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Gerard Butler GALS

Depression Sucks


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Well nice to meet you Christine... It seems that we all have our struggles, and that none of us live on easy street, if there even is such a place! Congratulations on your weight loss! I know it is not easy to lose weight... so why is it so darn easy to gain?

I was the same weight for a long time. Still more than I wanted to be, but I wasn't miserable about it.

Then about five years ago I started gaining, and when my son became ill, I really ballooned. Hospital food and stress just sent me over the edge, and now I just keep creeping up the scale.

Anyhow Christine, I really appreciate you sharing your thoughts, and hope that your own health issues can be resolved. Both my husband and sister have clinical depression. My husband's is due to his diabetes, and my sister's started immediately following the birth of her second child 14 years ago. I have never been diagnosed with depression, but when I was having some problems last year, my Dr did suggest that I try anti depressants. I actually told him that I wanted to try some other alternative methods to deal with my stress, so I have not yet tried medication. The thing is, I am sooooo sensitive to ALL drugs... even Ambien sent me to another planet.

Right now I am sitting in my living room with my laptop, and the sun is shining for the first time since I got back from Idaho. It has been so gray and cloudy and rainy... and once Christmas is over, I hate winter. We never get snow, just rain. The sun is making my my cats very happy.

Carolyn, I had no idea you were reading my story! I am so glad you like it! So you really are a Phantom fanatic? Me too, I have been since I saw the old films. I just can't get enough of the romantic and tragic story. Anyhow, thanks for replying to my topic.

Thanks again GALS for being here!

Swan

Hey Swan. I lived in Seattle for four or five years, so I know *exactly* what you mean about Pacific Northwest winters. It's only marginally better here in the Northeast, but I remember feeling really blue during the rainy winters out there.

Yea, it's VERY easy to gain weight! I swear, I can simply stare at food too long and it packs on the pounds. The only "diet" that ever helped me was the South Beach Diet, which is more of a lifestyle alteration than anything else. I'm not doing it right now (because I'm just not that interested in food at the moment), but I highly recommend it to you if you don't want to feel deprived. I was also the same weight for several years and it never bothered me very much -- but anti-depressants caused me to balloon another 50 pounds.

Have you tried St. John's Wort, by any chance? My sister, who also suffers from depression, swears by it.

Some good news on this end: I had a chat with my work supervisor, and we ironed out our difficulties and misunderstandings. So I don't need to look elsewhere for another job quite yet. *whew* What a relief.

Swan, I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers!

Hugs,

Christine & :Draculababy:

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Well I have learned something over the last few days. I have learned that we humans have a remarkable ability for masking the things that disturb and hurt us the most. We hide our true woundedness behind superficial scratches, while the real deep and dangerous wounds fester and bleed unattended.

I have been depressed... I believe as my friend Lisa pointed out, my depression is not chemical but circumstantial. My depression stems from circumstances in my life that cannot at this time be resolved.

It is not my weight, or aging, or loneliness or any of those things. It is quite simply my son.

Some of you know that my son Nathan was quite ill 2 years ago... he nearly died, several times in fact. To make things brief, he had his colon removed... under emergent circumstances. That was bad enough... going through the initial surgery to remove the colon; 4 days in ICU, months in the hospital with post surgical infections (Peritonitis) and pneumonia, and then still more surgeries.... 5 in total over a two year period.

He is physically as well as he will ever be. He functions.... though he is far from normal. I celebrate that he is alive every day I draw breath... and yet he is in trouble. When he was recovering from his fifth and final surgery, his girlfriend of two years broke up with him. He has a huge scar the length of his stomach, and the skin surrounding it is puckered and discolored. Add to that the severe body acne (a side effect of the desease) his non existent stomach muscles and over all weakness... I am sad to admit that I'm not sure any young woman will want him. I think he fears that too. He met his former girlfriend before the illness took hold.

He will not deal with the emotional after affects of his ordeal. He buries himself daily in video games, and has very few friends. He lives at home, and though he lives under my roof, I only see him when he pulls himself away from the game and crawls out of his darkened room. He is 26 years old, and even throughout his illness, he worked when he was strong enough. He had a fairly decent job until just last month, when he up and quit his job before even looking for another one.

He is listed with some employment agencies, but so far has had no interviews. This is causing real tension between he and his dad, who each day comes home and asks Nathan if he has found a job yet.

I love this boy as I love my own soul... but he is so lost, and I don't no how to find him. He barely speaks to me, and when he does, I have the oddest feeling that he only says what he thinks I want to hear. There is something unreal, remote and untouchable about him. He has no ambition, and I swear if he could get away with it... I think he would sit in that room and play games for the rest of his life.

I do not know what to do for him... and each night I go to bed feeling that my heart is being squeezed. You would not believe how much talent he has. From the time he was 14, he has been composing the most amazing music. He scored our entire play and has done all the musical arranging for my songs. Before he became ill, he dreamed of going to film school and becoming a professional film scorer. Now he won't even go into his studio, and all that equipment just gathers dust.

