Depression, Health, Self-Help

One Of A Million

There are probably at least a million reasons why depression is hard. Here is just one of mine.

I don’t always know when I’m depressed. (Sometimes painfully obvious yes, but not always) Isn’t that funny? I just don’t see it. I’ll think I’m tired or bored or have the winter “blahs” due to lack of sunlight or something similar. It’s only when I’ve felt like this for so long and then my depressed state of mind tries to talk me out of something I really want to do, that I notice. You see I just can’t “stop” to be sad or bored or tired or whatever I think I’m feeling. I believe it’s called functional depression- or at least that’s what I call it. I can keep moving while being affected – to a point. I’ve got children and a household depending on my consistent forward motion. Let’s take my older son for example. He is doing amazing things. He is autistic, but is beginning to test out of some of his therapeutic classes in middle school and take more mainstream classes. That’s amazing and I’m so proud! And I will literally move around the planets myself if that will help him get into a college program for ASD students. And some days, those planets are very heavy. He requires a lot of support for all of this to happen and that’s not even the real issue. It’s juggling the schedule of my other two children *and* his. But. He’s doing his part, so I really must, as his mother, do mine.

It’s not just depression actually that I have to keep moving through. It’s everything. My middle son recently went through a really tough period of personal growth and it occupied most of my brain space for about 2 weeks until it suddenly dawned on me just exactly how much time I was spending thinking about that 1 problem. I just had to regroup, make some decisions and move on.

There are days when I think I just can’t go to church today, but if I don’t then I’m not setting a good example for my children and I’m not participating in self-care for myself, taking care of my soul. I feel realigned after going to church; refreshed and ready again to take on the week. That is important. Rest, in any manner is important so that I can keep moving in that forward motion. It doesn’t mean the depression isn’t there, it’s just that it can’t take first place in my life when other people will be affected. Do you have any self-care strategies? I’d love to hear them.

Anxiety, Depression, Health, SAHM, Self-Help

Personal Madness

“But I don’t want to go among mad people,” Alice remarked.
“Oh, you can’t help that,” said the Cat: “we’re all mad here. I’m mad. You’re mad.”
“How do you know I’m mad?” said Alice.
“You must be,” said the Cat, “or you wouldn’t have come here.”
― Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland


Image from Sir John Tenniel.

Good heavens.  And then the crazies came.  I noticed something hmmm….. maybe a year ago.  I would go through periods of time where I swear I just felt out of control.  Like I was losing my mind.  I had no patience for my children, or anyone else for that matter.  I once just lost it at one of M’s teachers at the school (sorry about that!), and I even put a policeman in his place (on two separate occasions!) while running errands, but poor G probably bears the brunt of this seemingly random madness.  Eventually over time I noticed other things too.  Sometimes I would get very very cold.  For days I would be just so very cold.  Often I felt like I had the flu, yet I was just starving.  I got headaches.  I was actually so concerned at one point I went to the doctor!  Yeah, I had PMS.  The thing is, I just had never had ANY of these kinds of symptoms before, especially all at once and certainly not this severe, ever.  Whatever hormonal changes I went through after having my third child, it was certainly a doozie.   So, now, I have my “normal” madness riddled with anxiety and whatever else and then my “extra-madness” that I’ve had to literally put on a calendar so I don’t think I’m losing my mind every 4 weeks.  Somehow I sort of forget about this madness, until I remember, if that makes sense.  I am *fantastic* at forgetting unpleasant events, people, places, etc.  I just literally somehow wipe it from my mind and will literally be unable to recall certain people or events.  Now from what I understand from my therapist, the memories of the unpleasant things are not actually gone, just buried.  Which is where my anxiety stems from.  More than anything, this is all just a nuisance.  I’ll be going along trying to deal with all of my regular stresses such as getting the children through their school projects, to and from play dates and dinner and chores done again and again, only being extremely grumpy and chilly and achey.  Yay!  O.O  I will say that the calendar thing has helped.  Drinking water helps.  Having blankets close by helps.  Exercise helps.  Sending G out for chocolate with no questions asked helps.  He has sworn not to ask for fear of losing an eyeball.  Not two eyeballs though, because then he could not help with the mons-ners.  (Entirely his fear, not my threat, pinky swear!)  Oh, where was I?  Yes, the doctor.  So I did go to the doctor and he actually gave me a medication to take when I felt like I was… um, off center?  I actually laughed in the office, but he assured me that it was better to take something for it than to go around feeling all out of control, especially when I have a lot on my plate.  Its just not safe.  I know there are so many people out there who are anti-medication and aside from vaccinations (my word, the insanity – different post), I respect that.  Maybe its not for everyone, but certainly, if there is something that is going to make *me* feel better, I want it!  One of my favorite bloggers, Glennon Melton, who I refer to often, has this to say about taking your doctor-prescribed meds, “Jesus loves me this I know, for He gave me Lexapro”.  She is a wonderful faith-loving, people-positive writer and is such an inspiration to me.  Her blog and her charity are all about spreading the love around our communities and that is what I try to focus on too.  “Do your circle”.  Remember that post?  Love your community!  Love your family!  I digress….  So, yes, my meds do help me to feel more sane when I am off-center and then even when I am more (heaven help me) off-center.  I figure this.  Everyone probably has some madness in their lives, they just don’t go around showing it all off all the time.  Now sometimes, sometimes you can’t help it when your madness is showing and you just have to shrug and say, “hey, its just me”.  I’m not saying we all have to go out and be all buddies with the mad mad people of the world, I’m just voting for understanding and forgiveness.  Maybe their madness is showing a little?



