Forge Forward

I hate that term.

Forge forward.

I have heard it all my life and it is the bane of my exisitence.

Ok, maybe that’s a bit dramatic, but I’m a Leo, we tend to weigh on the dramatic side.

When you are a bit stuck in your life, having people tell you to “forge forward” or “move on” is just insulting.

BUT….

Let me tell you why.

When you encounter someone stuck, they are REALLY stuck.

Telling them, in anyway shape or form, to move on, invalidates them and their feelings, because anyone who is stuck….wait for it…is really STUCK!

I know I am being a bit redundant, but I want to drive home a point about moving forward.

Trust me, if they could move forward, they would.

No one wants to be stuck and invalidating their feelings makes them sink even further.

You may have wonderful intentions, but it doesn’t help, it makes things worse.

So what should you do?

That is the question.

Listen.

As much as you can.

As much as your life will allow, because it takes a great deal of time to get unstuck.

It may be too much for you to handle, in which case, I suggest very gently asking the “stuck person” if there is way you can support them as they move through what it is that seems to be stagnating them. I.E. counselling, or perhaps just reading a book that may help you help them.

If you feel you do not have the patience for this, then politely say so.

Please do not have a mental time frame for a friend or loved one to “get better” that they are not aware of.

Don’t get me wrong, I am aware that everyone has there own life and responsibilities.

But maybe think to yourself, if this person was suffering from a life threatening illness (which I can assure you depression is) would you perhaps have a wee bit more patience? A bit more to give?

Really think about that before you forge forward.

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Still up…

Almost midnight…

Still up.

Thought I would only post one blog entry today.

Feel the need to write more.

Sitting on my balcony, breathing in the night air.

Everyone is asleep, but not me.

I’m still up.

It such a beautiful scary time.

I can’t sleep but I feel so blessed to be alone with only the misty sea air to keep me company.

How much you all miss!

Such stillness.

Peaceful.

To see the white clouds moving in the black sky.

The west coast.

My face is a bit wet…are those tears?

No, I’ll just chalk it up to the misty rain.

Still sitting alone.

Went up to check on “the boy”

Such calm… such a still, peaceful little face.

Was I ever that young?

I can’t remember, but I do. So many memories, bad and good, I can’t file them neatly.

I wish I could.

Maybe then I wouldn’t be so disheveled. So unkempt…in such a state of disarray.

Was that a shooting star?

I saw a blinking light.

No…just a plane.

That’s what happens when you live under the flight path.

But I’ll make a wish anyway…

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In the Still of the Night…

It’s late.

Ok…maybe not that late but it’s 11pm.

I’m still up, alone, as my husband works late and is not home until midnight.

Late for me.

But “little man” is asleep with no care in the world.

I have always had a hard time sleeping.

I really have to try hard to not call anyone this late.

I have made the mistake of calling family members at this time, for some reassurance, comfort, a kind voice, to feel safe…I don’t know.

It embarrasses my immediate family.

If you have never experienced this feeling you really can’t comprehend.

A depressive episode can masquerade as drunk dialing.

You have no idea why you are calling people but it’s just better than being by yourself no matter what people think.

How sad.

I have experienced, first hand, family members who do not understand depression as a medical issue, the same as any other medical issues.

“You should just get on with things.”

“Forge forward!”

“Pull yourself up by your bootstraps!”

“Stop living in the past!”

“Move on!”

“Get over it!”

After all, things could be worse.

But what happens when you can’t “get over it?”

Are you weaker?

Accordingly to my  family…yes.

According to me…no.

It’s really sucks that I am not in the financial position to be able to afford the nervous breakdown I so rightly deserve…but that is where I am…or was.

Breakdown?

No.

Breakthrough.

I am so absolutely tired of people who think you can just move through anxiety and depression via will power.

That just doesn’t happen.

And I have to say, although I hate this word, that’s just stupid.

And, off on a rant, anyone reading this who feels depression can be overcome by will power…you’re stupid too.

That’s like saying you can overcome cancer by sheer force of will.

You need support, counselling and maybe medication, although meds alone won’t fix anything.

It’s not as easy as just taking a pill.

If only…

I have no answers…

just hope…

and I am still awake.

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The Sad Child

How do you deal with a child who is sad when you as their parent were never given any tools as a child to deal with sadness yourself?

It is very difficult.

Coming from a home where it was never OK to be anything other than “OK”, I find myself, at times, having to re-parent myself while attempting to parent my child.

That sentence seems confusing… even to me.

Today I experienced, as I have many times before, my child sad and frustrated. He was outside playing with a group of children that live in our townhouse complex and he kept trying to have the kids come over to play at his house. Given that my house is in a state of mess due to spring cleaning, I really didn’t feel up to having five boys tramping all over.

For those of you who have boys, you get this.

One boy is equal to six girls lol.

My lovely son tried every which way to get me to say yes.

I am so proud of his tenacity.

After about the 5th try I started to get frustrated.

After the 8th try I started to get mad.

I had said “no”, acknowledged his feelings of disappointment and continued to encourage him to go outside  and “get back in the game”.

The other kids didn’t seem to be disappointed, but my son could not get past his sadness.

I really did not know what to do.

I envy parents that can make a rule, explain the consequences of not following the rule, stick to their guns and employ gentle discipline when the rules are not followed.

