September 12, 2012

This is no laughing matter

I seem to be experiencing some sort of emotional hangover this morning.

Yesterday was a pretty bad day.  I often say that I am not a crier and normally that's true.  But there are exceptions to the rule...and yesterday just happened to be one.

It was just one of those days.  You know, "those" kind of days.

I spent the morning reading this amazing woman's storyBlog post after blog post after heart breaking blog post.  Such a tragic few months she has had to deal with.  Losing her handicapped son and then unexpectedly losing her husband less than 4 months later.

She writes of tragedy, hurt, heartbreak.  She also writes of laughter.  Lots of laughter.  Love.  A household full of love.  Friendship.  The type that connects one person to another so that they feel incapable of going on without the other.  Those kinds of things.

I cried.  I cried a lot.  I cried with her, I cried for her.  And then I began to cry for myself.  Cry for my family.  Cry for all that was lacking in our lives.  Lacking in our home.

I cried because if this same kind of tragedy happened to our family, we wouldn't be able to get through it.  Not because we wouldn't want to but because there is just not enough laughter and love in our home capable of sustaining us through such strain.  We would snap.  We would fall apart.  We're already falling apart.

I cried because I can't laugh anymore.  Not that I don't laugh.  I do.  I love to make people laugh and I usually laugh right along.  I cover up my true inability with sarcasm and funny stories and things that don't really matter all that much but I never laugh out of pure humor.  I never laugh at the silly things my kids do.  I smile...sometimes even genuinely...but I never let go and laugh.  You know what I mean.  The kind of laughter that bubbles up inside of you and springs forth from pure joy.  The kind of laughter that makes you feel lighthearted and just plain happy.  Yeah...that kind of laughter.  I'm just not capable of that any more.  And it makes me sad.  Very sad.  I mourn the loss of it more than I mourn anything else. 

I cried because I'm not sure my children know how much I love them.  I DO love them.  I just don't know if they know it.  Not that I don't say it, I do, but how often do I FEEL it.  Hardly ever.  And it's hard to fake what you don't feel.  At least it is for me.  Perhaps I should have taken acting classes.  I'm a horrible actress.  They know I get frustrated and annoyed by them.  They know I try to tolerate them.  But do they actually know that I love them?  I don't know.

I cried as this strong woman talked of her brave oldest son, who would now assume responsibility as the "man of the house".  I cried because I don't believe my emotionally scarred oldest son would ever offer to do this, as hers did.  I cried because of what part I have played in his emotional struggles.  I cried because he seems to be irreparably tied to me emotionally and is taking a nose dive right along with me right now.  I just hate it.  I don't ever ask God "why me?"  but I do ask "why him?"

I cried because not that long ago life was full.  I was happy. 
June 2011: 
"For now I feel good.  I feel really good.  I can't remember the last time I walked around day after day with a great sense of well being and happiness.  True happiness.  It's amazes me.  I'm still in awe."
I had purpose, felt inspired, and was ready to take on the world of depression and crush it.  I felt the dark days were behind me.  But I was wrong.  I cried because I mourn the loss of those days.  The fact that I can't seem to get them back. 

I cried because I can't keep up with life.  There are just too many obstacles, too many responsibilities, and too many struggles to take in.  I'm overwhelmed with all that pulls at my time, my emotions, and my brain functions.  I've lost focus of what's really important and what can be put on the side.  It all feels like it should be at the top of the priority list and I can't keep up.  And I'm tired.  Just tired.

I cried because I feel powerless to fix any of this.  Not HOPEless, there is always HOPE, but powerless....because, on  my own, I am powerless.

and lastly,

I cried because I have, inadvertently, isolated myself from the only two beings whom have the power to help me, my loving Heavenly Father and His Son Jesus Christ.  It's wasn't an intentional thing.  I didn't intend to separate myself from them.  I just got distracted and started putting other things first.

Then came the move, the miscarriages and the bombshell

It's no wonder the dark fog of depression started to settle back in and with it the jumbled thoughts, the extreme fatigue, and the lack of desire to do anything.  The less I communicated with the Lord, the less I would feel, the less I felt the less desire I had to communicate.  It's a vicious cycle.

And not much has changed.

I'm trying.  I don't think I have the ability to give up completely, even if I really really want to.

