Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Depression Sucks

Depression, in plain, simple term, sucks.

I might not know all there is to know about this topic, but I do know how it feels.  As near as I can figure, I've dealt with it for 25 years.

I've never really talked about it with others (only my fiance, best friend, and maybe a couple of other friends are aware of my depression). I don't even think that anyone in my family knows or knew I suffer with this illness.  I'm one of those people who never liked to talk about it because of the fear of being judged, or told I was crazy, etc.  I remember one particular time when I was feeling this way and being told be a few co-worker/friends to "snap out of it" or "get over it."  That certainly made me realize that this was something I had to learn to suppress around others (or make up some excuse like I wasn't feeling good or I had a headache) or avoid them when I felt this way.

In the late 90s I was on medication for about a year, maybe less, but I stopped taking it because I couldn't afford it at the time (I had no drug plan through my job).  For the most part, I haven't been on any medications for my depression.

There have been long stretches of time where I haven't felt the effects of depression, where it lay dormant, and I've felt fine - happy, even.  But it always let me know it was still around.  Sometimes it would rear its ugly head for a short while, other times it stretched on for long periods of time.

Since February of last year, I have been taking an anti-depressant.  It has helped me greatly.  However, with all that has been going on in my life over the last year, and more specifically in the last few months, I haven't been taking my medication. In fact, I have to get a prescription renewed because I let it run out.  With the financial strain I'm under now (and for the past several months), I figured I wouldn't be able to afford the cost (again, no drug plan due to being unemployed) for the medication each month.  I'm finding out, though, that I need to get this refilled.  We will have to make sure that this is something I get.

I'm so very thankful that my fiance is understanding and knows what I'm going through. He's very supportive and knows how important it is for me to be on this medication.  He says we will make this a priority and that I get my anti-depressant each month.

Like others who deal with depression and anxiety (though to be honest, I don't know if I have anxiety), I am tired of the stigma. I'm tired of the judging. I'm tired of having to pretend that I'm OK when I'm not. I'm tired of all the negativity people with mental illness receive from those who have no flippin' idea what it's like to go through any of this!

Depression sucks, and those who suffer from it need the support of others.  If you don't have this mental illness, learn what you can about it and be there for your friends and family who do have it.  It makes all the difference in the world to have support and encouragement from others.

Depression is not something that we can "shake off" or "get over." It's a mental health issue and it needs to be brought out into the open, safely, and not stigmatized. It's real, and it sucks.

Friday, January 29, 2016

Where To Begin...

In my last post (last fall), I talked about taking care of my mom and how tired I was.  That was all true.  I was able to take Mom to Halifax with me for a few days at a time. Because of the side effects of the cancer drug she was on, she didn't like to go away from the house too long. She did great though.  She didn't like sitting in the car for nearly three hours (each way) because her butt - more specifically the tail bone area, was sore due to her losing so much weight.  She managed, though, and seemed to enjoy the drive despite being a little uncomfortable. We would take a little break along the way and stop so she could get out of the car for a bit, though.

One one such trip, around the middle or towards the end of October, my mom was quite weak on the day were were heading back home.  She had called me into the bathroom to help her get up, and if I hadn't been there she would have fallen.  She said she could barely keep her head up as well.  That was likely because by this time she wasn't eating very much at all.

I talked to my brother, briefly, and we decided it would be a good idea for me to stop at the hospital once we got back to mom's (we stopped before heading to the house, actually) to have them check her out and maybe give her an IV to get some nutrients into her.  So, I took her there and they admitted her.  That was just as stressful and tiring for me as I would go stay with her at the hospital everyday for most of the day (I did take a couple of weekends off, though, and went back to Halifax for some rest).

She stayed there until she passed away eleven days before Christmas.

It's been a struggle some days for me since then.  Of course I miss my mom like crazy, and life just doesn't seem the same.  I miss not being able to call her or visit her.  Several times I have seen or heard something and think, "I should call Mom and tell her that!"

And then I get sad, because I can't do that anymore.

