I think it's safe to say, you have a full plate. I think you are a good Mom as you are reaching out and making an attempt to get help.
Of course, I will not lecture you on the affair, but it does appear to be somewhat of a downfall due to the guilt you feel about the relationship.
It sounds like the expectations of your mother and your going along with it, also keep you from being who you are. I believe you have masked yourself to the point that you may not even know who you are anymore. But you also carry a lot of guilt, with the affair and tfrom pretending to be something other than who you are.
First, we want to stop the obsessive/addictive type behaviors (eating, drinkning, cutting) and develop some alternative behaviors to manage your feelings. These behaviors can harm you physically as well as mentally, and emotionally. Things to do instead, take a walk, listen to music, read. Some patients I have had in the past use a red marker to draw on their arm to create the same visual illusion as the cutting, when they are making an attempt to stop. This works really well.
Secondly, developing a better understanding of yourself, and learning to like and love yourself, good, bad and ugly (we all have it) is the process of gaining self esteem and self-acceptance. If this problem has persisted for most of your life, you could benefit from professional assistance with this. Self esteem develops throughout childhood and adulthood, and our first glimpse of ourselves as children comes through our parents. If your parents have not been positive mirrors for you, you will need to do a little extra work, but it can be done.
Thirdly, it would be beneficial if you looked at your pattern of relationships. Somehow you are choosing men who are not good to you. Your ex has had several affairs, and your current love has a wife. What keeps you from having a full, loving relationship? I think this has a lot to do with your lack of esteem, but also has to do with poor relational role models in your parents. Any and all of this can be changed with a little therapy.
Finally, motivation to change may also be difficult for you with the level of depression and the downward spiral you have put yourself on. But, it is vital that you follow through and schedule an appointment with a psychiatrist and a counselor. Get some medication to help elevate your mood a bit, so you can begin to work on these issues.
Also, finding a group of supportive helpers is in check here. Many cities have divorce recovery groups, and because you have used alcohol to cope, I think you could also go to Alcoholics Anonymous (the only requirement is a desire to stop drinking). These type of groups are free and you will be able to develop a network of friends who are going through the same things you are. The important goal here is to socialize and talk, talk, talk.
Most of us perpetuate the guilt or shame by keeping secrets. These secrets keep us sick and keep us cycling through the same feelings and experiences over and over again into a downward spiral. Thus creating more depression, isolation, and shame. Force yourself to do something, don't wait until you feel better. Doing something will help you feel better and socialization will help your self esteem as well.
I hope this has been helpful. Gina
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