I’ve had a couple of discussions about it in the past couple days. I saw several posts and vlogs about it lately. I know many people who suffer with, from and through it. Heaven knows I have dealt with it enough myself.
So let’s just discuss it. I feel like maybe I’m supposed to speak about it.
Maybe you’ve figured out by now I’m talking about depression. Sadly, even in the 21st century, it’s still a taboo subject. It’s still cause for shame or at least embarrassment in America.
I’ve shared here and other places online about my own struggles with depression. I have had discussions publicly and via private message with people about it.
[DISCLAIMER: I’m not dispensing clinical advice to you or recommending you do a particular thing. I am just sharing MY experiences, MY “what works for me”, MY findings while researching the problem. You do what’s best for you, seek professional advice first and BE WELL!]
My motives are pretty simple and very straightforward. I think it’s important for people to be aware of depression…of the signs and symptoms, of the treatments, of the facts that there are many of us who suffer with it and how it would surprise you to find out how many of your friends, family and acquaintances are living with it right now.
First let’s look at what depression actually is and what it isn’t. What I have is referred to as “clinical depression” and it’s what many of the folks who have reached out to me also deal with.
[NOTE: Please make use of the many links I have put in this post. (the first one is in the previous paragraph!) If you don’t live with depression yourself, at least be educated enough to understand and help those around you who are living with it. I guarantee you there are more than you’d think.]
Clinical depression is that “black cloud” that sticks with you. It’s a “sadness” that you can’t explain or shake. I find that the best way to explain it to those who don’t understand is that I KNOW without a doubt I have MUCH to be thankful for,
I K-N-O-W it. But I can’t make myself be happy. And it’s not that I’m overtly sad or anxious. It’s just an indescribable inertness, if you will. A complete lack of energy, or perhaps an inability, to feel joy.
If you read all through the link for clinical (or major) depression (and I urge you to!) then you’ll see it lists the symptoms and then states “when it’s not caused by a medical condition or medication” and that’s where I depart from the medical book, as I usually do. (ha) I DO have medical conditions that can cause those symptoms. I even have a chronic disease which makes me much more susceptible to being depressed. (diabetes, to name just one) so I don’t fit “neatly” into a particular diagnosis. Lots of us don’t and that’s okay as long as you have a medical professional who can deal with that.
There are currently several types of depression recognized by the medical community. Some of these you’ve probably heard of, like “clinical depression”, “major depression”, “postpartum depression”, even PMS has its own depression called “Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder”! That last link will take you to webmd.com’s list of these with links to more info on each of them. I’m not sure how valid some of these are, but perhaps medicine is just trying to give a name to the things we deal with all the time but never know what to call it. (for instance, on the list is “situational depression”…who on this earth hasn’t experienced that before? I’m not sure the emotions tied to various temporary events deserves a medical diagnosis, but that’s fodder for another post, right?–HA!)
Let me say that I don’t want to “push” depression and make it like so many things these days, cool or in any way desirable or something to be envied. That doesn’t make much sense I guess, but stick with me while I try to explain… Like so many things in our society, people try to put labels on various people and behaviors. Sometimes to make them ‘hip’ or whatever, sometimes to make them seem acceptable. (first thing that comes to mind is how ADD became a buzz-diagnosis so quickly and then, even though it can be a genuine problem for some people, it soon became the go-to excuse for not doing your work, not being dependable or responsible, etc., etc.) I don’t want to do that here. Depression is serious. It can be life-threatening at its worst, debilitating or at its very best, it can make living feel like a burden. So it’s not something to be trifled with in any way. I guess I just don’t want to come across as if I’m just tossing the word around and diminish the real significance of the disease.
