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overwhelmed and running out of time

(34 Posts)
bassetfeet Sat 08-Dec-12 18:35:08

I have tried to type this so many times without sounding pathetic and drama llama .
Very down and low for a while now and on meds . You will all maybe recognise the paralysis that comes with depression ....no care about anything really.
My husband is ill and I do care for him though of course I do.
The thing is my son is coming home this xmas from the far east and is naturally looking forward to spending time with us and his dad [it maybe the last one ?]

The house is a tip and dirty ..... every bloody thing is a huge effort and I cant seem to break free from this inertia and tears welling all the time .
I am a quite isolated person . So please can any one kick me into making this Christmas as it should be ? I know I MUST . but need a kind firm word to say ok ....this is what you must do this week . Afterwords I know I need gp etc .
Just for now until after Christmas I would value some emergency elasoplast so I cope and dont spoil it .
thank you .

NanaNina Sat 08-Dec-12 19:15:08

Hello Bassetfeet - you say you are on meds - how long have you been taking them because you are clearly still very depressed. If you have been on them for a while, I think you need to go back to your GP before your son comes home and see if they can be changed, or the dose increased.

The other thing is I think you need to warn your son about your state of health. He may not know anything about mental health (I have grown up sons and they know nothing about it either and get a bit embarrassed about it) but I just don't see them when I have depression intermittently, when like you I can barely drag myself out of bed.

Look love no one on this earth can "kick you into making this Christmas as it should be - and that includes YOU" - bloody Christmas heightens the emotions of everyone and all this stuff about happy families is crap. IF there was some "emergency elastoplast" for brain disorder it would sell at a thousan pounds an inch! Can you skype your son, or e mail him and tell him exactly what is going on - that is only fair to him, honestly. Is it just your son or is there a partner/wife and grandchildren. How long is he staying - he may be able to get the house cleared for you and go with you back to your GP - you are as important as your DH you know.

bassetfeet Sat 08-Dec-12 20:11:41

Thank you NanaNina very much for kind words and reply .
My son is coming alone as his partner has to work . He is a kind lad and aware of my mental health issues ........but of course cant see why? and the focus of this visit is his poorly dad as it should be .
All my mental health issues coincided with my two sons adolescence so you can guess the fallout and guilt . from all of us .
I know my sons see me as weak . So must put on this face for two weeks .
they are not unkind just a bit irritable I guess .......oh mam is crying again sort of thing . And they are so good with my DH .

I have asked my other son to tell his brother that we are a bit fragile here .
thank you for your reply and will see my gp . Realised this cant go on .

Fishandjam Sat 08-Dec-12 20:24:30

basset, huge hugs to you. I'm sorry I don't have time for a long reply right now but I didn't want to read and run.

I know the paralysis that goes with depression, oh yes. What worked for me - a bit - is trying to break everything down into small tasks. Like, I'd feel overwhelmed that the house was a tip. But then I'd decide to just tidy the kitchen today (or even just one kitchen worksurface!) Achieving that used to make me feel better, whereas if I'd left it all as one big task (that I couldn't achieve) it would make me feel worse.

Also - may not be an option for you for whatever reason - could you get a cleaning company to do an Xmas clean?

But please don't buy all the crap about how Xmas is meant to be. The perfect Xmas only happens on TV adverts, if you ask me.

Be kind to yourself; I'm sure your sons don't see you as weak (you know that's the depression talking!) Hugs again.

RandomMess Sat 08-Dec-12 20:29:06

How about having the level of your current meds increased?

I agree get someone in to help you clean and tidy and sort perhaps you could do it with them.

Also you could limit it to the minimum of rooms - if you have a spare bedroom you can fill that to the rafters with junk to make it easier to clean the other rooms.

bassetfeet Sat 08-Dec-12 21:33:40

Thank you Fishandjam and Random for your advice and comfort . I appreciate so much .
Cant afford a cleaner for one off ..........but have since I posted have made a daily to do list until next Saturday when my son comes home .
Have made it only main rooms only and that isnt many really . small steps .
need to see doc for increase I know . It just all seems too much for now .
I know once I do start it will get easier .
thank you .

