Saturday, July 20, 2013
I felt so low
I've read about depression, read about the black dog, read about people unable to get out of bed in the mornings, unable to function. That wasn't me. I functioned, I always have. I'm a coper. And this year life has settled down and become a little more stable. I've not been lurching from one crisis to the next, trying to firefight, to keep the show on the road.
What happened? Well when the firefighting stopped, I began to feel overwhelmed by all the stuff that has happened over the past ten years, and how much my life has changed, how different it is from the family life that I had planned and worked so hard for. Every day became a stress-fest, and I couldn't relax or sleep without a glass of wine, I needed constant pain killers for headaches. I suspect I would've taken anything to feel better, if it had been offered. Yet I felt so guilty, I have three wonderful children (even if two of them do have special needs), a beautiful home, a job I enjoy, enough money, and great friends.
I went back to counselling, which is useful, and it means I can talk about stuff that I'm afraid to tell anyone else, but really it is only going to make a big difference long-term. There's a lot to get through!
As I mentioned before, this summer is the most challenging yet - Smiley's summer camp has finished and I will have no respite, and she will have no school, until the end of August, while aspie boy says he wants to go out, says he wants to exercise, but is finding it so hard to tear himself away from the safety of the screens. So I was looking out the kitchen window at the patch of blue sky above the rooftops as the waves of heat washed over me and bursting into tears every time I heard trigger words like gorgeous weather, Wexford, bank holiday fun, and of course anything that might remind me of my Dad.
So I was miserable, and I just wanted to hibernate, but I couldn't. I have work to do, a house to keep and two children who have a lot of needs. It's relentless. But last Sunday - it's always Sundays! - I realised that I was definitely not being the best mother that I could be to my kids. Friends rallied round and drove me to the GP on Monday morning. I've always been afraid of telling officialdom that I am not coping, terrified of being judged, afraid of tales of children being taken away -- which could be worse for them than for me. But of course the GP was lovely - I've been put on some medication, and within an hour my pounding headache was gone, and suddenly everything seemed to be doable - even without the help of wine and chocolate! Perhaps I have now become a Stepford Wife after all....
I feel so stupid now -- clearly I should have gone to the GP months or years ago -- please don't make the same mistake as me, just because you are getting through the days does not mean that a little help won't make them better, for you and for your family.