Blog of the Week – Oh just F*!K OFF!

This weeks ‘Blog of the Week’ by SAHDandproud is a heavy-hitting serious post, but one that had such an impact on us we thought it should be shared. Depression is such a common illness but many people are still frightened to talk about it due to the reactions they fear they will get from other people. Thanks to SAHD for writing so bravely about it.  

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Today I felt terribly, terribly depressed. So low. Again. Stupid f**king depression. Back again like a simultaneous knee in the balls and a drenching from an unexpected heavy rain shower. Thoughts of suicide, how and when I’d do that, mixed in with nappy changes and playing with my kids. Putting floor puzzles together and having pretend picnics with soft toys while tears are streaming from my eyes.

T asked me why I was crying. I told him I wasn’t very well. He cuddled me and told me he loved me. He told me giving him some cheese would make me feel better. He sang the theme tune to ‘Thomas and Friends’, and then took some of our toy penguins to Penguin Land in his little Cozy Coupe. He told me Penguin Land would make me happy. He told me giving him a custard cream would also make me happy.

It made me smile. But it also made me feel terribly guilty. Why do my poor children have to see me like this? Why can’t I hold it together? For them? Why are things so tough right now?

Let me think. Why could I be feeling this way?

I have a history of depression.

I’m in a very confused place emotionally and I’m experiencing some good times, which are counterbalanced by some heavy shit. It’s ups and downs.

I haven’t been looking after myself.

I’m not living in a ‘home’ of my own at the moment.

I don’t feel able to feel a feeling without feeling that feeling isn’t actually feeling that feeling.

I’m confused. And I’ve just confused myself even more by writing the previous sentence.

I’m going through a divorce.

A few years ago I discussed my depression with Dr B. She suggested that it’s quite simple. One is allowed to be, merely through a physical inability to produce the correct amount of serotonin or whatever it is, to keep your mood right. Do everything else you need to do and let the drugs do the bit you physically cannot do.

So take antidepressants to keep levels topped up because your body is shit and doesn’t work right. And see counsellors and psychotherapists to talk about the stuff no-one else wants to listen to.

I’m a glass half empty kinda guy.

Is this what I have to do for the rest of my life? Is this Life? I feel a failure every time I take an antidepressant, which I have to do every day. I feel a failure from the moment I wake up because I have to take my medication when I wake up. I wonder why I find life such a struggle when I have two beautiful children in front of me and I feel a failure as I shouldn’t feel like this. Surely I should get something from seeing them play, learn and knock seven bells out of each other? The feeling that I’m not a failure. The feeling that I am good, have done something amazing, and will continue to be a positive influence on their lives. I wonder about…

I wonder if you feel anything when the train hits you?

I wonder if, it was as easy to buy a gun as it seems to be in the US, I’d still be alive.

I wonder if it’s easier to just stop. What would I leave behind? People would be better off without me dragging them down. People would be able to move on. People would be free of me. And I’d be free of this. As, the best I have to look forward to is a lifetime of managing it, keeping my head above water, keeping myself from killing myself. And then I’ll die anyway.

I looked at my children and thought how much better off they’d be without me. I wondered if they would suffer from any feelings of loss. What would happen when they grow up? What would be said? How would my sudden disappearance be explained?

And then it hit me. Pretty much like a train hits you, I imagine.

I HAVE to be there for them. I don’t ever want them to feel like I feel, even for one minute. Perhaps they might if I killed myself? Perhaps they might think, at some point in their lives, he didn’t love us enough to carry on? And I wouldn’t be there to say to them ‘But I did love you. With every cell. That’s not why!’ Perhaps they might have moments in their life when they feel depressed? School work getting on top of them. Pressures of life. Relationships. Stuff that drags you down. And I want to be the one that picks them up. Always. And, until I die of natural causes or something freaky like a satellite falling on my head, I will be.

I know something’s not right and I’m off to the GP who thinks I’m buff again tomorrow. If not for a review of my medication then at least for an ego boost.I’ll wear aftershave.

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If you have been feeling depressed, or simply ‘just not right’ then visit our Help with Depression page on the Netmums site. Remember that support is available. 

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18 Responses to Blog of the Week – Oh just F*!K OFF!