After breaking down again, in conversation with my husband, last night after the kids were in bed, he sighed and said, "So what are you going to do about it?"  (So typical of a man, right?) 

and, per my typical answer, "I don't know?"

And today, I still don't. 

It all seems like too much work.  Too much effort.
  Just too much.  I'm tired.

I feel like crawling into bed and staying there for a long while. 

I won't.  Because...I just don't.  But I want to. 

And then again, I don't.

I want to live again.  I want to laugh again.  I want to do things for my children and my husband, so they know how much I love them.  I want to feel love for them again.  I want to help my oldest heal again.  I want to be happy.  And I want to be filled with the Spirit of the Lord again.  To feel close to God again.  To bask in his glow.

I want to know that if my family ever had to face such tragedy, that we would be okay.  That, somehow, we would be strong enough to move on, intact.

Now I just have to find the motivation to get us to that place. 

I've done it once before and I can certainly do it again.


But still, I'm just so tired.
 P.S. I love to hear from you!
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Christy said...

Oh, Mel. I'm sorry you're struggling so much. I know that depression is real, and that there are no easy answers. But some things that help me (although, admittedly, my level of depression isn't nearly as high as yours):
1) Take the first step. It's the hardest one but once you've made it the rest comes easier. Whether it's getting out of bed, or snuggling your kids, or exercising or whatever, take the leap, I find that once I start it's like a rock rolling downhill: I keep picking up momentum until I'm amazed at how much I've accomplished and I'm feeling pretty good about it.
2) When we're doin' for other people we tend to forget about our own troubles. Find a way to do a little service. It can't help but lift the spirits a little.
3) Figure out what's MOST important to you. So what if your dishes don't get done; have you spent a little quality time with your boys and your husband today? I think that we often feel guilty (and then depressed) because we haven't finished our entire list of to-dos. Figure out what you need in order to stay minimally sane, then don't sweat the other stuff until you have the strength (mentally, physically, etc.) to do the rest.
4) You know that the more you lean on your Father the stronger you are. I know that it probably sounds hypocritical or weird coming from me, but you and I both know it's true. He knows down to the nth degree what you're going through, and He can comfort and support you like no one else can. Again, take that first step and let it build on itself until you're back in a spiritual routine that lifts and sustains you.
I love you Mel and it breaks my heart that you're feeling this way. You're strong, though, and I know that you are going to make it through this. There's no shame in asking for help either, whether it's in the form of medication or asking your family for help, etc. I hope you'll use all of the resources at your disposal. Please, please let me help if there is anything I can do for you. Hang in there!

Natalie J said...

I love you, Mel. I love your sweet (albeit rambunctious) boys (even the daddy one). I am sorry you are having a rough time. I wish I was closer, to come give you a hug, come hang out, come bring you ice cream, covered in carrots (just to add some healthy), come listen and hand you Kleenex. I am sorry you are hurting and are tired. Please don't ever give up. You are worth it. Your kids are worth it. Your cute family is worth it. It may seem dark right now, but it will get lighter. You are strong. You are sensitive. You have a huge heart. You have a love for your spiritual brothers and sisters. You have a huge family unit that loves you and prays for you. Most importantly, you have a Heavenly Father and an older brother that love you and know you can do it. I can't and don't say it enough...I love you, my little sister.

Jess said...

I feel so connected to you from this post. Thank you for your honesty, it's like you are feeling exactly what I'm feeling!! While my trials are different then yours, I understand moving & great loss. I so get that feeling of wanting to climb back in bed & also wanting to laugh & enjoy life again. All while worrying if your kids are affected by it or not. It's so hard to be Mom & give of yourself, when you have nothing to give...I have to admit that I have at least two big fall aparts or cry sessions every month. I know the blog you read would definitely set me off, so I won't be reading it anytime soon :) Life is hard and it's not fare, I just keep telling myself I can do hard things (even if I don't want to)! I'm so greatful for your blog, which I will start reading now & also for the printable that you guided me to about being a daughter of My Heavenly Father who loves me! You reminded me that it was okay to ask him for help & that there is hope even with depression. Hang in their my friend and give time, time. Thank you again!
P.s. Sorry about the length of my comment

Messy Musings said...

