Moodscope's blog

21

March


Invisible. Tuesday March 21, 2017

I am a daughter, looking after an elderly quite sick mother. I am a mother looking after a 14 year old son whose hormones have kicked in with a vengence. Who am I?

I dont exist, what I want doesnt matter. My soul function is to make sure that my mother and son have good fulfilling lives. Sometimes I catch a glimpse of myself in a mirror or window, I dont know who I am. Grey hair scraped back in a clip because I havent the time or inclination to wash it, clothes un-ironed, I dont care how I look it doesnt matter because I'm invisible. I used to care but that person is long long gone. I lurch from day to day going to a job I hate then making sure both of them have everything they need to be happy. Day to day, week to week, month to month, year to year. The only thing I had was my sense of humour but even that has got up and gone.

I can't feel pleasure with anything, I don't even know what makes me happy anymore. I want to scream, stop the world I want to get off!! I can't let people get close to me, it's as if I have a wall around me. It's so high and wide I'm safe in its protection, I can't let go and break down, admitting I cant cope, for God sake people in the world are living in the most horrendous circumstances my problems are nothing compared to theirs. So I say to myself pull yourself together, but it doesnt last long. I am fortunate to live on a most beautiful island with no crime and eveyone knows everyone, but to me it is a prison and I am trapped.

Sometimes I look at photos of my younger self, I can hardly recognise the smiling happy face looking back at me. Is that me? I am now 52 severly menopausaul! I want a life I want to be happy but I dont know how to get that life. Anyway it doesnt matter what I want.

So I plod on with my life, in and out of hospital with my mom and in and out of school with my son! But where am I, where is that happy smiling carefree Tracey?

Tracey
A Moodscope member.

Thoughts on the above? Please feel free to post a comment below.


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Comments

Deborah Tue, Mar 21st 2017 @ 5:48am

You are feeling in the pits, that's for sure. Commiserations.
Life will change. But meanwhile perhaps factor in one treat which is exclusively yours. Change your route to and from school or the hospital. Find a cafe and read a magazine. Make friends with the owner.
In the evening take a lovely bath and light a candle.
Little steps.

Tracey Sun, Apr 2nd 2017 @ 3:17pm

Deborah Im sorry it has taken a while to reply to your comment on my blog-invisible. I was so overwhelmed by all the comments I received and all of you have helped me so so much. Thank you. Tracey

Tracy Tue, Mar 21st 2017 @ 6:49am

I can empathize a bit with your situation. I’m only 42 but I’ve been disabled since I was 30 and have now progressed to being mostly bedbound. I too feel like the person I was has ceased to exist and am not quite sure whether what remains is enough for me. Though the reasons for it differ, I get that feeling of not really even seeing myself anymore. All I see is sickness.

I really have no words of advice because I don't know how to fix this myself, but I wanted you to know you are not alone in this feeling. The one thing I wanted to encourage you to do is not to compare your situation to others. Yes, there are many, many people living in horrible, often unimaginable situations and objectively, our situations might not be as bad as theirs. But that in no way makes what we feel any less real to us. It doesn’t make how we hurt less important. Realizing this doesn’t demean what others go through, but it does help you give yourself some of the compassion you’re showing for others.

You have enough on your plate without lashing yourself over feeling bad and setting up rules that will never allow you the "right" to feel your pain because others suffer more. Please don’t do that to yourself.

