I am clinically depressed. My Doctor told me that at my last appointment but given the circumstances, with my son passing, she said she could understand why. I’m not sitting in a dark corner of a room crying every day, depressed…I’m just depressed. I fight it daily. I struggle to get myself moving every single day but I get myself going. I find that once I’m in motion I’m ok. I find the most trouble at night. I can’t sleep so I take the medication my Doctor prescribed to help relax me. I only take half cause that’s all I need. I try not to let my mind wander cause then it gets worse so I keep busy.
I’ve had bad days where I just didn’t want to leave the house or talk to anyone. I avoid talking to people when I’m feeling really down but the funny thing is that when someone else is having a bad day I reach out & try to help them. I just don’t want to be a burden to anyone else, that’s just me. At one point my husband told me to find a therapist cause he thought it would make me feel better but I don’t see the point in paying someone to tell me what I already know. I’m sad cause my son died a very painful death at an early age. I have to find a way to get over it. I don’t need to pay someone hundreds, possibly thousands of dollars to tell me I did everything I could.
My son very much wanted to live and that is the pain that I still hold on to. I’m slowly learning to move on at my own pace and I guess that’s the moral to this story. Every one has to learn how to deal with their own depression their own way. We’re not all made the same way and we certainly don’t deal with depression the same. We all have to find our own way. There is no right or wrong way as long as it makes you feel better & it’s not detrimental to your health then it’s not wrong.
Trying to come out of this depression has been a full time job for me. I put on a happy face for my family even when I don’t feel like it cause I don’t want them to worry about me. What does “MY” depression feel like? It’s a pain in my heart. It’s a heaviness that I just can’t get rid of. There are some days that it doesn’t feel as heavy as others but it’s always there. I was reading a bereavement blog where one mother wrote you never get over it you just learn to live with it and that’s when you can truly move on.
I’m trying my best to adjust to this new life with this added weight…my heavy heart that I now have to learn to live with.
Do you take yourself too seriously or are you light-hearted? What do you do to relieve stress? I can list a page of things I like to do when I’m stressed but basically I like to keep myself busy and I like to have a good time while doing it. I like to surround myself with people who have a good sense of humor and who can take a joke.
Life is stressful enough without having the Debbie downers in your life bringing you further down. Don’t get me wrong there’s nothing wrong with having a sad moment(s) cause that will probably be my next post but it’s so important to recognize it then bring yourself out of it… not stay stuck in neutral. Only you can make the decision to find joy in life despite what circumstances you face. When I find myself in an emotional rut I tend to shut people out because I don’t want to bring anyone else down (that’s just me). I recognize when I’m spiraling into that awful dark abyss and I do what I can to bring myself out of it. The last thing I need to do is NOTHING. I find something that I enjoy and I just do it. I don’t think about it, I just move my body.
I have a pretty good sense of humor about things and I think that’s what helps me get through my dark moments. The more wacky & humorous a situation, means more fun for me…. but that’s what works for me. That’s doesn’t work for everyone so you have to find your little piece of joy or whatever you think will pull you out of your abyss and hold on to that cause that’s your lifeline each and every time.
It’s easy to have people in your life when things are going good but what about when the going gets tough? Are the same ones still around? Can you count on your fingers and toes who’s willing to lend a helping hand or is that when the crickets come out?
The funny thing is that only when adversity presents itself is when you know who is truly in your corner. Only then is when you know who has your back or when people’s selfishness surface. You can look at that as hurtful (and initially it is) but the truth is it’s a blessing in disguise. Why would you want disingenuous people in your life? I’d rather have a handful of quality people in my life who are loyal than a hundred who I couldn’t trust. That includes family. Family aren’t always loyal either. Blood relation doesn’t automatically grant someone trustworthiness, that’s something that should always be earned regardless of kinship.
Sometimes you have to unfollow people in real life. The greatest example we can learn from………….”Hitler had millions of followers Jesus had 12.”
Are you happy in life or content? There is a difference. I was reading an article recently about the difference and it described being happy as a momentary feeling of pleasure & content as being satisfied. That struck a chord with me. I had my “ah ha” moment at that point & thought about everything I lived for & done up until now.
Was I happy or content? Am I just doing things out of routine or am I truly living the way I want to live? I have my daily goals & my life goals. Some things I’ve managed to accomplish and some I haven’t and that’s all part of life. But when I thought good & hard; yes I am satisfied with where I am in my life. I am with the man I love and my children whom I adore. We don’t live in the lap of luxury but we live in peace and we’re living comfortably. I wouldn’t switch places with anyone for any amount of money.
