AIBU to be so upset that people have noticed how I struggle(61 Posts)
I have a six month old dd and five older children.
I have always struggled to stick to things . So I work for dh (luckily) but the last 5 years for example it has gone like this.
I get bored and depressed being a sahm go through a phase of depression.
Then I decide that I am going to do something else, I arrange to go to work at the office , apply for courses do voluntary work.
Then I decide that i am too depressed and overwhelmed to do that and so suddenly become a sahm again, and decide that I'm going to be a traditional housewife, grow veg or whatever.
Repeat pattern to infinity.
I know it sounds like a ridiculous situation but it's actually pretty upsetting. I go through phases of being so incredibly depressed and then phases where I just can't face not doing anything. It's stressful.
For an example my last two Dds (so child 5 and 6 ) were both a result of me suddenly deciding i wanted a baby during one of these sahm phases.
I started antidepressants after dd6 was born as I finally got up the nerve to tell my doctor I was feeling really depressed.
The first lot (sertraline) has no effect other to make self harm etc WORSE.
Changed to fluoxetine which has helped but I realise this morning you know what I have suddenly decided to go back to work. Hired a nanny and the house is sparkling because I feel so amazingly on top of everything.
It's the same bloody pattern isn't it?
It came to a head for me a few days ago when I hard MIL comment about me going back to work " we will see how long this lasts then hahah"
And she's right I now think that everyone must think I am ridiculous. I start at work, I start courses, I start volunteer work. But I never finish.
I am so embarrassed that people have noticed and I feel really upset at MIL for joking about it.
AIBU to be upset I can't even bring myself to talk to her atm (although I am not arguing with her just making excuses not to go round).
That's a really insensitive thing for your mil to say. YANBU.
Have you ever had counselling, OP? It sounds like what you need to do is get to the bottom of your depression and really figure out who you are and what will make you happy.
I feel for you OP, I am like this too!
Have you considered seeing a counsellor for some kind of talking therapy as well as ADs? I saw a psychologist for a while recently and it has helped me gain confidence, which in turn will help me decide on something and stick to it (I hope!)
YANBU to avoid your MiL for a while. YABU to think people won't notice a major pattern in your life.
Please don't take this the wrong way (I'm not a doctor or mental health professional so not qualified to diagnose) but have you ever considered the possibility that you are bipolar? My friend was diagnosed a couple of years ago after years of being treated for depression and your up/down up/down pattern and the trying and dropping new things really reminds me of her.
Did you tell the GP about the pattern you describe? If not, that might help you get a clearer diagnosis and appropriate medication.
Good luck. I'm impressed you have the energy to even get out of bed with 6 children, never mind think about work or growing veg!
Well a bitchy comment isn't the end of the world. It's quite hard to keep your mouth shut when people do things and live a life when you know what they're doing is hurting themselves. Ignore the comment everyone judges everyone.
Why do you feel you have to do everything? Why can you not just work part time instead of working and volunteering? Try and stick to one thing and build it up slowly.
On a chart most people are around the middle with small highs and lows. You're having massive highs and low lows. You need to get a more balanced line in the middle so when your next in your highs don't take so much on and force yourself to relax a bit more. Bring your high down without burning out
Does your GP know about the pattern to your depression, or just that you were depressed at the time?
I think maybe your MIL was being thoughtless and stupid rather than deliberately spiteful. It hurts when you hear unkind things about yourself, but do you think maybe part of you is upset because it's a little true that you don't stick to stuff?
Aristotle makes a great point about outselling and getting to the bottom of why you feel this way. Doing that alongside working for a day or two a week might help you find a way of feeling better and sticking to it.
It also sounds as though you're probably overwhelmed with the parenting side of things; 6 children must be incredibly hard work every single day. If MIL is about then surely she can step in and help you find your feet again? Be blunt and tell her you'd like help on x and y day each week.
