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Functioning but struggling

(29 Posts)
magnummum Wed 10-Jun-15 15:27:30

Feeling very low, tearful, exhausted. I've recently become very irritable/snappy/angry and don't recognise myself. This is making me feel guilty and that I'm failing as a wife and mother. We've had a few life stresses over the past 6 months but I'm usually pretty resilient. I thought I was just a bit tired and run down but I feel really low and now I'm not even looking forward to a few events that are coming up which I'd usually be really enthusiastic about. I feel so guilty for feeling like this and think I should be able to snap out of it if I put more effort in. Have recently started following a mindfulness app, have cut down on alcohol and try practising gratitude but just feel exhausted. feel like I'd be wasting a GP's time and don't think I could articulate anything sensible without crying anyway. I have a lovely husband,children and a beautiful home, so why do I feel so crappy?

Oldisthenewblack Thu 11-Jun-15 17:11:14

You wouldn't be wasting your GP's time. If you feel you couldn't articulate anything when you're face to face with the GP, try writing some things down now, before you see her/him. Then you can refer to the list when you're there. You're clearly struggling at the moment, so it wouldn't hurt to speak to the doctor.

It's great that you've taken steps to help yourself, and they can only benefit you, but if you feel like you need more help, maybe the GP can refer you for counselling/therapy. It sounds like you may be suffering from depression to some degree.

You're not failing as a wife and mother! You're doing your best, and that's all anyone can do, and I suspect you're being far harder on yourself than anyone else would be.

Do try go see your GP.

PonderousTortoise Thu 11-Jun-15 17:22:33

I think the feeling guilty thing often triggers a downward spiral. In my experience whenever I am thinking I ought not be behaving like I am, I ought to be doing better, I get worse. If I stop myself and think instead, "I'm struggling, I need to be kind to myself and be easier on myself" it tends to make it easier for me to change my behaviour.

One thing therapy has done for me is get me to a point where I don't see my whole self as 'bad' when I do something I know I ought not to have (e.g. shouting at children) - just as one part of myself.

I like this site: self-compassion.org - for guided meditations and exercises to do with being kinder to yourself and working with your emotions.

On a more practical level - are you getting enough exercise? and are you getting enough sleep?

You're doing really well to have been making the changes you have already despite feeling rotten. Hope you find something that starts working more for you soon.

alseb Thu 11-Jun-15 18:34:31

Please go and see your GP.
I really do think that perhaps you are suffering from depression. Please don't put it off. I could not articulate how I felt on the first visit. I felt exactly the same as you.
I put off going for so long trying to cope and carry on. You can feel so much better than you are now but seek some help.
Good luck.

magnummum Thu 11-Jun-15 19:40:29

Thank you so much for your kind replies and for taking the time to reply. Some great advice. Will definitely check out that website Ponderous. I do get lots of exercise and definitely not enough sleep - not that I can't sleep but have totally different body clock to dh (he's an owl/I'm a lark and I've been running on a deficit for months now). The idea of going to the Dr absolutely terrifies me (don't think I've been for about 5 years other than taking the dcs). Not helped by the fact that though my DF is a retired psychiatrist he is very much of the pull yourself together mentality when it comes to members of the family.

My mum has suffered from depression all my life and been repeatedly sectioned but is also an alcoholic so it's always been difficult to see where one thing starts and ends though, as in her case she has always taken to her bed and hit the bottle when she is depressed.

I've been telling myself I'm just overtired for the longest time or it's my hormones or something. However, I went off to the garden centre this morning thinking it would be good to get out on a lovely day and plant up some pots and then just stood completely bewildered and unable to make any decisions as to what to buy so just got in the car and came home - these are the sorts of things that are happening increasingly frequently and make me feel that I'm starting to lose the plot.

Will try and get to the GP next week. Thank you all again, I feel very touched. I don't feel able to tell anyone in real life how I'm feeling.

PonderousTortoise Thu 11-Jun-15 20:19:24

Oh yes, that garden centre feeling rings a bell. I remember putting my empty basket down in Waitrose and almost running out of the door in tears because I just couldn't decide on anything or work out where to start.

When I first went to the Dr with depression I could barely get the words out, I was hyperventilating, convinced someone was going to come and complain about me wasting NHS time and boot me out. She was very gentle and kind and although I didn't take the AD prescription she advised, it was very reassuring and helpful to know that a medical professional thought I had a serious illness, and I could stop berating myself for just being weak and worthless.

Sorry to hear about your Mum's illnesses/struggles - that sounds very difficult for everyone involved.

Good luck at the GP, hope it goes well.

Oldisthenewblack Thu 11-Jun-15 23:38:01

I know from my own experience that the more exhausted you become, the more overwhelmed you feel. It's nigh on impossible to make the simplest decisions or deal with everyday life. Sleep is essential, so if you're not getting enough of that, life is definitely going to be a struggle.