Okay, so here, I want to share with you a video by a pastor I’ve met a time or two that I really admire. For one, he’s now an avid cyclist. (Seriously, the man’s a beast on a bike!) For two, he’s an honest-to-goodness Bible-believing man of God who isn’t afraid to speak truth. For three, he’s a loving husband and father and he also suffers from depression. I already like him, but after he posted this video on Facebook, I admired him even more. See for yourself as someone with a position of leadership and somewhat notoriety goes very public with how he struggled with and then overcame the monster that is depression: Pastor Greg Locke on Overcoming Depression
As you might guess, one of the reasons I so love this video is that he says cycling helped with his depression. Of course, not everyone can jump into this the way he did. Since I’ve been watching him for years now, I can tell you that he first got “into” bike riding when he went to the Goodwill and got a bike to ride in a charity ride. From there, apparently, he was hooked. He has since done a 3,000+ mile ride (IN TEN, that’s 10, one-zero, T-E-N DAYS!!) to the Pacific shore and also the Tour Divide, an unsupported mountain bike ride from Canada to Mexico! He’s a beast, I tell you!
I don’t foresee myself ever doing such amazing bike rides, and that’s okay. I have impressed myself enough with the longer rides I have been able to do. I’m just happy to be getting out and being active because before cycling, I was pretty much a couch potato. A long day of errands was about as much activity as this ol’ gal ever got! So, praise God that I have this activity to get me moving and inching toward better health!
Okay, back to the topic at hand. I hope you watched Greg’s video. Part of what was SO encouraging to me was the discovery that someone who seemed so alive, so interactive, so “with it” would have a problem with depression. It was like LIFE-GIVING to realize that he KNEW what it felt like, knew how it felt when someone says to you, “Just snap out of it. Just trust the Lord. Just read your Bible more.” When it was all you could do just to get out of bed in the morning, IF you even did that!
And I guess that’s the most important thing I want to do with this post. I want YOU to know that *I* KNOW. If you never meet another soul who understands depression, know this… you’ve stumbled across this minuscule spot on the web, this unknown web address to this post because God wanted you to know that you are not alone. Let’s face it, that’s the only way you’d have ended up here! Ha!
Maybe, if you happen to know me in real-life or you’ve read other posts here, maybe you never imagined that I have depression. Once you start being open about it, researching and talking to others, you will find that many of us who suffer from chronic clinical depression can be the funniest, goofiest, seemingly-up-beatest (Ha!) people you know. Here’s the thing.. it’s easy to fake it for a few hours. At least most of the time. So don’t assume that someone who’s always cracking jokes and smiling could never understand depression. Often, it’s a way to cope. That doesn’t mean we’re not genuinely funny or goofy, it’s just that that part of us isn’t the strongest during the dark-cloud times and so we relish our time of being able to laugh and make others laugh, because once that’s over, the cloud is back. At least that’s how depression is for me.
Y’know, you’d think that for those of us who cope that way, since it does feel so much better to be with a few people laughing it up we would seek that out, but in reality it finally becomes too hard. It gets to be too much effort to drag myself out to be with people, to even want to be with people. The devil and my own dark place will start to tell me no one really wants to be with me. They will just wonder what’s wrong with me…why am I so pale, why don’t I have any makeup on, why am I not talking as much, etc. Then there’s the whole monologue that goes, “You’d need to shower and fix your hair. You don’t have the energy for that. It’ll be too hard to smile enough or to ‘be your usual self’ and they’ll know something’s wrong. They will think you’re weird or sick or they’ll just wish you hadn’t come. What if it gets too hard to try and you burst out in tears. You can’t let them see you cry, and you’ll probably cry. No, just stay home. It’s easier that way.”
Only a few short months ago, that conversation played routinely in my head. I stopped going to the get-togethers with some of the most dear friends I have. I’m sure they knew something was up, but I couldn’t bring myself to just say, “Hey guys? I’m hurting. I’m in a bad spot. Nothing physical, no one in my family is terminal or has died, I just feel like crud and I can’t smile anymore. Pray for me. Tolerate me if I come around– encourage me to come around because it’s entirely too easy to convince myself not to!!”
