How do you approach accountability? As I wrote in yesterday’s post, I’ve had times in my life where I’ve realised that my reactions and behaviour weren’t doing me any favours, and made a conscious decision to act differently in the future with the aim of being a better friend and person. Now I’ll be the first person to put my hand up and say I’m far from perfect, I make mistakes, and sometimes I make bad decisions that affect people around me. But at what stage do you stop and say “OK, that wasn’t my fault”?
Let me expand a little further. One of my biggest stumbling blocks with depression comes from interactions with my family (as we all know because I keep going on about it), but the fault is always mine in one way or another. On the one hand, every time I have a negative interaction with either my dad or my brother, every thing I try to bring up something that they may have done which has hurt my feelings, I get a retort about how it’s somehow either partially, or entirely in some cases, my fault. I.e. I’m too sensitive, or why am I making a big deal about something, or I’m too high-strung, or I’m just trying to start a fight for no reason. So, on this side of the argument, if they’re right, I am accountable. On the other hand, maybe they’re actually just being dicks for whatever reason.
Unfortunately, door number two still leaves me accountable because I’m taking their negative reactions on board and allowing it to affect my (already fragile) sense of self. So, the question of the day is: at what point so I stop making myself accountable? How do I distinguish between being responsible for things that I they say I am doing, and whether they are just deflecting from having to look at their own behaviour?
In my case, anxiety and self-confidence play a big role in this problem. For many of you, it will seem obvious that self-confidence is really key in being able to properly accept or refuse responsibility for events that happen, and I would completely agree, however depression has a way of killing self-confidence in the most brutal of ways. These disagreements with my family, and subsequent comments about my attitude and behaviour, are always followed by the thought, “what if they’re right?” Not only has depression stripped me of my self-confidence, it’s also taken away my ability to objectively view situations like this without over-analysing myself into the role of responsibility.
So, then, how does someone trying to make the journey from depression to happiness, deal with and process accountability? Going forward, I think I’m going to choose to avoid negativity. I’m going to make a conscious effort to only make positive comments, to avoid confrontation, to draw back from conversations that hold negativity towards myself or anyone else, and to overall try to view the glass as half full instead of potentially laced with poison. The goal of this is to put myself in a position where, when these accusations of being too emotional, or making a big deal about nothing come up, I’ll be in a better mental state to handle it and (hopefully) shrug it off or accept it as feedback.
I’m hoping to see a psychiatrist in the next couple of weeks, and hopefully CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) will be something we can work on, which will hopefully help give me the tools I need to better handle these things. Until then, I’ll keep doing my best with what I have.
In other, less depressing news, I purchased this today: Dumbledore quote wall art
I’ve never really been a huge fan of inspirational quotes (with a few exceptions), but I’m finding lately that it’s nice to draw strength from something if I don’t have enough myself. I need to repaint the room it’s going in but I might put it up for now anyway.
And on that awkward note, signing off!