Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by flutterby, Aug 13, 2009.

  1. flutterby

    flutterby Fly away!

    I've been really struggling the last few days. Depression was grabbing hold again. It does that now and again. At least these days it tends to be fleeting. But, this was a different kinda feeling and I hadn't been able to put my finger on it.

    I've been struggling with having a purpose for quite some time. I feel like life just goes on around me and I'm stuck on the ride. Existing, not living. Waiting to see how I'll feel when I wake up and then deciding what I can or can't or don't want to do for the day. These days, I haven't been wanting to do much of anything - even when it's a not so bad day. I look so bad (to me) from this illness and while I stare in the mirror and feel absolutely awful about how I look, I haven't been able to get around to shaving or plucking my eyebrows or using the depillatory on my face (thank you steroids) or wearing makeup. Any of those things that make us feel more feminine. I haven't even put on real clothes in weeks.

    And I know that I'm sick and people will say, well you just don't feel good, I don't blame you for not wanting to, etc. But, you're talking to the person who wouldn't leave the house without being dressed, hair done and makeup applied - even just to get gas for the car.

    And then I'm struggling because my purpose was always my kids. But, difficult child is borderline and I really think that she really believes that I have done more harm to her as a parent than good. True or not, it is her perception and you know what they say about perception. And then it hits me that she will more than likely carry that perception with her throughout her life. So, no matter how hard I've tried - and I'm far from perfect - she will always remember her relationship with me in that respect. And it makes me wonder, again, what is my purpose. Why is it so important for me to be here, in this life.

    I guess I should explain a little why these things are so important to me, specifically. As most of you may know, I've struggled with devastating depression for years. (It is under control for the most part by far; but the illness doesn't help any.) The kind of depression where you pray for death every night; where you fantasize about cutting open your arms and watching the blood drain out of your body and how much relief you would feel. Death doesn't scare me. Living like this (physical/mental illness) scares me. So, reasons to stay alive are something I consider pretty much daily. One of the main things is that I have to stay alive 4 more years - until difficult child is 18. Non-negotiable - no matter what diagnosis may came along.

    But, I don't know. difficult child is so miserable and I seem to be the cause of it. While I know that I'm not all the things she says and I haven't done the things she accuses me her, I am these things. To her, it's the way it is. And then I wonder....I just wonder what's the point of it all.

    I was chatting with my online friend tonight. We've been online friends for 6 years and chat almost nightly. Somehow we got on this subject, although in a more abstract way.

    And he said something to me. You know, there is a spark of brightness that marks the path from one moment to the's a sort of momentum. The thousands of tiny continuities that link moments into minutes and days and provide the push forward that powers a life. It's contentment. And drive. It's the idea that things are ok as they are, and that i have a part in them.

    And I just sat here and stared at my computer screen. I read and re-read those words. And I realized that I used to have that. It was fleeting in my life, but I've had it.

    And then I realized that I had it, also, when I moved into this house. At a time when I shouldn't have had anything even resembling that, I had it. I was newly unemployed, sick, had just lost my home to foreclosure, my parents were going to be supporting me, and I was in the worst flare to date. Yet, I felt joy, peace and contentment. I had purpose and drive. I had hope for the future.

    At that time, I still saw a light at the end of the tunnel. But, it was dependent on very specific circumstances. And I lost sight of that when the circumstances changed. It didn't happen overnight. But, the days stretched into months stretched into years. Until I find myself back in the place I never wanted to be again. Existing. Inertia being the only thing propelling me through life.

    I thanked my friend for putting into words what has been missing for me that I couldn't define. I've been allowing life to just happen to me rather than being an active participant.

    Just needed to get this out. Thanks for listening.
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2009
  2. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    Heather... First of all before anything else - [[[[[[[[[[HUGS]]]]]]]]]]

    I'm glad you have your online friend. Sure, now you know what is missing. But something maybe you didn't know - and that is, regardless of anything else, you have made a difference. In my life. In others' lives. Some of the things you have been through with difficult child make a big impact on the way I think about the things Onyxx does. And says.

    When I was 14 - My parents had ruined my life. I hated them. They had made me the way I was and it was their fault I had so many issues.

    I'm now 36 and - guess what...? My parents helped to make me the way I am. They are some of my best friends. They "ruined" my life so that I didn't put up with my ex in a loveless marriage and found husband instead. They ruined my ability to settle for less than the best.

