Sunday, March 28, 2010

Going Home

I just got back from spending a week visiting friends and family. My antidepressant seemed to be working and I thought that also going south were I'd be around more sun might also help. It was enjoyable to see everyone but also sad. Kids are growing up and everyone I left behind is moving on with their lives. While I enjoyed seeing everyone and they all made an effort to spend time with me I also felt like I was very dispensable. Life went on without me so easily.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Self Image

Sometimes a little knowledge is a dangerous thing. When I was in college my minor was psychology because I've always had an interest in the workings of the human mind. I still remember a tiny bit of information from one of my classes that haunts me every time I suffer a depressive episode. I learned that a depressed person has a more realistic idea of how their friends and family perceive them than a non-depressed person. Great. When I'm deep in one of my depressive episodes I feel that my friends and family don't really like me all that much. That they'd rather I'd disappear so they wouldn't have to deal with me. When I'm not depressed I think that they enjoy my company and find me funny and fun to be with. So I'm more realistic when I'm depressed? How depressing is that?

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

accomplishments, sort of

I often find that I can do the first part of a project...but poop out before I do the rest. Right now I have a living room full of boxes that need to be labeled and taken to the garage. However, I don't think there is room in the garage so I'm procrastinating taking them out. I'm leaving next week to visit family and someone will be coming into my house to feed my cats. I need to finish cleaning or I'm gonna be pretty embarrassed. I'm already embarrassed because she saw the mess yesterday when I was showing her where everything was that she needed. This morning she called and offered to help me organize. Sigh

I wish that I wasn't so easily sidetracked, exhausted, overwhelmed, etc. and I could just buckle down and do the stuff that needs to be done.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Self Torture

I wonder if there is a mental illness that results in a person torturing herself by reading incredibly sad stories over and over again while tears are streaming down her face? 'Cuz this is me. I happened across a blog written by a woman whose toddler daughter passed away. Then from that blog I found other blogs written by women who have also lost their children or are in the process of loosing their children. Every single blog was heart wrenching. I couldn't read any of them without crying so hard that my eyes hurt. Why am I doing this? I know that horrible things happen, that children can die before their parents (Heaven knows I've worried about this for over 16 years) and that life can really suck. So why am I dwelling on this?

I have no idea unless it is easier to cry over someone else's pain than my own. Or maybe it is to prove to myself that I'm not as bad off as they are: my children and husband are alive and well. Maybe by reading these blogs I prove to myself that I still have feelings, that I'm not as numb as I'm afraid I am.

Another thing I've become aware of is increasing paraphasia -- substituting one word for another. I'll be telling someone that an item is near the oven, when I mean stove. I'll tell someone to meet me at Shopko when I mean WinCo. I've always had a problem mixing my children's names up (I think that is normal) but I'm mixing other people's names up. I'm even having difficulty remembering names at all. My best friend has a hairdresser I've been to a couple of times but I can never remember her name. I always have to call my friend first so I can call for an appointment.

I know forgetfulness is an issue in people with depression, I'm not sure about paraphasia, but I'm betting it is also. I've no idea what to do about it. Sometimes I think I have so many thoughts running around in my head that they are messing with my speech. I need to be able to quiet down the thoughts in my head so that I can talk.

Thursday, March 11, 2010


Yesterday I had a meeting with my supervisor. She was going over my work and mentioned my procrastination and how she'd like me to finish up my week on Thursday rather than waiting until Friday. She mentioned my forgetfulness and I finally had to tell her about my depression, hoping she'd understand and not consider me a liability. She seemed really understanding, so I hope that was a triumph for me.

I slept a great deal on Monday and Tuesday. I'm trying not to go back to bed after I get the kids off to school, but sometimes I'm so tired. Yesterday I got on the treadmill instead of going to bed and it seemed to help. My treadmill is acting up so I'm worried about how long it'll hold out for me.

I've upped my antidepressant prescription to three pills. I counted the pills left until I can refill the prescription and I have enough to maintain the three pills until then. I must've forgotten a lot last month. Not good. I think I'm starting to notice a difference as I've been able to address more issues yesterday and today than I have for awhile.

Earlier this week I finally cleaned the kids' bathroom. What a sty it was. I'm trying to gradually address the messes in the house because I know that once it is clean enough to allow people to enter the house without being totally embarrassed that I'll feel better. I suspect that there is a lot of mold and it is either effecting my mood or my health, or both.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Music and Asperger's

My now 16 year old son has had little interest in music most of his life. A tragedy in our family as everyone else likes music. I don't know if it is normal for Asperger's kids to not have much interest in music or not, but it has seemed the only explanation in a family that loves music. My husband plays piano and guitar. I once played clarinet, piano and sang in the choir in High School. My middle daughter has hummed and sung since she was able to, often driving her older brother to distraction. My younger daughter also loves music.

The only music my son has ever seemed to have much interest in was music from his video games (he LOVES the theme from Luigi's Mansion) some movies(Shrek) and sometimes other songs he has grown used to after much repetition. When he learned to like the music of the Beatles it seemed like a triumph.

