Monday, February 22, 2010

Everything Out on The Table

One would think that when we got Daniel's diagnosis that I would say that is when I hit rock bottom in the emotions category. Probably at that time I thought it to be also. When I think back to that time, which happened to be 4 years ago this February I don't remember feeling quite as low as I do now.

Maybe its a delayed reaction?

Maybe I'm just hitting rock bottom now?

Maybe I'm just tired emotionally?

Maybe I can't handle reality of what life is?

Maybe I am just overwhelmed and I don't know what to do next?

Maybe I just need to change some things in my life/schedule.

Funny, this is suppose to be a blog about Daniel and here I am spilling my guts about being depressed. I suppose it effects Daniel because I'm his mom and he is with me 24/7, and I am probably dragging him down with me.

Maybe it's because I'm realizing that I am not the super mom that I wanted to be.

Maybe it's because I am realizing that no matter all the therapies and doctor appointments I take him to, I cannot "fix" what people think the problems are. And that what "the people" think are the problems are some of the things I love the most about Daniel and I am ashamed of that? Examples: He can't walk. Yes, I'd love for him to walk, but if he did he'd be a typical 4 yr old who is running around getting into everything. What I love about that he doesn't walk...He still likes to snuggle, and I get to hold him and carry him. I get that closeness that most parents have lost by now because their child is older/larger.

I have not lost my mind totally. I realize I am depressed and I am in the process of fixing it. But for people who have really been depressed for days on end, clinically depressed, not just having a bad couple of days type depressed, you know that it is hard to fix it. Medicines don't do the full trick. They aren't happy pills, they kind of just make it so you aren't losing it daily and crying. They are suppose to give you that even keel, give you a little energy. I have yet to seen the energy component come into play yet, but that is being addressed with treatments for severe anemia and bad CBC/hemoglobin counts. I am hoping within the next few weeks this part will be fixed too. I am trying...little steps.

I use to say when people we depressed "Snap outta it". Well its not that easy, I wish it were. I use to say "It could be worse, you're not as bad off as most people". Well to a person who is depressed let me tell you first hand - those comments don't help! When you feel like there is a problem with every aspect of your life and its an endless loop - one thing affects the other thing so your head is spilling and you have no idea where to start...really, it doesn't help. The comments or the feeling that "oh crap I've now disappointed that person and they are thinking I'm no good" feeling gets added to the list.

Nobody else can make things better, you have to want to do it yourself. You have to want to pull yourself out of the bottom of the well. Sometimes you just need something/someone to grab onto to pull you out. Sometimes you just need help making one little change and things will fall into place. Sometimes all we need is one little success to feel better.

WHY am I posting this you think? Well a few reasons - 1) I'm tired of faking it. :) I'm not happy with everything, I'm not a superhero mom 2) Daniel is NOT the only person in this family with a "handicap" his just happens to be more visible than mine. And sometimes families have more than that is on the surface to deal with. 3) This blog is about a family dealing with a child with special needs and I have been very bad at updating it with what is going on lately. When mom gets out of whack and she is your main caregiver during the day that means Daniel gets out of whack too.

So we are DE-whack-ifying starting today and we're getting everything out on the table and off our chest. Because sometimes we are not as our title reads : "better than normal". Sometimes we are "$hitter than normal" and that is ok too! (just not for long periods of time!)

Maybe its because I have been looking at the negatives in life instead of the positives...

yes, I think that is probably part of it.

Maybe its because I have been thinking I don't have choices and I am stuck.

well, I am not stuck. I am not the only person who has ever felt depressed and I shouldn't be ashamed of it. Sometimes people need help from other people, and its ok to ask. Sometimes life is overwhelming and we all have different levels of what we can handle. I am not a failure because I am having a difficult time. I am not a failure or love my child any less because I wish things were different. I could not love my child more - but there are things I wish were different.

And to anyone else out there feeling that if they voice that they wish things were different for their child, that their child was "fixed". You are not a bad parent for voicing it and I for one am sure you love your child.

Anyways - its out of the table...I'm depressed and everything isn't sunshine and happiness.

(see my head poking out of the hole? I haven't drowned yet!)

22 comments:

ferfischer said...

My thoughts are with you. My husband has severe clinical depression and is always on meds. They need to be tweaked every once in a while, and there are still cycles of more depressed/less depressed/more anxious/less anxious, and that's ok - he's still human and has emotions! Our journey has taken a great toll on him and his depression - something we struggle with every day, in addition to the regular difficulties of having a disabled child. You're not alone!

