Thursday, April 16, 2009

Bump in the road

I've completely lost my momentum with this whole Doing Things Differently thing. Easter weekend ended up being my downfall. I had plans and the rain prevented me from carrying them out. I didn't have any backups. It turns out everything on my list that needed some sort of organisational skills or planning has now been crossed off my list. And since I didn't have any great ideas to fall back on, I did tiny, little things (like re-pierce my ears) instead of what I had planned. And I don't feel happy about it.

That unhappiness is now affecting the rest of the month in terms of (lack of) enthusiasm for the project. Or at least that's the story. The thing is, when I started this project, it was because I was feeling depressed. I wanted to start something that I could throw myself into and distract myself out of these low feelings and I'd get back to my 'normal' self. But it just doesn't work that way, does it?

I've suffered from a mild (moderate? I'm not sure) case of depression off and on for years. I've always told myself 'it's just this period of my life, once things change, things will get better' or if I just got out of the house, tried making new friends just got on with things or do things differently, then I will feel better. And I get great short-term results. I do. But it's not enough.

I feel like it's time to seek some sort of treatment, but I can't bring myself to do it - I think that will take more courage than I currently have. I feel as I though I'm letting the people I love down by admitting to depression. That it's an admission of weakness, or that it just confirms this long held belief of mine that I'm not good enough. And I know how ridiculous it sounds and that I shouldn't feel guilty. But this is how I feel.

I feel absolutely racked with guilt for not being stronger, for not being able to get past things. It's not everyday, in fact it's infrequent enough that I can ignore the few days where I eat very little, where I don't want to leave the house, or change out of my clothes, that I'm snappy and irritable and have no interest in doing the things that I love. But it's not right and it's not fair.

If only I could snap myself out of it, eat properly, fake it until it happens, be a stronger person for my kids, for my husband but first for myself. I may not seek treatment today, or even tomorrow, not next month or next year. Maybe never. That's up to me. I just needed to write all of that out, get it out of my system and go from here.

This really isn't how I thought this post would turn out to be.


  1. Chin up, Michelle. I understand how difficult it is with seeking treatment for depression, or, even just admitting it. Sometimes I think we moms are a bit hard on ourselves. The pressure of trying to be perfect -- especially when homelife is involved is intense. We want to "do things differently", be patient, organized, well-adjusted and sometimes we may just feel fed-up, tired, and ancy. Of course then the mom guilt kicks in.

    Just remember that things will always go awry -- plans change, motivation wavers, and blue days hit. Taking a deep breath or maybe a nap is how I cope.

    I'm sending virtual hugs to you right now!

  2. So much I want to say, Michelle, and only this tiny comments space!

    Speaking from my own experience: lots of people struggle with depression, including me. I have my times when it's "too much trouble" to do even the simplest things, things that would normally be fun.

    I have to convince myself it's strength--not weakness, not failure--to know when I need help with my approach. And I always feel better when I've had a tune-up . . . whether that's been with a professional counselor or a trusted friend.

    At the risk of giving unsolicited advice: Let go of the "shoulds" and take good care of yourself. You don't blame the children when they need medical attention, right? Or the car when it needs a little work? Give yourelf the same benefit of the doubt. You don't have to go it alone.

    Last but not least, I care and am on your side. Wish I could do more to help. Sending you lots of good thoughts across the miles!

  3. Admiting you have a problem is half way to fixing it.

    I went through a stage of depression, and I didn't realise how bad I had been until I got through to the other side. When I noticed it happening again I sorted it out straight away.

    I think you should go and see a doctor as soon as you can, as there is no need to suffer.

    Good luck, and I hope you pull through soon.

  4. I'm sorry it's so tough lately, Michelle. There is no weakness in getting help. I know that Elliot goes to a play group/ daycare/ preschool something, can you drop Joshua off once a week too? He'd love it and you'd get some time to spoil yourself. Even if every moment with the kids is perfect, you still deserve a little time to be who YOU are- not a mom, not a wife, not someone who is reading when she should be cleaning.

    In my little family, M takes prozac. When his prescription runs out I can tell within days. He starts to well, not ignore us, but one step less rude. We become a duty and not a joy. He withdraws without it and doesn't enjoy the boys as much. It doesn't seem to alter his personality, but rather makes us like each other more.

