some may call what i am about to write as oversharing. i call it therapy. the world we live in now is the meca of oversharing. our entire lives are documented all over the internet. many of those documentations are false. I may be many things, but false is not one of them. I can’t find my journal today, it is packed up in a box at my moms, so today this computer and this blog is my journal medium.
Anyone that has read my entries over the last little while knows that i was diagnosed as bi-polar last year after suffering from “manic depressive episodes” since I was a teenager. After my diagnosis, i was happy to report that due to a new medication regimen that i was doing well, I was the healthiest & felt better than I had in years. WAS being the operative word. A couple of months ago we got a new diagnosis for our little human. It knocked me off of my feet and I am not recovering. The depression has slowly crept its way back into my head, heart, and body and it feels like it is taking me down by force no matter how hard I fight back. I do have an appt. with my psychiatrist next week to adjust/change my meds, so I at least know enough about my illness to know when to take action. I was explaining this to a friend of mine a little while ago & told her I have an action plan in place to make sure I don’t spiral even further. Well, part of that action plan is writing in my journal.. I don’t have my journal right now so this will have to do. If it is oversharing, then so be it because I have to get this mess and foulness out of my head and onto paper or a screen so maybe once the words are out of my head then the thoughts will follow.
I hate my life. I hate myself. I hate who I am and who i’ve allowed myself to become. I know there are so many things I have to be grateful for, logically I know that. I just can’t see them or feel them through this intense fog. I feel jilted by God or the universe or mother earth. I feel jilted by whatever creating factor led to me even being born. All I can think of most days is why was I even born, why was I created? All I seem to do it to bring darkness and despair to anyone that knows me. In the span of a year I have lost the 2 closest people in my life, my people.. poof.. gone. I went from being a successful woman to a slob who can barely get herself up in the morning. I have this beautiful little girl who is looking to me to teach and guide her through this life, and I don’t even have the energy to play with her, much less teach her anything. Why does she have to suffer because I suck at life? Why does she have to suffer because “creator” decided that I should be her mother? She deserves SO MUCH MORE than me, and so much more than I can ever give her or be for her. This is such a debilitating disease or illness, it robs me of everything. It robs me of my life, of joy, of happiness, of EVERYTHING. Many (including people in my own family) believe that depression is just an excuse to be lazy & not do anything. you have NO IDEA how much I wish that were true. I would love to just be able to be lazy, to choose it of my own free will. I don’t have that luxury. I don’t choose day after day to dread opening my eyes in the morning . for the first thing I think of as soon as my eyes open is how soon can I have them shut again. I have the weight of a 10 ton elephant on my shoulders and no way to get it off. I look and feel awful. I stress and binge eat and gain 30 and 40 lbs at a time, then none of my clothes fit and that gives me something else to feel horrible about. It’s a vicious cycle that seems to never ever end. Imagine being in a pitch black room and you see a pin hole of light so you run towards it. Just as you catch up to it then light moves to the other side of the room where you just came from so you turn around and run to catch it again, you have that hope that once you catch it that you will have it to hold onto, even the smallest speckle of light. You catch up to it again just to have it move again.. like a cat playing with a laser pointer. Forever trying to catch something that isn’t really there to being with. That’s what trying to come out of depression feels like. Even on the good and healthy days, that little bit of hope that “this” is the cure, that “this” is what will keep it from coming back is always in the back of your mind.. just as you start feeling healthy and well.. the light moves again.
I can’t explain the loneliness and isolation or the utter lack of motivation to do anything. Some Autistic individuals call this “the spoon theory” – the simple version is that everyone has a certain amount of spoons each day. The amount of effort it takes to do each daily task takes a certain amount of spoons & so you have to pick and choose what you do so that you don’t run out of spoons. Well, depression leaves you with 1 spoon, if your lucky. Right now, my 1 spoon is spent on waking up and getting out of bed. I have nothing left, no more spoons to give, towards anything the rest of the day. Raising a little human takes LOADS of spoons.. I have none to give. That’s not saying that little human is neglected or anything like that. I steal spoons from other days to make sure she gets to therapy, is well fed, and her basic needs are met ALWAYS. but that takes spoons away from tomorrow and the next day and the next. There are never any spoons left for playtime or school work or at home therapy and that makes me feel like a complete failure. My ONE JOB on this planet is to make sure my little girl gets the absolute best life she can and that she deserves & I am failing miserably.
