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I feel demoralised and overwhelmed.....again

(128 Posts)
Livingtothefull Fri 25-Oct-13 12:25:35

I have posted previously under another name re my situation. My only DC (12y) is severely disabled. We have had a few upsets with DH family which are now contained if not resolved. I have suffered quite badly with depression/low self esteem issues the past year or two but am coming through this & had treatment. I also experienced bullying at work & had to leave in a hurry so found a contract role which lasts till next month. Things have lately been a little more settled.

Now, DS requires further major surgery which is scheduled at the very end of the work contract. So I won't be available for work while he convalesces though, on the plus side, at least I will be free to take care of him. But I NEED to work to keep the roof over our heads, am terrified I won't find something else. DC will deserve a wonderful Xmas and how will we pay for it?

I am studying for a PG qualification which is nearly completed...was scheduled to end January (already deferred through mitigation due to DC issues - no further deferment possible). I have to do some research within the next couple of weeks, how will I do this with all that is going on with DC? I am so worried about my poor boy.

My health has been pretty poor & I have piled on weight, have been addressing this lately by joining a gym, running when I can, doing fitness dvds at home, eating better etc. How will I do this while DC is convalescing? I know I will comfort eat and won't be able to leave the house or afford the gym. I also feel horribly guilty for working on myself like this when DC will never be able to even walk.

I don't know why I am posting here really...these issues can't be taken away but I need to somehow get though this and manage my life. I need to fight this feeling of fatalism....feeling that life/the universe etc has it in for me and will ensure that I don't succeed, that pressure will be piled onto my little family until we all break, and that I will remain on a step lower than everyone else.

Whereisegg Fri 25-Oct-13 13:04:32

Can you get an evening/weekend job for when DH is around to look after ds?
This will help with cash, get you out of the house, be great for getting some adult conversation and even help you with being active if something like bar work.

I would cancel the gym tbh, you will save money and there is so much available on YouTube in the way of workouts.

Sort out an Internet delivery.
Limited/no chocolates/cakes/crisps and just re-order every week.

There is lots you can do in the house with no equipment to be more active.
Take things upstairs one at a time as quickly as you can.
Do pelvic floor exercises while the kettle boils.
Push ups for the duration of advert breaks.
Sit ups while the toast is cooking.
Planking while you watch the weather.

Lots of luck for you and your family op.

Firsttimer7259 Fri 25-Oct-13 13:23:09

Hi you have a lot on your plate right now and I'd suggest you repost on the special needs board - many people there have first hand experience of problems like this. It's incredibly hard to manage family and personal needs alongside a disabled child's needs. Don't lose focus on looking after yourself - ypu can't help them if you are going to pieces getting fit dealing with comfort eating are part if a strategy to be well enough to be a carer which is physically and emotionally v demanding. It's not selfish it's sensible.

Could you contact an advocacy agency to help you plan and access any resources that could help you through the time around his surgery? Make sure you are claiming every benefit ypu can - possibly your situation means you could access social fund payments. Things like homestart have helped us get through hard times providing support and advice and practical help - my dd and eh7 are disabled

Whereisegg Fri 25-Oct-13 16:21:13

Urgh I've just realised after that reply just how insensitive my post seems.

Some very good advice above op, regarding home start.

I was hoping to make you feel you didn't have to lose sight of things you feel you want to do in the face of such a difficult situation, but I appreciate my post seems quite insensitive. Sorry.

Livingtothefull Fri 25-Oct-13 17:18:44

Thank you both for your responses. Whereisegg: no don't worry I didn't perceive your post as insensitive, you have some good ideas about maximising time/saving money. I probably will cancel the gym if I don't get another job quickly...only joined because I had discounted membership through work.

Firsttimer - I have asked for this to be moved to the special needs board as suggested. We are fairly clued up re benefits but will check to see if our situation entitlems us to more.

It is so stressful and difficult prioritising my own well being, the trouble is that when I am under pressure/feeling down I am so tempted to comfort eat and find exercising too much trouble. It is as though I lose sight of how much I want to improve my health, ie what I really care about - just look for comfort where I can. I do drink too much too these days - not enough to get raging drunk (especially when in charge of DC) but enough to be bad for my health. I feel that I work hard, have a lot of stress etc and deserve my evenings sitting by the fire with a glass of wine. The trouble is, it is never just one.

