Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Finding a Sitter; Getting My Sanity Back

After watching 'John and Kate Plus Eight', and seeing how they found their sitter, I decided maybe it has come to that point where I need to look for a regular sitter, like I had last year and the year before, somewhere other than at church. Let me just say that Hubby's work hours have gotten to the point where we really only see him, for any length of time, on the weekends. Preschool ends in less than three weeks, so S. will now be spending even more time with the Tot and I. Let me explain. S. has boundless about of energy. I mean, as my brother delicately put it, he never stops! If Tot is up, S. is constantly egging him on and bothering him. Don't get me wrong, they do have their cute moments, but mainly he makes me want to pull my hair out! Tot is also entering the terrible threes, so there has been a lot of "no-s" lately, but so far he has been easier to deal with than S.

Mainly I am a single mother, and since I have no one to really help me, I am just, how do I put it, tired. Not just physically either. Getting back to the point here, I went on the Nannies4Hire website deciding it was time. I found some people in my area that I would like to interview. The problem? I have to pay between $200-$300 just to get their e-mail information, etc, so I can set up interviews. I do understand why they have to do this, it's just that it puts another roadblock up in my quest for sanity. Oh, and as Kate explained on the show, this person will be a babysitter not a nanny. I only want so many hours a week; not full-time. I'll have to ask Hubby about this. Yes, I am at that point. Excuse me now while I go up to S.'s room to talk with him about his latest mishap. He's been in there for over 2 hours. Yes, this mishap has not been his only mishap of the day. Nope. The first one happened before we got out the door today. I love him so much, but I need a break!

Friday, April 18, 2008

Things Are Better

Thanks for the prayers. Some shit is still going on, but not like it had been. We actually see the light at the end of the tunnel---well, somewhat. I don't have much time to write as my youngest has currently put the laundry basket over his head AGAIN. He's a little 'devil'. I'll tell ya' that!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

"Don't Say a Prayer ...

for me now. Save it till the morning after." Duran Duran
Sorry for that. I love my music, so sometimes when I'm thinking of a title or phrase I remember it being in a song....oh I can't explain it. I guess I'm just 'unique' in that way.

Things are hitting the shitter. Hubby and I are fine, as are the kids, although THEY are driving us nuts, but they ARE okay. Please say a prayer for our family that God brings us the best resolution for the current situation we are dealing with. I am anxious, so anxious that I can't sleep. So anxious that I either gorge myself on crap, or I can't find anything I want to eat at all. My stomach is in knots all the time. I have a stomachache every day. I have even developed a patch of eczema from all of the stress, and I have never even had eczema before. It's good times over here, I tell you! I am taking the boys to the gym tomorrow. I'm going to try to work some of this off. The boys can sense something's going on, and THAT is not helping either. Some anger is being expressed from our oldest. He's a sensitive little thing, and picks up quickly on these things. I'm not depressed, guys. It's not like that. I'm just waiting for the other shoe to drop, and I don't even know what that is. As Gilda Radner used to say, well actually her dad was the one who 'officially' coined this phrase, ---see how off I am---"It's always something." And it IS always something around here.

Monday, April 14, 2008

My Coping Skills

In my last post, I told you my personal story of depression and how it has affected me. Now I will explain how I got through those bad days, and most notably, how I got through the times after my mom died.

On days when I feel/felt the worst, and had to get out of bed because I have two children that won't allow me any time to relax, I shop. Now I have other coping skills, such as joining the gym, small groups at church, and the like. However, on the days when there is nothing going on, and I can't stand to stay at home with said boys, I shop.

The week after my mom died, I shopped nearly every day. I bought shoes, candles, clothes for both S. and I, bras...you name it I probably bought it. Everything was name brand too. Tommy Hilfiger, Victoria's Secret, Bath&Body Works Candles, Coach purses and only Gap or Ralph Lauren clothes for my then 6-month old son S. To give you some backyard information about me, I used to think about every purchase I made. My mom and dad got married at 18, high school sweethearts--so cute, eh? My point here is that at times in my childhood things could be good and then things could get very bad. So not having 'things' such as the latest pair of Guess jeans, and getting teased about it, ain't the teen years grand?, made me very protective of any money I had. This translated to me trying to make sure that never happened to me in my adult life. Maybe you call that being cheap; I call it making sure I wasn't poor, and wasn't going to get thrown out of my home. I always saved money 'just in case'. Don't get me wrong, I did splurge, but not like I did after my mom died.