    (For myself, I tend more towards crabby b*tch, and I don't think they make a pill for that.)

  5. I think we all suffer with a form of depression at some points in our lives, so never think you are own with this. Having two young children is one of the toughest things to cope with in life. I remember being really miserable when the girls were small, as I just couldn't cope and wasn't superhuman. I think now it may have been a bit of post natal depression which I never did anything about. So I think you are right to want to seek help and I wish I had. I still suffer with terrible mood swings, but trying to make more time for me often helps. Little treats for you and more you time.

  6. I know all too well the trap of "it'll all be okay once...." whatever the thing happens to be. And then that comes and goes, and you silently replace it with another thing to pin your hopes on.

    If you're feeling consistently low, it must be worth at least a few minutes chat with a doctor. They'll be able to tell you pretty quickly whether it sounds like a 'normal' low patch or whether it could be clinical depression. I know a few people who've had clinical depression and it's better to get it treated, honestly. You don't even have to tell your friends & family if you don't want to 'own up' to how you've been feeling.

    If you don't feel capable of talking even to a doctor, I also know people who've had success with St John's Wort for depression (check the side effects & advice, though, because I think it's strong stuff).

    Good luck, and I hope you can find a way out of this soon.

  7. My dad has been on Prozac for several years and he is a completely different person (in a good way). He is so much less edgy, helpful around the house, pleasant--I could go on, but you get the idea. I know I should probably go on it too, but I'm kind of in the same place you are. I feel like if I try to do things to make myself feel better I will get out of the funk. I've actually taken it for the 2 weeks prior to my period for pms, but it just didn't do enough. I think I need it all the time. Anyway, I just wanted to tell you that you aren't alone and I hope that you can find the courage to seek help. Good luck.

  8. With the Doing Things Differently thing, why don't you start again in May? Before hand you could work out a list of 31 activities (and an extra 15 for wet days) and then pick one from the list each day. Planning ahead like this helps me when I'm having when of those bumpy patches.

    Faking it is not an option. Go have a chat with someone. I'm not saying "go get drugs!" but just the talking bit will help. The most important thing is to be kind to yourself. I know we're in very different situations and that I have nowhere near the responsibilities that you do but having been in a low place for the last 18 months or so I can say that this is the most important thing you can do for yourself.

    And if you ever need to talk about anything you know where I am. (In fact, you know where we ALL are - hiding in your comments box!!) xx

  9. It's not weakness, Michelle. It really isn't. And I agree with Jackie that just admitting it helps.

    Whatever you decide to do, we're all hear to listen if you ever need to vent. *hug*

  10. Look at it this way: Talking to a doctor about your depression would be totally in keeping with your Doing Things Differently idea! I know it's a hard step to take, but there's nothing to be ashamed of. Give it a try.

  11. I'm with farmlanebooks. There's no need to suffer. Talking with someone might be helpful.

    There's been times when I've been mildly depressed. It really seems to help me when I focus on others during those times. I don't know, maybe helping other people creates a positive change in me.

  12. funny how posts turn out sometimes. you know, sometimes it's just plain 'hard' to be at home, with two boys, alone, not feeling sociable, i've struggled with it for the longest time. i still do. and i'm not sure if that's totally you, but i sure identify with you when you mention your moms groups or inviting a friend out, i do the same things. and you don't have to do things differently every day, but just knowing that you want to is a step in the right direction. it's so easy to get into a rut staying at home, at least it is for me, and i honestly thank you for reminding me that it doesnt' have to be that way and inspiring me to do things differently than i have been. seriously! you're inspiring! xo

  13. hello michelle maybe what you need is a series of things to keep your mind going. Doing thingd differntly is one way but it can be too much at once.

    If maybe you something different once or twice a week.. maybe something spontaneoous and unplanned then another day participate in a hobby of yours then another some excercise or something (as apparently exercise is meant to be really good for you if you are feeling low)

    I dont know what is available in your area but a routine of something like swimming with josh once a week while Elliot is at school will help break the week up for you x

  14. I loved reading all of your comments, thank you.


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