Thank You For Letting Me Share My Despair
Posted 29 September 2009 - 09:59 AM
I am calling my doctor this morning (well, she's actually a nurse practitioner, we have a huge shortage of doctors up here and we haven't been able to get one in the 3 years we've been here) to make an appointment to see if we can try to find another psychiatrist (they are covered under Ontario's health care system) that maybe I can click with. The last one I had a hard time opening up to and did not like his methods.
I have been dealing with depression since I was about 26 years old, only a short time before my mother killed herself. After she died, I spiralled down into deep despair. I left my first husband, thinking there had to something/someone out there to make me happier...I was so worried about becoming my mom. I suffered terribly for about 3 years, functioning at a level of only day to day necessary tasks (feeding the children, they were little then, bathing them, keeping them safe) and then I was better for a few years for the most part. Then, about 5 years ago, I suffered a major episode, began medications again, improved a bit and then had what I call a nervous breakdown. My step-daughter walked out on us - her father, myself and my 2 sons, her step-brothers - got married without us, divorced him 4 months later and hasn't been a part of our lives since. It started with my wanting to go with her while she looked at wedding dresses, she wanted a semi-friend to go with her instead. We had been very close since the day we met, she was 8. She was my shadow, she left her mother (who is a nightmare) when she was 14 and asked me (not her father) how do we make it so that she could live with us?? She always came to me over her father, she was my daughter, I never thought of her as a step-daughter. She was mine. And she left me. I tried for the next 4 years to get her back into our lives - email, facebook, phone calls, text messages, msn messages...only 4 responses, which were absolutely horrible, rude, mean, heartbreaking. I have finally given up hope and have not contacted her for about ayear. I just can't keep trying and beating my head against a brick wall. Within a couple weeks of her leaving, my job (career) was in jeopardy, I was betrayed by my boss, a man I trusted deeply. My job was pretty much the only thing I ever felt I was truly good at, was comfortable doing, was proud of...and I was one of the best at it. I have the awards and plaques to prove it...even though I still am doubting it now. I was driven home from work one day after spending hours at my desk balling my eyes out, unable to stop. Feelings of panic, anxiety, like I was being watched, like everyone was looking at me and talking about me...it was unbearable, it overtook me and I just simply lost it. I called my husband, he called my doctor, she called me and told me to go home and get someone to be there with me. I have not worked since. I spent over a year being terrified to leave my house in case I saw anyone i knew, afraid to answer my phone or a knock at my door. I only left the house if someone went with me and then I would shake the whole time and be constantly scanning for familiar faces that I did not want to see. I felt like everyone was always staring at me. It was terrifying. Then, we moved north to cottage country as it is called. For a little while I was a little better, my 2 boys were with us...then they moved back to our home town, 3 and a half hours away, it was too quiet for them here, they wanted back where they grew up. Then I sunk lower with them gone...I miss them so much, they were and are my life, my world, my reason...and they live so far away now and I dont get to see them often and I miss them. But then again, they're grown up and things change, while I may still need to be in their lives everyday, they don't need to be in mine. They are ready and trying very hard to cut the apron strings that join us, but I can't seem to let them go. They are my everything and my only thing. And they are so far away. They are 21 and 23 years old, and the 21 year old has a little baby girl 2 months old, she is a doll and I love her very much. But I miss them terribly, it aches so deep down inside. Everyone says I'm supposed to enjoy being an empty-nester...but to me it is just another heartache, another emptiness, another darkness.
Sorry, this started as a thank you to everyone who cared and wrote me such kind, encouraging words...but then the rest just started coming out. So thank you all for reading and responding...I will read your words many times over for comfort. Thank you.
Posted 29 September 2009 - 10:17 AM
I am married to a man with depression and I have a bit of experience with it from the other side. I cannot speak for how your husband feels, but it can be as hard on the partner as it is on you. I hope he will find the tools he needs to be supportive and together you will move towards health and healing.
Once you feel a bit better, perhaps you can donate some time to a facility that just requires your love: a children's hospital, a senior center, a pet adoption center: somewhere where the touch of a hand, a hug, is appropriate and welcomed. Love is such a healing energy.
Blessings to you on your continued path.
Posted 29 September 2009 - 10:22 AM
SHARE THE LOVE GOAL Goal for June 2013, 6100 -- 6007 as of 06-02-13
Posted 29 September 2009 - 11:05 AM
Posted 29 September 2009 - 11:43 AM
Sweet siggy made for me by Julie
My Gallery I use CS5 and love it!
Posted 29 September 2009 - 01:29 PM
You have certainly found an online family here. My thoughts are with you in your quest to find the answers to your problem.
I am going to suggest something that might be a contributing factor to your depression. It is called Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD for short. It is the reaction that many people have to the lack of sunlight. The farther north you live, the more likely you are to be affected. Living in Canada, you are definitely in an area where people are affected by this. The recommended therapy for SAD is a special light box. If a doctor has never suggested this as a possible factor in your depression, it is something you might want to discuss with the Nurse Practioner.
