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Do you think I am having some kind of breakdown?

(7 Posts)
Imcrackingup Sun 13-Dec-15 01:27:44

Have had MH problems in the past (depressions etc) but fine for years. I have had a rough couple of years - just one upset after another (couple of deaths, a serious physical health problem that turned out not be serious - or maybe not -long story) But actually until recently I would have said I was I was coping really well.
Guess I should say here that I suspect I have ADHD - have a DC diagnosed and with my history/filling in Dcs assessment questions I tick all the right boxes ... I have always coped by making myself be organised if I am not it all falls apart. And I have now got apps etc that mean I can be really organised -if I add things to the list/do things on the list/check my calendar.
A couple of weeks ago one of my parents (quite elderly) was diagnosed with cancer - maybe 2 cancers, and a dodgy heart and maybe it has spread - awaiting further test results...could be fine - might not be...
They live quite far away -not easy to just pop down for the night etc, plus I have school aged DCs and DH works funny hours and it is a busy time of year for him...
I have had the odd weep and feeling of dread etc ...I have been trying to prepare myself for this for years - this is the parent I am particularly close to ...and actually they are still fit and active, no pain etc - part of why this is such a big shock
Ever since I found out I have been struggling ...one day last week they were told whether they were fit to operate (obviously if they weren't it was almost certainly terminal) - they have decided they can and they will have the operation next week. I was on edge the whole day waiting to hear the outcome. I really couldn't focus on anything.
And I haven't been able to since...
I have a thousand and one things to do (my part time work, some voluntary work - all term time stuff so busier than usual tidying up loose ends for the holidays , all the DCs end of term stuff at 2 schools amd activities and problems with the support for my DC with ADHD, all the Christmas preparation.)
As soon as the break up at the end of this week the plan is to go and see my parent - if they are well enough to face DCs but I will need to come back for Christmas Day as DH only gets the day off -and neither he or DCs want him to be on his own (also I have a pet I would need to arrange care for if he did come) -so I need to organise all the presents and food etc to be ready - or at least communicate with DH what needs doing...and also either have done or be prepared to do whilst I'm away some last minute stuff for work (can't be done till last day)
And I am paralysed - I keep trying ...I have piles of mess on my desk. Nothing is ticked off my to do list - and I can't even get it together to add things to the list -I open it and I stare at it - or if I do add things I still don't do them -or decide when I am going to do them (I put tomorrow -I now have lots of overdue things.) I have a tesco direct order that will be sent back if I don't collect it in the next few days and I can't work out when to go - and when I do I should pick up some other bits and pieces but I can't even begin to get a list together. I need a few more bits (chapsticks, bobbles, stationery bits) for DCs but I can't think of anything...I have a big joint present for them and when I was thinking about what I had got I forgot about it -even though I'd bought stuff related to it... (and one of the DCs still believes in Santa...) Every night I go to bed at night thinking tomorrow I will be able to get it under control ..
I just need to find the energy or something to do it -make a start but instead I am spending hours on MN or playing a computer game.
This computer game I've played for years- and usually whilst I am playing it (or solitaire in fact) I can get my head straight (I know that sounds odd but it is like I focus on that and it allows the rest of my brain to wander and focus on what else needs doing)...but it isn't working. In the game I can't even focus on that enough to think one step ahead...never mind let my mind wander.
I have even been tempted to take some of DCs medication (although with my dodgy health that might be asking for trouble) just to get me going.
I'm now feeling panicky as I really need to get my act together now and I just can't - this is worse than chronic procrastination (something I'm good at) as I'm not even doing things for my work (I work from home and can't really delegate to anyone...or it would be harder for me to do that than actually do what needs doing) and I will be getting into trouble soon...
I have a cold but my head is banging anyway and my shoulders are really tight...
So I guess what would you do?
Do you think I am having a break down?
Would you go to the GP? (Although I'm not sure when I could fit that in right now - and I feel like crying writing that -cos I know I do have time - just not organised enough to know when....)
Could they do anything? I need something to work in the next few days or I will be out of my depth completely...

midsummabreak Sun 13-Dec-15 03:37:01

Christmas is already stressful, without dealing with a very ill parent, work, horrible anxiety & health issues
Put your health first -book in to visit GP

Next,arrange to visit your parent A.S.A. P.- discuss with GP how you don't know how to organise this when you see them

Is it possible to buy stuff that is easy to pick up for the Christmas stockings (spoil them with ?/lollies/craft/magazines?)
all else can wait

Imcrackingup Sun 13-Dec-15 14:14:09

Thank you mid...
Still feeling very wound up but slightly more positive.
I am going to try and see the GP tomorrow - just hope I get one of the nice receptionists.
I am holding off going because the DCs have a range of things -parties, shows etc -if I take them out of school they'll miss out and there is nothing I can do by going - and not sure if descending on them with the DCs (we will have to stay there) will be a good thing just now - guess maybe a distraction - and I know when I first see them I'm going to get really upset and so they will they - and that will upset the DCs too- apparently (from the last death in the family) it is scary to see your parent cry. And I turn up when I think someone is going to die - maybe not helpful for someone facing an operation. Finally I really do need to sort my work - things like paying rents and wages - I can't not pay people their wages at Christmas... but there are things I can just let go for now ...
And even writing stationery, bobbles etc for DCs made think I can just go to a shop (poundstretcher/homebargains etc) and buy a few bits and it will be ok...it will take minutes. They have got enough main presents (as long as I get that Tesco's order)

