May is Mental Health Awareness Month…

…It’s also the month that has Mother’s Day and, for Tyler, the end of his school year.

Due to physical and mental illnesses, summer can be a tough and guilty time for me. I don’t always feel well enough to take Tyler out. We have missed so much.

This summer it is going to be even more difficult. Due to Grant’s father being very ill he can no longer take Tyler on a part-time basis so he is staying with me full time. Seven days a week to entertain him and give him a good summer.

Last week Tyler and I were talking about summer and he said, “Do you know what I wish for you?” “What?”, I asked him. “I wish you would go outside more.” Between depression, anxiety and agoraphobia, getting outside is often difficult for me. Sometimes two weeks can go by before I can make it out of the house.

That was a lovely wish that Tyler made for me. But what really touched me is that he said he wished it for ME. He didn’t care about his summer, he just wanted ME to go outside and enjoy my favorite season.

I can’t believe I have raised such a compassionate, selfless, loving son.

So, for ME, I am going to try harder to go out more often. And to of course I’ll take my son with me and we’ll create memories for the summer of 2018.

What if I Stayed in Here Forever?

My son and boyfriend are at the pool and I have yet to get there this season. Instead, I am in my bathrobe, showered (you gotta give me credit for that) and have woken up from my second nap. My back was hurting so I cancelled my therapy appointment.

Which was a really bad idea because I really need to be there because I can’t get out of the house. I need therapy to get me out of the house but I can’t get there.

My therapist is terming me a “borderline agoraphobic”. Last week we made out a calendar of all the things that I would do this week, with maybe getting to stay home one day but no more than that in a row.

I’ve been at home for four days, mostly unshowered with the AC on and the blinds closed. Sunshine is good for people like me if I could only get outside.

Sometimes I enjoy staying inside. Like many agoraphobics it would be pretty easy for me to stay inside forever especially with having a partner to take my son places and the internet at my fingertips. I mostly read which is my favorite hobby. I usually go through a book in two to three days.

But most times I feel alone, depressed and a failure. Despite my best intentions, despite the plans I make, I start to get shaky, nauseated and feel frozen. Getting a shower gives me anxiety and so does picking out clothes. I don’t take any joy in doing my makeup or my hair.

I’ve gone longer than four days without going out. I think my record is nearly two weeks. I am missing out on seeing my son having fun in the pool and missing out on my favorite season.

Tomorrow my son has a haircut, tae kwon do practice and I’d like to get my white trash toe nails polished.

Those are my plans, I guess we will see what tomorrow brings. If you’ve never felt this way, please don’t tell me to get my ass in the shower and just do it for my son. It doesn’t work that way.

And if you’ve ever experienced this before you know exactly how I am feeling.

Disinterest

My depression has been increasing of late, although not at all to the point of suicidal thoughts. Add to that anxiety with a little agoraphobia thrown in and it makes for one useless human being.

I’m okay when Tyler is home, I can manage to take him out, but when he’s with Grant I stay home under the covers with showering being optional. I read or watch Netflix or I sleep. My house is a mess but I can’t get up the motivation to get off the couch or bed. I know I should be exercising and I hate the way my body looks but I just can’t get moving. As soon as I am done with this blog I am spending the rest of the day in bed until Tyler comes home from school. He doesn’t care if I look a mess or not but I know someday he will.

Whenever I get really depressed my blog suffers because I have absolutely no inspiration. I’m scarce on social media too, not being able to see the smiling faces of my friends and family on Facebook. I’m not interested in reading other people’s blogs, even though I may learn something. And I’ve pinned so many depression and chronic illness pins my feed looks like one big funeral.

I’ve been having some money problems so I’ve had to put off going to the psychiatrist and therapist, although I am taking my medication. My meds are obviously not working but I’m afraid to try something new because of the side effects. Or maybe this is the best it gets for me? I’m grateful I’m not manic so I suppose depression is better? Is it too much to hope for a balance?

Whenever I go to my therapist all she tells me to do is breathe. Breathing is the answer for everything. I’m tired of breathing, I just want to be better.

So that’s where I’m at right now. I know when I don’t post I lose readership, another depressing thought.

