Alright…. first post! I have no idea where to even start…..
I’ve started this on a whim. Yesterday, I finally told my doctor the truth. That I’m depressed and have anxiety issues. You know how when you go to the doctor they ask you questions ranging from “are you happy” to “do you have suicidal thoughts”? Well I always lie. I throw on a fake smile and tell them everything is zipity do daa. First, let me put out there that I am not suicidal. I did have a really dark moment once a few years back but I convinced myself that I was being over dramatic and that nobody would even really care. I’m very good at convincing myself. The lie is in the are you happy? Do you feel lonely? Hopeless? Helpless? Worthless? Are you tired? Unmotivated? Do you like yourself? I never tell the truth on those questions because i don’t want to appear over dramatic. I ask myself why does it even matter if i tell someone this stuff, I’m not suicidal, I don’t want to hurt people, I’m not crazy… seeking help is reserved for those kind of people. Just learn to deal and get over it.
My decision to finally speak up has been a long time coming. I’ve always deep down knew I needed help since way back in my grade school days but I had no idea where to even start and the thought of asking questions just terrified me. While the hubs and I were stationed in nj a few years back I met all sorts of people from different walks and lifestyles. They all had various issues going on and we’re very open about them. We became wonderful friends and were very close knit. I learned through them that its ok to be yourself, that its ok to ask for help, and to let your freak flag fly. Being lazy by nature I still dragged my feet seeking help. I mean, who needs mental help when you have so many wonderful friends to talk to right? Then things took a turn. The hubs got put on a year long deployment and so to save money, my son (who was 1 at the time) and I moved back home to live with my in-laws back in tx.
If I could have predicted the future, I probably would have stayed in nj. I was surrounded by family but incredibly lonely. Every attempt to reconnect with old friends failed. Partially their fault, partially my own fault fearing that we didn’t have anything in common any more. My old friends from nj slowly stopped taking to me. Every attempt I would make stayed becoming a one sided conversation. I guess they didn’t like me as much as I liked them is what I’d tell myself.
During the year my son was early diagnosed with autism which threw me for a loop. I was under the impression he was on par with his peers. After a ton of research I understand more about it.
Sometimes I blame my son’s autism on the move to Texas. He was ahead of schedule on all his milestones while there. Maybe he would have declined If we had stayed? And if we had stayed in nj we would of had assistance right at our fingertips vs in tx struggling to find services that would take him so young or that accept our insurance. Also I wouldn’t have lost friends and he would have been very socialized with other kids.
Then there are times I blame myself. Maybe it wasn’t the move but my loneliness that affected him. I try really hard to be active with my son but on bad days it takes everything in me to not stay shut in my room with a tv babysitter. His only child interaction was when his cousins came to visit. I tried doing storytime at the library but after hearing about a horrible case of HFM going around we quit going. It didn’t bother me though, i felt awkward at every visit. The other moms seemed to all have cliques that weren’t looking for new members. Other kids didn’t really play with my son either. He is a giant toddler. 99th percentile across the board. He is only 2 but looks like he’s 4. I would get little 4 and 5 year old coming up to me asking why my child won’t talk or play with them. I tell them he’s only 2 and they look at me like I’m nuts. I tell them he’s autistic and they look at me confused. Its a struggle that in still figuring out. What makes it even better is when people say “well, he doesn’t LOOK autistic!” I just want to say “thank you for your observation, now go educate yourself!” People can be so judgemental. I’ll find myself trying to avoid other moms. Unfortunately for my kiddo, that equates to less social interaction with other kids.
One of the factors that kept me from seeking help during my husband’s deployment was the fact that we were lined up to be pcsing to ITALY. Once we found out about our son’s diagnoses we knew it was a good possibility they wouldn’t send us. I thought if I mentioned that I needed help, it’d be the final straw and they wouldn’t send us. So I kept my mouth shut and dealt with it as I always do. Continuous self help books and internet articles on how to not be depressed. I had been doing it for years, why not a few more for the chance to live in Italy.
In the end it didn’t help. Because of his specific diagnoses they said they had nothing available that could help our son. 2 more months of deployment to go and we still had not place to go. I started getting panicked thinking they’d send us back to our previous base. Being convinced that nobody in nj cared about me, i imagined them pretending to be happy that I was back while I believed they could care less. I thought I’d be coming back to false friends. What could be worse?
A month before hubs was due to come home we got orders to Oregon. To be honest, I was pumped. It was a part of the country I’ve never been to. My best friend from middle school lived there also. We kept in touch over the years and we were finally gonna have a reunion! Well it turned out that someone jumped the gun and we weren’t supposed to be assigned there. That was the end of Oregon.
I have to say, I am pretty attached to my stuff. I had spent that deployment year buying me stuff that would make me happy. It didn’t work but i kept trying… So for me to pack it all away without knowing where we were gonna live was near impossible. I found a self help book that was about only surrounding yourself with things you love. That struck a chord with me and i finally started purging myself of all the crap i bought. It felt really good. I’m thinking about rereading it and giving it another go.