Just a thought: you said you were getting "lots of exercise" - did you mean specific exercise or general everyday activity? If specific exercise (gym, classes, etc), is there a chance that you're overdoing it there? Like I say, just a thought. If that were the case, perhaps your body needed a rest from that, and you could take extra time to rest.

You're clearly very pro-active in helping yourself to feel better, which is brilliant, and paying a visit to the GP would be just another step in the right direction. It could even be that something is physically 'off', that blood tests could bring to light. Anaemia for example, or thyroid issues. Just thinking out loud here.

Do you mind my asking how old you are?

I do wish you the best of luck though.

magnummum Fri 12-Jun-15 11:53:04

I'm 41 which is what makes me think there is probably a hormonal component to it all (half my friends are being told they are perimenapausal!). I'm not a gym bunny but walk the school run which is 40 min a day all in and am generally very active (not so much the last couple of weeks when my favourite place has been on the sofa under a blanket but that is uncharacteristic). I'm usually a fairly positive and confident person but my self esteem has hit a low. Anyway, called in at the surgery this morning and they are fully booked for the next 2 weeks - but do have some call on the day appointments so will endeavour to get on the phone on Monday.

I think it may well be a combination of physical and mental factors to be honest. There's been quite a lot going on over the past few years which as each thing has happened I always think there are other people going through so much worse and it's just life and just keep going - (you kind of have to with 3 young dcs don't you?) but maybe I've just bottled too much up for too long. Feel like I've given all I've got to parents/children/dh etc and that all energy has just been drained out of me and there is really nothing left. I'm also something of a perfectionist and pretty hard on myself which probably doesn't help.

Thanks for listening and I hope you all have a lovely weekend - will keep you posted after I get to a GP, hopefully next week.

alseb Fri 12-Jun-15 15:49:01

I hope you can manage to have a lovely weekend too. Take care.

PonderousTortoise Tue 16-Jun-15 17:51:07

Hope you had a good weekend magnum. Did you get a GP appointment yet?

magnummum Tue 16-Jun-15 20:17:03

I've managed to get an appointment for two weeks time Ponderous (they are fully booked with a few on the days available but nothing useful for today (all after dcs finish school). Have booked the first available and will keep trying every day in the meantime.

Was lucky that dh and I had a weekend away booked which was relaxing but I had a couple of very odd incidents - one we went out to eat and I just couldn't choose anything and ended up ordering the same as dh as it seemed easier and more frighteningly on our way home we stopped off for Sunday lunch and I was literally unable to park the car (he'd met me from work on Friday so we had both cars). I just couldn't work out what to do (not very complex manouvering but slightly odd angle to car park). Ended up getting out and chucking the keys at dh and getting him to do it much to the amusement of a man sitting in the garden. If I'd been on my own I think I'd have just driven away. Talked to dh about it all so at least he knows a bit more about what's going on.

Find it really hard to explain how I'm feeling other than scared - supposed to be meeting my oldest loveliest friend tomorrow and am trying not to cancel as I really can't be bothered. Feeling very impatient with the children poor things. Everything just feels like such a terrible effort. Sorry for the moan.

Hope you had a good weekend.

PonderousTortoise Tue 16-Jun-15 21:14:21

Hey, well done for booking an appointment - although it's a pain it's so far away, it's good that it's there, and fingers crossed for something coming up sooner.

It sounds scary suddenly not feeling able to do something you're usually able to. I think I would feel quite panicked and upset by that. (ALthough I have actually only recently passed my driving test and always hop out of the car to let DP park at the moment!)

You're doing the right things though - you've got an appointment with the GP - an important step - you have all those things you mentioned in your first post, you're 'talking' about how you feel here and acknowledging that you need things to change. I am sure that things will start getting better for you soon (although I'm sure 'soon' will not feel soon enough when it is difficult getting from moment to moment.) Hang on in there!

And please please go and meet your friend tomorrow! So important to see friends face-to-face and keep in touch with people who care about us.

PonderousTortoise Tue 16-Jun-15 21:16:36

PS - I did have a good weekend, thanks! DP was away, and we didn't do much, but I drove to the supermarket by myself and the kids were fairly well behaved so I got a big shop done which felt very exciting as I've previously been limited by how much I can carry on the bus. Small pleasures!

Momzilla82 Tue 16-Jun-15 21:23:36

OP. I'm sorry you're feeling so crummy. I've suffered both anxiety and depression. It sounds like you may have elements of both at the same time. The garden centre, meal out and parking incidents suggest anxiety to me (not medically trained - but I'd recognise those traits in myself). And your general low mood and inability to look forward depression. You also sound like you have high standards and are living by a lot of "shoulds" ie I should pull myself together. .