I live a lot farther south than you, but I have SAD. My yearly episodes of SAD last from October through March. I know from my own experience that any worry I might have will turn into depression when my SAD period starts.
But light therapy and taking extra vitamin D during my SAD period has helped me. I use a special light box as well as trying to spend some time outside every day to get the natural light. In the winter months I also try to spend some time in front of a sunny window either reading or listening to music.
From reading your posts, I understand you have many reasons for feeling the way you do. But if SAD is a part of it, treating that could only help the overall situation.
Here are some links from the Mayo Clinic website explaining Seasonal Affective Disorder and light therapy.
Seasonal Affective Disorder
Light therapy: Why it's done
Seasonal affective disorder treatment: Choosing a light therapy box
I wish you well and will keep you in my thoughts. And here are a few hugs. You can never have too many.
Posted 29 September 2009 - 03:11 PM
When I first started counseling, my counselor thought part of my problem might just be that so many things that had happened suddenly came crashing down on me. The good news was that I was finally at a safe time and place to start processing it all. Your post reminds of me of the way I felt then, just overwhelmed with it all and unable to cope.
I stayed in counseling and started on medication, but I also discovered that I have SAD as well. (See the above post for her links.) I found a light bulb that gives the full range of light and put it in the room I used most often. Mine was from a health food store, but I have seen them at some of the hardware type stores also (Ace,Lowe's, etc - not sure what you have in Canada.) It really does help!
If part of your processing is writing it all out, well, then, you have friends here to read it and pray for you.
You are in my prayers!
... Forest Witcraft
I am not shopping; I am supporting graphic artists.
Posted 29 September 2009 - 03:47 PM
Posted 29 September 2009 - 09:02 PM
Posted 30 September 2009 - 09:47 AM
Posted 30 September 2009 - 12:36 PM
Posted 30 September 2009 - 02:36 PM
I am so glad to see you back. We are here for you.
Did you get in touch with your nurse practitioner yet? Were you able to talk to her or get an appointment?
Did you have a medication that worked for you in the past? I think coming here to Scrap Girls is a great start to reaching outside your home. It's a good beginning. It's safe, and we are always here. Take it one step at a time, okay?
Keep talking, and maybe you can do a layout to express your feelings, too.
You (and a couple of others with MAJOR power and influence around here) have got me thinking about how we might use our scrapping to express the difficult things in our life, too. Maybe we could have an area on the board for that.
You are doing a beautiful job of expressing yourself and helping us to understand what you're going through. You're very good with words. And I don't think it's an accident that you chose to post here.
God loves you, and you've found friends here.
Posted 30 September 2009 - 04:45 PM
I have had bouts of depression and am on medication for anxiety/depression, so I know some of the
things you are feeling. That said, nobody can really know what is going on in your head. My DH
doesn't know what to do with me when it happens either. Sometimes, you have to ask for a hug if that
is what you need. It can feel like a lot to ask for, but it might make him feel less helpless to
know that there is something he can do.
Posted 30 September 2009 - 05:35 PM
I would like to give MHO on a couple little points.
I live in sunny CA and I suffer from SAD. When the days begin to shorten (which started 2wks ago for my brain), I start to get depressed over things I would otherwise shake off. There are light boxes available through internet sources and Costco even had one last year. SAD is finally becoming recognized as fairly common. My advise is to do some internet research on the types of light bulbs that are effective and then see if you can put one in a light fixture you can sit under each day. I get out into the sun everyday or I stand by the windows at work for at least 20 minutes. I also make myself get exercise. Heart-pumping, sweat producing exercise. These two things help me survive this time of year.
I also agree with Valerie, about getting out of your house and finding a venue where you can share your enormous ability to love. And I totally get that you have an incredible capacity for love. My profession allows me to do this and do it in spades. It is an incredible boost to feel that connection with a person or animal. I look forward to pouring love & caring on my patients. It keeps me centered and in touch with my purpose as a human.
As far as spouses go, my xDH never understood the suffering that was triggered by my particular brain chemistry. He often turned away from me for periods of time. After many years of feeling disconnected, I finally began to ask him for hugs. I also found that if I poured my feelings all over him while he was doing something nice for me----he wouldn't do it anymore. So, I trained myself to just get the hug and suck up all the skin to skin time with a smile and gratitude. It changed the way he felt about me and allowed me to value what he could provide. As a result, we are still friends even post divorce. After our divorce was final, he told me that he always felt inadequate because he couldn't take away my suffering. Wow, I never expected him to do that. If I had known the depth of his desire to help, I would have changed my approach and accepted the gestures he was offering as the gifts he intended them to be. I suspect that your hubbie's perpetual question is his gift in disguise. See if you can take it as a sign that he loves & cares about you in the capacity that he is able. And leave it at that. Bring the rest here to us.
I wish I had a magic formula or pill for you to take. I don't. I do know that you will get through this a stronger, wiser and happier person. You will be better equipped to help others through their journeys.
Much love to you and your family,