“I know you’re going to do what you want to do. But I worry about Mom’s health and yours. I fear we’re going to be in the same boat we were 6 months ago. I just want you to know that.”
“I don’t want to talk about that just yet.”
I told my Dad how I felt, and I left it at that. I knew he was bringing her home from the nursing home. But I wanted him to know how I felt.
She’s home now. My mom has chronic Lyme Disease. It’s a nasty, vicious disease that simulates various symptoms of MS. The CDC is unwilling to acknowledge it nor identify it as a legitimate disease. This translates to: no funding for a cure, treatment, nor management of symptoms.
What does this mean for Mom? A slow deterioration of her nervous system. The inability to walk. The inability to move her hands. Some brain deficiencies. And it only gets worse and worse.
Mom’s been sick since I was five. To say one gets used to it is not hitting it directly. I’ve only known her as a sick person. When I was five, playing with Barbies and watching cartoons, she was lying on the couch with a nurse inserting IVs into her arm. I watched her lose the muscle control of the left side of her face. It was scary. I was sad for her.
Now we’re on the path that leads to nowhere. Day-to-day, Dad uses mechanical contraptions to help her go to the bathroom, to help her get in bed, to help her live a life. I help, but feel helpless.
There’s no happy ending to this story. She will eventually become a paraplegic. It’s just going to be hard times ahead. On good days I find hope in the belief that God gave me struggles to become a better person.
On bad days, I just don’t feel anything at all.
There are two parts of me. The happy me is talkative, loves to be around people, loves to encourage and motivate others, loves to be the life of the party. The happy me loves the color of the sky and the smell of flowers and loves to touch and hold and feel. The happy me loves to be me.
The other me is dark. The other me likes to be underground, living unseen, hiding in corners and down dark alleys. The other me doesn’t speak, doesn’t move, doesn’t blink. The other me likes cemeteries and darkness and death. The other me hates me.
There has to be a balance to survive. Neither can go on for very long without some of the other.
Time goes by so slowly; minutes feel like ages. Impatient waiting for ANYthing, like i want to scream and pull the hairs from my head.
Want to talk talk talk talk talk to anyone who will listen. It’s really hard to not interrupt – i just want to tell all my stories cause i have so many.
Irritable for no reason.
Wearing tight clothes, revealing clothes.
Want to give away all my money to other people. Really strong urge to give away money to people who need it.
Interrupt interrupt interrupt. Talk talk talk. Can’t listen. Don’t care.
Did you ever want to punch something because you were so mad? I’m not even particularly mad at any one thing. I just have Anger. Deep, irrational Anger.
Nobody understands mania. It pisses me off. My one friend says, “You CAN control it. You just THINK you can’t.”
Really? I want to punch something.
My other friend (who only prefers to be around when I’m the “fun” me) says, “Can’t you just have a good day? Why does it have be a “thing”?”
I want to punch something.
My mania isn’t a “fun” thing and no, I’m pretty sure I can’t control it – why would I throw my car keys into a field, strip down naked, and run from the police trying to help me?
I’m fairly certain that IS a THING.
Oy. I hate bipolar.
I’m in the bottom of a deep, dark hole. I’m so far down that I can’t see the light shining at the top (my kids’ bright smiles, my husband’s warm hugs). I kick the walls of the hole because I’m angry and because I feel that somehow it’s my fault that I’m down here.
I can’t cope with loud noises, mornings, daily chores. The more irritable I get, the angrier I am at myself. I snap at the people closest to me and I just feel worse. I’m mad at how long this depression is lasting. I don’t remember it ever being this disruptive to my life.
The only thing I can tell myself is “don’t give up” and “this will get better.” I have to keep convincing myself of this (every day, multiple times a day) because I can’t give up and this will get better.
What do you call your depression? How do you describe it? How do you combat it?
This is something I wrote a few days ago:
I am so sad. So deeply, deeply sad. It’s almost that it is so strong of an emotion, so overpowering and overwhelming that simple words do not come close, not nearly close enough, to describe even an ounce of it.
I wish I were able to depict it artistically in some way. I understand and appreciate those who do. Sometimes I will google “sadness” or “depression” and click on the images tab to find the one that speaks to me the most.
All the synonyms, again, are unable to express it nor define it correctly nor accurately. It is so immense and heavy and weighing. Sorrow, gloom, despair – these all seem like cardboard cut-outs of the same word, and it does not express the true nature of it.
Sometimes in pictures, it’s shown as a heavy burden, like a ball and chain. Or a weight on someone’s back or shoulders. Sometimes it’s depicted like a ghost shrouded in black, or a scream, or a soul being tortured in some way. Agony, defeat, these are getting closer when you look at others’ visual depictions of it.
It is a hopelessness
And that is where my writing ended that day. It is strange for me to be unable to put things into words, as writing has always come so natural to me. I can see poetry possibly being an effective strategy for helping me to express my depression, though I haven’t dove into poetry for 20 years.
Let me know what tools you use to describe your own depression, or to express whatever turmoil you’re struggling with inside.
OB appt: 8:25 am
Goal for arriving at OB appt: 8:15 am with time to spare.
Intention to prepare, shower, drive cautiously and carefully, all with lots of time to spare.
Reality: Begin day at 6 am, get through breakfast and school prep with kids, get them on the bus on time at 7:15 am, watch youtube and drink tea till 7:55 am, then check google maps to see how long it takes to get to ob appt. Freak out, take a five minute shower, throw on clothes and race out the door, peeling out in the driveway while frantically punching the address into my phone. Drive like hell to get there, only to be stopped by a l-o-n-g train. Spend a furious amount of brain power in an enraged fury about the purpose and/or usefulness and/or efficiency of transporting stuff by train.
Careen into the parking lot at 8:30 am and arrive breathless at the desk to check in.
Pat on the back for making it on time (i.e. before being charged a fee for being a no-show.) Add an additional hurrah for not having a high blood pressure reading despite crazy use of daredevil driving tactics.