Depression, Anger & Stress All Rolled Into One Insane Recipe
I'm a 27 year old married mom to a 5 year old girl. Many things have led me to where I am today. I feel alone, stressed and depressed. All I want is a life where I don't get so blind with anger. I've never hit or threatened anyone physically but everything that my daughter does irritates me. I know it's not her, she's a good girl, but everything drives me crazy!
It's not just her though! I get so angry so easily. I feel like my parents never gave me the tools to express myself properly so I feel like everyone is out to get me. I'm self-conscious, have low self-esteem and feel very depressed. I've told my husband that he and our daughter would have a better life if I just leave. I want them to be happy but it kills me seeing the amount of stress I'm putting onto my husband. I love him very much.
I don't know what to do anymore. I don't want my outbursts to carry on like this. I can be happy with life for a day or two, get into a routine and then it all disappears. I want to be organized and have a schedule. I want my daughter to be happy and not feel like she's walking on eggshells around me. Please help....
Response from Dr. DeFoore
Hello Joanne. I'm so glad you are reaching out for help here. You are obviously a good person, which is why you want things to be different. You know deep inside that it's not supposed to be like this, and so you're motivated to get help and change. You are very smart and healthy to ask for help.
First of all, I want to refer you to a story by another mom with similar issues. You can read her story, my response, and the comments by other mothers, and I think you will find it very helpful. Here is a link to that story: Excessive Anger Outbursts. Be sure and read the excellent comments by other moms!
Here is what I recommend for you, to help with your anger:
1) Write about your early childhood experiences, times when you were hurt, sad, afraid or angry. This is where anger comes from, and if we don't deal with these memories, they deal with us.
2) Start saying positive things to yourself about yourself. You can find some guidelines for this on this page dealing with the inner child. You're a good person, but your thoughts about yourself are negative (and not true). When you replace those with positive thoughts, you will feel a lot better. You're also a good mom, or you wouldn't be concerned enough to write your question on this web site.
3) Try these anger management techniques not just once, but over and over. The more you practice them, the better they will work for you.
4) One of the anger management techniques on that page is writing about your anger. I strongly encourage you to do that. When you write about your anger, you are "getting it out," and it is not staying bottled up for the next explosion toward your daughter or someone else. Always follow your "anger writing" with gratitude and appreciation for what is good, right and working about yourself, your daughter and your life in general. Over time, the anger will decrease and the gratitude and appreciation will grow. Consider keeping a gratitude journal on an ongoing basis, every day. It really helps!
5) Every morning when you get up, make up your mind about what kind of day you're going to have. See yourself being happy, calm and patient. If that wears off after a few hours, do it again, and as many times as necessary. This is called, "setting your intention," and it is very powerful when you use it. Of course, none of these tools work if you don't use them.
6) If you feel like it, write to this site again, or comment on this story. I will keep helping you, and I think others will too.
Believe in yourself, Joanne. You are a good person and a good mother. Deep inside, you know that's true.
My best to you,