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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 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 Sun 16-Dec-12 22:07:04

Oh sorry about your black dog HB - glad you were able to be honest about how you felt (I can only do that with DP and a couple of women friends) and NOT my grown up sons, dils and grandchildren. I know what a relief it is when you can just "zone out" of ordinary life for a time, as the emotional paralysis of depression is sometimes all consuming.

My headmonster was wide awake and on the rampage yesterday morning, making me cry a lot. However I picked up about 2, so he must have gone back to sleep! Today he's been sound asleep - long may he stay that way.

Warm wishes HB and BF and anyone else suffering from this most horrid illness that so many people don't understand.

HellesBelles396 Sun 16-Dec-12 17:52:19

my black dog has been dragging at me for the last few weeks to the point were I was catatonic on Wednesday. letting people know what was going on rather than pretending to be fine (my usual approach) made a huge difference.
on Wednesday, I realised how low I had gotten and gave myself permission to wallow a little - go to bed at teatime, for example, or leave the dishes - and to ask people for help (not one of my strong points, to say the least). I feel so much better for this - I wasn't doing the dishes or the other stuff anyway because I felt so wretched but the urgent stuff is being done by others and I am sleeping instead of staying up til yon time trying to persuade myself to do the various things that needed doing.

NanaNina Fri 14-Dec-12 14:41:15

WOW well done BF you sound like you're really pulling it off.......and must be a bit excited at the arrival of your son tomorrow.

The bloody headmonster woke this morning and went on the rampage, making me cry and hide under the duvet till I forced myself up at 1.00 pm showered etc. Seem to be picking up a bit now so maybe he is feeling sleepy - I bloody well hope so. Unusually I got really angry with him this morning and I think that was because after 7 or 8 really good weeks I had almsot forgotten about I thumped my pillow - more in frustration I think. Suppose it's better for him to wake and do his stuff now than next week.

Friends are coming to stay tomorrow night (only to break their journey fetching their son from UNi) but I think it might be best if DP just tells them I have flu. They won't ask any questions or come up to see me as they might guess what is really wrong and they're very sensitive, but they are not amongst my 3 closest supports (DP) and 2 women friends, and they're the only people I am able to see when I'm in a state.

Hope you're going to enjoy your son's visit..........NNx

bassetfeet Thu 13-Dec-12 18:16:34

Thank you for such lovely messages fishandjam and NanaNina . Sorry for delay in reply . Yet again it is so comforting to read your words and others on this thread . That isolating feeling that we have is dissipating for me now. I cant bear to have face to face contact but this is so helpful helpful . I know lots is said about online communication not being real ........but I can feel your support over the ether . I love language and words. the feeling behind them .

Well folks ........sons bedroom has been cleaned and fresh bedding put on . The bathroom has been cleaned . That is all so far but the main things [apart from kitchen ]. I id it in stages and felt so exhausted after . But relief also .
The kitchen will be tomorrow . I have just started also the ironing of stuff left over from my sons last visit in July . The mass of stuff is huge . Why oh why did I did I allow this to slide ?
My mood is swinging from tears to relief that at least the major stuff is cleanish. The rest must wait now .

My son arrives home on Saturday . So looking forward to his first Christmas home in years [usually comes home in the summer ]. His dad is very much looking forward to seeing him and talking footie etc . Poignant .

Love your messages and thoughts re the mindmonster and the chihuahua versus the black dog /crow whatever we call it .
So hope all of you are coping alright with the lead up to Christmas and all the memories and stress it takes TO MAKE IT WONDERFUL .
I will think of you Nanna at Whinfell . The lakes are my dearest place in the world kid you not . Always think no matter who you are or how rich ..that landscape is for everyone. Enjoy and so hope that the head monster buggers off and leaves you in peace .

Fish I totally understand about limited family and the feelings re mum in care home you have difficult relationship with . I am sad to hear that your mum has dementia ..must be doubly hard for you indeed . I think misplaced guilt must be in our DNA as women . You sound so caring and please just do what you feel you can for her ok ? Dont over think it or make yourself ill . Similar set up with me re mum in a home so do get it . It is so hard .
hope you all have a peaceful weekend and thank you .

NanaNina Wed 12-Dec-12 10:49:51

BF - how are things.........hope your black dog is still being docile F&J

NanaNina Mon 10-Dec-12 23:57:46

Hi BF Firstly don't apologise for whinging - anyway you're not whinging, you're telling us how your day has been, and we know how it feels - we must remember that! Yes on bad days I can't face the day and have to use enormous will power to drag myself out by 12.30. BUT you did shopping which must mean you showered, dressed and got out to the shops - no mean feat.

Yes might be a good idea to start slowly on the house tomorrow but don't set yourself too big a goal. You'll feel better if you just manage a few tasks and feel good cus you've managed them. Even if it's the "do one thing" rule - there are still 2 weeks till Christmas but your son is probably due sooner.
Is your DH terminally ill BF and do you have to care for him? Does he understand what you are going through and offer any emotional support, if not physical obviously.

Re the exhaustion - yes I know exactly what you mean, but I it isn't a natural exhaustion come from doing too much is it, when a hot bath and lie on the sofa is restorative, it's more an emotional paralysis (I think it was you or someone on the thread that first mentioned that term) and it jumped out at me because it fitted so well. When I was in hospital the first time I saw a patient who was catatonic and didn't move at all from her chair, from morning till night and had her meals on a tray. She didn't talk very much either but it was soooo sad as tears ran down her cheeks. However I did see her get a fair bit better before I was discharged.

