let’s be honest here …

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I sent an email to my husband at work this morning.  I probably should have had this conversation with him in person last night, but I hadn’t put into words, my words how the death of Robin Williams affected me. To my husband I shared that “I’m not sure that you fully understand the grey days that I have they are not caused by any event, they just are.  I thought with all the public talk of depression I need to be  more honest with you.  Although I have NEVER had any suicidal thoughts or any thoughts of harm, there are days for me that it is hard to just be upright.  I cannot put it into words how that feels.  I just want to be honest here and in that same token I can’t just be fixed I just need you to understand and not push me to feel better.”

I think I’ve suffered from this “grey” for a long time even when I was younger just never had a label for it.  Some days it was just easier to stay inside and hide then to be out and socialize.  When I lived alone whole weekends would go by and I would stay in my apartment just getting through the days before returning to work on Mondays. When we went through infertility and subsequently our journey to parenthood through adoption it was there, always there.  When I first became a mom people always commented how I would be out doing things ALL the time with my girls as they were babies and even still now that they are older.  No one knows but this is my coping mechanism so as not to let the “grey” take over.  If I’m home in the house too much I get boxed in and feel closed in.  Being out and about and doing things keeps these feelings at bay.  We all benefitted from my taking us out on adventures it clears my head and my girls and I got to experience things together. I was better at this when they were younger it takes more effort on my part now since they can entertain themselves and I can just sit.  I’ve missed out on social things because I just can’t shake this feeling, I’d rather do nothing and sleep by staying within myself than be out I need to be better at pushing myself to not let the “grey” take over even today.  I think it’s become more constant since I’ve hit the pre-menopausal stage of my life even with antidepressants.

What really struck a chord with me yesterday was when our 8-year-old shared that she felt glum a couple of times.  I know that feeling and it’s not easy to shake.  I will be watching her and talking with her to draw from her what she is feeling.  I am hoping for her it’s just the change in pace from the last few weeks of camp and activities but I will be watching.  Depression does not know age, it does not care who you are and as the world learned yesterday it does not care if you are rich and famous.

I am hopeful that now that I’ve been honest with my husband he can be there for me and not try to fix me.

Here are other personal accounts of friends and fellow bloggers who have been there and struggled

At the Napkin Holder In His Shoes

At Another Version Of Mother Depression Is

At No Points for Style An Eternal Multitude of Despondency

Some days our hormones clash …

hormones

 Lets start with where we are right now … my oldest daughter has hit the tween years also known as a preadolescent girl.  I on the other hand have been in the midst of perimenopausal symptoms….

Some girls are feisty from the get go …

The pre teen or “tween” years though, can be the time which parents find most confounding. At this time parents can struggle with everything from girls (and boys) becoming increasingly defiant…

Between the ages of 8 and 13, children are expected to push the boundaries and this is a part of becoming more independent. You can therefore expect girls at this age to disagree with you, show a bit of ‘attitude’, take risks and want to be more like their friends.

Pre teens and teens, therefore, are more likely to make decisions based on emotion and have poor foresight. They are also often sensitive, moody and unpredictable. 

Preadolescent Girl as discussed in the post  from the blog Child Psychologist, “Feisty Young Girls”

The Mayo Clinic lists some of these symptoms that can occur during the perimenopausal period some subtle — and some not-so-subtle — changes in your body may occur. Some things you might experience include:

Hot flashes and sleep problems. Many women experience hot flashes during perimenopause. The intensity, length and frequency vary. Sleep problems are often due to hot flashes or night sweats, but sometimes sleep becomes unpredictable even without them.

Mood changes. Some women experience mood swings, irritability or increased risk of depression during perimenopause, but the cause of these symptoms may be sleep disruption caused by hot flashes. Mood changes may also be caused by factors not related to the hormonal changes of perimenopause.

And so there we have it, two of us on our own independent hormonal roller coaster at the same time!

This is not how I envisioned motherhood not knowing that I would be in my forties when our family was started.  No one talks about what it’s like to have these perimenopausal symptoms. No one discusses what it’s like to be a mom with children just embarking on their own hormonal changes at the same time.

It can be very challenging on the days that our hormones clash.  This can be very hard on all of us including my husband and our younger daughter.

Sometimes I hear how I scold her or respond to her when she has been short with me.  This is not a good cycle for either of us nor will it be good when my youngest in two years hits her stride as a tween/preadolescent girl.

I have had to rethink how I handle things on some days and manage myself about how I talk, my tone of voice and to watch my patience dissolve.  At the same time, I am trying to teach my daughter it’s not what you say but how you say it (role model, yeah not me so much, some of the times).

I take time to apologize when I’ve been out of line so there is no more hurt feelings, I really want to make sure both my girls and my husband too understand it’s not necessarily under my control.  I see this too in my daughter’s reactions and actions.  We are not out to hurt or make each other upset there are just some days that our hormones clash…

 

my week off all hormones …

Yes mid-life motherhood takes on a variety of forms. This last week my doctor wanted to run blood tests to see where I am in the menopausal cycle. I turned 50 in November so it seemed like the right thing to do since I’ve been on hormones for the last 4 years for all the peri-menopausal symptoms that have been plaguing me.

In advance I posted a facebook message to all my family and friends who see this “I apologize in advance for any shortcomings and irritability on my part this coming week. Preparing for some blood work which required to stop hormones I’m on, probably not the best week to do this with my husband going to be out of town, but alls well, hopefully the next hormone protocol will be even better when all is said and done!”

A week ago Friday was my first day off, not a bad day as my body still had hormones coursing through my body. But that was the last good day. The next was a headachy day and then onto the migraine as the hormones seeped out of my body. After the migraine started so did the blues which were not helped by the rainy weather. Overnight waking with insomnia, night sweats and the whole shebang! All I wanted to do was curl up in my bed with the covers up, but as a mom with a 7- and 5-year-old that was not going to happen.

Add that the week we (my doctor and I) chose to come off hormones was a business travel week for my husband. Yes I would be alone parenting with no break for this week which may not have been the best timing.

The headache pretty much continued for the week (possibly stress induced as well as no hormones) and my insomnia returned. Luckily with school and extra curricular activities for both girls the week breezed by.

The results of my blood test show that I am still peri-menopausal so back to the regime that helped me keep the active symptoms away.

It was not the easiest week because of the physical symptoms but I am glad I did it when I did to learn what next treatment protocol would be needed on my journey in my 50s!

It’s in the balance …

okay get ready I’m talking about a taboo subject, or at least one that doesn’t get a lot of air play … I’ve been thinking of my mothering and the peri-menopausal symptoms I have … it’s quite a balance … motherhood and menopause…I will be turning 50 this year and our daughters will be 7 and 5 this summer, both entrusted to us at birth through adoption as you know.

Although becoming a mother was a journey I embraced, I am not quite embracing this latest journey in my life to menopause through the myriad of obstacles and symptoms that have become my latest routine.  Some nights are filled with ‘the night sweats’ others with insomnia.  During the day I may have a hot flash (luckily not often) and feel more blue than usual.  Irritability may be promoted from misbehavior of our girls or just the way I feel that day … it’s quite a balance and somedays I win and well others the symptoms win …

I realize parenting as a whole has its own obstacles in teaching our children to be good people of integrity and independence and as they get older their resistance to our oversight becomes stronger and stronger and with that clashes occur some for real and some because of my peri-menopausal self. It’s a ridiculously slippery slope, this midlife motherhood. I don’t think that any of us could have imagined how we’d need to balance it all, and especially at this juncture. Thankfully my husband is doing his best to understand and is the even tempered of the two of us at this point in my menopausal journey …