I finally just had to come clean with them. Some of the reasons were deeply personal, so it was hard to even speak them out loud. Secrets in my marriage that were decades old, but they had contributed hugely to the massive black hole I was in and at that time, I had decided to confront and seek help for that and it had stirred up all kinds of ugly. It was HARD to tell my closest friends where I was and how bad I was hurting. They still probably don’t entirely understand, but at least they have an idea now and when I say that I’m feeling “dark” and need some prayer, they are on it. They don’t hesitate to check on me and encourage me, to ask questions which are not comfortable, not convenient to ask.
So I guess my next suggestion or bit of advice for you is this…get, find or make yourself some good friends. At least one. They don’t have to be people you talk to every day or even every week. It doesn’t have to be the person you do everything with (when you DO go do something)… It just needs to be someone you can count on to see through your hiding, your coping methods. Someone who will confront you when you have slipped into dark mode.
One last thing, there’s something even more taboo than depression and that’s suicide and having suicidal thoughts during a deeply depressed cycle. I won’t lie to you. I have been there. I’ve said before, I’m thankful to have my faith in God because I truly believe that’s the only thing that kept me from attempting to end myself years ago when the idea came to me often.
I now know that a permanent solution to a temporary problem is never the answer. It took growing in my faith and becoming solidly convinced that I am worth something to God and even when I feel I’m not worth anything to anyone, not even myself, I have to trust that God’s got a purpose for me being here. A lot of the lies I tell myself are that my family would be better off, my husband could find someone without my problems, who he wouldn’t have to worry about or care for, take to countless doctors or wake from a dead sleep to feed through a low blood sugar, who wasn’t so self-doubting that I paralyze myself and need him to make the simplest decisions… I think my kids could live without wondering if their mother is crazy, without her words that come out so carelessly unintentionally causing pain to them and the ones they love. Even when those quite loud thoughts are going through my mind every single day repeatedly, I can remind myself that God has a purpose. I don’t have to know what it is because He does. I just have to trust Him.
That kinda takes the pressure off me. *ha* So if you don’t know Jesus, I urge you to learn about Him and trust Him with your life. He will keep you safe if you will just trust Him. He’s the best friend and ally against depression I can recommend to you. He may not choose to deliver you out of the dark hole, but He will be with you in it and make you strong enough to endure it.
Hebrews 13:5 – “…for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.””
I’m unsure how to tell you about this, but since I’ve shared about this here, I have to update you.
First of all, both Hubby and I really just love the pelvic health therapist. She’s an awesome lady who is passionate about what she does. She really wants people, both women and men, to understand how their bodies work. She is a Christian, which makes sharing our story with her even easier and she’s an Emmausite. She has this high-tech way to measure how strong (or weak, as the case was in the beginning) my pelvic floor muscles are and how well I am able to contract and relax. All those things are important to healthy muscle function and she’s given me several exercises that I’ve been doing at home.
She has taught Hubby how to help with stretching and even showed him some massage techniques to help me relax all the tension I hold in my neck and shoulders. Before you get all jealous about that, realize that him knowing the techniques and having had the time to actually DO any of them are two different things. Between him working late several days and then working on his talk for this weekend’s Emmaus walk (more on that later), we just have not had the time. And honestly, I won’t ask him to do it because it makes me feel guilty. So I may never get one of those massages, but at least he knows what he’s supposed to do, right? HA-HA-HA!
Other things she’s had me doing is using pure vitamin E, which is supposed to strengthen and “heal” the skin in my outer hoo-ha. Sorry, I’m not as good at using the proper names for those things. (and would like to avoid being pulled up on Yahoo, ya know?!? Sheesh!) Anyhow, it made a huge difference in the sensitivity down there. I mean, like amazing improvement. I could hardly stand for her to do the initial exam when she used a cotton swab and had me give her a number for the level of pain I felt. Then she had me using a sustained moisture gel stuff to see if perhaps dryness was causing some of my pain.
It’s an over-the-counter stuff called Replens and after using it for a couple of weeks and then feeling a burning pain “way up high” and not so much in the walls of the … heh heh… hoo-ha, she decided I probably needed to check with the gynec0l0gist to make sure there was no infection or other thing going on.