So: how to stop comfort eating/drinking where there is little other comfort to be had?

Latara Fri 25-Oct-13 18:58:06

Stopping comfort eating is difficult (I'm trying hard to do this at present).

A dietician suggested CBT for this and it's worked a bit - basically it's about working out the cause for your comfort eating and replacing the comfort eating with other activities that are rewarding, even just sorting out the home.

I've found that swapping my 'comfort' foods of chocolate and sweets for fruit and veg has helped me lose weight but yes I still binge on the fruit and veg which is expensive - i'm trying to make a cup of tea for example when I want a binge, then clean my teeth or eat minty chewing gum.

With alcohol you could go extreme and just not keep it in the house, or you could try having for example a wine spritzer instead of a glass of wine.

Hope that gives you some ideas for the comfort eating and drinking.

Firsttimer7259 Sun 27-Oct-13 08:53:42

Hi again - I know what you mean about comfort eating - I backslide each time my dd has a period of sleeping badly, I eat when I'm sleep deprived. No solutions for you - I try to go easy on myself and nor be harsh about it. I also try for some rules tp minimise the damage: not more than x amount pf wine/ chocolate. Not great but better than what I'd do otherwise. I find if I'm too strict then I have a binge and feel awful after.
I have found advocacy agencies useful - get them to do paperwork and think about how I could get help. Our church also pitches in providing childcare support etc I don't know if you have any network of people who could find ways pf helping drop off a meal, look after children anything. I gpvfor counselling regularly which helps me have a chance to offload and discuss my problems and feelings which helps

theoriginalandbestrookie Sun 27-Oct-13 09:41:09

Living I recognise you from previous threads, sorry to hear things are hard at the minute.

I'd try to work out what is most concerning. You said that you won't have enough to pay the mortgage - is this correct? Can you manage on your DH's salary until the NY? Are there any household economies you can make?
I see you are a contractor - most companies tend to do a lot of recruiting in January, so if this is a short term gap then perhaps you could just focus on getting your CV ready for that period.

Also it is a good thing that you are not working whilst your DS is convalescing. It would be impossible for you to try to work whilst doing this, at least this way the burden is not so great for both you and your DH.

On the fitness/weight side. Do not feel guilty about trying to keep yourself healthy by comparing yourself to your DS. You and your DH need to be well to look after him and that is what you are trying to do by keeping fit. Could you squeeze in runs before or after your DH is away for work? As regards to the wine, presumably you are on anti ds, if possible I would recommend giving it the boot. It will do loads for your fitness and also your long term self esteem. Now you will be at home you have time to plan healthy meals - try to make that into an enjoyable act, not a challenge.

For your research - how much time do you need to do it? Could you just remove yourself to a library for a few hours at the weekend. Ideally you would postpone this course, but I know this is your last option.

Have you reviewed your meds recently with your doctor? Sorry this may be too personal a question, but on the last threads you had started to sound much more positive, but now it seems as if life is overwhelming you again - with good reason I have to say. No harm in taking a trip there - perhaps they may be able to recommend some counselling for you.

Good luck - I do think of you from time to time, from the other threads you had posted.

raisah Sun 27-Oct-13 14:40:56

I hope you find a way to work things out. One thing I will say is do contact home start as they can put you in touch with a volunteer who can provide respite care for a few hpurs. I haven't read your previous posts so please ignore my suggestions if they are not relevant to you.

Is it possible to organise a babysitting rota with friends/family so that you get a few hours study time a week/day. You can still be at home but not directly caring for your child.