Katy said...

I think that being depressed from time to time is COMPLETELY and TOTALLY normal. I don't think that grief ever leaves us completely and yes there are definitely times where you realize that all the going in the world isn't going to "fix" your child. It's hard.

Good for you for seeking the help you need--that's the first step.

MJStump said...

There has totally got to be something going around, because I am in the same boat as you...feeling like it is sinking and it is too much to grab onto the lifesaver and stay afloat.

I just saw my doc last week, because I feel like everything is catching up with me...like finally a chance to deal with everything that has happened, and wow it is hitting hard.

Something I already know, but my doc said that so many other things that kids or adults can get are explained, and you know what comes next. So it is completely understandable as to why this is so hard, because every day is different and you don't know what is around the corner.

Funny how it feels better when a doc or someone outside can reaffirm what you already feel and believe.

I'm with you on this...ready for a change and to get where we need to be...not just for our sake, but for the little ones that depend on us.

Hugs and prayers,
Jody

Candace said...

Melanie,
My heart is right there with you. When Faith was dxed for about 3 1/2 yrs I thought I could jsut "bully" my way through it all. If I worked hard enough or took her to enough therapies we would be ok. Then when she was almost four I crashed. I was miserable, down hearted, depressed, angry, annoyed, mad as heck at GOD. It took almost another two years to get to where I am now. A little word that is sometimes hard for me to say...acceptance. I don't think there is a formula or a pill or a magic cure all for parents like us, each is different. For me time was a healer. Finding out who Faith was and my role as her mother/defender were big healers for me. Also the blogging community has been very cathartic for me, gettin' it out on "paper"! Sending hugs across the lines for you, sister!

Dawn said...

First off: I battle clinical depression. It's a hell of a mountain. I continue to fall down it but I keep climbing. Knowing that something is wrong is the first step to getting help.
Second: You are super mom. Even if you don't believe it. The fact that you admit to your faults and worries just exemplifies that even more.
Third: It will get better, the depression that is. I can't speak about a special needs child but I know you love him and would do anything for him.
MooshInIndy and JourneyMama battle depression if you would like to read them.

Wherever HE Leads We'll Go said...

Good for you for sharing this. "Faking it" can be so exhausting!

I am glad that you are getting the help that you need. I know, as moms, we tend to put ourselves last and we think that we are doing our family good, but we have to come to the forefront at some point. We have to take care of ourselves so we can take care of them (easier said than done, I know)! I appreciate your honesty.

I know that you love Daniel - wishing things were different is totally normal. I think we all feel that way to one degree or another. You are not alone.

Anonymous said...

Dear Mom,

Thank you for following through with this difficult process. I know it is tough and I couldn't imagine the position you are in. But taking the small steps towards finding happiness shows me that you are doing what needs to be done. Without you this family would be very different, I appreciate all you do and that you work so hard. Know I am here for you whenever. There are positives in every decision and action made, you simply have to alter your view in order to find them. xoxo

Love Always,
Your eldest daughter.

angie said...

Yep....I'm right there with you. I couldn't believe it as I was reading your post. It's like I had written it myself. Almost every word that you wrote hit home. I have just started back on meds to try to get me back on track....but, I am not seeing the benefits. So, I have made an apt. with a counselor. However, I feel that no one and nothing can "fix it". Having a special needs child is NOT something that I signed up for. I feel that it has isolated me in a way that I never dreamed of. Yet, I love her with all of my heart.

Anyway, enough about me:). I just wanted to tell you how much I appreciate your honesty, and that you are not going through this alone:).

Anonymous said...

I hear you!! Take care of you!

Anonymous said...

Realizing you have a problem is the first step towards recovery. Good for you! A chain is only as strong as it's weakest link.....you are the link that holds your family together....do whatever it takes to strengthen that chain.....the rest will fall in place

Amy Genn said...

Melanie,
Yup. You are not alone. I can't know exactly how you are feeling or what you need to get better, but I am glad you are seeking help and doing what it takes for you.

When I got counseling, the best thing I learned is when you think you have no options sit down and write a list out of what options you DO HAVE. Even if they are as silly as "I could run off and join the circus". Even if you would never in a million years do them. Just write them all down so you have that strength back.