YES! there is HOPE - and you are NOT alone!! God IS there, He DOES LOVE YOU, He will NEVER give up!

I know well that downward cycle of tired fatigue - not being able to feel love, happiness, or closeness to the Lord's Spirit - yet still feel the very real pain and anguish of depression.

Having a desire to live, laugh, and feel again is the first step. It won't be easy or achieved quickly - but you have started on the path to healing! You and your family will survive this!!

Sending much love and huge (((HUGS))) - along with prayers for you and your beautiful family.

Me said...

A. Don't ever read posts or articles about people who have disabled children because it always makes those of us who have happy, healthy, "normal" children feel ungrateful and horrible (especially about the times we struggle with said children and get supremely irked by them-to put it lightly). These people are on a different path THAT IS NOT YOUR PATH so you don't need to think about the "what if's". Just stay on your path- it's what God's decided to give you and that's all you need to worry about.
B. I wish I lived close by. I would take you out and we would for sure LAUGH. Are you going out with girlfriends? Or even just taking time to spend on your own, to breathe? This time of year is always overwhelming, and you're dealing with a lot on top of it.
C. Be kind to yourself. Don't beat yourself up for any areas you feel that you are lacking. You are enough. You have enough. You are a loving, wonderful person. Each day is a new day with the possibility of joy, happiness and hope. Don't think about the days past. Don't think about moment's past. Just think about now.

You will laugh again. You really will. We are stronger than we think we are.


Celeste said...

Just add me into the thoughts above. I totally agree with them! I love you Melanie!

Tina Fariss Barbour said...

Melanie, I wish I could do more than tell you how sorry I am that you are going through this very difficult time.

I know what it's like to just want to crawl into bed, to feel so tired, to not want to do anything. I've been going through a similar time, and it seems like it will never end.

But I have to tell myself, and I'll remind you, that these times will end. Things will get better. You have hope, and that is so important.

Have you considered seeing your doctor about this? I have gotten a lot of help from seeing a medical doctor about my depression.

Here's a HUG and many warm thoughts.

Unknown said...

I don't think any of our experiences are exactly the same, but I feel I have been very close to feeling how you do. There is a great longing to be whole when you are swallowed up by depression and yet you feel so defeated and fatigue just makes it hard to have hope..then, I too felt guilty because I was not loving the people in my life the way I desired.
I don't know why we have this suffering in our lives, but when you look at the Bible, the disciples and those closest to Jesus were often afflicted with suffering. There must be a reason for it though I don't know what it is. I feel confident that God will always walk next to us in our suffering though. I don't believe God always answers our prayers with a "yes" , sometimes he knows what we want is not good for us and sometimes maybe we have to wait till it is His time. But I don't think God ever says no to a prayer that requests we feel his presence. I have felt that peace through prayer. I hope this does not sound preachy..I don't mean it in that way at all. I love your desire to feel close to God though and I believe that he will grant that to you. You are in my prayers.

Julie said...

Mel, First I send you a BIG, HUGE HUG. I hope that you can feel it. because it's a good one. ;) It is so interesting that I read this. I have recently been feeling this feeling. I don't think to the same extent but I feel it all the same. I was telling RuthAnn recently that I don't emotionally connect with things. I don't really FEEL it. I invite you to read 2 Nephi 4 (specifically vs. 17 on). As I read it I felt this same thing. How my kids suffer from my mistakes and how I hate it. But you have the answer. You CAN do it and YOU WILL DO IT. Can I recommend something that I try to do. Not perfect at but I try. Before you get on your computer for anything that you read your scriptures first. Or as you are getting on, go to first and read your scriptures there. It never ceases to amaze me the difference that that makes in my life. I get so distracted by FB or whatever I am doing on the computer and I get so sucked in--it is so easy to do so. But you'll be on top again. There are good times and bad times and time you just hang on. Look for the best and go to your Savior. You are going to be fine. Call me if you ever need to talk. I know I'm not the first on your list to call but I'm good for a talk if you ever need it. :) Lots of loves. Remember--YOU ARE A WARRIOR and you will beat this and the Savior our REDEEMER will fill in the rest. (Think about that word-Redeemer he will fill in the blanks with your children and you because HE is just that amazing). Loves Mel!

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