You mentioned in ypur op that you are clued up re benefits but I have includes link for Martin Lewis website in case there is anything else you can claim.
Are you able to survive on your dh wage until Jan? Do the budget calculator on the website and see if its possible.

raisah Sun 27-Oct-13 14:42:32

Mummyoftheyear Sun 27-Oct-13 17:02:56

There's an organisation called Overeaters Anonymous. It's a support group with thousands of members all over the country. Started in America. Have a google and I'm sure you'll find the number. They can tell you of a group that meets near you. It'll help with the comfort eating and will be a great support to you.

ceebie Mon 28-Oct-13 12:17:21

You are doing incredibly well, and you need to start reminding yourself of that. And do you know what? You WILL manage. You've proven you can so far, and you will continue to do so. Who cares if sometimes there are some steps backwards before there are steps forwards? If a bit of weight goes on, don't beat yourself up about it; you'll get rid again when you have the time. Focus on your priorities. I do think you need some support and some activity that is your own - not necessarily formal support - it could be going out for a glass of wine with a friend on a Friday evening, joining a club (book club / knitting / bungy-jumping / running / church / whatever takes your fancy), or just whatever works for you. At least one hour per week that is your own time is vital - do you have that at the moment?

ceebie Mon 28-Oct-13 12:20:01

oh, sorry, missed the bit in your second post about wanting to cut back on wine! Well, perhaps not that then. Or make a Friday night out your only glass (or two) for the week.

Livingtothefull Wed 30-Oct-13 20:36:01

Thank you all...just managed to get back to this thread, it has been hectic!

I am still working in my contract trying to do a decent job but to be honest just want it to be over so I can move on. Feel massively guilty because my heart is not in it. I just want DS op to be over with now so he can start to recover & we can return to normal. I am finding it difficult also to concentrate on my studies the way I should.

I think the stress is getting to me more than I know...feel literally nauseous with stress, I nearly threw up this morning. I am scared that I will never find another job.

I am still jobhunting but am being upfront about not being available for interview the next couple of weeks and the reasons why. Yes I could survive to New Year on DH salary and our savings but it means a frugal Xmas..would love to be able to spoil DS.

Re fitness, I have been getting up at 6am to work out before DS carer gets here (during his half term) and trying to get to the gym in the evening. What I will do after his op is anyone's guess, I will be camping out at the hospital then confined to home all day (DS will be encased in plaster). So for the short term there will be no time of my own at all, though will try to carve some out when DS is better & back at school.

Thanks all for the following up on all of those.

Yes I am sure I will cope somehow for my little boy's sake. The reason I did not post on the Special Needs site is that I think i am like any other mother, many of us are trying to juggle responsibilities/problems and make the best of things. I do post there when it is a specific issue regarding SN where specialised advice is needed. But I want to feel that I am a normal mother too.

Livingtothefull Sun 03-Nov-13 23:12:55

I am going to sound dreadfully pretentious here and state that this week I am going into the vortex of pain and suffering. Whatever suffering I have to face is nothing compared to what my dear darling DS has to go through. If you were ever to meet him, it would melt your heart to think that a boy like him should suffer. He just loves his life. I wish that life would do a better job of loving him back.

Anyway he has to have surgery which involves (sorry to be graphic) having his legs sliced open in more than one place, and not for the first time. He will not be more disfigured than he is already; they will just cut into the old scars. I suppose in a way it will be a good thing that I am unemployed; I can look after DS once he is out of hospital.

I can't in all conscience claim 'job seekers allowance' because I won't be available to jobseek. I am looking into what other help I may be entitled to....hopefully some.

This weekend we spent money we haven't got really, taking our DS for a luxury hotel break. What the hell.....hell is in our lives anyway, introducing a little more won't make much difference. DS got to stay in a posh hotel and be called 'sir' for the first time in his life.

Please please please...if you are the praying kind, pray for my dear DS this week. He has to go into hospital this Wednesday and be operated on Thursday. I don't want Wednesday to ever come, I want to put off tomorrow by prolonging today.

Mummyoftheyear Tue 05-Nov-13 02:39:20

Living, I wish your DS well through the operation. I hope it's a wonderful success and that, in time, he feels better for it.

Livingtothefull Tue 05-Nov-13 06:17:48

Thanks so much Mummyoftheyear, yes I am hanging on to the hope that if we can just get through this gruelling time there will be a happier future ahead for DS and us.

foslady Tue 05-Nov-13 07:21:14

Just as there have been great times in your life that have gone, so do the bad and sad ones. You are an immensly strong woman OP and we all believe in you.
Sending my love and prayers for all of you

Livingtothefull Tue 05-Nov-13 09:24:50

Thanks foslady, that means a lot. I will need to continue to be strong to support my boy. We are off to the hospital tomorrow & I will be staying over with him.