Money doesn’t always equate happiness. I love everything that I have and for me that’s enough.
Do you wait for a special occasion to tell those you love how grateful you are for them or do you show them gratitude throughout the year?
Growing up, it was customary for my family to show appreciation just on those “special occasions” but as I got older I learned that making someone feel special or loved doesn’t have to wait for a date on the calendar and that’s just what we do in my house.
We show gratitude for one another throughout the year so “that day” on the calendar (although it’s still celebrated) isn’t stressful or filled with anxious anticipation. It’s actually just another day which we feel is refreshing cause there’s no expectations.
Actually my husband & I stopped exchanging gifts many years ago cause we agreed if there’s something we really want we’ll just buy it ourselves, lol. Our celebrations consist of a very special meal or a day of hiking but that’s just us. To each their own we say.
But why wait for “that day” to show gratitude to the ones you love, especially when you don’t know what the next day will bring.
Something to think about.
Do you think before you speak or do you just blurt out the first thing that comes to mind?
I happen to be one of those people who do think before I speak, especially in this world of political correctness (eye roll). Nowadays it seems like if you fart and the wind blows it the wrong way somebody is either offended or wants to sue you. It’s getting to the point where you have to be careful even with a compliment cause that can offend somebody too! Anyway, I’m old enough to know better & young people have the excuse of youth & inexperience but I don’t give them too much room for lenience.
What about people in the public eye or celebrities? They have a forum and the one thing that gets under my skin is when they say something stupid (in today’s world) and ONLY when there’s an uproar they “apologize” for it. Really? I say to those people “Grow a damn backbone! If you said it, you obviously meant it and if you didn’t mean it and said it for shits & giggles then you’re a moron. When are adults gonna learn to think before they speak or own what they say?
I’m a big believer of “own your words” if you didn’t mean it then put your big boy or big girl pants on and APOLOGIZE but DO NOT BLAME someone else for your mistakes or use the old “temporary stupidity defense”. I’m old school & upfront about things and I don’t have the patience for stupidity, sensitivity, political correctness or bullshit in general. Life is too short to be tiptoeing around every last word that comes out of my mouth wondering if anyone’s feelings are gonna be hurt. I’m compassionate, polite, mind my own business and I have common sense. I teach my children to respect their elders & mind their manners. I think I’ve done my job & have been a respectful & contributing member to society.
To everyone else, my suggestion is: if you’re wrong own up to what you didn’t do right. That’s how you learn and earn respect.
When was the last time you tried doing something new?
I’m an introvert & have social anxiety. So being around new people and new social situations makes me feel uneasy. I signed up to be a parent volunteer at my daughters dance school for their big annual show. I’ve never done that before and I don’t really know any of the other moms besides a passing wave or a quick hello after dropping my daughter off at the school.
So I reluctantly wrote my name on the volunteer sheet so that I could get out of this social rut I’ve been in for the past “X years”. Being a fulltime caretaker for both of my boys (Cancer & Autism) and my elder parents left very little free time in my schedule to socialize. I always put everyone’s needs ahead of mine (which I don’t have a problem with) but as a result it left me socially inept. The morning of the show I did have a little anxiety but nothing requiring me to take anti-anxiety medication, lol. I was paired up with another mom and to my surprise it was her first time volunteering as well. She was extremely nice and we got along instantly. After a couple of hours she confessed that she was initially nervous at the thought of working with people she didn’t know and I told her I felt the same. She was stunned because she told me I appeared as cool as a cucumber. We exchanged phone numbers and said we would contact each other to team up for the next volunteer day.
I am really pleased that I stepped out of my comfort zone to try this new experience. I feel like I’m slowly starting to come out of my shell and I made a new friend in the process. It all goes to show that sometimes you just have to take a leap of faith, let go and be present in the moment.
Trauma permanently changes us. You are scarred for life. There is never getting back to “your old self” again there is just a different you now. You have the choice to decide what kind of “you” you’re going to be. Are you going to be a weaker version of yourself or a stronger model? Healing from trauma happens in different stages and in order to allow those changes to happen you have to be open to it. Each day is a lifetime when you’re recovering from trauma. You have good days and not so good days. But you have to find strength and joy in the good days and embrace them with your whole heart. On the weak days, you reach in to your reserve from the good days and that’s how you get your strength. The joy you felt on your good days is what helps you get through the bad days.