So I’ve done that and the GYN says no infection, but everything looked thin and fragile so she gave me some estrogen cream that I use vaginally a couple times a week. It was like no big deal and she said that I should notice a difference in about a week and could probably do just once a month after the first couple weeks using it 2-3 times weekly.
That’s like, WOW!! Who knew and why didn’t those people tell me already? Like 20-some years ago?!?! Anyhow, I used the cream and a couple days later, the Hubbs and I were reading in the book the therapist recommended. It’s for married couples and is a Christian book about s#x! It’s called A Celebration of S#x. Cool, huh? It’s very educational as far as explaining those things that most of us don’t know about how our bodies work. So we read a bunch in that before going to bed. We laughed SO much because since I had a headache, Hubby did the reading out loud for us. He’s a little dyslexic and will mix up his words sometimes, so when he substituted the word “sectional” for “sexual”, I about lost it. I laughed so hard that I started the asthma going and I wheezed the rest of the time. Seriously, we had so much fun reading this book about how our genitals are made!! BAHAHA!
Later we woke up and began snugg1ing and ki$sing some and well…one thing led to another and we put some of the stuff from our book into practice. We had no agendas, either of us, but we were just enjoying being together. It was nice and something we had not done in AGES. As things went along, without being explicit, we got to a point of attempting to actually m@ke love and most people won’t understand this, but we were able to do so without any pain. That is a miracle. I haven’t been able to have actual interc*urse (I’m trying not to get picked up in some lurid Google searches!) without some significant pain in probably 15-18 years. I’m sure that seems unbelievable to most people, but that’s been my life and the ugly secret we have lived with our entire marriage. If all these years the trouble has been from low estrogen, it really is pathetic that doctors don’t ask more pertinent questions about these things and that we don’t know enough to talk to doctors about this problem.
However, I will remind you now that we did go to several doctors over the years trying to figure out why I had pain with s#x and were either told it was in my head, that I had a deformity or just looked at like we were crazy. So we DID seek help years ago, then just gave up and assumed we would just have to live with it.
Anyhow, hopefully that wasn’t too risqué for anyone, but I said I was going to be open and honest about what we were dealing with, so I wanted to also share the update, the happy update!
Now I’ll tell you that all the next day, I would intermittently be in awe that “it” had happened the night before, almost wondering if it really even happened at all, [think “Is this real life?” LOL!] and then worrying that it was a fluke. When I shared those thoughts with my sweet Hubby, he said, “Well, if it was fluke, we will wait for the next one.”
We are praying it was not a fluke, but the beginning of a new chapter in our marriage. As the GYN said to us in the beginning of this journey, with all the time we’ve invested in this marriage, we owe it to ourselves to pursue a healthy, full intimate relationship together! I thank God that He’s working things out in this area!
Hebrews 13:4 – “Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled…..”
I went back to the pelvic health therapist again yesterday. We did the biofeedback, which was very informative and surprising. I was honestly expecting to find that my muscles were super-tight, perpetually stressed.
Turns out, according to the results, my “stuff” isn’t extremely tight after all. I do seem to have weak muscles, as a matter of fact. Which either created or resulted from poor muscle control. It was, like I said, informative and surprising, but also strange/weird. Ha ha… She had me tense my pelvic floor muscles for a few seconds, up to a minute, then relax. The biofeedback showed that my contractions were pretty weak, but that, contrary to what we expected, the muscles actually do relax after instead of steadily increasing in tension.
That’s so totally opposite of what my symptoms seem to point to… that my muscles were overly tight and unable to relax. I guess that leads to realizing that the problem is more due to the scar tissue and the trauma of the pain and conditioning over the years to tighten in response.
*sigh* I was kinda hoping this would be more physical than that, and be something we could “exercise” (HAHA!) out of me instead of having to retrain my mind. Muscles, I believe, are much MUCH easier to retrain than a brain.