My fiance has been great through all of this.  He has been so supportive and strong.  I am starting a new chapter in my life now, with him, and that's what I need to focus on (we are getting married this summer).  I will always have my memories of my mom, and she will always be in my heart, but now I need to focus on this chapter and my loving fiance, and create new memories with him.

I love and miss you Mama!





Thursday, September 17, 2015

I'm Tired

I'm tired.

A few times I've been exhausted.

I think things are starting to catch up with me.  These feelings come with the territory, though.  But that doesn't make it any easier.

Taking care of an ageing parent is no easy task - especially when you can't leave that parent alone.

Mostly I have been fine, but the last few days I have felt the exhaustion creeping in.  I felt like crying for no reason, and I just wanted to curl into a ball and sleep.  We have caregivers come in three times a week for three hours each time, but during those times I don't get any rest.  I'm usually running around paying bills, getting groceries and doing errands.  During the night, I do sleep, but there are times when I need to get up to help my mom so I'm not fully resting - at least not always, because I'm probably, in the back of my mind, listening for if my mom calls me to help.  I do get a little rest during the day, though, when my mom is taking a nap after lunch.  Still, I'm starting to get that overwhelmed feeling, that feeling of cabin fever (because I can't just get up and go or leave the house whenever I want).

Don't get me wrong, I'm happy to help my mom, to be here for her.  But I could really use some extra help, someone to come stay with her for a weekend or two or three days during the week so I can have a little break and get some rest and relaxation.

I know, at this time and always, I need to rest in the Lord.  I need to give him my load and take His yoke (which is light).  It's not always easy to do or remember to do.  I need to make the conscious decision to do this.  I can't do any of this without His help.  Right now, I just wish I had a Bible study group that I could go to. I can't even get out to go to church (though I do watch In Touch on TV on Sundays).  I'm not complaining; I'm just stating things how they currently are.

I'm OK, though. Honestly.  I just needed to vent a little and have no other outlet at the moment.  My fiance is awesome and talks me through things, gives me the reminders I need, and supports me.  He is such a blessing, and I am very thankful he is in my life.  I don't think I could do this without his help. I love him him to pieces.

Well, I must go now as I have to finish getting supper ready.  Hope you have a fantastic day!

P.S. Prayers are always welcome!!




Wednesday, September 09, 2015

Faced With Another Decision

Once again, I am faced with a decision to make.  I feel torn between this choice and the choice of being with my mother.

I have been praying about this decision, this choice, and I must say that after discussing it with my fiancĂ© and the prayer, I am leaning toward this choice.  I have prayed and asked for wisdom and to know without a shadow beyond a doubt (due to my mom's situation), that this is the right choice to make.  I'm looking toward my future.

Yes, I have fear and nervousness regarding this.  But I am learning to trust the Lord over and over again, and this situation is no different from others in the past.

I am going to take the first step in this.  I will never know if this is my path or not if I don't at least try.  There are only three possible outcomes - yes, no, and later.  I will have one of these answers regarding this situation, and regardless of the outcome, God is in control and will continue to take care of me and provide for me.

I will say that after praying about this, I have had a great excitement - something I haven't had in this situation in a long time.  This has surprised me somewhat as I thought I had lost the excitement a year or so ago.  Maybe the little 'break' I've been on has been what I needed to rekindle a passion, to jump start a calling.

We will see what comes of the situation. I will continue to pray and ask that if you are reading this you will pray for me as well. Pray that I make the right decision, pray that everything will work out, pray for wisdom and guidance, and that I will glorify the Lord and be obedient to His calling.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

I Have To Be Responsible

There is a big responsibility that comes along with taking care of another person, whether it's an ageing parent or a child.  Since I've not had any children to raise, I wonder if taking care of a parent is on the same scale?  Is there more to raising one than another? Maybe it depends on the age of the child (or adult).

I've just begun to help take care of my mother, and I am realizing every day just what is involved.  I need to make sure she eats (and eats enough), takes her pills, gets ready for the day, and has her bills paid - just to name a few things.  I don't mind though.  My mom took care of me and my two brothers when we were children, so now it's our turn to take care of her.