RandomMess Sat 08-Dec-12 21:35:18

I was shocked at how much a small increase in my anti ds really helped so make going to a drs appt a priority so you get to enjoy the visit. Perhaps your son can help with cleaning/sorting stuff out if you've made a start.

NanaNina Sat 08-Dec-12 22:35:05

Ah well BF glad your sons know what is happening. My sons aren't very sympathetic with me tbh and they sort of make light of it (though they had both left home by the time I got depression). I wonder if it's to do with the stigma of mental illness. I think your illness is probably just as bad as your DH's but in a different way maybe.,

I agree with FishandJam - I don't believe Christmas is like the TV ads and glossy mag pictures (not that I buy them) and i think it causes a lot of tension for many people.

Take care and get another appt with GP as you need more help and support than you are getting.

HellesBelles396 Sat 08-Dec-12 22:52:37

Bassetfeet: breaking down tasks is key but so is sharing the burden. During my most recent slump, my mum came across for an hour and for me started on the worst of the housework. Is there anyone who could work alongside you to tidy and clean round.
I know you will want to run around after your son when he's here but, with both you and your dh ill, could he take the weight off you during his visit to give you a chance to recuperate?
It occurs to me that you probably don't get out of the house much in this weather with your husband to care for. Is there any opportunity for respite care so you can get some daylight, fresh air and exercise - all of which dramatically improve my mood when I'm in a derper-than-usual depression. I usually have to be forced out the first few times but it's worth it.

bassetfeet Sat 08-Dec-12 23:39:56

Thank you hellesBelles and random and Nina .
Just typing here and getting your care has boosted me so much already . Another issue I must address in the New Year is the hiding away and keeping low in shame of being seen to be struggling . I do get out and walk most days HellesBelles ....it is hard isnt it ? I waddle along and wonder where the woman I was went to . What happened ? Cant wait to get home to so called safety . I know we all recognise that feeling . You are right though and thank you for reinforcing that truth for me that it is important to get outside .

I suspect Nina that your sons are like mine and have not a clue what it is like to be so low . They dont know what to say I guess . Mine dont . I hope you can tell them and they understand their mum in time . You cant hide it really long term . But we do try .
going to tackle the cards and wrapping presents tomorrow . Then the workbenches and cooker Monday .
thank you .

Fishandjam Sat 08-Dec-12 23:52:39

basset, do you know the book "I Had A Black Dog"? I found it v useful to show people how I was feeling. Might be good for your sons?

TheSilverPussycat Sun 09-Dec-12 11:33:34

Flylady has an emergency clean up strategy.

My kids (now young adults) don't really understand either - but in a way I am glad that they don't, it's because they have never suffered with MH problems.

Some years I suffer from Christmas phobia and paralysis - but manage to snap out of it (enough, anyway) near the day.

NanaNina Sun 09-Dec-12 14:17:28

Hello bassetfeet - you made me smile talking about "waddling along" but then sad at you wondering where the woman you were had gone to. I have done exactly the same, dressed in a cagoule and big scarf, walking under grey skies and drizzle and wondering the same thing. Oh shite shite to this horrid illness that no one can understand unless they have experienced how it sucks the life out of us, as though a stranger has come and inhabited our brains and body.

I think you have to find the balance between pushing yourself out to walk and withdrawing when things are so bad. I've just agreed with SPC in another thread that my duvet was/is very often my best friend. However I do always get up to shower, clean teeth etc, dress and eat something and IF I am able I force myself out, but it's very hard and I dread meeting anyone i know. I live in a smallish town and have lived here all my life so there is always that prospect. Mind I keep my head down!

My CPN was always stressing the need to get out and natural endorphins and all that but yes it is hard and the only thingI get out of it on bad days is that I have actually done it, and then I reward myself with a lie on my bed covered in my lovely soft mohair blanket and keep the curtains open and in winter watch the light fade.