Second, I've learned that we are on a journey.....a never-ending journey. We have no destination.....and on that journey we will constantly be learning, growing, changing, adjusting, accepting, and also fighting the unfairness of it all....and having hard times, too.

Hang in there. The bloggy world is here for you! :)

Amy and Eli

MeghatronsMom said...

No need to be ashamed. I blog openly about my battle with depression & anxiety as well. I never battled it until I had MM and her blog is about her & our family too.

All I can do is send you a cyber hug & tell you I am right there with ya! My way is to deal with it thru humor. Like, you know you're really depressed when you go to the pharmacy & they give you two GIANT bottles of meds. LOL

Hang in there, meds & counseling will help. Email me meghatronsmom@yahoo.com if you want to talk more privately.

Preemie Miracle said...

I guess it is the season.. I have had depression worse this year than I ever remember. What a great post. Get it out there. It helps me validate my feelings of my life with special needs. Thanks a million

TMI Tara said...

I am so glad that you were able to be honest with everyone and with yourself. I think honesty is the best place to start!

I have struggled with pretty severe depression my entire life. It certainly isn't something you just get over, but at the same time, like you said, you are the one in charge of whether you're going to go in a downward spiral or start digging yourself out of the hole.

I'm sorry you're feeling "shittier than normal" at the moment but I hope things turn around soon. I'm always here for you if you ever need anything. {{HUGS}}

Susan, Mum to Molly said...

Hey Mel, maybe there is something about that 4 year mark - I am at a similar stage and and feeling like you, really struggling lately...

My counsellor wanted me to get my iron checked though - just in case that was contributing. Otherwise she thinks I may be headed for burnout...

She also recommended St Johns Wort as a gentler alternative to some of the meds...

Take care of yourself, as best you can in your current emotional climate, Susan

C said...

(((Melanie)))

As you walk this path, remember that depression is a chemical issue: neurochemistry is variable and it doesn't always self-regulate. Depression is really a case of depressed *chemicals* which in turn yank your concious self around. I'm sure you know this, smart lady that you are, but when in the midst of the storm it can be tough to remember that not one piece of this is your fault. You just get choice in what comes next - getting help and going forward.

So glad to hear that it's all out and things are movin' on. Love you.

C said...

PS - if you're looking for something to read about this, I highly recommend The Mood Cure (terrific info and things to do to fluff up good brain chemistry) and anything by Dr. Daniel Amen (great stuff about how we can help our brains be their best and just *feel* better). So much "self-help" stuff addresses how we feel without remembering the chemical parts. Sometimes the feeling parts can't be looked at until the chemical parts are, and sometimes those things are very different from person to person.

TheRextras said...

I like what C said.

In another circle of bloggers (parents of children with autism) this post offers some good stuff.

http://anotherpieceofthepuzzle.com/dealing-with-depression-where-to-start

Best, Barbara

Sherry C said...

Oh Mel.. your SuperMom in my books and I'm sure Daniel agrees too. Good for you for being so honest with yourself I'm sure that is half the battle. I had a hard time too when Ashley was two years old. I think you had a lot on your plate this year with the homeschooling, and that therapy. I'm sure all this isn't easy to take but I hope things get easier for you very soon. Your in my thoughts super mom.

One book I loved when I was feeling down was Louise Hay "You Can Heal Your Life"

I hope it's sunny where you are today.

Sherry C said...

Oh Mel.. your SuperMom in my books and I'm sure Daniel agrees too. Good for you for being so honest with yourself I'm sure that is half the battle. I had a hard time too when Ashley was two years old. I think you had a lot on your plate this year with the homeschooling, and that therapy. I'm sure all this isn't easy to take but I hope things get easier for you very soon. Your in my thoughts super mom.

One book I loved when I was feeling down was Louise Hay "You Can Heal Your Life"

I hope it's sunny where you are today.

Dani G said...

Yep. Uh-huh. I get it. Amen, sister. My depression is situational. Having a kid with special needs stinks sometimes (a lot). Some days are great and really sweet. Even if it's bittersweet, it's a little sweeter than some other days. One day at a time. Sometimes one minute. Sometimes one Dora episode at a time. We are all in this together.

Jessica said...

I know this comment is late, but I'm catching up on my reading. Just wanted to let you know that you may not always feel like it but I consider you a supermom and you and the other amazing moms out there inspire me to better for my son. Also, I totally love that Pax still wants to cuddle and sit on my lap all the time when other 2 year olds are pushing their parents away (even if its just because he cant walk) - i get it...