Please speak to GP and seek help. It's a long road back to health but tr first step is the hardest. Is advise doing one nice thing for yourself every day. Wishing you lots of luck.

magnummum Wed 17-Jun-15 15:49:51

Managed to get an appointment today. She was very nice and has prescribed a low dose of Citalopram with a view to counselling when the mood lifts. Not sure how I feel about medication as I never take anything so hoping not to have any grotty side effects. Pleased that I've been but feel like I've failed at not keeping this all at bay. - shows how little I know about depression I guess. Blood test next week to see what's what with everything else too. Thanks for being supportive - there's not many people I'd discuss it with in real life.

krustylooeasy Wed 17-Jun-15 21:15:26

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

alseb Wed 17-Jun-15 21:38:40

I am so glad you have been to the GP. I have been wondering how you were getting along. Your thread could be me. I also felt a failure at not "coping" and still do to some extent. Please try the medication, you will probably feel rotten for the first few weeks before they kick in. Stick with it! As I said earlier you can and will feel so much better than this. We will all support you!
Also, be kind to yourself and take things slowly. Good luck.

magnummum Thu 18-Jun-15 10:05:36

Thanks Alseb. Going to try and take things slowly over the next few weeks and look after myself and try and stop beating myself up about things.

PonderousTortoise Mon 22-Jun-15 13:39:15

Hey magnum, so glad Dr was nice and helpful. Are you taking the meds? How's it going? Glad you are getting a blood test too.

you said you, "feel like I've failed at not keeping this all at bay". You really haven't failed at anything. You've been coping with everything that's been thrown at you, and now you've realised you are suffering (which is not an easy thing) and need some help, so you're doing everything you can to help yourself (also not an easy thing). That is absolutely not failing, but successfully dealing with stuff.

Hope your week has started well and you're managing to take things slowly and look after yourself as you planned. x

magnummum Mon 22-Jun-15 20:54:10

Hi Ponderous - yes I am taking the meds. A couple of cracking headaches and have felt a bit sick but nothing too awful. Fingers crossed they work their magic. Thank you for your supportive words, they mean a lot. Bracing myself for my annual work conference this weekend, followed by a quick turnaround on Sunday and off to a careers day at my old school and speaking in front of 150 people. Exhausted thinking about it. Will try to plan a couple of quiet days the following week to recover! How are you doing? Can I just ask you and anyone else who cares to comment - do many people in real life know about your MH issues? Just wondering how helpful it is to have friends that know or not really - not as in a stick your diagnosis on Facebook but just as a this is where I'm at, this is what depression can be thing - if that makes sense?

PonderousTortoise Tue 23-Jun-15 10:23:23

Wow, yes, conference and public speaking sounds full on. Good luck with all that - and good for you doing the careers day. I remember someone coming in to talk to us about university whilst I was at school and it made a big impression on me.

About sharing MH issues - I share different things with different people. My sister is very open about her own mh problems and I talk to her about my therapist and anxiety/panic. Also a little to my other sister. Not much to others really, although I might mention feeling 'off' or something. I tend not to go into details apart from with my therapist, and when I have been feeling bad I tend not to call people, but just keep myself going until my next therapy appointment. I'm pretty much always able to keep functioning at least. I am not naturally a very 'open' person (possibly a reason for some of my issues!), but I try to reach out when I know I need to for my health.

I think it is just about what feels ok to you.

magnummum Tue 23-Jun-15 17:33:47

Thanks Ponderous - having a rough day today and a friend's just messaged to see if I'm ok as seem "subdued" - obviously getting less good at hiding it anyway.

alseb Wed 24-Jun-15 14:24:02

How are you doing today Magnummum? Remember take things slowly. You may feel on top of the world then not so good. I share my issues with my closest family/friends. It is difficult - to experience and to understand. Take care.

BeetlebumShesAGun Wed 24-Jun-15 14:33:52

Hi magnum, I have just read the thread and wanted to say I have been experiencing just the same as you and posted a thread recently.

I also went to the GP and have just started taking Sertraline and am on the waiting list for CBT.

I have only told my manager at work so far - and that was really because the AD's are making me feel odd and making me clench my jaw a lot so I didn't want anyone to report to her I was acting off and people suspect I was on drugs (the illegal kind!) my DH is very supportive.

I get what you mean about feeling bad for letting it get to this - my DH suffers with anxiety badly and I felt like i was letting him down as my role in the family was to be the "strong" one who supported other people. But don't worry, no one who loves you will be judging you.

Hope you feel better soon flowers

magnummum Wed 24-Jun-15 15:52:58

Thanks Alseb and Beetle - today's a good day so making the most of that. Hope you are both feeling good. Day at a time I guess.

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