This type of spending lasted all summer and into the new year. If I felt bad, go shopping. Like many therapists Oprah has had on her show, I knew there was a deeper reason for my shopping, but I just didn't care. It made me feel good for a few hours or a day. I had to take everything day by day then.

I got through the worst part of my mourning, and my shopping decreased. I began to think again about what I spent and how much money was in the bank. I've done really well this year. Especially with the kids' clothes. I only bought what they've needed, and for Tot that isn't much since he has all of S.'s clothes.

Presently, I am struggling with worries about money again. What if we no longer have any? What if we don't continue to have the good health insurance that we have currently. How would we afford all of the prescriptions our family needs? What if we couldn't pay the mortgage? What if we lost the house? The economy is bad now...I worry all the time. My SIL recently lost her job, which brings things home. On the minor front, there would be no dinners out, no babysitters, no trips to see family or friends, no new clothes, certainly no impulse purchases. We got used to a certain lifestyle. It's not grand by any means, just comfortable. We live in our starter house, keep our cars for a long time, so we certainly aren't rich, but we have gotten used to living the way we live. What if it all went away?

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

What Depression Is To Me

Underlying depression and I just can't get it right

Underlying depression I've got to fight it with all

of my might

Right now I don't want to be alone

Get my baby on the telephone

Underlying depression

Have to make some concessions when

everything is working right

Have to count my blessings, helps me make it

through the night

I've got love in my life as well as trouble and


And underlying depression

~~Van Morrison~~

Clinical depression is relatively new to me. I wasn't formally diagnosed until after I had my first son. I had a difficult birth, which ended in an emergency c-section accompanied by an awful nurse. From the moment I gave birth, I knew something wasn't right. I was so tired from laboring all day only to have major surgery. The next week I found out that my mother was dying from breast cancer and only had 6-9 months to live. So what was supposed to be the best time of my life, became one of the worst. That was the beginning of my struggle with depression. They called it PPD, but the thing is I am still struggling and my youngest is almost three, so I guess I can't blame it on PPD any longer.

The following are emotions that I have felt at one time or another in my daily struggle with this monster of a disease. If you struggle with depression, I 'm sure you'll be able to relate.

  • Feeling guilty, in my eyes, for not being a good mother. If I have a bad day, and don't interact as much with my boys, I feel mad at myself. In my head, I know I'm a good mother to them, but it's hard to think that when I am in the midst of it.

  • Feeling like a burden to my husband. He has enough on his plate besides having to worry about me.

  • Feeling alone even though I am in a roomful of people

  • Feeling different from others and ashamed to admit that I suffer from depression. I worry that I'll seem weak to them.

  • Sleeping too much or not enough. When I experienced the depression with my oldest, I just wanted to be left the hell alone, and I wanted to be able to just stay in bed and sleep all day. With Tot, I couldn't sleep AT all. I was afraid to go to sleep, because that meant I had get through another day.

  • Taking medications that I never dreamed I would take. First, I never thought I'd take anti-depressants. I also didn't think I'd ever take a sleeping pill. I have done both. My psychiatrist told me I was the first patient who could fight the highest dose of a sleeping pill. When my depression is under control, I have no problem sleeping!

  • Low energy. Feeling like I'm stuck in mud, unable to make any decisions, even the simple ones.

  • Losing hope for the future. I feel like I will always be depressed, and will always need to be on medication. Losing hope that anything will ever change.

  • Losing hope that I will ever be able to feel good for a long period of time without a relapse.

  • Being scared that my meds. will stop working one day. This has happened to me before.

  • Worrying that the drug company will stop making the drug that works for me. This happened to me a month before Tot was born. The government forced the company to pull Paxil CR off the shelves due to a defect. My doctor then put me on the regular Paxil. It didn't work, and I believe that is why my PPD was so bad.

  • Worrying that our good insurance will change, and stop paying for all of my drugs. They cost over $150/month alone WITH insurance. I don't know how we would pay for all of it without insurance.