Last day at work today so feel emotional anyway, my head is so full. I got a nice email from my DB this morning so that was a good surprise. I don't want to say goodbye to many people here, just want to slip that bad/antisocial of me?

theoriginalandbestrookie Tue 05-Nov-13 09:35:49

I just wanted to send you good thoughts in this difficult time, very best wishes for today and tomorrow and I hope with all my heart that the operation goes well for your DS.

dreamingbohemian Tue 05-Nov-13 09:46:40

Hi Living, I'll be thinking of you and your son tomorrow, I hope everything goes well. Be kind to yourself. There's only so much you can do right now. If you can't work, you can't work, and worrying about it won't change that. Try not to think about the presents you can't buy, but the fact that your son will get to spend two whole months with his mum around all the time, which will surely make him happy too.

I know it's a horrible cliche but I have honestly found that it's always darkest before the dawn -- things are tough now but they WILL get better, so you just need to hang on through this patch. Good luck thanks

Livingtothefull Fri 08-Nov-13 17:18:51

Thank you all for your kind and wise messages, they help a lot.

Well DS has had his op and it has gone OK. We were worried because we were told he was out of theatre but then for a long time heard nothing more. We were panicking because the last time he had an op he took a long time to come around and for a little while we thought he might not pull we have bad memories of that and were petrified the same thing was happening again. I went to a private room to sob so didn't do it in front of DH....thank god though DS is OK.

I am just home now & feel so guilty I am not at the hospital with DS....feel it is my place to be with him (spent last night & the previous one with him, DH is with him tonight). I had the fond idea that I would fit in trips to the gym, calls to job agencies etc round my time at the hospital, but I'm afraid I am not doing any of that.

DS is his wonderful, feisty self though more subdued than usual....can't bore you by detailing all the trouble & pain he has gone/is going through, but he has come through it all so wonderfully and I am in awe of my little boy.

theoriginalandbestrookie Fri 08-Nov-13 19:46:03

I'm so pleased the op went well Living, I have been thinking about you.

Your place is absolutely at his side right now, or catching up on rest when your DH is there.

Do what you think is right, don't worry about job agencies, gym trips etc. Just for now, be kind to yourself and allow yourself to focus on the here and now.

ceebie Mon 11-Nov-13 13:13:36

So glad to hear the op went well. And it's over now, so you can look forward to things getting better and better for him now! How long will he be in hospital for?

Don't feel guilty about the gym / job applications for the moment. You have other priorities right now, you will find time for these things soon enough.

Don't forget that Christmas doesn't have to be expensive to be good. If you're crafty, perhaps you could make loads of colourful decorations? Think up loads of games to play with DS? How old is your DS? Presents don't always have to be expensive to be good.

Anyway, love to you and your brave DS.

Livingtothefull Tue 12-Nov-13 19:44:45

Hi there, thanks for your messages and good wishes.

Well DS is home again him home in an ambulance.

He is in a fair amount of pain, has to wear surgical gaiters all day/night. I have to do physiotherapy exercises with him several times a day...they are very painful for him, he swears at me & calls me all the names under the sun whilst doing them. It upsets me that he is seeing me as the 'enemy' in making him do these things that are painful for him.

You are right of course that DS care is my first (only?) priority at the moment & everything else will have to wait. I had a recruitment company ring me whilst in the ambulance with my DS, insisting on a telephone interview that same afternoon. No it couldn't wait until tomorrow, even though I explained to her what was going on/where I was. At the moment employers act as though they have their pick of people & maybe they are right.

Getting him exercised, cleaned (he is incontinent), ready for bed tonight took all my & DH's strength. It does not help that DH employer does not seem to be very supportive....they are insisting that DH work all the time back he has taken out to care for DS, apart from the days he took as vacation when DS had his op. This will mean him working a 10 hour day tomorrow, on top of what he has on his plate with DS care. He is sitting opposite me absolutely shattered, we are both feeling drained. DS is upstairs still swearing. What joy.

You are right that I have to get through this and better times will come. So I am gritting my teeth in readiness to get on with it.

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