Thursday, February 28, 2019

Sometimes it's catchy.

I have been struggling a lot lately. I hate talking about it because sometimes I feel like nobody cares and nobody really wants to hear it. I feel like you're wondering why I'm not better already, I must not be trying hard enough.

Maybe I should exercise and go outside more, right?

I feel like I'm doing a lot to get better. I go to therapy, I am medicated to the hilt. I go to all of my doctor appointments and do what I'm told to do. I fake it, I smile and I laugh. I make the effort, I try not to nap all the time, I try to get out of the house, I try.

But still.

I feel like I can't feel. When the kids do something really great and I should feel a swell of pride? Nothing. When I can't pay a bill and I should be worried or upset? Nothing. When the sun is shining and things are going good that day and I should feel content or maybe even happy? Nothing. I feel like I'm in a weird position because I can't decrease my medication because then I'm an emotional mess and I want to die. If I increase it I feel like a zombie. At least at this dose I can function and that's something.

It doesn't mean it's a good way to exist.

But there have been a couple of things that's happened lately that make me pause and think... maybe my struggles with mental health aren't primarily because of my AFE. Maybe that just made it worse. I go through my Facebook memories everyday mostly to help me remember things but I'm noticing a lot of posts from the start of my profile (2009) are me being... depressed. I'm down, I'm flat out saying I'm depressed, I'm displaying crazy behavior that shows I'm OCD and anxious, and I think I should probably have been in therapy. I thought I was fine, I was efficient and helpful, I was an over achiever and I was crazy. I fully recognize now that I was out of control and I wish someone had really sat me down and said, "You need help, you are dealing with high functioning depression." and I probably wouldn't have done anything right then but I would have thought about it.

Fast forward to now and I worry that me being the way I am now affects my kids negatively. As it turns out, all of the behaviors they witnessed when they were younger are what shaped them. (Which you're right, I think about what Penelope and Lucy are going to be like so I worry about this.)

Over the weekend we had the kids clean the basement floor. They were responsible for the mess, they need to clean it. I saw Jackson run through the house and upstairs but I didn't think anything of it. Olivia came up to tell me Jackson bailed on her and she was (rightfully) pissed off. I call Jackson down and tell him to go back and help his sister. Problem solved.

Then when I went to bed that night, I find this on my night table.
Deadly fear of centipedes. You guys, no way could that thing be alive, it's been FREEZING and it's so cold in my basement.
I had no idea we were even out of bread so at least I knew before I went to use it. He had left me like $2 rolled up. I grab it, while laughing, and I was going to bring it to his room when I saw this on my doorway:
At this point I have almost pissed my pants because this is hilarious and adorable but now I can't go down, he's going to have hurt feelings. I made Matt go down and give him his $2 back because I am not taking his money. But I wondered if I've instilled guilt into him. He worries incessantly about things I know I would have worried about but I could care less about now, and I worry that this is going to eat him up.

Then I have Olivia. She is my over achiever, do it all, exceed expectations, perfectionist kid. She wants me to come speak at her school.
But apparently she's fully over me and my forgetfulness but she's at least really nice about it.

Then I was taking her to dance and she's telling me she has to make herself lists but her lists can't be "uneven" and she had to re-do it. I asked her to pull it out and let me see and this was it: 
Am I being unreasonable to think this is crazy? I don't want her to grow up and be neurotic like I was. Is she going down the road of high functioning depression?

I tell you, when I first became a mom I figured I would just wing it and it would all fall into place. That this mysterious set of skills that you need for motherhood would just show up and it would come naturally to me. I know the fact that that didn't happen really put me in a tail spin and I have sincerely muddled through being a mom. 
When I was 23 with my first baby (this is Olivia at three weeks) I had no idea what was down the road from me. It's a special kind of sting to go through these photos and not remember any of it, I have no connection to any of it, and I want to know where I went wrong. Am I making those mistakes again? Maybe I'm making new mistakes? I just really don't want my kids to struggle like I am. I really don't want them to ever feel like this, even a small piece of this. It's not OK and I don't know how to help them when I can't fix myself.


Shooting Stars Mag said...

I'm sure it's tough seeing these things in your kids and not knowing what to do about it, but if it's not hurting they don't wish it was different/it's not consuming their lives, then I think it'll be okay, Or they just need their own help - talk to someone, etc. and that's okay too.

I'm sorry you don't really feel emotion though; you know you should but it's just not there. I can't even imagine what that's like on a daily basis. :( But I always want to hear from you and I never think anything bad about you and how you're doing! You're doing the best you can.


Julie H said...

I think you need to stop thinking you are ruining your children. Kids grow up with far worse situations and turn out great. Your kids are all going to be fine. Anything that happens to them is not your fault unless you aren't feeding them or you are chaining them to a toilet or something like that.

San said...

It's hard with mental illness... medications are supposed to help, but you're trading one thing for another. Regardless, I would talk with your doctor about the meds that you're taking... (although I am sure you have and you probably have tried many different things, too), because maybe you need something else if you're so emotionally disconnected.
I understand that you value that you seem to be functioning, but for the price of being emotionally 'flat'.

Please don't ever stop sharing what you're going through.