I KNOW this is the depression & anxiety talking. Logically & realistically I KNOW all of these things. At the end if the day as I am holding and rocking my little human to sleep or as I watch her little eyes close as she holds her tablet and nods off to the sound of Mickey or Sophia, I know that she knows that she is loved and cared for. Every ounce of energy and any spoons that I have go into her and her life. I have read and agree with a lot of what “spoon theory” says, but it doesn’t account for what I call “rewarded spoons.” When someone asks “oh gosh, how do you even make it through your day?! Aren’t you so exhausted?!” Or They say “I don’t know how you do it..” Well, it’s through “rewarded spoons.” Little human laughs – 2 spoons. She uses the potty appropriately – 2 spoons. She touches my face and says “I love you mommy”- 5 spoons. As parents, special needs or not, We use what we have at our disposal. We become masters of pulling the rabbit out of the hat and pulling the quarter from behind the ear. Just when you think you don’t have anything left to give, your child does something so simple and special that it gives you that extra boost until bedtime. For me tonight that was a “mommy kisses & tickles” session out of nowhere.. She was literally sitting in my lap asking for my kisses and tickles before bedtime. It was precious and amazing and just what I needed. My depression and anxiety will most likely always be following me, ready to pounce like a hungry wolf.. But these wolves have met their match. I’ve come through and beat EVERY SINGLE OBSTACLE I have ever faced, and now I have the help of a little human sidekick who is kicking ass & taking names!!
To those of you fighting mental illness.. YOU ARE NOT ALONE. Keep fighting. Keep winning. Minute by minute, hour by hour, month by month, year by year.. YOU ARE WORTH IT. YOU CAN COME OUT OF THE DARKNESS. I promise. Some days I am that cat chasing the little beam of light and some days I am standing directly in the sunshine with my arms spread open. The roller coaster keeps going, but you’re NOT in this alone.
Special needs parents… I feel you & I hear you. There is SO MUCH turmoil going on even within our own community and amongst ourselves that it is .. Crazy & overstimulating to say the least. Know that I have felt every fear you are and have felt, have dreamed every dream you have dreamed, and I am researching everything you may or may not have thought of!! One thing you will NEVER find in these posts or on this blog is judgement, which just HAPPENS to be the thing thing going around in many “SN support groups” I am a part of. The last thing we need to do is judge each other. We all have fears and dreams and the reality of life. We all also handle thing VERY DIFFERENTLY and just because you are handling something or a diagnosis differently than I am or would DOES NOT MEAN that you are bad or horrible or mean or being detrimental to your child!!! Read that last sentence very carefully. You have every reason and right to feel how you feel when you feel it. Grieve, mourn, cry, scream, get mad and angry, cuss and throw a fit… Do whatever YOU need to do to work through your child’s illness or diagnosis because you CAN’T COME THROUGH THE OTHER SIDE of something UNTIL YOU’VE WORKED THROUGH IT. That may take a week, a month, a year, or more. I am still processing and working through everything with our little human and with every diagnosis there comes more to work through, but whatever you do… Keep progressing. Keep moving forward as best as you can. For awhile, you may be their only voice. It will be up to you to find the therapies and schools and services that will fit and help them best. Our hope and goal is that they will be self sufficient and self sustaining one day to make their own choices, but for now.. It’s you my friend. I’ll tell you one thing that no one told me in the beginning or middle… YOU HAVE WHAT IT TAKES. YOU CAN DO THIS. IT WILL BE OK & IT WILL WORK OUT. Some days it may not seem like that, but it will. So take your shots, drink your wine, take your naps, read your books, binge watch whatever you want on Netflix or Hulu when your kiddo is napping or at school or occupied for 30 minutes & know that if another very fucked up SN mom is making it work.. Then sugar pie, you can too.