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.

TBT: Farmer’s Market

Special thanks to Mama Kat’s Writer’s Workshop.

1. Throwback Thursday: Choose a photo from a previous May and write a poem or a blog post.

From May to October is our town’s Saturday morning farm market. This photo was taken May, 2013.

As you can see, there’s fresh fruits and vegetables, Mennonites, baked goods, plants and arts and crafts, just to name a few. Oh coffee, can’t forget about coffee!

I haven’t been there for a long time because I’ve been depressed. I also get anxious at the thought of going outside.

That’s what anxiety and depression do, they can rob you of your life.

But this year, I may just make it. My therapist and I worked out schedule of sorts of two weeks. Most days I must go out and do something, but sometimes I get a day off and get to stay inside.

I also have this thing that I have to shower before I go out, but sometimes I lack the motivation. My therapist says I don’t have to shower every single day, it’s okay to sometimes not shower.

This would be a nice, romantic thing to do with Jacques on a Saturday morning.

I’m setting this as one of my goals to overcoming depression and anxiety and I will let you know if I make it!

 

The Mountain

On Sunday I planned to take my son to the park, it was going to be a beautiful day. On Saturday night I prayed that I would be well enough to take him to the park. On Sunday morning I wished upon my “Best Mom” necklace clasp that I could take Tyler to the park. An hour before I would need to get into the shower I was still on track to take him to the park.

But by the time it was ready for me to get in the shower I started to feel sick to my stomach. I felt faint. I had anxiety about getting into the shower, getting dressed, getting Tyler ready and walking out the door. I knew if I could get to the park I would have a good time but I felt as if I were on the bottom of a mountain that was too steep to climb. My therapist always says I am never supposed to say “couldn’t” or “can’t” but on Sunday I couldn’t.

I knew I would have to let Tyler know that we weren’t going to the park. That thought provided some relief from my anxiety but also depression because I was once again failing my son.

“Tyler, could you come here? I’m sorry but I’m not doing so well so I won’t be able to take you to the park today.” A very quick look of disappointment showed on Tyler’s face, but just as quickly he said, “It’s okay, mom. I love you”, and he made kissing noises.

I know I often fail my son and unfortunately he is getting used to it. I am not getting used to it. I feel so frustrated by my lack of progress with my medications and in therapy and I wonder when I will come out of this.

I was reading and Tyler was on the tablet when I said, “Why don’t you teach me chess?” “Yeah!”, he said. I had never played the game but Tyler was a pretty good player and played with his dad. I was taking notes and Tyler was giving me little hints and showing me where I was going wrong. “You’re a good teacher”, I said.

I may have limitations but the love we both have for each other is strong and there are still things we can do together.

A mother’s and child love knows no boundaries.

So My Psychiatrist Went Off On Me

I’ve been seeing my psychiatrist since last August. She is a resident but I picked her because she was under the supervision of a psychiatrist who has a good reputation. The resident can’t do anything without her final approval.

When I met her this summer she said I was on too much medication (which I agree with) and she wanted to change some of my meds. So far the only things she’s done are to lower my anxiety med and increase my mood stabilizer. Not very many changes in the past six months and so it’s not very surprising that my depression and anxiety are the same.

When I saw her this past visit I brought Jacques in to help her understand that I have made no improvement and to give her some examples of this. We also mentioned that I was still having nausea even though I was now gluten-free because of the celiac disease so that was contributing to my mood.

She said she was at her limit with what she could do for me! “You want a magic pill, well there is no magic pill! Look, there are two ways you can go with this. You can go with ECT (that’s what they now call Electric Shock Therapy) or you can push through it and get better!” Meanwhile, sometimes I can’t get out of my house for two weeks and still feel sick to my stomach so what was she wanting me to push through and how was I to do it???

We were stunned at the mention of ECT. I don’t judge anyone for having it but I’d have to be suicidal to consider it, it is just not an option for me.

Then she said, “What about your son? Do you want his only memories of you to be you sick in bed?” She has never spoken to my son so she has no idea what our relationship is like. I have been very honest with Tyler. He knows that sometimes I can’t do things and we concentrate on the things I can do. More than once he has said I am the best mom in the world so I don’t think he is feeling deprived.

If I was in a worse frame of mine this certainly would have brought me lower and made me feel more hopeless.

At this point the head M.D. came in and Jacques said that the doctor had mentioned ECT for me. “ECT? No, you are not a candidate for ECT!” Then the Resident started backtracking and she said that we had misunderstood her!

The resident is graduating in April so I will never have to see her again, otherwise I would want another doctor.

I guess I will try my luck with the new resident and hope for someone who truly wants to work with me.

Photo credit: vox.com