  1. sam says:

    Ive just read this blog n oh my word i know how it feels part from the suicide bit as i wudnt let myself get 2 that point of feelin. More n more people r sufferin in silence when there is help out there. I believe this topic needs 2 b put out there depression is or can b an awful thing xx

  2. Leigh says:

    I’m so sorry you are going through all these emotions, and it’s not surprising you are confused. But what really upset me was thinking your kids would be better off without you. You play with them, you spend time with them. They don’t know your innermost thoughts, or how you feel. But you would leave a huge gap in their lives. I grew up without my mum, and I wouldn’t wish that on anyone. I hope things start changing for you, and your glass becomes half full soon. xx

  3. Natalie says:

    Incredibly moving blog – rarely do we hear of parental depression from a father, it’s nice to see you stand up and try to break the taboos linked with depression.
    You sound like a great parent to me, you could easily ignore your kids and wallow but you don’t and that’s what makes a difference. And you recognise the reason you must be there for your kids which is so important to your battle against depression. One day they will be well adjusted adults who do not hold any stigma against people suffering from depression – and for that you should feel proud.
    From the bottom of my heart I hope things start to get better for you soon.

  4. Sam says:

    You amazing person. I have felt like this in the past. I’m greatful to say that I got through it in the end and like you I stayed for my children. The fact that you can be so brutaly honest about how you are feeling means that you are far from a failiure in fact you are an inspiration to other people that may feel the same way but are not brave enough to own their feelings. I. Was in tears reading this because it brought back so many memorys of a time long past thankfully. You will get to the other side eventually. Just keep reminding yourself that its just something you have to get through and that it won’t be like this forever. You are not a faliure. All the time you can stay for the sake of your children you are not failing. Ok maybe its by your fingertips at times but your still hanging on. Best wishes for a speedy recovery and a happy depresion free future xxxxx

  5. melw68 says:

    Wow. what a fantastic way of discribing how it feels to be a man with Depression. Well done for speaking up for there is so many men who dont talk about those deep thoughts and turbulent emotions. To me, there is 2 kinds of people. Those who feel and those that dont. Some of us are born under a dark cloud. We go through life with a constant battle ahead of us. We struggle with our whole being. Of who we are and why we are here. I know when i sat mixing a ton of pills i was in a mess. Stuck down a deep pit of darkness. I had a 5 month old and a 6 yr old. i was also going through a seperation. I had post natal deppression. Lucky me hey?. I often wondered how my girls would feel growing up without me. The crazy woman with a mixed up head. I felt like i wasnt good enough for the honour of being Mum. Well how wrong i was. That was 18 yrs ago. My girls have their own babies. I did it. I got through the darkness. Dont get me wrong. Some months the lights went off. Some months my smile turned upright. We are such strong souls. we carry a sword of honour. We might drop it by our sides when it gets to heavy to carry. We will always pick it up and march on. One day. Mr Warrior you too will pick up that sword and walk on with head held high and fight on one more day. Until then. Rest. Take time to build up your strength. You need to be kind to you. Dont be too hard. You will survive this. Take care. (( Healing hugs )). xx

  6. This is very much how I am feeling right now. You really have summed up all my thoughts and feelings here. Just wanted to let you know that you’re not alone, and you can turn a corner with this!! xxx

  7. acepuppets says:

    Just to say keep believing in yourself you will get through it and be stronger in the end. Saying it out loud means that you are not bottling it up and are on the road to getting better.
    Best wishes Sian

  8. SAHDandproud says:

    Thanks very much for all the comments. I’m touched and I’m seeking some help. Things can get better, I just have to trust that they will and let the bad times pass without too much inner pain.

  9. Wow…you certainly don’t sound anything like a failure to me. Taking medication that you need is not failing, it’s saying I want to get better and doing what you can to get better…no different from taking any other medication for any other type of illness or disease. Keep strong as there’s no doubt that your children need you…now and in the future! …and keep speaking out, writing about it, sharing your thoughts, good & bad…it ensures people stay listening, caring & helping. melw68 says some incredibly insightful stuff…she did it and so can you. Willing you onwards, forwards and upwards.

  10. Kat Sighs says:

    Big hugs my lovely! Hang in there. I have just been back to the doctor and had my dose increased as Im not making much progress. Some days I just dont know how Im going to make it through all this. Do whatever helps you feel better. I have a very real Haribo addiction and today was a 2 bag day 😦 Keep blogging and get it off your chest, it helps to lighten the load. Also grab a hug at every given opportunity. I know you will get through this, the same way I will get through this. The reason.. Because they are worth it. I will go on fighting this crap every single f***ing day just for a smile from each of my boys because they are worth it!
    Big hugs and a bag of Haribo xxxx

  11. kerrywatton says:

    Wow, that is an amazing post. It truly sums up depression to a T. Cannot put it into words any better. Tough time but it IS beatable..hang in there x

  12. Anonymous says:

    I am struggling with the same emotions myself and happen to be a GP myself. I have tried medication and same feelings as yours made me stop them and now counselling is doing something. Your last paragraph sums it well. If I did have a gun and if I didnt have my son I probably wouldnt be writing this. I hope it gets better for you. i am glad you shared it and so I know I am not alone, Hang in there

  13. wilsonblades says:

    Just the fact that you are taking medication means you are doing something positive for you and your kids. AND you are the one who is there to help them with their feelings and emotions because you know how important it is. Depression leaves me all out of kilter and perceptions are warped through that dark lens, so be kind to yourself. Thanks for a brave post.

