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Stress, midlife crisis, family life, can't cope

(10 Posts)
misscph1973 Tue 14-Jul-15 11:20:27

I am at a point where the pain of staying the same is greater than the pain of change. But I am finding it really hard to find a better way.

Basically I am feeling the effects of trying to have it all, do it all and failing. I am 42 and I can't cope. I have 2 kids age 8 and 10 and my husband is registered blind. I work full time, from home,as does my husband.

I am having trouble sleeping and when I don't sleep, I get depressed, angry, irritable, suicidal and I want a divorce. My stress resilience is very low and it takes very little to tip the balance.

I read a fantastic book, Sarah Gottfrieds The Hormone Cure. I applied what was relevant from this book, which was yoga, certain supplements (vitamin C, vitamin B6, magnesium, calcium) and no work evenings/weekend. It does work, but it still takes very little to tip the balance.

In the last 10 years I have developed a habit of running from task to task. I don't really relax, especially not a home, I just think of what I can do/clean next or my next work deadline or lack of next deadline (I am self-employed).

I cook almost everything from scratch, something I really enjoy, but the burden of 3 x tasty, healthy meals every day is often overwhelming. We have a dog, chickens, rabbits and a fish tank. I get the lawn mowed, I get the carpets and windows cleaned and I get supermarket deliveries. It should all be fine and enjoyable.

But I am finding it really hard to do everything with a smile and I feel trapped. I think I am having some sort of midlife crisis. I am not entirely happy in my relationship, I worry that I am becoming my mother (I think she had undiagnosed menopause in her 50's, she was always furious and they divorced) and I worry about my relationship. I sleep so badly that I have my own bedroom, and I actually really like it that way. We do have sex, but not much intimacy in daily life, and it's only if I am near a breakdown, like this weekend, that my husband pays any attention. I feel that I work so hard at my job and the household, and get no positive attention for it, just complaints about the service.

Wow, it really helped to write it down. Any thoughs are very welcome. It's not the first time I have posted about similar stuff, but it's probably the most balanced.

Butterflymind Wed 15-Jul-15 21:14:38

I think it sounds like you are putting massive expectations on yourself and not having any time to have fun. I can see this as I feel the same. Im also 42, had a massively stressful year, found out ds1 has autism, feel like I'm always doing something for others and not myself. I'm on holiday just now and spent an hour in tears today. Dh doesn't get why I'm upset but i feel like a stranger in my own family, feel like I'm at the end of a road and don't know what is next. So hard to say out loud, I'm just knackered with existence. I hope you find away through x

NotAJammyDodger Thu 16-Jul-15 08:30:54

Hi miss
You have a lot on your plate. Hope you don't mind, I summarised your post. A lot of your concerns would seem seem similar to depression and anxiety symptoms:

Trouble sleeping
Getting depressed
Feeling angry, irritable and suicidal
Resilience is low
Can't relax / can't sit still - need to keeping doing / focused on lots of tasks / must keep yourself always busy?)
Feel unappreciated
Feeling trapped (life is flat?)
Self-employed (and on-going pressure of always securing new work?)
Husband is disabled (registered blind)
Both you and DH work from home (don't get to socialise via a work environment / are constantly with DH 24/7)
Want a divorce (and not entirely happy with relationship, but pain of making a change is same as staying put) so uncertainty about what to do?

Might be a mid-life crisis but have you considered visiting your GP to discuss AD meds or other options?

Also, may be consider some lifestyle changes? Given how you feel, at the moment being at home with DP 24/7 may be exacerbating things - we all need time out to ourselves sometimes.

NotAJammyDodger Thu 16-Jul-15 08:37:31

Oops, missed out the all important having two kids as well and all the stress that that brings grin. Makes it hard to step out and doing things for you!

misscph1973 Thu 16-Jul-15 09:34:41

Thank you so much for your thoughts, Butterflymind and NotAJammyDodger! Initially I was quite relived that there were no responses to my post, I re-read my post and I really felt that I had a 1st world problem, I thought it read very spoiled.

