life that were an outcome of my illness but not typical of my true personality, values and morals. I not only disrupted my own happy life at that time, my actions disrupted and hurt everyone in my life. I never meant for that to happen, but it did.
We've all heard it before, or something similar, "This too shall pass". "Just puts your big girl panties on". "You've been here before, you can do it again".
While our loved ones mean well, in the throes of depression, these are sometimes the absolute worst things to say to someone living in what seems to be the depths of doom. Sometimes saying nothing, is the best support one can offer. A silent hug, a nod of the head, a kind smile does wonders for someone who feels like they have nothing to offer but a terrible burden to those they love.
This week my old friend really wanted to meet up with me. I just had a very deep depression episode and now I’m trying to go back to society. I’m looking for a new job, doing things which I used to love and doing as much as possible to feel good. And stay out of trouble of course. She knew about my problems but we haven’t been in touch lately. In her text messages I’ve felt some anger which I don’t like and try to avoid. I try not to argue with anyone and focus on the positive right now. I finally texted her about what happened through the last months and my depression of course.
I'm here to talk to you about guilt. This is something that I felt for several years after I got help for my disorder. I couldn't believe the things that I had said and done to both my husband and mother. I was beyond devastated.
I was apologizing constantly. I even talked about it in therapy. Even though they had both forgiven me time and time again, I couldn't get past the guilt. I felt like I had turned into a monster in the past. It didn't matter how many times my therapist, my husband, and my mother told me not to feel guilty, it didn't seem to register with me.
Recently I have been watching a series of television programmes by Derren Brown on Channel 4 in the UK called ‘The Experiments’. Each episode has explored a facet of human nature: the first asked whether it was possible to hypnotise an individual into assassinating a well known celebrity; the second looked at deindividuation and human behaviour when anonymous and in a group; and the third – which is the subject of this blog – examined whether it was possible to get a man to confess to a murder he hadn’t committed.