  14. Louise says:

    It is so nice to share things about PND and thought I would share rhis crazy note I typed to try to get things out on paper and out of my head!
    The days pass so quickly even though they are long with often not much time to take a breath. Time is always watched out of the corner of my eye with naps, feeding, washing, cleaning and learning all whizzing round my head on a constant loop. I have learnt with age (only 32!), that whatever you want to happen and however much you can influence things yourself – time is something you have no control over- it will pass or seem to stand still, often doing the opposite of what you want and need it to do. Sensitivity to noise and an unbearable feeling of anger towards total strangers for talking loudly when walking past the pram, or a fire engine making itself known just as I get him off to sleep. Watching the cracks in the pavement to make sure in advance that, if possible, I can avoid anything that would cause him to wake. Thinking so far ahead in the day to the things that need done and then realising it is only 6.30am and the majority of the world is not even up yet. The regular voice in your head saying “it’s really not that bad” and reminding yourself of a close friend enduring chemotherapy and how thankful I should be (and am so) for my health and that really there is nothing wrong and I should be as happy as possible. The awful feeling that despite being overwhelmingly happy about being a mother and having a son with my wonderful husband who I love dearly, I am positively miserable – both physically and emotionally, and I have no control over this whatsoever. Having once felt the feeling of ‘impending doom’ that people talk of when you are near death or in inexplicable pain, I am now in a place where I fell that again regardless of the knowledge that I am physically fine. The poor diet day after day and knowing the effect that this has on my son when breastfeeding, yet I still continue eating sugary foods. I know this is the worst thing I can do but just can’t help it and then regularly feel disgusted with myself about how much I have eaten that day. I am trapped in a situation of my own making with people there to support me as soon as I change it but feel helpless as to how to change the means of feeding with so many different opinions. The incredible rage I feel when every day I find out about a trip of happening that a friend has planned and I have none – even though I don’t even really feel bothered about going out, drinking or staying away for the weekend. I start to think ‘are they a bad mother’ when leaving someone is leaving their 14 week old baby overnight somewhere. Then the flippancy of ‘well that is what happens when they bottle feed’ sets in and I congratulate myself on how long I have breastfed – I know it is not a competition and now 9 months on it is probably not even giving him anything he needs. I know my body is telling me it is a good time to stop. I know that instances in my childhood will always cause me pain and I should really ‘talk to someone about them’ but who and what to say to say to them I cannot decide on – seems pointless as I will always have a reminder in the form of my mother who I have a difficult relationship with and this is a major factor I believe in making me feel the way I do. In times of real joy I still feel like there is someone sitting inside the base of my skull above my neck pulling back my feelings and not allowing them to flow fully. I want to shout and scream at my mother and make a video with all the scenarios that are so ludicrous with confirmation from everyone else at how ridiculous she is. I know that things will never change and I had tried so hard to just take what I got, but after having my son and I struggling to contain this as I need the support but know that after spending time with her I will actually feel worse – both emotionally and physically drained. However, I know that my son has had a good time as she makes him laugh. Every day I analyse how much I have taught him and prevent myself from comparing him to other children and then in my head think about his ‘actual age’ being premature. He is thriving and my husband reminds me regularly about how good a job I am doing. Every day I do wonder if I am doing a good enough job and that he would be better of with someone else as a mum even though no one could love him as much as I do. Speaking to people and after a few minutes thinking that they are looking at you with a ‘stop moaning’ face. I have never felt like this before and have had a few instances in my life that I have felt low such as breaking my spine, loss of a loved one, being indirectly blamed for the complete break up one side of the family. Even when my bundle of joy was in the neo-natal unit for those short weeks I remember feeling utterly helpless but never this low – even when I had convinced myself he would never get out. After reading about PND I would think – how can a traumatic time during conception and a traumatic birth affect you 7 months+ down the line, especially when this is a much easier time than the first few months of feeding every hour day in and day out?! Nearly every day I tell myself people with more than one child manage and count myself lucky every time I see a set of twins ( but do get a reminder that my son was part of a twin and then wonder what he/she would be like) I say on a daily basis ‘stop complaining and enjoy every second’ (which I do) whilst at the same time being thankful for all the time I have had at home with my wonderful boy when others have had no choice but to go back to work. My head is constantly full of feeding, good meals, will he wake? Floor boards creaking, what does my return to work look like? Should I go back? How did I get so fat and old so quickly? How can I even spend this much time ‘complaining’ when people all over the world are dying?! What I really think is that my body is tired – really really tired and wants to fully rest – but however hard I try my mind will not slow down or let my body rest. Constantly listening to the baby monitor, not to check that he is breathing but with a anticipation that he will wake up or I will hear the upstairs neighbours. Becoming a curtain twitcher checking if the upstairs neighbours are in, and breathing a sigh of relief if I know they are out, reminding myself that there is less of a chance of him waking up. Being a worrier anyway, the real problem I have had is realising that my mind has wondered in my constant state of worry, that I have created a god awful scenario in which my little baby has been injured or hurt and then actually feeling the feelings created by this event. So I need to be there to protect him but I am not hoarding him. A major regular feeling that if I can’t get everything done in one go then I can’t do anything at all. I am not analysing my feelings all the time or looking for a diagnosis – I just recently realised that PND is most likely what I am experiencing. Why are my family so shit at communicating and making the effort? How do I stop the daily sense of failure towards my two wonderful dogs who are just there for me – especially my boy who has been there for me through tough times over the last few years in the lead up to our wonderful arrival last year. When I hear my sigh I feel it goes round and round my body and head and then finally escapes from my mouth. I am terrified that my husband of 15 years will think I have lost it and have become a fat, miserable lazy cow. Even now when just typing this without thinking, my mind feels sore from ‘racing’. Going from being able to cope with a stressful job, a battle to get my beautiful boy and a husband with a potentially serious illness – to having no problems at all and I actually feel worse. Typing this makes me realise that a large part of the PND is hormonal which you have little control over
    At the end of the day you need someone who you know is there to support you and help you logically think about what and why you feel the way you do and to realise the positives in your life. Then do something that you really like to do ( I am going to have some Haagendas!)