Love my sons so much but have to admit I wish I had a daughter as I think females are just much more likely to empathise with people, and try to understand things. I feel hurt by my son's seemingly no interest but they have their own lives and families and I know they love me, but I just don't think they know what to say and are embarrassed.
FandJ - who wrote "I had a black dog" - might get it and give it my sons for christmas but doubt they would read it!!

Christmas is a bugger when you are ill, stressed, worried whatever because it just heightens all those feelings and we are filled with all this crap on the ads. The Morrisons one kills me where a little girl dances around to song from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and takes the kid off a joint of meat and gazes adoringly at it.........sorry just going off on one!

NanaNina Sun 09-Dec-12 14:18:06

The kid in the Morrisons Ad takes the lid off the joint of meat not the kid!!!!!

Fishandjam Sun 09-Dec-12 15:39:12

nana, its by Matthew Johnstone - http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/aw/d/1845295897. It's a picture book so a bit unusual. And very accurate IMO.

Fishandjam Sun 09-Dec-12 15:40:44

Ah pants, forgot to do linky thing. Hopefully you can cut and paste!

bassetfeet Sun 09-Dec-12 16:49:42

Fishandjam I have this book and it is spot on isnt it ?....comforting with all the feelings we cant somehow express . Was given it by an e-mail friend and that touched me hugely as it was like her saying "I am listening ". I do think the lads pay lip service to mental health issues etc .....but get annoyed at their mum having it . Not in my back yard sort of thing ? May well leave it lying around the other books and see if it is picked up . Thank you for reminding me . I hope you are ok?

Nana you also described the walk we take when depressed so accurately . The shuffle and clothes /the fear of bumping into anyone /the focus on getting home . I wear sunglasses for gods sake in deepest winter when this damn thing strikes me !! What is that all about ? But I wont leave home without them . Blimey I must look as if I want to attract attention or daft . Have to have the borrowed dog on a lead also to hang onto .
I liked your description of the reward of lying wrapped in your mohair blanket watching the light change as the day draws to a close . I love to see the starlings do their evening dance before roosting . And that proves to me that joy is still there once the damn black dog shifts his arse.

SilverPussycat you are so right and I had not thought of that before . The last thing we all want is for our kids to KNOW what it is like . Thank you for advice re flylady also .

Well I have done nothing today apart from visit elderly mother in her care home where she has been cutting out all the Daily Mails articles on abuse of the elderly . She is well looked after . But if this continues I will get her the Guardian instead and their crossword will be harder [if they have a crossword?] .

This feeling is like walking in quicksand and struggling to breathe . I still havent cleaned or wrapped the gifts yet. I cried for hours this morning early on . It helps while sobbing to know we all find mornings the worst . Something to do with Cortisol levels I have been told .
I must make this Christmas as good as I can . Hoping to get a grip tomorrow .
Thank you so much for replies .

TheSilverPussycat Sun 09-Dec-12 17:08:38

If you are out on a walk do take your sunglasses off somewhere where you feel safe - it is important (somthing to do with melatonin I think) to get sunlight into your eyes and thence your brain.

Fishandjam Sun 09-Dec-12 19:08:59

What silverpussycat said - really important to get daylight into your retinas, especially this time of year. Helps the body to sleep.

Basset, which county are you in? If you're anywhere near Cambs I'll willingly come and give you a hand smile

NanaNina Sun 09-Dec-12 19:26:21

This is a nice thread about a horrid thing! It's reassuring to hear so many of us feel the same. Sometimes when I am out doing that walk I look at people in cars and walking dogs and think "it's ok for them, they're OK" but it could be you BF!! It's easy to think everyone else is ok isn't it when we are shite. Maybe you can "reward" yourself if you do manage to do that walk. It's easier in the summer (even with all the rain) we have a lovely wood near us and DP and me go there sometimes when I am crap and it is quite restorative and I am fairly sure I won't meet anyone I know.

I think you've done wonders today BF to visit your mother when you are feeling so bad. Had to smile at her cutting out stuff in the DM about elderly abuse! I think you can say you have done all you can for today and go at the rest slowly, very slowly. There are days when walking to the bathroom is an effort. There was another thread I followed and we talked about "just one thing" a day. Mind I just don't know how those poor women with young children to care for (and there are lots of them) manage with this awful illness. I can barely be bothered to feed the cats! I really really feel for them (the young mums, not the cats!)

