I have to admit, my mental health has suffered greatly since my diagnosis of Rheumatoid Arthritis. I had battled depression & anxiety before I was diagnosed and now, well, it’s a lot worse. I have terrible bouts of hopelessness and feeling useless to the world which is now my reality. My son moved out May of ’12, I still sometimes feel that loss, I know kids can’t live at home forever but I was hoping for a little longer. My kids are/were my world and them growing up is another challenge I face in this life. It’s not easy to be a parent, kids change your life the moment you have them and it’s a constant evolution as they grow. That being said I don’t handle change well and I consider that a huge flaw in myself, it needs constant work. It honestly feels like I need to become someone completely different, am now a chronically ill mum bordering on empty nester. My daughter still lives with me and I enjoy all the time I can have with her, I know it will be hard when she decides to leave the nest. I hope between now and then I have better coping skills. As you could see by my last couple posts I’m not faring well on the mental health front, I do try my damnedest to not sink so low, it’s my mid-life crisis I guess, enhanced by RA & me feeling pretty useless compared to what I use to do. I took great pride in fixing and doing things on my own, I was self sufficient and tenacious, I got shit done. I feel like a shadow of my former self, I still get stuff done but not as much as I use to. And that irritates the hell out of me. Between being sick, fatigued and brain fogged to the point I forget as quick as the thought entered my head. I end up getting up from my chair and as soon as I stand up I forget why I stood up to begin with. I have to think hard on what I was going to do, it usually comes, eventually.
Mental illness still has plenty of stigma, when I was a teenager terms like anxiety/panic and depression did not exist. There was just something wrong with you and parents, medical professionals, teachers made sure you knew that. It was brutal going to school with these problems haunting me and no one cared, just got labelled as ‘off’ or ‘screwed up’ or my personal favourite, weird. When I got older and had kids it really spiralled out of control, hormones only exasperate mental illness. I finally at 21 yo got to see a mental health professional who helped me understand it was a disease and not a personality flaw. Most people don’t share their mental health issues and I know why, your ‘friends’ will make comments behind your back about how you’re fucked up in the head, if you havent experienced it you just don’t understand. I pray to God to relieve me of this burden that makes me break down so often, it is a disease and so far the meds available have not helped me much or turned me completely psycho, aggressive and just someone who is dangerous to others. antidepressants are powerful medications that work differently on everyone who uses them, I’m just curious as to why none of them are my knight in shining armour.
I’ll keep trying new medications as they become available because I’m too stubborn to give up hope that one day my mind will be eased and I can enjoy life. And stop focusing too much on what I can no longer do.