Tag Archives: family

It Must be Depression

Hard to believe one lousy little blue pill can make so much difference. And I’m not talking about Viagra either.

I spent 4 and a half months unemployed and UNINSURED. Was spending five hundred dollars a month for my medication, but couldn’t afford that little blue pill (It cost more than all my other meds combined). So I thought I could get by with the two antidepressants I could afford. Alas, I’ve come to discover since being employed and having medical coverage that I really do need that drug. It does make a significant difference in how I feel.

I sure could have used that medication as I have had a lot to cope with over the past four months. Apparently I have been too depressed to blog as well. But I was also dealing with a family crisis. My mom was critically ill and hospitalized for nearly two months. She is recovering quite well now, thank goodness, but I spent many hours by her bedside, thinking and praying. I realize now that perhaps I could have coped better if I had all my medication. Damn biochemistry!

Anyone else struggling?

A Different Mother’s Day

This has probably been the most difficult Mother’s Day that I have ever experienced. No need to pick out a card, or flowers, or some thoughtful gift. My mother has been in the hospital in intensive care the past three weeks, on a ventilator and for the most part unable to respond. She seems to recognize me when I talk to her, and follows me with her eyes, but otherwise is just too weak to interact. This has been extremely difficult, as before this hospitalization, she was relatively well and independent.

So I spent my Mother’s Day sitting at her bedside, holding her hand, and thinking about our relationship. Our relationship has not always been easy. We have had our ups and downs, but recently we have been on an upswing. We have been able to spend some time together recently that has been quite positive. She has been less critical of me, and I have been more open with her. Apparently she told a close friend that she had enjoyed the time we had spent together. That makes me feel pretty good considering our current circumstances.

I’m grateful for this bit of time I could be with my mother. We might not have another Mother’s Day together.

Uncomfortably Numb

Deep experience is never peaceful. —- Henry James

I’m doing most of what I’m supposed to be doing…getting enough sleep (probably too much), taking my meds, seeing the therapist, eating so-so, being somewhat social. I just feel blah. It takes a tremendous amount of energy to do anything outside of going to work. I’m not particularly fatigued, I’m just very unmotivated and I don’t care.

My depression seemed to worsen when my son left for college. He hasn’t gone that far, just downtown to the urban art school campus, about 30 miles away. I still get to see him once in a while and we talk/text regularly. But living alone has been a huge change for me. I don’t seem to be adjusting very well at all. I’ve been lettting the cleaning go, avoiding the kitchen as much as possible, and spending a lot of time vegging. This is so not like me. I’m typically a very tidy person, like to cook, and like to be productive. I feel so out of sorts.

I had great plans for cleaning up the house when my son left. Having him and his friends tramping in and out tending to make for more cleaning up, and I thought of it as this great opportunity to really get things clean. I haven’t even been up to his room except to go to the attic and retrieve a few things. It just seems too overwhelming.

I guess this is what they call empty nest syndrome. I never imagined it could be such a setback in my mood. I’m sure I could be getting more exercise and all of that good stuff, but now I don’t see anything shifting me out of the numb spot. And it’s not very comfortable here either.

Ch-ch-ch-changes

This past week has been ch-ch-challenging. I just took my son to college and that was a bit stressful. I’m doing my best to cope with that colossal change in my life. Then I go to work on Monday to find out from the CEO himself that they let my boss go. Wow. That was a shock. I liked working with him (see previous post, New Environments). He was always positive and motivating with me, but apparently not with everyone else, which was the rationale we were given for his departure.

Of course this would be the week that I also run out of meds and I’m waiting for the new insurance card to arrive so I can get the prescriptions refilled. Not a good week to be off my meds! So my mood took a nose dive and I was dragging through the week. It was everything I could do to make it through the day, and I couldn’t wait to get home and crawl into bed. Too much loss for one week. I admit I shed a few tears as well, I was feeling lonely coming home to an empty house with my son gone.