    Yes, the perception sticks. But it slowly changes as the child grows. My parents ruined me - yes - they made me who I am - and it is their "fault" I am actually happy now!

    Well, except for the drama, but that's not their fault.

    Anyway. The depression and illness can really get you down. I've had up-and-down depression all my life, but luckily I have been relatively healthy; however I saw my Grandma struggle for years and years with health issues and depression. Her spark was her daughter and her granddaughter.

    Heather, whether you know it or not - you are that spark. It's not something external, or even internal as in your mind. You are the spark. So far you've lit more than one fire. I know sometimes it feels as if... "What's the point? Why bother?"

    Because of love. No matter how awful it gets, you will always have that. If you ever lose your ability to love, then you can give up. But unless that happens, you have the most powerful feeling in the world. You wouldn't be a Warrior Mom if you hadn't done everything you can - and then some.

    More hugs. And thanks for being here for me, too!
  3. goldenguru

    goldenguru New Member

    Hi Heather -

    As you may/may not know, my husband has struggled with depression to the degree that you described. He has attempted suicide twice. He nearly died as a result in November of this year. He has struggled to varying degrees for more that 12 years.

    My message to you is that there is HOPE. For the first time in nearly 13 years, my husband is doing well. He self describes himself as 'happy' and 'content'. It is a miracle in my opinion.

    I wish I could tell you what his 'magic cure' was. I don't know. Partly, the realization that he didn't really want to die. That his family needs him so much. After his suicide attempt, he got really serious about his therapy. He has some stuff from his childhood that he had to work out. He realizes that he can't work. He had to mourn that loss. And slowly but surely, he crawled out of "escapetown" and back into the land of the living.

    You can get better. One tiny step at a time. And then what a wonderful story you will have to share with others who have been in the pit. Think of how you'll be able to minister to them.

    Prayers and hugs to you.
  4. crazymama30

    crazymama30 Active Member

    Hugs. I know you know this, but I have to say it. Your difficult child has a skewed reality, and you are NOT the source of her problems.

    My heart aches for you.You have every right to grieve for the life you do not have, for the fact that you are ill.
  5. flutterby

    flutterby Fly away!

    That's kind of the point. I've done enough grieving. I've spent too much time feeling useless - as a provider for my family, as a contributing member to the household and as a parent. I've spent too much time feeling helpless over my current physical and financial situation. It's time to move on.

    I lost direction and purpose. But, I couldn't define that - what I was feeling, what was missing - until my friend put it into words for me. And now that I know what it is that I need to fix, I can fix it. I've been a bit lost.

    I've been to the scary places depression can take you and have come out on the other side. What I'm experiencing now is nowhere near those depths, but I do know how easily that could happen should I slack off, Know what I mean??

    I just need to find my footing.

    Thank you for listening and for your always continued support. :flower:
  6. flutterby

    flutterby Fly away!

    ST2 - Thank you for your kind words. I'm glad I've been able to offer some insight with Onyxx. by the way, she and difficult child would probably get along great. They at least dress the same. It's a start. :tongue: At least then she couldn't complain that someone was looking at her like she's a freak.

    GG - I remember you posting about your husband's suicide attempt. I am so happy to hear that he has found happiness and contentment. For those of us with a mood disorder, it can be elusive. Thank you for your thoughts and prayers.

    CM - Thank you for saying that out loud about difficult child's thinking. I know it, therapist knows, everyone knows it. But, when you're faced with the daily grind of's nice to have someone outside the situation validate it and reaffirm it. I was never this insecure of my parenting of easy child.
  7. Star*

    Star* call 911

    I think what your friend wrote was very deep. It took reading it about three times to really grasp the crux of what he meant. Thank you for sharing it with us.

    Sometimes when I read of the level of depression that you reach I'm thankful that you are able to write about it. I don't know too many people that would be as brave or as eloquent with words.

    When we were talking in therapy about Dude and the therapist told us some of the diagnosis's he saw in Dude and borderline tendencies came up in the conversation my first question was "How many tendencies?" When the docs head went into that 'hard to tell' mode, I cried. He asked what I knew of borderlines and I said I was told they are among the hardest, if not the hardest of the disorders to deal and live with. He nodded yes.