Hubby was able to go with me this time, which was good. I wasn’t feeling really great about driving up there by myself. He ordered himself some shoes last week and we had hoped they would be there for us to pick up yesterday. But of course, they weren’t in and we are leaving for Nashville after church Sunday. He really wanted to have them in time to wear at his conference. If they come in before Sunday, we may end up driving up there (in the opposite direction of our destination) to get them, THEN drive down to Nashville, which is a 3 1/2-hour drive anyway! Ugh.
I’m working on getting laundry done and attempting to get the house in a teeny bit better shape before we go. I swear, it’s so horrible now. Just stuff… papers and little things scattered all over. I made a stab at it Sunday afternoon and cleared, or at least organized, all the papers piled up on the bar. It’s still a mess since when Hubby got up from napping, he insisted we go out and get some landscaping done. He had picked up a truckload of gravel for the three trees in the back yard, so he pulled all the weeds out, pulled up the filter fabric and de-rooted it then we replaced the fabric and shoveled the rocks around the trees. That was encouraging, even if it wasn’t what I wanted to do. He had done a great service/tune-up job on our old (a 1976 model!) John Deere lawn tractor, replacing the blades, belts and changing oil and other fluids. When he mowed last week, it was SO evident all the work he’d done on it because the yard looked better than it has in ages! Even and smooth. Now with some of the landscaping refreshed in the back, I am getting encouraged to keep it going, get the house in shape, get the rest of the landscaping cleaned up (the areas right next to the house are a mess!) and get busy with some cookouts and get-togethers with lots of fun, friends and family.
I’ll close this post out before I ramble into yet another topic. But I’ll add this… it is extremely evident that the worst of the depression has been dealt with. Whether it’s the higher dose of Wellbutrin or just that I’m beginning to get healthier, but although I won’t say I’m “great”, I am definitely better. A lot better.
For that, I am extremely, immensely grateful.
Proverbs 3:5-8 –
“5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
and do not lean on your own understanding.
6 In all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make straight your paths.
7 Be not wise in your own eyes;
fear the Lord, and turn away from evil.
8 It will be healing to your flesh
and refreshment to your bones.”
So, folks… at long last, I had my first appointment with the pelvic health therapist. (in case this is the first you’re “hearing” about the PHT, see this post)
Hubby went with me. He made sure he’d be able to go with for this first appointment. At first I was a little disappointed because it seemed the therapist, who I really liked by the way, was only telling me things I had already discovered or come to the conclusion of myself, ya know? Things like that my pain probably grew worse because of a sort of conditioning. Duh! Like that the injury from my childhood had something to do with the pain. Really? That the muscles in that region are extremely tight. Ya think? That it took a long time to get in this shape and will take a long time to retrain the muscles. I figured as much all by myself.
Thank you, lady. Really. I mean, as I said, I liked the therapist. She knows her stuff. She understands how all the muscles and nerves in that area work, how everything is connected, how it responds and she knows what to do to retrain my ill-trained muscles, how to get to the point that being intimate with my husband isn’t painful, something I wish to avoid, traumatic…well, you get the point. As the gynecologist who referred me to this therapist said, we’ve been in this marriage, pain and all, for almost 30 years. We deserve to have that part of our marriage be good. I can’t imagine how that would feel. Not having that burr, that pain or that untouchable area of our relationship be something that’s actually good. Good, people! I can’t imagine it.
Anyhow, so I go back next week for a session of biofeedback to see how my muscles are working, how they react in certain situations, how they are at rest and in use. She mentioned using progressive dilators to help stretch the muscles and probably some ultrasound therapy on the perianal muscles, which seemed to be the tightest area of all.