Mornings are my very worst times too. I was told in hospital that it differs with different people and some people have bad afternoons or evenings. I suppose in a way it's best to get the worst over, than spend all morning waiting for it to get worse. Do you find that crying helps - I do for some reason, it seems to ease the tension, gives me a massive headache but that's nothing compared to feel flat, empty, despairing etc isn't it. I think for me it's the absence of any emotion (other than those I've just mentioned) that is so scary, and I just feel totally empty. I am fine at the moment but that could end any day and I am almost wishing some bad days willcome so I may be ok for christmas. We are going to Center Parcs in the Lake District with my son, dil, grchdrn and a lot of dil's extended family ( we are adopted family!) but DP and me have own apartment so if the demon strikes, I can hide under the duvet in the apartment!

Don't put too much pressure on yourself BF - just do what you can and leave the rest. You must get to the GP and get some more help though. What meds are you on btw and how long have you been on them. Maybe they need changing. Do you know what the root of your depression is and do you think therapy might help. Sorry to fire questions at you and don't feel you need to answer! I am on an old fashioned tryclic AD imipramine 200mg per day just bee increased to 225 mg.

O I can't do the link think F&J but I'll look on Amazon though might try Play.com because of the tax scandal with Amazon.

NanaNina Sun 09-Dec-12 19:27:23

Aah just seen your offer F&J - there are some lovely people on MN.....

ImperialBlether England Sun 09-Dec-12 21:10:21

Whereabouts are you, OP? I'm happy to help if you're in the North West.

bassetfeet Sun 09-Dec-12 21:57:38

there are some lovely people on MN.....

Oh how true . I am trying to stay with the mumsnet etiquette here and not be over effusive . Your offer of help F@J It just stunned me . Kindness for someone you dont know . So grateful for the offer to help so grateful. I live way oop north sadly . I hope that you are ok and feel able to share any black dog times with us here if you need to ?. This is a very comforting thread thanks to all the people who have posted . Isnt it strange how you can connect through words and how they are written over the ether .

Thank you too Nina for your wisdom and humour . I so hope that your bad days will not return before your family break in the lakes . Are you going to the one near Penrith ? Such a fabulous area if you have not been before and the northern lakes are beautiful with lots of peaceful walks if you need solitude [as we all do with this damn illness ]. Take your blanket and yes if you need time alone then tell them and make your tent under the duvet . With so many family members hopefully you can do what is right for you and your mind peace . The one thing about being older is that you can say oh I am going for a nap wink

What started this ? Genetic for sure firstly. Family issues [but who hasnt ?]
Trying to do it all with full time work and no support family wise with shifts .
not being treated properly by docs when it could have been nipped in the bud
My own introspective nature . Guess it was a risk factor genetic wise and it felled me big time and I havent fully recovered . The spectre at the feast .
The black dog snapping at my heels from the shadows [damn him !].
my heart goes out to those who are feeling this crap with young children as you say .

Thank you silver cat for advice re taking sunglasses off . I didnt realise that .

bassetfeet Sun 09-Dec-12 22:25:27

Thank you ImperialBlether .........thank you .

Fishandjam Mon 10-Dec-12 09:16:00

<blush> I'm not lovely - but while my black dog is, at present, a little yappy chihuahua thing trotting obediently at my heels grin I'd love to try to help someone who's got a smelly dribbling Great Dane of a black dog. (The time will come when my chihuahua morphs back into the Great Dane....)

Yes in my case to genetic susceptibility, family issues (caused by genetic susceptibility?) and melancholic nature. Recognising the warning signs helps me a lot, in that I can try to take steps to fend it off (doesn't always work!) Have DS3 and DD0.6 to keep me from too much introspection (again, doesn't always work!)

Nana, hopefully you won't need the duvet for your lakes trip. (Whinfell? Know where it is - we used to go sailing on Ullswater and passed it on the way). Lovely part of the world - restful on the eyes, if you see what I mean!

Basset, how goes it today?

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