I'm sorry to hear that your ds1 has been diagnosed with autism, Butterflymind. That must put a lot of pressure on you and your family life. Is there any support for parents of children with autism? Your reactions sound very similar to mine, I had a complete breakdown yesterday in front of DH, I must have sounded like such a headcase, but it was very relieving to just blurt most of it out (ie. minus the divorce thoughts!) and I felt much better after. I have made a commitment to simply shut myself away (have a long bath, read a book or whatever I fancy, but spare my family as well) if I have not slept or I have PMS. DH has also promised that he will try to do what he can with dinners etc with his lack of eye sight.

NotAJAmmyDodger, it's very helpful to see my life summarised by someone else ;) I have considered going to the GP, but I really don't want to go on hormonal treatment for menopause, which I what i think they woudl suggest - I had a brief chat with a nurse at my last smear a few years ago, and she handed me a leaflet about hormonal treatment from a medical company, not very reassuring. I have actually had a few sessions with a coach, an aquiantance who is doing practicum work. It's nice to talk to someone who isn't a friend (I also have problems admitting to firends and family that it's not perfect!), but she is younger than me and pregnant with her first child, so I feel that she does not have the life experience that I have, and I don't want to scare her ;)

NotAJammyDodger Thu 16-Jul-15 10:39:35

Certainly, didn't read your post as someone very spoiled, more someone with a lot on their plate.

I guess I was thinking may be some low dose antidepressants rather than hormone tablets, or perhaps some therapeutic options / someone to share with.

I know it sounds cliche, but are you able to get sometime away from the house. I work from home a lot and I know when DH is as well I can feel a little claustrophobic / get cabin fever.

misscph1973 Thu 16-Jul-15 11:25:53

NotAJammyDodger, I am not ready to take medication. I am very suspicious of treating symptoms, I want to get to the root of this first. But I might very well go and see the GP, there is a lovely female doctor at my surgery who seems very sympathetic - she took out my coil a few months ago as I was worried it was part of this issue, and I mentioend to her that I had bad PMS, she said to book another appointment, but I haven't - yet.

It's not cliché at all, both me and DH need our space, and often neither of us get it. I have thought of renting an office, but I hate commuting. Also he is blind, so it is easier if I am home. I do try to go away without him, sometimes I go on holiday in my native country Denmark with our kids, and I have just had a weekend camping with our kids, Danish friends and their kids. I tried joining the PTA, but I just couldn't make it to the meetings, so nnow I just help out at the events at school. But I don't think it's enough. I am quite bad socially, I just don't seem to find the time.

I think I need to schedule my time better. Obviously working from home and being self-employed is a big factor in this, it's hard to define those lines between work and free time (look at me on MN during office hours!). I have stopped working evenings/weekends, but I think I need to keep it up longer to see an effect - I am older, I heal slower ;)

What scares me if how bad I feel when I haven't slept/have PMS. I think this weekend it was actually both! I get so depressed and angry.

Finally, I have just started taking Starflower oil which is supposedly like Evening Primrose oil, but more concentrated.

Butterflymind Thu 16-Jul-15 15:23:02

Miss I don't think anyone has it perfect , my son had a lot of problems with anxiety for about last 2 years and esp over the last year it took me a long time to be able to open up to people for fear of what they might think, he basically missed a year of school his MH was so bad, but once I did people were supportive and it has actually cemented some friendships with people who have really helped me...also if I think of friends everyone has something they are dealing with even if it's 'just' the usual kids, job, life..if they present things As too idyllic I would probably think they weren't being all that truthful !!

I think I've had to come to terms with fact that life doesn't always turn out the way you think..guess the trick is still finding the space for happiness in that, again it's taken me a while to realise I'm still allowed to be happy even when in a difficult situation, putting it into practice is harder and life can still be overwhelming...hence breaking down yesterday..with me its often when I stop doing things I get time to think and end up upset.

I haven't gone down gp route but I do see a counsellor regularly and I think that definitely helps me. I also think that pmt related depression is a recognised thing, so gp would def know that.

My dh and I try to have regular nights where we do our own thing, so he goes out to see friends or I do, I would find it hard being in same space all the time so your not alone there !

IndigoCat Thu 16-Jul-15 18:20:38

Hello all, I did a search and I have just started reading a great thread called midlife crisis survival tips please - it's very interesting so far ....smile

misscph1973 Fri 17-Jul-15 09:33:08

You make some good points, Butterflymind.

IndigoCat, I will see if I can read that thread, it seems to ring a bell, thanks.

I didn't sleep great again, I have a lot on with work. But I still feel very relieved.

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