Sorry. Now the internet knows about my most intimate problem. But you know what? I’ve lived all these years without ANYONE to talk to about this stuff. Without being able to tell how much I have hurt, physically and emotionally, because a vital part of my marriage relationship was nonexistent. Never able to discuss how, in those times when my depression was at its worst, much of it was a direct result of feeling non-functional in this area of my life, of feeling broken, deformed, useless. How I have felt entirely guilty for it, for how it affected my husband, who I love dearly. because I couldn’t fulfill the most basic part of a marriage relationship. And get this…he stayed faithful to me in spite of this. How many men would do that? Very few, that’s for certain. So you see, I am beyond blessed in this way, in spite of how frustrated I get with other things about him. I need to be more thankful. I need to show my appreciation for how committed he has been to our marriage.
Great. Now I feel even more guilty, if that’s possible. *sheesh* Of course he has his faults, don’t we all? But this particular thing, well, it is BIG, very big so that most men would have walked away decades ago. Most men but, praise God, not my husband.
I’m just asking him, and you too, I guess, to be patient with me while I go through all this. Besides the physical therapies and changes that I’ll be dealing with, there is a virtual Mt. Everest of emotional stuff to wade through as well.
I know most people cannot fathom how this feels, how it is to have lived my whole life and not have ever felt good about the intimate part of my marriage. Almost THIRTY YEARS’ worth of marriage!
Will this even work? Will my body ever be able to be intimate with Hubby without pain? And even if that’s possible, will I ever be able to get my mind to cooperate? How will this work between the two of us? I already feel as if he is expecting big and fast changes as it is. He assures me that’s not the case, but it’s still there in my mind. My mind is like, “He HAS to be impatient for results!” I find myself wondering if the “want to”, which has been non-existent or at least VERY weak for years now, will that ever come back? How do I flip that switch after all this time? What if the switch doesn’t work anymore? What if it’s broken beyond repair? What if it’s GONE???
I know, I know. That’s not evidence of faith, is it? I need BIG help with that, so if you think of it, please pray? Thanks.
Hebrews 11:1 – “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.”
So yeah, the past couple days have been busy! Not like, normal-people busy, but busy for me.
I was going to fill you all in on how things went at the PA & therapist yesterday, but I didn’t get time!! Let me try to fill you in now, okay?
Okay, at Richmond I went in with the PA first. I really liked her a lot! She asked a ton of questions, both about my past meds and what I’d been on most recently. We talked about how depression “does” me, how it makes me feel, what kinds of symptoms I have (fatigue, disinterest, sleeping too much, self-isolation, malaise) and she even got into asking about my life, some of the “highlights” of the triggers and causes of the depression.
The final verdict? Wellbutrin is the best bet for me. *sigh* That’s great except I took that for over 10 years and it worked great, but eventually seemed to stop being so effective. Matter of fact, the last time I tried to start Wellbutrin again, it just didn’t seem to work at all.
Now, that COULD have been because it was generic. My experience with the generic bupropion have been less than stellar! When it first became generic, I tried it for about a month, during which time it seemed to almost reverse the normal effects of Wellbutrin. It was a bad experience, meaning they messed with my meds which messed me up. I hate that!! So, it was like I spent several weeks going downhill trying the generic, then had to suffer through getting back on the “good stuff”. Not fun, no matter what meds you’re talking about. Several years later, I tried the generic again and it seemed to work okay. And by okay I mean it kept me from being totally dysfunctional, but didn’t really make me “better” feeling at all. So perhaps, in hindsight, it didn’t really work that well after all. I dunno at this point, but eventually it got less and less effective, money got tight, so I made the decision to just not purchase the bupropion and went off it.
I didn’t really seem any worse for that, so I never sought to get back on it. A couple years after that, I was offered (by a doctor!) Viibryd to try and it didn’t really seem to work, so I just didn’t pursue anything else.
And so, having done some research on all these meds myself, I knew that Wellbutrin seemed to be my best shot…would address my symptoms, not cause weight gain and would not induce fatigue…so hearing that from the PA, as I told her, was ‘kinda depressing!’ *sigh* That’s when she told me there were some dosing options. A higher dose of Wellbutrin XL (actually, we’re trying the generic) or a sustained release version, Wellbutrin SR.