Yes, this is the root cause of my depression. I am literally watching him waste his life away... and I don't know what to do.

When he was at his worst in the hospital.. receiving 4 units of blood for all he had lost after an ulcer in his colon ate through a huge blood vessel.... I told God that it was unfair that someone so young should suffer, and I told him that I would gladly lie there in Nathan's place. But now that he is physically better...only he can live his life and make the choices for his future. I can't do it for him... dear God if I could, I would.

Please keep him in your prayers. It is so hard watching this everyday. I want what all mothers want for there children; happiness for my son, and someone to love him. I wonder now if he will ever have those things.

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Swan, I hear your pain. I am wondering if your son is not suffering post traumatic stress disorder and may need some serious help. I'm not there and can't actually do anything except be here for you.

Just a little thought. If he is on the net, why don't you start sending him emails and talk to him that way. Sometimes having a computer inbetween can help open things up. But only a thought.

One important thing. He needs you whether he says it, shows it or not. You being there is very important to him. My daughter is a manic/depressive (bi-polar) and is the same age. It causes all sorts of issues and sometimes, when she is in the blue stage, just being there is all I can do.

I'm glad you have accepted the real cause of your issues. It's a start for you. If you are well, that is the best you can initially do for your son.

I am thinking of you both and praying for your wellbeing. I will continue to do so as long as you need it.

Love

Edited by Terry's Witch
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Hey swan i too know how you feel- even if our circumstances are so very different.

I suffer from depression, from reasons i won't go into (you wouldn't want to hear about my problems) and to be honest not many people really even know- including my family. I spend all my time in my room and rarely go out with my friends; i never feel like. I will admit that on several occasions i have tried or thought about killing myself (the most recent was monday) only not having the guts to actually go through with it. I'm not allowed medication because i'm an addiction risk, and right now the only thing that makes me happy is coming on line and talking with my friends on gb.net and well, here. I have an incredible knack of seeming happy even when i'm not, which does not really help i s'pose but i just cannot open up- i keep everything hidden inside of me.

Gerry brought us here, but our compassion is what has kept us together- i'm here for you, we all are, and if we stick together we can get through anything, no matter how bad things get. well thats what i think.

Gerry has got me out of a bad place, and i'm not doing too well but i'd rather be like this than how i was one year ago.

huggles my friends i'm here, just one pm away. even if i feel like sh*t and want to be alone, you guys come first and i'll do what i can to help.

love and hugs bethxxxxxx

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But now that he is physically better...only he can live his life and make the choices for his future. I can't do it for him... dear God if I could, I would.

Please keep him in your prayers. It is so hard watching this everyday. I want what all mothers want for there children; happiness for my son, and someone to love him. I wonder now if he will ever have those things.

This is the hardest thing to realize in life, that when you can see someone suffering and want desperately to help them, they have to be the ones to open up and allow that. Everyone chooses how they deal with life and the things it takes them through. But.....

One important thing. He needs you whether he says it, shows it or not. You being there is very important to him. My daughter is a manic/depressive (bi-polar) and is the same age. It causes all sorts of issues and sometimes, when she is in the blue stage, just being there is all I can do.

I'm glad you have accepted the real cause of your issues. It's a start for you. If you are well, that is the best you can initially do for your son.

So true. Being there and loving him while keeping yourself healthy through that, emotionally, physically/mentally, and spiritually is the key. Your writing is an outlet for your creativity and helps you heal and cope. It's a good thing. Talking and getting your feelings out here is a good thing, too.

Your son has alot of burdens in this life. He will make his own choices as to how to deal with them. But you are in his life for a reason. It's important to be there, love him and be healthy for you and him.

My brother is not well emotionally and I've been treated horribly by him at times, and you do have to protect yourself from that, but he has no one else that loves him or understands him like I do. I know that, I think he knows that, and he knows I'm always here should he need me. Sometimes people will ignore you or push you away when they really need you, but true strength lies in love. Love yourself and them and that will give you the strength to deal with the challenges. You have to stay whole and healthy.

P.S. Mags! You'd better answer when I call you, girl! LOL.

Edited by conantat2
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Thanks for the kind thoughts and your advice ladies. TW... I hadn't thought about the whole email thing, but you are right. I express myself better in writing anyway. I will definitely put that in action. One thing about Nathan is that he is in no way rude or abusive to either his had and I. To tell you the truth, I almost wish he would be, because then I would know that he's feeling SOMETHING.

I do believe that it is post traumatic stress, but each time I have tried to speak with him about it, he won't engage in conversation. He is very withdrawn.

The hardest thing for me IS to be here for him, because I have to see it everyday. I know he needs me, and he has the support of his dad and I.... but I hate the thought that he may never be able to live on his own. He is not on disability (though he has applied several times he has been turned down because he can work) I want to encourage him to get a job... because he is well enough, and yet I don't want to nag him.