What date is your son due BF - check in tomorrow and let us know how you get on - even if you haven't managed what you wanted to....

F&J Hi - like your metaphor of whacking the black dog on the nose with a rolled up newspaper etc and hope yours is content with an occasional "nip" - I suspect it could be to do with Christmas, which heightens whatever emotions we have and there is this big expectation about happy families etc. My lovely parents died some years ago but Christmas always brings back memories of childhood Christmases and is bittersweet.

Fishandjam Mon 10-Dec-12 22:07:22

Whinge away basset! But yes to getting some control back - it always, always helps me to feel less of a totally useless blob. (And I know exactly what you mean about feeling old and withered and bent over...) And you sound like you're making good progress. Maybe, if you can get up at a normal-ish time tomorrow, that will also help on the control front? Metaphorically, whacking your black dog on the nose with a rolled-up newspaper, rather than letting him piddle on your carpet?

Today my black dog has taken a few crafty nips at my ankles. Not entirely sure why. Just found myself feeling very sad about the impending Xmas season, when I'd actually been looking forward to it for once. Maybe it's caused by seeing families out and about, and knowing that my own - though I love them more than anything else - is pretty much limited to DH, the DCs and my lovely MIL. (My own mum is in a care home with dementia, my dad died 30 years ago, and my lovely FIL died a couple of years back.) Then I feel guilty for not being grateful for what I've got (especially as I had the DCs latish in life and am really bloody lucky they're apparently both normal, healthy children) - and trying to tell myself sternly that I had such a crap relationship with my mum, I shouldn't be feeling so sad that I'll never be able to have a conversation with her again.

bassetfeet Mon 10-Dec-12 21:38:13

Hi all smile
Argh a mixture of a day . Got my list of small tasks and started the easy ones.
Still feel as if I am dragging my feet through sand . But the relief of having you all to talk to is boosting me . The feeling of self loathing isnt so bad when you realise lovely folk out there have exactly the same emotions. Lay in bed until lunchtime and one task tomorrow is to get up at normal time.
Did some shopping but felt old and withered and bent over [do you know what I mean ?]

I have realised that having the house clean isnt maybe so much for my sons benefit ...but making a lovely Christmas for my DH who is ill . But I am afraid I cannot fake the expectation ....tears always in my eyes these days and overspill at the daftest stuff .

But creating order in the chaos and muck in this house has to help . I think I need some control back in my surroundings first.yes? So will tick off my list daily and if it takes me all day then so be it . Do you all have this damn exhaustion ? It is soul destroying .

Thank you for replies . It is helping so much and sorry for whinging !

NanaNina Mon 10-Dec-12 13:22:07

Hello BF and F&J - interesting to hear from you about the origins of your depression - and there seem to be similar roots for the depression. OH you are one of those young mum F&J with 2 LOs OMG I just don't know how you cope. I notice you are both using the analogy of the "black dog" whereas I use the Headmonster - I don't think it matters so much what the analogy is if it helps to describe the state of our disordered brains.

Loved your "chihuahua trotting obediently at your heels" F*J. and I understand why you want to reach out to others when the dog is at your heels as I do too. Mind I also go on this thread on bad days too. MN MH thread has got me through some very dark hours.

I'll tell you about my Headmonster He (definitely male!) lies curled up asleep at the top of my head for quite a while, though totally unpredictable, as to how long the sleep will last. Then he wakes and stirs and starts uncurling his nasty slimey body down my head to about my eye width - he has tentacles and they start waving about and he's rampaging about across my head (and that's when I feel the anixety or fear which is what it really is) and then he starts to spread his body out around the edges of my head and clings on with suction pads that emerge at intervals along his body. That is the worst - the depression. He plays tricks because sometimes he stays there for a couple of days and goes off up to the top of my head to sleep and I think I'm free of him for a while, but he puts in another appearance a couple of days later, for 3, 4 maybe 5 days - he is in complete control.

Even worse he plays tricks through the day occasionally. I can wake feeling fine and once I am up and about he starts waking and he maybe doesn't wave about but spreads himself out around the edges of my head, though often he will go back to his sleeping place in a while.

There are days when I feel crap from the time I wake to the time I go to bed (he is clinging hard with those suction pads) but it is much more usual for him to return to sleep in his usual place as the day wears on and by evening he is mostly asleep.

The thing is though I never know when he is going to wake and I hate it because I can't control my life. I am thankfully retired so don't have to control much, but even meeting my grand-dghtr from school or meeting friends, I can never be certain. It must be SO much worse for you F&J - I just can't imagine. I am also phobic about anyone (other than DP and a few close women friends) seeing me when the HM is wide awake and doing his stuff.

Yes it is the one at Whinfell Forest nr Penrith and I think this will be our 3rd or 4th time and I've always enjoyed it. There is an outdoor pool kept at 80 degrees centigrade so you can swim under the stars! If the HM wakes it shouldn't be too difficult because I will just stay in the apt and they all know about my "condition" and will be only too happy to stay away!

Sorry this is all about me but it was the "black dog" thing that you both mention, set me off thinking about my HeadMonster. One of my closest friends who is an art therapist says that it is a good thing that I have made up the HM because I am accepting that it is something inside me rather than something outside. I do however still feel to some extent that it is something outside of me because it feels so alien.

I know the roots of my depression but have probably said enough for now!

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?

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

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

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 .

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

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

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

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

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 because of the tax scandal with Amazon.

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

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.

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 .

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

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

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

nana, its by Matthew Johnstone - It's a picture book so a bit unusual. And very accurate IMO.

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!!!!!

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!

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.

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?

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 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 .

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