Although, as I’m writing this post and searching for info, I’m finding articles like this and this…all about the shortcomings of these generics… so, I’m thinking it may not be worth my aggravation to even try the generic. AND this certainly makes me feel validated in what I’ve always said about the generic, at least for Wellbutrin. I’m not a brand snob, but if the generic doesn’t work, it just doesn’t work! I don’t have time for what doesn’t work!!
But as it stands, I’m supposed to start on 150 mg of XL for two weeks, then go up to 300 mg (the dose I always took) and then go back to see the PA. If it’s not working at all, we’ll try something else (the SR, I guess) or if it’s making me feel better but not “great”, we will go up to 450 mg and see how that goes.
I went straight from the PA to my therapist. I’ll be honest, I’d decided that this visit would determine for me if I was really getting “my money’s worth” out of these sessions. Not that I don’t enjoy talking to her, or that she’s not very easy to talk with… it was just that I wasn’t sure the whole idea of “talk therapy” or whatever it is was really gonna work for me. In my mind, I was like, “Why in the world do I need to pay to talk to someone?”
But I discovered, just in thinking it over in my own little head (heh) that it’s good to have someone totally outside the “fray” to tell things. We talked about a lot of stuff, it seemed like to me. I was able to share how I felt that what my mom had said to me as a child influenced how I thought and how I thought people felt about me. That led to me explaining to her how my parents tend to favor my sister, how they always blamed things on me as a child and even to the point of as adults, verbally blaming me for her making an extremely bad choice. “If you’d just been a better sister to her, she wouldn’t have done that.” I was told. Out of respect to my family, I’m going to refrain from giving any details here. Maybe later I’ll need to divulge, but for now, just let me leave it at that. How they have done for her, buying her cars and building her a house even though she’s married and is now a middle-aged woman. I know they don’t make that much money, I UNDERSTAND that, but we struggle for money ALL the time too. I would never ask them to pay for my meds or my groceries, let alone all the other stuff Mom buys for her… clothes, makeup and jewelry, etc.
I’ve never just sat and “stewed” about that stuff, but it’s there, it’s obvious and it hurts ya know? Mom is the main one who wants to just DO everything for her. My sister has had seizures since she was about 3. She had a surgery at 15 that stopped them for many years, but then when she got to be about 28 or so, the seizures returned. She held down a full time job and lived on her own for periods of time (just up the road from mom, of course, and rent-free in a home they owned) until she married when she was 35.
If it were up to my mom, I would probably be in a wheelchair. I mean, seriously. Not that she’d “put me in” one, but that she would rather me be there than push myself to “do more”. For instance, I used to have horrific neuropathy pain in my feet. That’s something diabetics get, it’s basically nerve damage that causes pain, numbness or tingling/burning. I was also diagnose with plantar fasciitis at that time too, which causes horrible pain in the feet. I could barely walk and she was forever telling me I needed to get a handicapped placard for my vehicle so I could park close and she’d always want me to ride in the motorized carts if she went to the store with me. That’s what I mean by she’d have me in a wheelchair if she could have her way.
I know it was because she wanted to ease my pain, but c’MON, Mom!! And that’s what she’s done to my sister. The biggest difference has been that I married young and married someone who is hardworking and won’t accept handouts OR let me wither away even when I want to. My hubby pushes me to push myself. Sometimes he’s downright annoying about it, but he never tries to push me beyond my capabilities, but he believes I can do more than I believe myself.
So, there’s all that stuff. I feel very “cheated” in a lot of ways. And my sister’s feelings toward me is that I “won’t be” her sister. She resents me because I have friends, close friends who treat me more like a sister than she does (or than I do her, also… I’m not perfect here) But she and I have nothing really in common and she is so consumed with herself, her limitations, her own favorite things…so unless I’m willing to just conform, I “don’t want to be” her sister. She’s even written me letters telling me to just stay away from her (as if I am down there at her door??—she lives next door to me, by the way)… I dunno. The last letter was extremely rambly but that’s what she wrote. Maybe she was just writing when she was feeling very hurt, but the fact that she put it in my mailbox on my last birthday? Yeah, pretty petty if you ask me. I know she is immature mentally, but a lot of that *I believe* is just because she’s straight-up spoiled.