    Flutter - Sometimes I wonder if you give yourself enough credit for the things that you HAVE accomplished. The last couple of years that I've known you have been very rough and just non-stop. It's like you left one part of your life X(there) uprooted, moved, dealt with dummy X, and took two kids, continued to deal with all the stress from dummy X, moved to X, and it's been non-stop with two teenagers ON your own ever since. Someone forgot to tell the theater man to shut off your action movie and you just humm right along. Bad theater man - he's fired. No more action movies for your life. I think you need a comedy for the next 5 years or something. At least a cartoon. ;)

    As always - thanks for sharing - it was uplifting and appreciated. As are you!

    Many hugs & love
  8. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Ahhhh Heather. Hugs for a starter. I understand your post completely. No, I was never the person who always put on but I did live for my kids. I didnt know who I was if I wasnt "mommy". I still have a hard time defining who I am if I'm not someone's mom, someone's partner, someone's grandma. I used to say I could end it all when the kids got grown but then Cory went and screwed up that plan by having Keyana! Now I have to live for the Dangitall. How dare they mess it up my plans! Just watch, I bet the grands will have kids and make me stick around too! Bratty kids.

    Bet the same thing happens to you. Just watch. Grands will come along and heck..then you will be needed again!

    Wynter is going to think what she wants with the borderline diagnosis. You know what is true. It really doesnt matter in the long run. If she gets help at some point and is happy in her later life but blames you, who cares? As long as she is happy and self sufficient that is the goal. I think eventually she will come to realize she doesnt have anything to blame you for. I have specific examples of things and episodes I can point to and relate in my past that lead to the borderline diagnosis. With her it isnt that clear cut. She cant say...oh my mom did this and that to me.

    I do think you need to try and get out some. I know its hard. It is hard for me but I try and force myself to do something every week. Go out to lunch with a book, pick up Mcdonalds and sit in the park, do something. I just found out our local rec center is offering craft classes...I think I may go. I will probably be the only 47 year old there with a bunch of elderly ladies but who cares! If I can swing the cost I might go take a cake decorating class.
  9. flutterby

    flutterby Fly away!

    Now you know why we're friends. We joke that we run parallel lives, but it's pretty accurate. It's also the longest relationship I've had with a man. :rofl:

    I want to get to the point where I don't have to think of things to keep me going, Know what I mean??
  10. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    Your friend's statement really made me think. Thank you for sharing it. I've been having feelings of insignificance, being unneeded...I work part time, my daughter is grown, my house is a wreck, I've had three surgeries in less than a know the routine.

    Many, many hugs to you.
  11. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    You mean there is a time when you dont have to think of things to do? Gosh...I didnt know that was possible!

    Tony came home from work early today because of rain. They worked for all of two hours which meant he was home by 10. By 11:30 he was complaining that he didnt know how I could stand to just sit around all day in the house cooped up here. I looked up at him and stuck my finger on the end of my nose and started trying to twitch it like Sabrina in Bewitched. I then said...No matter how hard I try, this place simply refuses to budge to somewhere more interesting!

    Personally I think his comment was rather stupid! LOL. I am trying to find things to do but I cant just be on the run constantly. I dont have the funds for that and I dont have the stamina for that.
  12. flutterby

    flutterby Fly away!

    I tweezed my eyebrows, shaved my legs, used the depillatory on my face, actually got dressed in real clothes and pulled my hair back. Then went to difficult child's therapist appointment without her. I didn't wear makeup because the lotion I have to apply after the depillatory is not conducive to that.

    It felt really good. Except for the appointment - but that's another thread on General. But, it also felt really good to leave the house by myself. :D
  13. flutterby

    flutterby Fly away!

    Mary, I'm glad you found some solace in the words of my friend. He's much more eloquent than me.

    Baby steps, hon. We can do it together. Our roles have changed. It's time to redefine ourselves.

    Janet - I'd wiggle my nose and my house to Spain. That's my current fantasy location.

    Star - I want cartoons. Tom & Jerry are my favorite. :D
  14. ML

    ML Guest

    I can relate to much of what you're shared, especially your feelings towards parenting and feeling like no matter what you do it almost doesn't make a difference. I hope you find the energy to jump back into a more active role in your life. But know that it was ok that you stepped back and went into survival mode for a while. From where I sit you're doing the best you can with you've got and that is all any of us can do. Hugs, ML