One thing that was pointed out to me, by my loving fiancĂ©, is that I also need to remember to take care of myself.  To me that is harder than taking care of my mom.  For example, I will get her lunch or supper ready, and unless it's a meal that I make for both of us, sometimes I don't feel like getting something for me.  At supper tonight, I reheated leftovers from yesterday for mom (there wasn't enough for both of us and I wanted to make sure she had a good supper).  I had to decide what to make myself.  Honestly, I wasn't all that hungry and didn't feel like eating anything, but I knew I had to.  What good will I be to her if I am unwell from not taking care of myself?

I also need to remember I have a network of supporters to help me - people I can call on to pray, someone to go out for coffee with (when I have someone coming in to help mom), a friend to call, etc.  This is an important part as well. If I isolate myself, the stress can still build up and be damaging.  But, relying on others for support will definitely help.

There have been moments when I've felt rather stressed lately, but I've been trying to remember at these times to pray and ask God for His strength and help during those times, and to trust him. I can't do this on my own, and I need to remember that. When I do remember to pray (and even ask others to pray for me at those times), I feel more of a sense of peace, more strength, and able to get through the difficult times.

The next however long is not going to be easy, but with God's help I can do this!



Thursday, August 06, 2015

Complicated

My life has become more complicated lately.  I still don't want to go into too many details, but I will say that I am staying with my mom again.

I know the next several months will be stressful.  I never thought I'd be in this position. I never really thought this "day" would come.  But, it's here and I must deal with it.

Today was a little harder, and there was a moment when I thought, "What have I gotten myself into? I don't know if I can do this."  Then I remembered to pray.

Honestly, I think that is what helped me throughout the day.  The prayer for strength, patience, and peace. I'm praying for Mom too, because I know this is a stressful for her as well (maybe not so much now, but there is some for sure).

I know I'm doing the right thing. But sometimes I get scared.

Scared of being overwhelmed with the situation.

Scared of not being able to handle things.

Scared of the changes that are going to take place.

The Bible tells me to trust in the Lord, and I do.  I know He's got this whole thing in His hand and is in control.  I know He will give me the strength I need to deal with all of this.  I know He can, and will, comfort me.  I just need to remember that and turn to Him during all of this.

It's not going to be easy by any stretch of the imagination, but I can do this - "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."

Monday, July 06, 2015

I'm Not In Control

There has been so much happening in my life since the beginning of 2015.  In some ways it doesn't seem like a lot, but in other ways it does.

Recently my brothers and I have been dealing with my mom being in the hospital.  That in itself is a lot to deal with.  I've been travelling back and forth every weekend (there have been a couple that I've not gone, though) to be with Mom.  The drive is nearly three hours each way.  I don't mind the drive, but it does get tiring.  I don't really want to get into much detail on here of my mom's situation.

Anyway, there have been times lately (particularly this past week), where I don't know what direction God has in store for me.  I really don't know if I'm on the right path or if I have ventured off and am trying to go down another way that I shouldn't be on (or be on right now).  I've been praying about all of this and trying to leave it in God's hands, because He, after all, is the one who is in control.  It's not always easy, and there are times when I feel as though I have left it with Him.  Other times I definitely know I've taken things back and I'm the one trying to be in control.

Mostly I'm OK, but there are times when I feel overwhelmed with the current situation, or I feel like I'm such a failure at things.  It's probably at these times when the enemy is trying to have his way and get me to not focus on the Lord or trust Him.

At any rate, I'm doing fine, but just need to often readjust my focus and remember that I'm not in control.  Most days are good, but I do have times where I feel defeated and lost.  No one said that life would be easy.  I mean, things aren't that bad. I am feeling tired and I just wish I had a little more direction or knew exactly what I am supposed to do.

Anyway, I'm just rambling on - probably because I'm tired.  I just need to pray more and trust God more.  It's not easy, but I know I can do it!