A spoiled child is hard to stomach. But at least you can spank them (hopefully) and there is time to improve the situation if the parents choose. A spoiled adult? Unbearable!! And honestly, there are way too many of them around today. We all know at least one. It’s hard to understand how someone can reach adulthood feeling as privileged as some of them do.
So…yeah. That’s some of the stuff I talked about yesterday. We also talked about the whole “schedule” thing.
I am so NOT a schedule person!! Time has no meaning or context to me most of the time. I’m sure that’s from all these years of being at home. And the hubby is an EXTREME schedule-ist. Drives me flippin’ insane!! He thinks I should plan what time I will start the laundry, estimate how long it will take to finish it and so that will tell me what time I can start or do something else. He lives his life that way, so when he’s home and eSPECIALLY when I’m deeper in depression, it really drives me up a wall to have him around.
Most of the time, he keeps that crap to himself. (heh) But sometimes it spills out and we have some *ahem* ‘vigorous discussions’ about the value or lack thereof of such schedules… however, I am constantly being told I need to be on some sort of schedule.
*SIGH* I don’t wanna. UGH!! But I’m gonna try. It’s just so SO hard for me. So pray that I can improve that area of my life for my and my health’s sake.
We also talked about logging my moods…my emotional and even physical feelings. That’s where this blog will come in, I think.
I mentioned the blog yesterday. I’m not sure what she thought about it, but she was encouraging.
I cried a lot yesterday too. Both with the PA and my therapist. Sheesh. But then, these days it doesn’t take much to make me cry. *sigh*
Okay, so once I finally got home, I needed to get ready for our Emmaus reunion group’s meeting. Our group is called Heart 2 Heart 2. Yes. There’s supposed to be another “2” on the end. We’re a branch off the original Heart 2 Heart group. I dunno who decided to use a “2” but if we branch again, it should be called “Heart 2 Heart < 3" LOL! Okay, so maybe that wasn't as funny as it seemed. Sorry. 😉
Anyway, it was planned for even those outside our group. We had a lady coming to share her testimony and planned to serve food, so I had food to fix. I haven't fixed food for a pot luck in ages it seems. I was at a loss, but decided to fix a crock of Dill Pickle Soup. If you like dills at all, you must try this soup. I am a pickle freak, so to me, it’s divine!! I also fixed what’s become known as “Dirty Puddin'”. One of the boys who still comes around from our days of being youth leaders at our old church told me it was dirt cake. I had never heard of that. This is made from vanilla pudding, cool whip and crushed Oreos. I don’t remember where I got the recipe or if there even was a recipe. When I looked up Dirt Cake, this is not really that similar, so for him, I called it “Co-co’s Dirty Puddin'”. The name kinda stuck.
ANYhow, one of my friends rode down with me. She’s the one who insisted on picking me up the last time I got to a group meeting. We had a great time talking about a lot of the stuff that had been said in my session and how she had those words from her childhood in her head too, that colored how she sees the world, how she interprets things, how she feels others think about her. Then, wouldn’t you know it? At the meeting, the speaker spoke directly to those very issues. My friend was sitting by me, and I was sniffling and crying… she reached over and grabbed my hand. It was a great blessing and that little bit of confirmation…that little nod from God that “Yes, I wanted you to be here tonight.”
On the way home, my first DIL called to ask if I could pick up some ginger ale because my son was feverish and chilling. I stayed down there talking with him for awhile. Thank God he was better this morning and able to go with his brother and my dad to a conference they had scheduled.
So… that was my yesterday. Busy. Crazy. Full of squishy emotional mess, but good. It was all good.
Proverbs 25:11 — “A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in a setting of silver.”