I am diagnosed as bipolar with severe depression/anxiety. At times, the anxiety is a very crippling thing. There are days that I can only handle doing one thing at a time. If you add going to the store, crowds of people, commotion, loud traffic or personal relationships, things become very hard to cope with.
One big thing I have been able to accomplish in the last few years is not taking it out on other people when I am so stressed out. It's possible that I am able to refrain from doing that partly because I try to stay away from people as much as possible. Living by myself accomplishes most of that, but it's still a special thing I have learned to do and it comes from an action that is called being responsible.
After I started receiving my war pension, it was very difficult managing my money. Well, I went through this for about four years. Then, I guess I got tired of it. It started appealing to me to be comfortable as opposed to spending money frivolously. This special newly acquired trait of being responsible soon spread over to other aspects of my life.
I started paying more attention to my children as far as the important things are concerned, even though I deeply affected them in a negative way prior to my getting help eight years ago. I have come to the realisation that the best and only way I can help them from now on is by the example I set with the rest of my life. That awakening and the one regarding not taking my hardships out on other people helped me to stop justifying my negative actions or words that I thought were the result of someone else's actions or words directed toward me.
I guess if I had to wrap it all up into one word, I couldn't. It means more using two words....."being responsible". When we all turned eighteen we became (officially) our self's own individual. It didn't matter whether we had the most perfect parents of all time or whether they were only human ones who made mistakes. We were who we were, a confused person with both negative and positive qualities and probably unaware at the time of how to retain the positive and discard the negative.
It is a shame that if we are lucky, twenty years later we may see the light when our children are resenting us because we made mistakes being a parent. After eighteen years of age there is no one responsible for you but you. You may try to hide from that truth your entire life, but you will never truly be happy.