This is just so hard. I never thought that I would be in this position, or that my son would be going through this.

Well thanks again for your support,

Swan

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One thing about Nathan is that he is in no way rude or abusive to either his had and I. To tell you the truth, I almost wish he would be, because then I would know that he's feeling SOMETHING. I have tried to speak with him about it, he won't engage in conversation. He is very withdrawn.

The hardest thing for me IS to be here for him, because I have to see it everyday. I know he needs me, and he has the support of his dad and I.... but I hate the thought that he may never be able to live on his own.

I understand, if you could rant and shout at least he would be communicating. However, he is feeling something.... the truth is he is being overwhelmed by what he is feeling and cannot communicate it. He probably is so in the dark that the light at the end of the tunnel has gone out. The trick as a mother is to keep trying different ways... yes, try email, try post-it notes, letters under the door... anything you can think of. One of two things will happen, he will get sick of it and talk to you or he will respond in a similar manner... eventually. So just keep trying. Both you and your hubby could try that in different ways. Oh, and talk about small things, like what he wants to eat, does he need his clothes washed etc. Not the big questions you really want to talk about. Little things at first.

You are his mother and one of the things you have to learn is that you cannot be him and you cannot let his emotions rule your life. It's sounds so callouse, but it's not meant to be. Unfortunately, to help him, you have to help yourself first. If he sees you being well, he will be able to come out and use you to lean on. He is probably feeling like a burden and can't see past it right now.

It's good you can talk to us. We are always happy to listen. Probably too full of advice you don't really want ... but it's the sort of thing I do *hugs you* and probably shouldn't. Take or ignore. I either way .. thinking of you.

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Oh gosh...

I'm not even sure how to respond, because I feel so many things about this, but none of them are very coherent to put down in a post! But I'll try.

Swan, even though I'm not a mom yet, there are people close to me that have simular problems to Nathan...that post-illness...thing. Not sure what to call it. You want so much to live their life for them or do SOMETHING to comfort them, you want them to know they're worthwhile because YOU know it, and God knows it...but they just won't crack themselves open.

:alone:

His ex...do you know why they broke up? You don't have to answer if you don't want, but if it was related to his illness...double whammie. And even if it wasn't, I can see how that would still contribute to a self-esteem problem, because our mind takes every rejection and twists it into something festering.

Whenever myself or one of my siblings is going through a tough time, I often find my own mom in tears, wanting SO much to help us, yet she's not sure how. :cry: She does a lot of praying and is one of the best women I've ever known. I know you know this, but definitely the best you can do is pray for God to guide you and your son through this...even if Nathan is the one that has to get himself moving.

~Mel

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She stuck with him throughout the worst part of his ordeal. She was unbelievably supportive... even financially so when he couldn't work. I myself do not know the root cause of their breakup... but the worst thing is that she immediately went for one of Nathan's best friends who lives across the street from us (a 15 year friendship) And now, she is living with him in an apartment.

I know that Nathan's lacking in the sexual area is part of it. His surgical procedures effected that for a while, and plus, it's hard to feel romantic with a bag of shite attached to your belly. Sorry, but that's the reality he was dealing with. Allie is a very sweet girl, but I believe that she was too young (19) for all that they went through, and I admit that I am angry at her for dumping him for his friend.

Yes Abrock my dear, my pillow has many stains and there are many nights when I cannot sleep. God in heaven is quite familiar with my voice. I cry out to Him all the time: "Lord, please do not forget my son!"

Thanks for letting me talk about this... it helps.

Swan

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Oh man, Swan...I once lost a guy to my best friend...and even though it wasn't nearly as traumatic, I can understand a little of that pain. 19 IS young, and that could very well have a lot to do with it. But I don't blame you for being angry with her. I can't say I'd be any better...I'm fiercely protective when it comes to my own...my family and dear friends.

Of course, having one's colon removed would change your life dramatically...and I can understand how that would cause a lot of things to be put on the backburner. I'll keep him in my prayers...I mean, maybe a perfect stranger praying a few hundred miles away could help. :smile:

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Dear Bonnie,

I know the pain you suffer because of your son's despondency and what is effectively his withdrawal from life. As his loving Mother, you are suffering his agony right along side him. Perhaps he cannot appreciate this, or perchance he just does not care because he is wallowing in such a deep pit of despair. This is my common sense speaking (comments welcomed from the professionals), but I suspect he will not pull himself out of this. Have you researched getting Nathan counseling individually? How about family counseling because this has affected you all in such a tremendously sad and burdensome way. My dear friend, you have your own health issues, and I am terrified that this will continue to have an adverse effect on you. Might I be correct to say that because you have such pity for Nathan, that you and Bill are co-dependants for Nathan? Maybe it's time for some tough family love.

I love you my friend and hope the three of you can work it out. Please know that I pray for you and your family situation.

:hugs::hugs::hugs:

Lisa

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