Health, Self-Help

Shifting my focus


When I had M, my first little mons-ner (above), he was such an adorable peanut.  The softest skin, the bluest blue eyes, long skinny spindly legs.  I called him my little tadpole with those legs.  In fact, he still has very blue eyes and long skinny legs, in many ways, he is very much the same.  I still remember the very first time he smiled at me and looked me in the eyes – its the same smile he has now.  He has my eyes, and I remember being so in awe that I saw my own eyes looking back at me!  How shocking that was!  My world suddenly changed and nothing was about me anymore.  Eventually, we had our roly-poly blue-eyed second little boy, A, and then our vibrant Miss. S.  Now, my world is constant motion revolving around my 3 little mons-ners. I simply didn’t care anymore about going out with friends, seeing big movies, having the newest must-have electronic toy.  I cared about baby classes and diaper bags and which diaper cream would be best.   I could not have been happier about that.  Now, however, because in my world, everything is still about them, I find it difficult to fit in all the things that keep me going:  doctor’s appointments, hair cuts, um, lunch.  I finally pulled out the calendar and the phone and got to making some appointments all at once for myself this past week to get them out of the way for the year.  Friday was my optometrist appointment to get a quick exam and new glasses.  I had to fit the appointment in between 2 school schedules and swimming lessons – no problem.  I arrived at 11 AM, had the eye exam, pressure test and went to pick out frames.  The doctor came back to find me to re-do the pressure test.  No problem.  One more pressure test and back to looking at frames.  They really didn’t have the darker pink color of frames that I was looking for so I settled on purple.  The sales person was beginning to get irritated with me because I kept leaving…. to have an additional pressure test.  After the 3rd or 4th pressure test the doctor pulled me back into the examination room for a consultation.  Now I was nervous.  My eye pressure was elevated and he suggested I see an ophthalmologist soon.  “Absolutely”, I said, “I will make an appointment on Monday”.  “No, I mean you need to see someone today”.  Oh.  Um, ok.  He gave me a card for a referral and wrote some notes for the new doctor that I would be seeing and sent me back over to look at the frames.  Again.  At this point, I did’t give a flip about the frames.  What good were frames if I wouldn’t be able to see out of them in the first place?  I picked up the purple frames that I had casually looked at once before, paid with the wrong bank account (sorry honey!  I was very scattered!), and left, an hour and a half after I had arrived.  I called the ophthalmologist’s office on the way home and got a harried receptionist who obviously needed a lunch break or something and didn’t want to be on the phone right then.  After hearing that i would be a new patient, she really didn’t want to talk to me because that would mean more paperwork (I’m guessing?) for her and booking my appointment.  She said they didn’t have any availability for a few weeks and asked if the referring doctor had given me any further information on my contact sheet.  I read her the list of numbers in reference to my eye pressure and said that I couldn’t make out the rest of the handwriting.  She put me on hold.  When she came back on the line, she asked if I could come in at 3:45 PM that same afternoon.  I hesitantly said, “sure”, and tried to mentally figure out how to work everyone else’s schedule around mine.  Now I was really nervous.  My stomach was in knots.  Thankfully DH was home for the weekend and we swapped mons-ner duties.  Later that afternoon I was in the ophthalmologist’s office having test after test after test on my eyeballs.  I was actually tired from seeing so many flickering lights.  I should probably point out that up to this point, I had only been wearing “driving glasses” for a couple of years and have never had much of any trouble with my eyes whatsoever.  After all the testing, the doctor sat me down and said, “You have a really good optometrist.  It is very unusual to catch something like this so early.  You have glaucoma with pigment dispersion syndrome”.  What??  I have what?  And suddenly, just like that, while I was sitting in that blue chair, my world turned inside out and now my focus was completely on me for a moment instead of the mons-ners.  It had been a really long time since I mentally focused so much on myself.  The doctor gave me a bunch of literature and a prescription for some trial medication to start and tried to reassure me that I would be fine, not to panic, that I had caught this very early.  The trick was, I would have to be extremely vigilant with my treatments and medications because any further damage would just add to the permanent damage that was already done.  :::deep breath here::::  Ok.  ok.

I called DH and explained my diagnosis and well, went on with my evening appointments for the day.  When I did get home eventually around 10PM.  I was just emotionally exhausted.  It was a different kind of worry to be worried about myself instead of my mons-ners.  I need to be healthy and actively able to care for the mons-ners in order to do my job.  I was going to have to figure out how to organize myself to keep me going strong, and learn not to take that for granted.  Its new, so I’m working on it.  I have a medication schedule now as a visual reminder of what I took when, so that I don’t miss anything or accidentally cause fluctuation in my eye pressure.  As a parent, I think its natural to have a shift in focus so that children become the forefront of our lives.  As they grow older, I am learning, it is also important to shift a little of that focus back to ourselves so that we can stay strong for them.  It is a long road, after all.

Be Fierce.