  • I feel anger. Anger over having depression in the first place. How come women everyday have babies, and such a small percentage come down with PPD? Why me? Why now?

  • I feel anger over losing my mom. I needed her then, and I need her now. I'm jealous whenever I see a mother and daughter having so much fun together. I was cheated out of that mother/daughter bond.

  • I feel like I am in a different world from others. When I have a relapse, the world goes on without me. It's like I'm not even here.

  • Feeling like a bad friend and relative because I know I don't call them enough.

  • Wanting to be left the hell alone

  • Feeling like a failure

  • Anxiety; major anxiety over every little thing. A few days after my PPD with the Tot started, I had a pedicure appointment that I had scheduled before the PPD hit. I decided to go and see how it went. Through nearly the whole hour, I felt my breathing quicken and the anxiety taking over. I did, however, manage to finish the pedicure. I counted that as a victory. Can you imagine making it through a pedicure appt. a victory?

  • Feeling overwhelmed, even with the tedious tasks that I have to do.

  • Feeling like, at times, not being able to take care of the kids myself, or just feeling like I want some help. Dealing with the kids is draining on a good day, let alone on a day of a relapse.

  • Grief magnified; I remember going to the cemetery where my mom is buried and crying over her grave that I needed her help. I just sobbed. It still brings tears to my eyes. I had two-week old Tot next to me, because I wanted to show him to her.
  • Not wanting to physically be alone; after Tot's birth, Hubby had to take an extra week off of work, because I needed him to be home with me. I was afraid of him leaving. Hubby was home four weeks in total, and I don't know what I would have done without him. Seriously, that man was so wonderful to me during that time, as well as today.
  • Crying; after Tot's birth I would just sob ALL THE TIME; this didn't happen after S.'s birth even though my PPD started right away with him
  • Thinking, 'If I knew that I would go to heaven, I would end it now.' I was NOT suicidal, but I finally understood why some people commit suicide. My cousin had PPD, and ended up hanging herself because she saw no way out from the pain. I get that now.
  • In the beginning, it really irritated me when the doctors would constantly ask me if I was suicidal before they would talk to me. I knew why they had to ask, but it still made me feel , I don't know, badly. Like I officially made it into the 'crazy club', and I didn't know who I was anymore.
  • Not wanting to eat; After my PPD started with Tot, I couldn't eat at all. We considered it a victory when I could eat one spoonful of yogurt and a 8-ounce bottle of Cola. When I'm even feeling a tad off my game, I wish there was something that I could eat that would make me feel better. Unlike some people that I know, when I'm feeling low or having a relapse, I can't eat. I lost 30 pounds in a three-week period after having Tot because I couldn't eat. I don't recommend losing the weight this way.
  • Not wanting to do anything that I used to do. For example, shopping, having a pedicure .
  • Losing my patience easily; quick to yell at the kids for the smallest infraction. This makes me feel so guilty, like I'm a bad mother and wife.
  • I've been seeing my therapist for so long, I might as well invite her to Christmas dinner at my house. She's become like a member of my family.
  • Putting on a happy face when all I want to do is go home and cry. I often think, 'If they only knew'. I recently had a friend at church say that she thought Hubby and I had it all. I had finally shared what was going on in my life, ands she couldn't believe it.
  • Feeling like there is no conquering depression. I now feel like it is a monster I will continue to have to fight all my life. There will be no end.
  • Depression has been the scariest thing I have ever gone through.

Why does the rest of the world put up with the hypocrisy

to put a happy face on sorrow, the need

to keep on keeping on. I don't know the answer,

I only know that I can't.

-----Elizabeth Wurtzel, Prozac Nation

Monday, April 07, 2008

Letting It Go

On Friday, it was such a crappy day that I let the kids start painting their pots that we bought together. I knew it would be a mess, but I am trying to not be a mother who doesn't let her kids do cool stuff because it's too messy. They had a blast! It was all they could talk about, which made it all worth it to me. The mandatory showers due to paint all over them, the laundry, the clean up downstairs even though I had covered the table with wrapping paper, as well as the floor underneath. Looking at their happy faces is giving me the strength to do the next step. Stenciling, sponging, the pots. Why, oh why, did I suggest that!