  15. diane conway says:

    I suffer from depression also, i feel i am a terrible mum sometimes! there are days when i get up change my 3 year olds nappy feed him and then sleep for two hours on the sete missing the day and my baby missing the light, i have bursts of energy were i care for him then i neeed a rest, i worry that he looks sad sometimes to.

  16. rebecca says:

    I suffer depression, I have done on and off for 11years now. Just when you think maybe I may have beaten it, There it is again worming it’s way back into my life trying to take over everything. Reading this has really helped as I’m trying to support my brother who’s literally lost everything due to a bitter break up. It could have been my brother who had wrote this, I’m going to show him this so he can see his not alone. He’s recently tried to commit suicide, I’m trying to support him but It’s the ‘what do I say’ awkward moments as I don’t want to crush him any more than he already is.

  17. I’m SO GLAD I spotted this post on Depression!!! I’m visiting Netmums for the first time in a long while after a business colleague told me how advertising on the site has helped his business but OMG this post on depression resonates with me as I’ve suffered from depression for many years…

    Things got so bad that for nearly 2 yrs not even my son was able to make me want to get out of bed. My life existed between my sofa and my bed, I had anxiety attacks in the supermarket and eventually just didn’t bother to leave home. Trying to think felt like I was swimming through treacle. All the antidepressants and other things I did to ‘fix’ the problem helped a little but I wasn’t the same person. That all stopped in 2010 when I discovered the product I’m drinking now! I have not had to take even one antidepressant tablet since and even though I’ve had dips in my mood I’ve not had a major dip since then. I started telling others about it and now my secondary business is sharing this product with others.

    I’m not sure what the rules are for mentioning products in comments so I wont but I’ll definitely be advertising on NETMUMS soon as it is clear there are many like me out there who may benefit from this product like I have.

    The threat of depression will never go away but I’ve found that something to helps me manage it more easily and that is was why I visited the site today… I need to share what I’ve learnt with others because if I can help even one other person lift the black veil of depression from their life long enough for them to enjoy life again I know that I’e done a good thing…

    Please check back with NETMUMS in the next week or so for more info or if the rules allow please feel free to contact me dirrectly…

  18. ruth briddon says:

    I absolutely love the blunt title, it’s right up my street!
    I suffered terribly with depression and anxiety a few years ago and whilst I’ve now recovered, I still have episodes where I put my head in the Harry Potter ‘pensieve’ and look at what happened in the past. I’m still toying with the idea of having a t-shirt printed, just for me ‘ I used to have anxiety but now I’m worried I don’t’.
    I certainly found out who my friends were too. Even though people were so supportive, they don’t know what to say. I had things like ‘ oh dont worry, you’ll be fine’, ‘you’re probably just tired’. I needed someone who would metaphorically strip me and look beneath the surface and really talk about how shit i felt. I would get annoyed at people for not understanding.
    All the best to you xxx

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