So writing that was a really good thing. I picked up on two things I'd written - I go to bed and think I'll sort it tomorrow, I stay awake worrying and then do exactly the same the next day. And that I don't think the GP can help me instantly, I had to do something myself.
I decided not to go to bed until I had done something...anything. Being organised, efficient etc didn't matter - just do something. I just picked up the first thing in front of me and did it ..and carried on - things took a lot longer than they should have, eventually got to bed at gone 5am, but having done quite a lot. And I did just keep adding things to the list as I remembered them (kept it open) - no date, just write them down then I wasn't trying to remember them. I just need to get through today -the main thing is getting a DC to two activities - the first one I had to get up at 9 to do - but I've done that now - and I can go to bed early tonight. And even feeling dreadful and rough I'm in a better place than I was -or would have been.

PurpleBun Sun 13-Dec-15 14:47:43

Hi Imcrackingup,

Sorry to hear about everything that's going on - big hugs to you.

I don't think your previous mental health problems have any impact on how you're doing now - you're as stressed as anything right now because of a number of things, the main one being your parents' health.

As a procrastinator and sufferer of mental health problems too, I can understand how it feels that one thing can push you over the edge. It's taken me a long time to realise that, despite my problems in my past, it is perfectly normal to completely fall apart when the situation dictates! A seriously ill parent warrants this, IMO.

Whilst you may have undiagnosed ADHD this won't be causing your current stress. Stay away from DC's tablets but instead definitely go speak with your GP. Tell him/her everything and ask to be signed off from work. Most jobs allow you to self-certify illness for the first 5 working days, so you don't even need to get a doctor's note straight away.

The stress from your parents is preventing you from getting your work done. Don't think this means you are weak or bad at your job. Now is a time to put yourself and your family first.

Also, despite what the newspapers may report, you don't have to be ill in bed to be unwell and in need of support. Accepting this and accepting you need help is the first stage.

For me, reaching out to my OH has been a great help. He is really understanding. Can you talk to your DH? Keeping everything bottled up and putting on a brave face will only make things worse.

Keep in touch!

Room101isWhereIUsedToLive Sun 13-Dec-15 15:11:02

Do you have a friend who you could open up to? And who could maybe come and literally hand hold you until you have the majority done? So you hand over the list and she/he could prioritize it for you and guide you through each task?
I think you do need to cut everything back to the bare bones, be kind to yourself, you are going through some really bad stuff and if you don't find some leeway, then it will make it worse.

midsummabreak Tue 15-Dec-15 13:39:39

Hi, did you manage to book a time on your calendar to pick up the Tesco order today/tomorrow? Hope your children had fun with their activities today. When my Dad was ill with cancer, I did struggle very much too, with worrying about his diagnosis, his treatment, then about how often I could/couldn't see him, and worrying about him suffering.
agree with "Purple Bun" and 'Rm 101' seeking support from GP and husband or friends is so important now and,then you can prioritise

Imcrackingup Wed 16-Dec-15 23:12:09

I am ok - just muddling along in a chaotic fashion but trying not to worry about planning etc - just doing things day by day (and went though my list and anything that I could has been put off till mid Jan - I'll worry about it later)
The house is a mess - I've just let it go - and keeping busy/distracted doing non-essential things that I want to do, that make me feel better.
I can't face writing my Christmas cards - I only do a few to old friends I don't speak to often so we give each other a round up of our year ...I can't do that just now.
I did phone the GP - I can't get an appt till next week -so I have left it for now (I got the receptionist I didn't want...sad -was tempted to try again later but worried I'd get the same one again)...I am taking heart from the fact that others here think it's normal to feel like this ...has really helped. I will book in the new year -I do need help and this is not going away any time soon....
And I have managed to hold it together enough to tell a couple of people in person now, stopped deliberately avoiding people. A bad time of year as people ask you what you are up to etc for Christmas - are you going to see your parents - that'll be nice for you etc. .
I don't really have a boss as such - I am almost self employed, mainly work from home, flexibly. However I do have a colleague I work closely with - a day after I was told I was due to go in and my colleague mentioned an extra 'project' we could do - I said I couldn't take it on just now because - and broke down, had to go and sob in the loo...and since that I didn't think I could hold it together enough to actually tell anyone else. DP is sympathetic but estranged from his family -so struggles to understand.
Anyway I have got the Tesco thing and have got enough presents for the DCs - not even going to think what it cost - I needed to get my car sorted for driving to my parents so dropped it off at the garage and just did a random grab in the shopping centre whilst I was waiting ... I actually probably have too much now....
And I have booked a hotel nearby - so we won't be completely under their feet. (It looks like they will be just out of hospital)
(Thank god I am ok for money (haven't always been) - really appreciate that isn't a big worry)
The surgery wasn't 100% successful - looks like at the least he will need more just on this cancer. It feels like a never ending nightmare.
I'm sorry you've been through this Midsumma - the waiting and not knowing and worrying and being 'brave' for them is really hard flowers

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