Friday, August 5, 2011

Reaching out...

Most people think that when you need help you should just ask someone, but when you are in the MIDST of that struggle... it feels like you're paralyzed. When you are in the depths of despair and pain and hopelessness you don't have the energy or the strength to ask for help. It's hard enough just to get out of bed every morning. There are days where I don't shower, don't brush my hair, hardly eat. I feel like a zombie. I don't know if it's from my medication or just from depression and stress and sadness. When I'm in my rational state... I KNOW what I NEED to do. It's the DOING that is difficult. It's like a 10 ton boulder is placed on my chest and I can't move. Everyone freely gives advice (most well meaning), but most don't 'get' the pain and difficulty that a mental illness creates.

I feel as if I have done a lot for myself to try and DO something about it. I see a counselor that specializes in BPD or EID (Borderline Personality Disorder / Emotional Intensity Disorder), I attend group therapy with several other ladies that struggle with it which teaches ways to try and manage the emotions -- the distorted thoughts, I take medication which helps the depression (I don't know if it's effective anymore). At times of intense emotion, sadness-anger-despair, I struggle with the urge to cut myself. I don't understand why. I wish I didn't have that urge because I feel like a freak. Most people that know me don't know this about me unless they see the scars on my arm. It's not something one freely admits to. (Hopefully someone will be helped by reading this and knowing they aren't alone.) LOTS of people abuse drugs and alcohol, I don't drink or do drugs, the way I deal with stress and intense emotions is to cry or cut. Being in group therapy has helped me learn how to distract and try to manage emotions BEFORE they get too out of control. It doesn't always help... especially when dealing with stressful situations.

Perfectionism is also something that comes with BPD. I feel like I should be able to do things for myself. It's horribly difficult to ask for help because of this. I get angry at myself if I can't do it on my own. My expectations of others are high which is difficult because when they don't act how I think they should, it's hard to deal with. We are taught that family should help one another out... friends... church family, in times of happiness and sadness. This has been one of the most difficult things for me, personally, to deal with at this time. It's hard to deal with these people failing you. I feel like certain people have failed me in the time of my greatest need so far in life. I'm so hurt... and it comes out in anger. I'm disappointed. I know that I am not alone in these feelings, as I've talked with lots of other families dealing with the illness or death of their child and people can't handle it so they just don't deal with it. Granted... some people may not realize they are doing it, nevertheless... it still almost breaks you. It's like people are ignoring the 'elephant in the room'. I know that my expectations are high and when I'm doing well, I can understand that people are busy and that they can't read my mind, but when I'm not doing well and my illness is getting the best of me I feel like 'why don't they care?', 'I can't do this without help', 'I don't have the energy to reach out to people', etc.

I feel like I'm crumbling some days. I'm slowly dying. Life just doesn't seem real anymore. I feel like I'm waiting... just waiting for something to happen. I'm like a zombie, just going through the motions. On good days, I feel hopeful, able, happy to have Oliver, grateful. On bad days, I just want the pain to end. The uncertainty, the pain, the sadness, the hopelessness. I'm watching my child slowly die. How the hell can I be grateful for THAT trial? I am angry with God. I don't understand 'the plan'. I WANT TO IN THE WORST WAY. I want to feel like it will all be how it's supposed to be, but I can't honestly believe that at this moment in time. I.AM.STRUGGLING. I feel like the world is just spinning and that feeling is gone. That feeling that everything will be alright... is gone. Whenever I struggled with depression and my mental illness was raging (before Ollie was diagnosed), I always had the knowledge of 'the plan' to fall back on. You don't want to admit that you think of ending your life, but the thought lingers. It feels like it would solve everything, but then again I think, what will it solve? What waits for me in the next life? I'm having a hard time believing the things that I've been taught. My testimony of things I once felt, is nearly gone. The time in my life where I need it the most... is when it's fading away. I just don't know anymore. I don't know what I believe anymore. All I know right now is that I am in a tremendous amount of emotional pain and there is no end of my hurting and aching in sight. I realized the other day that two of my four children have multiple life threatening diseases. Oliver -- asthma, allergies, cancer and Jaren -- asthma, allergies, autoimmune disease: Eosinophilic Esophagitis. People don't think allergies and asthma are dangerous, but when you see your child struggling to breath, watching men in your living room taking vitals and carrying your child out to the ambulance... yeah... it's life threatening. I know people say that God doesn't give you more than you can handle. I'm not so sure I agree right now. I'm hanging on by a thread.


Rachael M said...

My mental illness is different than yours, and my son's death was of course from totally different circumstances, so I can't say I know exactly how you feel. But I can relate to A LOT of what you are saying. Several months ago, I was talking to a woman who said she was impressed by me; she didn't know how I kept going. She said she *knew* that the reason she hadn't experienced the loss of a child is because SHE couldn't handle it because of her bipolar. Now I do at least know this woman well enough to know her heart, but I was still taken aback. I certainly don't feel like it is fair to say that somehow I was GIVEN this tragedy because *I* could handle it. And in fact, she had no idea that I have struggled with depression and anxiety for more than 20 years. So it feels like some of us just get "dumped on" with more struggles in life. I wish I knew why.

I think also that sometimes people forget that just getting up each morning and showing up for Church doesn't mean you're doing great. Sometimes it just means you are trying REALLY, REALLY, REALLY hard. Sometimes it means that you force yourself to keep going for your children, even though you feel like giving up.

I do feel like sometimes I just CHOOSE to believe in the plan because nothing else makes any sense to me. After Isaac died, I decided that if there is a God- and I have always believed He exists- that the ONLY thing that makes any sense whatsoever is that Isaac IS in Heaven with Him, and that he WILL be exalted. What Heavenly Father would NOT welcome that sweet little baby back with open arms? The struggle then, is how do I even begin to measure up so that I can be with my perfect baby again. It is paradoxically both motivating and/or overwhelming & discouraging to figure that out. I do struggle to remember that the Savior WAS perfect and he suffered above us all. How he did it I cannot comprehend.

Sorry this is so long. I suppose I should have emailed. :( Anyway, I'm sending my love and hugs. Wish I could give them to you for real!

Anonymous said...

Stacy there is hope there is an overwhelming amount of people that love you. It is great that you are reaching out, maybe you should speak to your psychiatrist about medication change? Maybe these don't work anymore our bodies become immune to them sometimes. Remember you and your family are loved by so many that know you personally and not even personally.

Anonymous said...

wishing i could give u a many people just dont get mental illness as just that an illness..hang in there momma ur babies love and need u:) u r a strong woman, do not let the devil tell u otherwise.

Anonymous said...

I commend you for talking about an issue like this publicly. So many people would prefer to leave things like this in the dark and not think of it as an illness. You are a strong woman!
I can understand the questioning while I am not experiancing what you are I have a child with a possible life threating illness and I question why us,her,and what is going to happen afterwards? I think that children help you question your own mortality as well as to what happens after life. I don't believe that is a bad thing, I think we were made to question and to not accept things just as we are told. That was one of the gifts given to humans.
Stay strong you have the love and support of HUNDREDS! While not many of us will ever know or truly understand what you have gone through we will all be here with love, hugs, and encourging words. We all wish we could do more.

Piepee said...

I have the Bi Polar so I get some of what your saying. Yours is so much more intense with your struggles. I know I dont come check on you as much as I should. I too struggle getting out of bed and functioning each day. And I dont have nearly as much on my plate as you and I feel overwhelmed. So sorry I havent been there but I think of you often. Hang in there your kids are blessed to have you.
Love and hugs. Call me anytime. 235-0180