I am so glad my son is attending a nearby college, he decided to come home for the night on Friday and we spent breakfast together on Saturday. That cheered me tremendously. Knowing I can see him regularly has eased the transition. Now I just need to figure out how to handle the new situation at work.

Blog Blocked

Having a major case of writer’s block lately. Perhaps because I have felt better? Certainly nothing wrong with feeling less depressed, now is there? Don’t know that I’d say happy quite yet, but don’t feel overwhelmingly sad. Even somewhat motivated I might say. Cleaning a little bit, planning for my son’s departure to college. That might be a downer though. I’m very excited for him finally achieving his dreams and looking forward to his new adventure. He’s earned this after all his hard work. It will be hard for me to see him go, but he’s not going too far. I just hope he’ll want to see me once in a while!

The new adventure/adjustment for me will be living alone. That is something I never really experienced. It will be just me and the animals. I won’t have anyone to answer to or be home for except the dogs. This will be interesting. I don’t know how I will handle this. I think I will be eating more cereal for dinner, no reason to cook!

Another Important Milestone

Hard to believe, but I am the parent of a high school graduate. My son’s last day of school was today, and commencement is next Wednesday. There were many rough times and moments I wondered how we would reach this day, but here we are! And I am so grateful for all that we have survived and learned about ourselves and each other along the way.

My son has also suffered from Depression. Without going into too much detail, a combination of family issues, living situation and school struggles ganged up on him and he was in a very bad way. Had to be hospitalized. Very frightening time for both of us but with therapy and medication he has made an excellent recovery, in fact, he has even been able to get off medication and do  well. He still has teenage moodiness (don’t they all?) but is pretty even-tempered for the most part. And he has accomplished so much recently that he can be proud of; he will be going off to art college in the fall having earned many scholarships for his talent and hard work.

I am blessed to celebrate this milestone with him. My first episode of Depression hit when he was just a toddler. And I have struggled off and on since then. But I have always, always, made it a priority to be a good parent to him. Many days I was dragging myself around and going through the motions just to get through the day when I was at my worst. But I think that was at a minimum. I was still able to meet others needs while depressed, just not my own.  Someday he will realize what a challenge it is to parent.

But for now we are just going to celebrate his success and his limitless future.

A Question(ing) of Faith

I’m spending my Sunday afternoon crocheting by the fireplace and listening to Christmas music. The selections have included a number hymns and songs to celebrate the season. This got me thinking about faith. I don’t think it’s all that unusual for a depressed person to question their faith. Particularly when times are most difficult. Now I know some conservative Christians might say that Depression would be the result of not having enough faith or some character flaw or unconfessed sin. That would be one of many reasons I reject conservatism and its narrow view. However, there are many occasions in the bible of doubt and despair, sometimes going hand in hand. I’m not getting into a theology lesson here, that’s not my area of interest or personal expertise.

At some of the worst times of my Depression, I felt the most alone. Separated from all others, including God. Despair can run that deep, and when there is no hope, that is when drastic measures seem the best solutions. It would be nice to have a simple answer to carry us until the despair resolves, but there are none, not even within the context of belief. Don’t get me wrong, faith helps us hang on…when we are grasping for reasons to keep going and can find no joy in life. But it’s hard not to question why. Why this particular illness? Why does it keep coming back? Why do I have to suffer so?

Of course I know plenty of people suffer from all types of ailments. But this invisible illness…takes its toll, invisibly. People don’t realize and can’t comprehend the emotional pain. I suppose that is also why we need our faith, to know that God understands our darkness and our suffering. We celebrate his son among us as part of that faith.

The holiday season always makes it a challenge to maintain a stable mood. So many messages are pummeling us and we are pulled in too many directions to assess how we actually feel. It’s always a difficult season because I have faced a number of losses during this time of year, so while I am supposed to celebrate my faith and socialize, I also grieve. Much conflict is carried around inside me which is difficult to share. I have shared much on this weblog which has been cathartic for me and hopefully helpful to someone else. I do look forward to celebrating Christmas with family and friends, and perhaps a renewal of faith for the coming year.