Thursday December 9, 2021

Comparing our problems with others' plus societal pressures may lead us to underplay the stressors in our lives. But at times it's useful to take stock and reflect on resilience. Thank you to Moodscope for providing this chance.

My wife and I feel we are relatively fortunate. Growing up, we both benefited from fairly good parenting and relatively stable homes. In married life, we've been lucky not to have had financial problems, but unlucky in genetics and events. Over 35 years it's left us with stuff that can still bubble up painfully. Sometimes things happen that then remind us we've still not got a lot of coping capacity in hand.

Any pre-disposition to mental health issues in us and our children likely began with the illness and death of our young son. Disastrously gone at just 4, he was the youngest of four. It's likely we then weren't the greatest parents for a number of years. Puberty for the other children brought more than the normal angst and strife. Outside the home, a couple of them had setbacks. I think psychologists consider all such events to be potential mental health 'triggers'.

Our kids- they're now all 40-ish. Two are mostly doing OK, though just 1 of the 3 has learned the importance of seeking help. Since the mid-'90s, there have been seven suicide attempts among them, the most recent 2 years ago.

But, we go on, unconditionally loving our adult children as any parents would. Our young lost child and their little brother is never forgotten of course. We've all just (about) learned to live with it.

Time aids acceptance. Over this long time, I've come to see how to better manage life, reducing the risk my mental health will decay into anxiety & depression. Not always successfully- it's an unstable equilibrium. On my side, a line of such problems can be traced back 3 generations. My wife doesn't know her genetic history. She was adopted. To me, she manages her mental health quite well, even while battling lupus- the chronic stress likely having tipped her immune system into revolt over the years.

A Moodscope member.

PS. all the best to everyone in the Moodscope community.

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