So for now I’m just hanging out, hoping for better days ahead but scared the best is behind me.

800px-Depression-loss_of_loved_one

Someday I am Going To…

Inspired by Mama Kat’s Writer’s Workshop.

Prompt 5.  Someday I am going to…(Inspired by Marcy Writes)

Someday I am going to build my blog back to where it was.

The day before my last blog post on January 11, 2012, I had been the Featured Blogger on the SITS Girls website.  I had nearly 60 comments on my blog and many more from fellow SITS Girls on the main site.  Comments from other chronically ill moms saying “Me too!”  Healthy women thanking me for exposing them to another side of parenting and for helping them understand their chronically ill friends better.  Others who thanked me for educating them and others who would keep me in their prayers.

At the time I had been struggling mightily with depression, anxiety and agoraphobia, along with Lupus and Interstitial Cystitis.  For the first time in my four-year blogging career I had Writer’s Block

In my last blog post I thanked everyone who came to my blog on my SITS Day.  I said that this funk I am in will not be forever, that the words would come freely once again.

Only they didn’t…for eight months.

During that time I went in-patient for a time, lost my home and husband, and moved to my mother’s house with my son.

I watched my Alexa Rank drop from just around the one million mark all the way to 12 million.  BlogHer took its ads off of my site.  Just when it looked like I would finally be turning a profit, my illnesses got the better of me and I had lost everything I had worked for.

I started to feel better in the middle of August, and on September 4th wrote my first blog back.  My readers came back, so happy to see me writing again, and in about a month I saw my Alexa Rank go from 12 million to just around three million.

Blogging again has been a sign of my recovery.  I feel purpose in my life when I help people like me and when I show people another way of living.  I gain support when my readers offer me advice and virtual hugs.

I have lost so much but I plan to keep on writing and promote myself better.  I will apply to BlogHer ads again.  I will see my AR drop even more.

Someday I am going to build my blog back to where it was…and even bigger.

Please Tell Me I am Not the Only One

It is really hard for me to write this, it has been really hard for me to do much of anything. Usually I write to let people know that they are not the only ones suffering from an illness and the problems that result from it, but today I am writing in hopes of your support, for you to tell me that I am not the only one.

In addition to an increase in depression and anxiety that was kicked off by not getting my disability approved, along with holiday stress, for the last week and a half I have been experiencing agoraphobia, which in simple terms is fear of open spaces or public places.  I don’t want to diagnose myself and shouldn’t, but the thought of showering (although I am managing that at least every other day), putting clothes on and going anywhere, driving, is terrifying to me.  And at the root of it all is, “Will I feel well enough?  What if I am somewhere (especially with Tyler) and become exhausted?  I was able to get out once with him this week and took him to an indoor playground and it did go okay but that was the only time I was able to break out of it.  I also believe part of it is that it is winter and I cannot bear the cold.  Putting all those clothes on.  Using the hair dryer, that physical act to dry my hair zaps my energy.

And then the guilt:  what a boring week for my son who has been the best.  I feel like the worst mom in the world.

I think of doctor’s appointments I have coming up, appointments I need to make and I am absolutely terrified about how  I will do it.  I feel like I have been sick for so long, I don’t know how to get out and be a normal human being, someone who can put on nice clothes and look nice or at least decent.  I mourn the loss of the pretty woman I once was.

I am in therapy, I take meds but what do you do when they stop working?  I am at such a crossroads in all areas of my health.  I am probably going to switch to Methadone because I just cannot afford the pain meds that work so well for me.  I am facing going on a new drug for Lupus; Benlysta.  My old one was making me sick by causing to me to pick up infections but I am afraid of the complications of the new one and have been putting it off.

There are lots of areas in my life that are problematic but I cannot shut down like I am doing. Where is my “Do it for Tyler” spirit?

So many people write me and say they find me strong and inspiring but for the past week and a half I am feeling neither.  I cannot find my faith or my optimism.  I don’t feel driven, I just feel afraid and sad.

Please tell me you have been where I am.  If you have any suggestions I am open to them. Or let me know you care and that you are praying for me and thinking about me.  Thank you.