Yesterday I was playing "Coward" by Vic Chesnutt on my iPod in the car and I noticed that he had a strange look on his face. I asked him what was up and he said in a surprised voice "I like that song. It is good. It made pictures in my head, I could see a battlefield." He'd only heard the song twice so that was big for him!

He told me that for years he heard all the different parts of the music, the guitar and drums would be separate, the bass on its own, the singer yet another part.  It'd drive him nuts trying to put it all together in his head so he just didn't want to even try.  Gradually the music in video games got a little more complex and unconsciously he started putting the pieces together.  Listening to the Vic Chesnutt song and seeing the pictures in his head was like the final piece of the puzzle.

exercise part three

I only managed to use the treadmill once last week. Mostly because I worked long days on the kids' school days and didn't want to be too tired for work. Today I decided to get back on that horse again before I let it slide. I like to walk until the minute hand is on a number so when I started my goal was 12 minutes. I was also listening to my iPod, so when my time was up my song wasn't and I decided to keep going until the song was over and made it 15 minutes. I was hot, sweating and breathing hard when it was over but I feel good about it.

Yesterday I was helping my friend search her garage for boxes of stuff that she needed for her house. I grabbed one particularly heavy box and I was backing out of a tight spot and ended up tripping over her lawn mower and falling onto the concrete, landing mostly on my right elbow. So that is sore, as is my back and neck. Fun. No good deed goes unpunished.

My middle daughter was being particularly grumpy and difficult yesterday. She'd gone off with a friend on Saturday and had a great day of fun, but frequently she is very difficult the next day. We went out to dinner and she was staging a hunger strike. Not so bad by itself, but she was also being nasty and sarcastic. Finally I had it and scolded her "You got to go out yesterday and have fun with your friend, see a movie and her mom even bought you stuff. I didn't get that. Yesterday was all about you. Today can you at least not make me miserable?" She sat there quietly for awhile and then decided to eat, talk and be relatively pleasant. I wish she could be nice without always having to be brought to task.

My son made me laugh. He is the one with Asperger's and he is very very quiet at school. He has two friends, neither of who attend his school. For the most part he goes through his tiny high school with his hood up and (if not in class) his face buried in a book. He is nearly invisible at school and if he attended a large high school he would probably be invisible. We were joking about his invisibility when he said "I don't want to be invisible in college, I'll need to be noticed." I said "Well then you'll have to talk to people." He responded "Gosh darn it, there's always a catch." LOL!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

What kind of mom am I?

One aspect of my depression is that I often spend way too much time dwelling on every mistake I've ever made. Well, probably not EVERY mistake, I'm sure I've forgotten a few. But as a mom of three kids I'm already doing a job where you worry daily if you are doing it right. I'm sure nearly every parent has wondered after yelling at their child for the one hundredth time if this is going to be what your child is talking about to his psychologist in twenty years.

My 16 year old son has Asperger's syndrome which is a form of high functioning autism. I frequently wonder if his difficult birth deprived him of oxygen at the wrong time. Maybe it was the chemicals that my body was releasing during my pregnancy which coincided with my first deep depression and was never treated. Maybe it was all those darn peanut butter cups that I craved during my pregnancy -- once the morning sickness was over.

My 12 year old daughter has no ambition at all. If she could be paid to watch TV that would be her goal. She is better at sneaking and hiding the things she knows she shouldn't do than both of her siblings combined. I often worry that my depression has caused me to be the worse kind of mother for her. I should be way more on top of things with her. I often know that she is probably doing something she shouldn't, but I'm too tired to deal with it. I let her get away with way too much because she is such a difficult child to parent.

My youngest is a very bright child but very easily distracted. She could be a far better student if I was better at making sure she did her homework and helped her be more organized. She is also very sensitive and easily hurt. Her sister torments her and while I try to protect when my energy allows, I could do so much more.

I allow my depression to take over so much that my house is a pit. I'm honestly embarrassed to have anyone over or to let my kids have anyone over. But it is easier to stay in bed than to deal with it. I'm not teaching my kids the skills they need to keep a house and I'm raising them to be resentful of cleaning. I never take them out on hikes or away from the house to appreciate nature. So nearly every hour they aren't in school they are living in this pit with me.

So what kind of mom am I? Am I failing at this most important task? As a mom with depression who is unable to get any treatment because my health insurance won't pay for it what responsibility to I have? I've heard it said that it takes a village to raise a child, but can't the parents get that support from the village? I need help dealing with my depression so that I can better parent my children. Should I have never had children? Unfortunately I was pregnant with my first child when I suffered my first bout with depression and I didn't have another bout until after I had all three children. I didn't know that I'd be dealing with this.

Monday, March 1, 2010

tired and sore

Sometimes I'm amazed at how easily I'm discouraged. I need to go to work today. I tried to print out the paperwork I need in order to do that work. My printer ran out of black ink. I can't print anything until I get more black ink. So what am I doing? Sitting and playing on the computer. Wasting even more time that could be used going and buying ink so I can finish work.

I helped my friend finish moving yesterday. I managed to wrench my shoulder and it is sore today. I still feel like I didn't do as much as I could have done, but at least I helped. I have a full week of work to do this week...which is only getting worse since I'm not doing it right now. I guess I'll get off of my rump and get moving.