Wear your new life with courage and know you’re not alone. There are millions of trauma survivors out there. Maybe not all your identical story but the goal is still the same….to survive each day and heal. Do not let the damage control your life but make a decision to go forward despite of it. You are not broken, you are different and “different” isn’t a bad word. Nowadays, I wear “different” like a badge because in a lot of ways it’s made me so much stronger. It doesn’t mean I’m not sad, it means I’m learning to control the sadness from the trauma and use it as a strength not a weakness.
Sometimes to heal properly you have to force yourself to turn that page.
I feel like I’m finally turning the corner on my depression. The 1 month anniversary of my sons death passed and it has been the most difficult month of my life but you know what? I survived.
I’m having more good days than bad days and that’s definitely a step in the right direction. What’s helping me is remembering his words a month before his passing. He said “I’m tired of feeling like this” That’s how I’ve been feeling. I’m so tired of feeling sad, hopeless & helpless. The last year of my sons life he did everything he loved to do regardless of his diagnosis or how sick he felt! He did not allow Cancer to get in his way & I decided neither will I.
My son will forever be my hero. He lived the last year of his life on his terms. I decided to take a page out of his book and live each day to the fullest because as cliche’ as it may sound tomorrow isn’t promised to any of us. So why should I live out the remainder of my life in despair when I could be enjoying every moment until the day I join my son again.
Whenever I feel sad I remind myself of his words “I’m tired of feeling like this” and I know he’s no longer suffering or in pain. He’s at peace now and one day we will all be together again. Until then I’m going to make the best of each day just like he did.
This past week has been a tough one for me, emotionally. Next week will make 1 month since my son passed and I’ve been doing everything imaginable to keep myself busy. The moments leading up to his death still find a way of creeping into my head but I realized that I have to learn how to live with those thoughts. The sad thing is he didn’t accept his fate & pass peacefully in his sleep like in the movies. The truth is he was in denial about his illness. The moment the doctor told him there was nothing more they could do except make him comfortable, he begged for his life. He pleaded with the doctor to do something, anything to help him. He fought hard till he took his last breath. That’s something that will haunt me forever.
My husband & I were the only ones that physically cared for him day in and day out for the past year while he was ill. We took him to his bi-weekly chemo appointments and to the hospital in-between those appointments. The nurses taught us how to change his feeding bags that were attached to his body when his body weight was dangerously low. The nurses taught us how to drain his catheters when they were attached to his lungs so he wouldn’t drown in his own fluid. My husband & I had to alternate giving him blood thinner shots because he was in danger of getting blood clots in his lungs. Not to mention the countless times he refused to take his other meds because they tasted terrible & I would plea with him to take it just to find the pills sitting there in the morning. I bargained with my son on a daily basis to take his meds, eat, exercise, rest and do all the things the doctor recommended that would help his treatment work better.
My son was stubborn and if he didn’t want to do something he wouldn’t do it. At one point over the summer, when his treatment was going really well, he refused additional treatment. The oncologist warned him that if he didn’t continue chemo the Cancer would come back with a vengeance. His famous last words “I’ll take my chances”. Oh my naïve son, how foolish you were. Six weeks later he was hospitalized for a month because the Cancer did come back and spread. He learned his lesson and accepted chemo at that point but he was never the same again.
Now, not only do we have to deal with my son’s death but we have to deal with my parents blaming us for not doing enough to help him. Can you imagine that? Not to mention no one volunteered to help us and we also had to care for 2 younger kids (one who is disabled). It’s been an incredibly tough year and we’re still reeling from the blame being placed at our feet for his death. My family also wanted, what I coined as a “Kardashian Funeral” and as a grieving & traumatized mother I wanted a private service. Well I got criticized for that as well. My family wanted to please my son’s social media “friends”. The very friends who threatened to crash the hospital when they found out where he was when he sent his last tweet. But the irony is no one once stopped to ask me how I felt or what I wanted.
The smoke has cleared & now I can see how selfish all these non-involved individuals have been. All these people who were trying to call the shots and go over my head only made cameo appearances in his life when it was convenient for them. Not one time in this past year have they ever called to say “Do you need a break?” “I’ll take him to his next appointment” The only two people that were EVER there for my son when it counted were my husband & I. Yes the other people loved him but they were non-factors in his medical care.
Sometimes you need time alone to reflect and listen quietly for answers. They say to forget what hurt you but never forget what it taught you. Well my eyes have been peeled wide open.