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I've been depressed



You know how life is - whatever happens on any given day is "normal". So if Ray gets up , gets dressed, gets to the breakfast table okay that is a normal day. And is he makes a mess of himself, the bathroom etc and I have to wash him, his clothes, the whole shebag, that is normal too. For that reason I didn't know I was depressed. I did know I was struggling with a lot of issues, particularly the incontinence but I didn't realise I was depressed.


I know I WAS depressed because I am not depressed now and I feel so different. I can look at the world and see what is going on, I can take what is happening here and cope with it without getting too stuck in the turmoil of it all. And I put all of that down to the break away I had for two weeks. Two weeks to NOT look after Ray. Even with all there is to do here it was so good to be able to simply concentrate on the task at hand without having to keep one ear open to see what was happening in the next room etc.


Just had a long phone call from a friend who listed all the woes mutual friends are having and guess what? I just said how sad it was and didn't feel as if I needed to do something about it. Isn't that good? I somehow got my perspective back. I can sympathise without having to get personally involved. Amazing. And yet I know that this feeling will not last. That the day by day grind of looking after a long term invalid will again take its toll. That days that start with some kind of trauma and finish with me being exhausted are the rule, not the exception. And I can say that fairly confidently about some of the other caregivers here too.


So what am I going to do about it? Well, I hope that I am going to keep on top of things like the housework, the bill paying, the phone calls, the appointments with doctors etc. I hope that when I do have a real problem that instead of stressing out over it I will ask for some help. I have never been good at that but it is one of my new goals. "Ask for help when needed." I hope you will all keep me honest on this one and when you see something in my blog that says to you that I am no longer coping you will say in reply: "Do you think you could use some help with this one?" It will be like being a member of "Copers Anonymous"..lol.


For today I have sorted out some of my concerns about looking after the little ones while Pamela is in hospital having the next baby. That is getting closer with "due date" being only three weeks away!. I have asked for equipment like the folding cot to be brought over and am going to ask the girl over the road if she has a playpen and any toys I might be able to borrow to keep Alex amused. Tori will not be a problem as we have plenty for her and I to do and it will be a mini vacation for her. But Alex is different, at 13 months old he needs to be kept amused if I am to cope with him for five days on my own. This is in case Pamela needs five days in hospital and assuming it is early in the week when she goes into labour of course. If it is the weekend or hopefully Friday then the time they are here will be shorter. Steve wants to take some time off in October to "bond" with the new little one so does not want to have time off now.


We had Alex last night while Tori went to her school disco. It was held from 5.30pm till 9.30pm, they dropped Alex off about 4.30pm and then went home for Tori to change into her new outfit. Luckily she and Mum were back here about 9pm which was good. I think Ray had had enough by then and by then Alex was asleep,laying in a nest of pillows on the loungeroom floor. I think Granma and Pa had tired him out. Ray will speak to him if he is in the same room, help to retrieve toys with his walking stick, roll a ball for his amusement etc. so it is not as if I have to do it all myself. I am just worried in case Ray has some problems while the kids are here. I just have to be confident that all will go well.


It is all about attitude, I know that. If I think "all will be well" it usually is. The problem here is that having had Ray take five strokes, break a hip, then recently his pelvis and hip joint etc I know that trouble comes to us sometimes out of a clear blue sky. There is no way of knowing ahead what life will be like. With people who have not had trauma in their lives their confidence comes from knowing that nothing bad is likely to happen to them. For those of us who have had a lot go worng in their lives confidence has to be based more on our ability to cope with problems as they arise. This is much harder as the years pass I find for me. I have been coping with the problems in Ray's life as well as my own and that makes for a burdened feeling sometimes. And maybe does lead to some depression. It is something I will have to keep an eye out for, those signs that I am not coping with confidence and that I am not happy with the way life is for me.


Hope that the feeling of being back in control lasts for a while. It certainly is a good feeling. Wish I could bottle it and take a glass full every time things start to go wrong and I find that hopeless, not coping feeling creeping up on me again.


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Hi Sue,


It sounds like you have a little too much on your plate at times. It really is okay to ask for help sometimes. People really do want to help, but don't always know what your needs are so you have to ask. I totally understand what you are experiencing, because I was always the person to get projects started and finished. It was really hard to realize that I needed so much help. I now have accidents like Ray and it is so embarrassing. :oops: Paul has been very patient about helping me get clean clothes, etc. It usually happens after Misti leaves. Getting to the toilet in a hurry in a wheelchair is not an option.


My suggestion is that you take some time every day, if possible, to do something just for you. You might also try playing some quiet music - I like classical or Golden Oldies. It has been said that music soothes the soul.


In the meantime, know that there are lots of people praying and thinking of you and Ray. :friends: :friends:



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Hi Sue,


Please be sure dear lady to take a bit of time for you each and every day. Something to unwind and relax. Even if it's slow deep breathing. You work so hard at being Wonder Woman - remember, it's ok to ask for help. No one has declared that you must take on each crisis (large or small) all by yourself. None of us can predict what the future will hold, it is not mentally or even physically healthy to worry about what has not occurred. As long as proper precautions are taken to meet health and safety issues, you are doing just fine.


You will be busy with the little ones, that's for sure...I've always been told that kids keep you young. You are there for them - let them be there for you as well. Perhaps they can help with small chores - make them feel important to be piked to help you and Ray out.

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I know to give advice to you feels like giving advice to wise lady who has seen it all, but I think I need to get off this my chest everytime I read your blog I get the impression you worry about everything a lot by thinking about how do I control my situation, why not just trust God and flow with life, trying to control situation brings struggle in life, instead whatever will happen to us in our life, we will handle it with best of my ability kind of mentality brings peace. I m kind of person who never sweat the small stuff and things alway have worked out for me. Sorry if I have offended you in any way. you should ask for help whenever you need. and I think I will be first one to remind you next time if I see in your blog.





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