For me, as a person whose feelings were never acknowledged, that is very hard.

Don’t get me wrong, I in no way think it is easy for any parent to see their child sad, but not knowing how to deal with sadness as an adult it becomes more complicated.

I realized today I don’t EVER want to see my child sad…or angry or hurt.

Having felt so much sadness frustration and anger myself, it is hard for me to imagine anyone feeling that way.

I just want everyone to be happy.

That is not realistic.

I actually considered letting the kids come over.

But I stuck to my boundries, as hard as it was, and said “no”.

I’m not that comfortable with how I feel but I think I did the right thing.

I think I did.

Not sure.

I’ve heard so many people tell me kids will manipulate you in any way they can.

I really hate that.

While I do think kids can manipulate a situation, which I prefer to call tenacity, I don’t think kids are inherently manipulative.

As I am writing this my son has completely gotten over what ever was bothering him.

I, on the hand, feel like a worn out dish rag.

Which leads me to believe kids are very resilient.

As for me, not so much.

But I’m trying…I have a little “sad child” inside me that still needs some reassurance.

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I’m Fine….

Isn’t that what you are supposed to say when someone askes you how you are?

That is my stock answer.

I meet a friend I haven’t seen for a while in the grocery store, with my little man hanging precariously off the shopping cart and they say “How are you?”

“I’m fine…how are you?” and they proceed to tell me they are fine as well…however their child has a weird rash on their chin, they look a bit disheveled, both our kids are distracting us from having a proper conversation… but we are both “fine.”

How wonderful it would be to respond: “I’m not doing that great…I feel like a crappy mother, my house is a mess, I have a great SUV I can’t afford to drive very far because gas is $1.36 per litre, the cat threw up on the rug, I have a cold, my business is failing and I spent the weekend picking hotdog and orange popsicle puke out of the computer keyboard because my son got the Norwalk virus while looking at train videos on Youtube.”

I wish we as mothers could talk about all the crap we deal with day to day but it’s hard.

It’s hard not to feel guilty.

With all the “mother guilt” that is alive and well in our society it is no wonder we hide our feelings.

After all things could be worse.

Do we have the right to “complain” when there are so many other important things going on in the world?

But what about being a mom?

We are nurturing the next generation, after all.

But somehow, we don’t see our role or our health as being that important.

I’m very sick of being fine.

I would really just like to be real.

Real and honest and genuine.

That would be fine.

 

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Swings and other things

So it’s 2pm and I am still in my pajama pants…but lets face it, nobody can rock a pair of pj’s like myself.

I’ve done a few things around the house, laundry and such, fed the boy (my little guy I always affectionately refer to as “the boy”) and now, although a little late, I’m going to take “the boy” to the park. It’s such a beautiful day and I feel I need to get outside in the spring sunshine for some fresh air.

I must admit, it’s always a little hard for me to get going in the day. I am much more of a night person. Perhaps it’s because I like the dark, much easier to hide, from things and people and the daily tasks I beat myself up for not accomplishing. Perhaps it’s because I tend to be a bit more manic in the evening so I get more done.

Who knows?

But before I go, I felt the need for a little mental musing.

What is the deal with the swings at the park? Does anybody feel that these are outdated, unsafe plays structures that have no place in a public play area? Yes, I admit, I do have anxiety but come on… it takes me twenty minutes to open up a new CD,  but I’m going to let my child swing ten feet above the ground not strapped to anything?

Not to worry though…the CD’s are safe.

I think my anxiety comes from watching too many episodes of America’s Funniest Home Videos in an effort to watch something “happy” before I go to bed, only to find a bunch of videos of people filming their kids doing some very dangerous things. Honestly people! Put down the camera and help your kid! Even I can see the situations are going to end badly…but there’s dad (oh come on, you know it’s dad, mom would never film this stuff) happily filming away while little Johnny is hanging vicariously upside down from a swing.

Sometimes I feel like I’m the only one who sees that the Emperor isn’t wearing any clothes.

But hey, I’m a wee bit crazy.

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Here’s the thing…

I love being a mother. I felt I became myself when I brought my son home. It was the first time I had ever experienced true contentment in my life.

As my son got older I started to be pulled away from that serenity.

Back into life, the real world, or so they say.

But let me start from the beginning.

I am a wife and mother.

I also happen to suffer with anxiety and depression.

Looking back on my life I realized these “episodes” started very early on.

One of my first memories was when I was about three or four years old. I was sitting on my parents bed alone looking around the room and everything seemed distorted. Almost moving in a way. I was having a panic attack and I didn’t know what it was.

My childhood was, according to my mother, stressful. She suffers from mental illness as well.

Without going into details I will just say my condition comes from certain traumas in my life as well as genetics.

Mental illness. Trauma. It seems very strange to see those words written down for all to see. Written by my hand.

It feels good.

So that’s my back story.

I have no idea where this blog will go…but I know the one thing that is hard about being a wife, mother or just grown up woman in general, is the expectation to be perfect and the indifference of the people around watching us drown when we find out we aren’t or not lending a hand when we are exhausted from trying.

Life can be lonely.

But today I have decided to live my best life.

Not the perfect one, and probably not very conventional, but it will be mine.

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