FINALLY we got orders to Florida. We had been planning to purchase it first home but due to our low credit scores, that wasn’t gonna work out. Goal as of now is to wait a year and see where we are then. Till then its the rent life for us. Eventually my wonderful husband came home and all the stuff I brought to my in-laws was finally packed! We were off!
Florida has been an adjustment for sure. I’m trying to reconnect with my husband. We’re trying to find a place to live. We’re trying to control our energetic 2 year old. There was a glitch or something in the home finder app we were using and we were only successful at touring one house before going the apartment route. Luckily I had done research on apartments and found the perfect (in my opinion) one for all our needs. Hubs still would have preferred a house. We’ve now been here a month and everything has been alright so far.
One of the things we’ve talked about is making a house (or apartment) a home. Its very hard to do that when over half the furniture is in a storage unit in nj. I’ve done my best to set up the kiddos area but as far as the adult stuff, its box city. I can’t get to most of my books or art supplies and there’s no place to put any decor. I can’t cook any real meals because I don’t have my pots and pans. All of out clothing either get hung or folded into piles on the floor that apparently only I understand. My son treats the boxes as if they were a mountain that I made for him to climb. Some are starting to fall apart or cave in.
Getting or stuff has been more difficult than I thought it’d be. Originally, or stuff was supposed to be sent to Florida. The mil pays to move it when they pcs you. The problem was (and I still don’t understand it) that for some reason, one of us would have to be physically there AND the movers are not allowed to take stuff out of the storage unit. We’d have to pull it out first and THEN they could load it into the truck. Before we knew about the “having to be there” rule, we put in the request to have or stuff moved. They arranged a date and then told us afterwards. My husband just barely got home and he was expected to somehow go halfway cross country just to pull out our furniture? And at the time we didn’t even know where we were gonna live so basically or stuff would have been put into another storage unit in Florida that we would of had to unload ourselves. We decided it wasn’t worth it so we canceled and decided to do a dity (Do IT Yourself) move. The next issue was a matter of when we were gonna do it. We thought the best time would be this upcoming thanksgiving week. My brother in law had taken time off work so he could visit and bring our 3 fur babies over. We originally left them so we could get settled first. We are definitely not settled but this was when he was able to get off. After calculating the time it was gonna take to do the move though, we decided that it was too much to do in too little time. He’s already bringing our animals over, why not let him have some vacation. We decided after much headache that maybe it is better to just have one of us fly up there, unload the unit for the movers, and then fly back. Now its just a matter of finding a date that works for us.
In the mean time, we sleep on a mattress on the floor. We sit on lawn chairs and have a patio table in our kitchen to eat our meals on. My son watches cartoons off a laptop while sitting on boxes. Its vey depressing but we’re trying to make things work. I know it’s not forever though it does seem like it. I got to remain positive.
Typically I’m a very optimistic person. I would much rather look on the bright side of things but with everything that has happened/is happening its becoming harder and harder. I find myself constantly drifting off to the dark places in my head. The negative. Where i feel like everything is doomed so what’s the point of doing anything. I’ve always been good at hiding when I’m down but I can’t anymore. It shows on my face, in my words, and through my actions. I feel sorry for my husband and son that they have to deal with me like this. Sometimes my husband will bring up memories from “the good ole days” when I was energetic and happy. He has been a great support for me though. I feel he is the only one who understands me. He has stepped up a lot more since me getting worse. He’ll take care of the house and the child if i need a break. Ironically, sometimes that brings me down even more. He is working hard in the military and i am a stay at home mom for our son but there are days when I can barely handle that and he ends up doing both jobs.
On one of my productive days I made an appointment for my son to see his PCM. Once he saw him we could be able to start ABA therapy for him. I figured, hey, my kid is getting help, why shouldn’t I? So back to the beginning of this, I had a meeting with a behavior health consultant. They asked the typical questions and I answered honestly. I gave them some background info and told them all the alternative ways I had been trying to fight this. Due to other health reasons (that’s a whole other story in itself and this one is long enough) I’m very iffy about taking medication at the moment so I’m hoping to go a more natural route of getting better. I was assigned to work on cognitive thinking. When I’m in my off mood I tend to not think right. The self defeating thoughts take over. I’ll over analyze, magnify small things, jump to conclusions, place blame on myself….etc the list could go on and on. I lose my ability to reason with myself. The consultant gave me some articles and exercises for me to gain control of my thoughts. I haven’t quite read it all yet but the gist is that I will journal my situations and make note of the self defeating thought, the negative emotional results, and the alternative positive thought. I am to come back in after 3 weeks and we’ll see where to go from there.
I’m actually excited to start this. Journaling is something I’ve wanted to get into but never really knew how to start. My husband journals as a way to keep track of his days, vent, and clear his head. He has ADD and sometimes it’s hard for him to keep track of what’s going on. I’ve pulled out a few notebooks (some of the things i bought myself that i thought would make me happy) and I’m ready to correct my thought process. I’m going to keep track of my days as well. As for here, for now I’ll record my progress of getting out of my head and break free of me.
Your mind will always believe everything you tell it. Feed it hope. Feed it truth. Feed it with love.