I go through phases of this, and a counsellor has really helped me to see why and how these patterns develop. As it happens, my last stint as a SAHM didn't go very well, I'm working at the moment, and now my youngest child is 3.5 and in preschool every day, the way forward seems a lot clearer and less stressful. It sounds like whatever you do , you want to do it 100%, to the exclusion of everything else. I'm now working part time at 20 hours a week which gives me enough satisfaction in my job, and leaves me some time at home with the smallest. Big two are in school now. I still spend time on the sofa knitting (which was why previous SAHM stint failed as I'm intrinsically a bit lazy...)
Can you start small with one course? Or one small change and get determined just to finish that one small thing?
I think you sound very confused and unhappy. Six children is pretty massive and I don't think I would ever cope. From an outsider looking in, I wonder if you are having more and more children to plug the gap of something missing in your life. I think you really would benefit from taking a step back to find that out what it is. In order to do that, would you be prepared to do counselling and put extending your family on hold? I don't think you will ever find the you time required for this until you do.
I was thinking the same as a previous poster about bi-polar. You are displaying some classic symptoms of it
Yanbu to be hurt. But I do think your mils comment is typical of the kind of thing that gets said among family members and probably didn't have much malice in it.
as for the other issues, I agree with others about finding the cause of this pattern. But also if you are raising 6 kids that's a great acheivement in itself regardless of your going to and fro with other things.
In the kindest possible way of course people have noticed. And yes, your MIL made an insensitive remark but try not to focus on that, you need to focus on yourself right now.
Have you told your GP about this pattern? I have a friend who sounds strikingly similar to you and was diagnosed with bi-polar.
I think the hardest thing was each time this friend decided on a new career/course/degree/business she'd tell us about it all excitedly and expect us to be excited too. Which of course we were to start with but it became harder and harder when we pretty much knew she'd be giving it up a few months down the line.
I go through these kinds of phases op, bot as extreme as yours bit I'm very up and down.
I found acknowledging that I'm at a certain stage in the pattern helped. So if I have bags of energy, house totally together, easy to look after dd and I'm really happy one week, i don't get upset pr try to push through it if I don't feel the same the week after.
It's exhausting and tedious, sometimes it can only be triggered by me seeing a piece of work someone else working in my field has done, and i get so depressed that i can't work more.
Have you noticed any triggers that may set off a sahm depression period?
I have never had counselling and I haven't mentioned it to the gp because tbh I just thought it's me being ridiculous which probably isn't a "doctor thing".
It's also really hard to describe why it happens . It's not that I feel I struggle - it's the overwhelming nature of the commitment to either being depressed and doing nothing or being into everything.
So at the moment for example I have gone from barely moving when I started the antidepressants, to working, tidying up and sorting the whole house ( including getting a skip to clear out) doing the garden. Buying a bike to exercise, baking many cakes the list goes on.
When I am like this I start the day with a list and add some things to it. But then when I have done
Those I just add more I can't not
From the outside I think it looks like I am coping amazingly well because people comment on how easy I find looking after the kids etc but actually I get up at 6 and then do hundreds of things without stopping in a day - I am aware this is excessive.
I can't decide if I feel better on the antidepressants or if it's just a cycle continuing!
I know my anxiety Is higher but I don't feel depressed anymore on the plus side
Go back to your GP and tell them, about all of this. If it is bipolar you may need different meds plus counseling (my friend has CBT) to help you stay on a more even keel.
Euphemisms - tbh all I ever manage to say to the gp is that I feel down and I have told her I have felt more depressed in the past but I have never gone on to any detail. I probably say about 10 words at each appointment- she keeps asking me to go back every week at the moment but I always feel like cancelling . Even if I go I just say I feel fine now.
Euphemia - my phone spellchecked your name!
Write down how you feel and give the piece of paper to your GP.
Do you always feel like this in the 'up' part of the cycle?
This doing 100 things in a day being so productive is exactly what my cousin (bipolar) does when he's on an up.
I really think you need to mention this pattern to your GP.
People will notice, but it's a shame it was an uncaring MIL.
Mooey - yes pretty much . I feel more productive , more anxious .
My mil is actually lovely but she has no time for people feeling sorry for themselves, she is down to earth and practical in the exteme!
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.