Tutti Frutti Tue, Mar 21st 2017 @ 8:26am

Tracy Just to say that I am sorry to hear about your situation and how you are feeling but am glad you chose to respond today. I hope you find some of what we discuss on moodscope helpful. Sending you love and hugs TF xoxo

Molly Tue, Mar 21st 2017 @ 4:17pm

Wise words Tracy, everything is relevant. Believing others are worse off does not help our own plight. I feel for you being in the position you are in, must be very frustrating for you. Love Molly xx

Tracy Tue, Mar 21st 2017 @ 4:27pm

Thanks Tutti Frutti. I read this blog and the comments every single day and I have for years. I get so much from reading it and I’m so appreciative of the time others take to share their stories. Xoxo

Tracy Tue, Mar 21st 2017 @ 4:35pm

Thank you Molly. It's frustrating but I try to see and appreciate the things I have because of my situation, like time to read and learn so many things that I wouldn’t have if I were working. It's not the life I’d have chosen, but most of us can probably say that to some degree. I get to see a therapist weekly, which I never had time for before and it has really helped me to do good work in so many areas, especially related to my anxiety disorder and bipolar disorder. I appreciate your words of understanding. This blog so often makes me feel less alone. Xoxo

Tracey Sun, Apr 2nd 2017 @ 3:22pm

Tracey I have taken a while to reply as I was overwhelmed by all the comments to my invisible blog. I cant tell you how much all the comments have helped me. I do hope that you are ok as you have such a lot to deal with. Tracey

Rachel Tue, Mar 21st 2017 @ 7:09am

Hi Tracey, well done for sharing this and putting it out there. It sounds such a cliche to say thats your first step. It is so hard to say well actually this is not right and I am am not happy. Don't make comparisons. It wastes precious energy. Grab onto that girl into the picture and don't let her go. She is still there. Deborah's advice was excellent - small changes whatever they may be begin the journey back to being on an even keel. Small changes and then you may feel strong enough to suggest that one evening is yours......some time away is invaluable even if it is a couple of hours. It will keep you strong. Also what will actually happen if you did tell some one? I reckon a good blart is very good for the soul!

Go on - one tiny change...........

Tychi's Mum Tue, Mar 21st 2017 @ 7:34am

Tracey I am so sorry to hear that you're feeling so low. You have been very brave in putting your feelings in to words. Rachel, I think that you've offered some really good advice, especially trying to make a little bit of time that belongs solely to you. I also wanted to say that I'm sure that you are not invisible to your mother and son. They must value your love and support enormously. I hope so... I'm sure too that you are not invisible to your work colleagues but I can totally understand why you feel that way. It's so easy to say but you MUSN'T compare yourself to others. You have a very debilitating illness that saps the life out of you. Unfortunately your illness is invisible. A friend of mine calls it an "invisible prison." A very apt description, I think. One last thought, I don't know how long you've felt this way but have you considered that a hormonal imbalance may be part of the problem? I'm sure you have thought of that for yourself.... I really wish you well in your recovery.....you CAN and will recover. The illness is bullying you in to thinking that it won't happen...but it will... Sending you my love and support. Tychi's Mum...

Tutti Frutti Tue, Mar 21st 2017 @ 7:58am

And if your son is so caught up in the classic teenager stuff that he is not showing any appreciation right now and just seems to ignore you and/or have a go at you try to cling onto the fact that the books on bringing up teenagers say that they do appreciate their parents even though they don't show it and you may get some appreciation from him down the line once he is out of "the dark tunnel of adolescence" (description of the teenage brother in Clarice Bean by Lauren Child). Love TF x

Tracey Sun, Apr 2nd 2017 @ 3:30pm

tutti frutti Thank you for all your comments on my invisible blog, sorry I have taken so long to reply. All the comments I recieved were so so helpful and I feel so much better than when I wrote the blog. Tracey

Marmaladegirl Tue, Mar 21st 2017 @ 7:10am

Dear Tracey - I have just written a blog called "Invisible" but I haven't sent it in yet, and when I read yours it was uncanny. I am 52 (53 in June) and you describe exactly how I feel (which is why I had written my "Invisible" blog). After years and years and years of devoting my life to other people, I seem to have lost all sense of pleasure. I don't feel joy; I don't know what I want. The things that used to give me pleasure don't anymore...

So you are definitely not alone Tracey and I think that Moodscope will be full of people like us. People write with lots of tips in their blogs - some of them might work for you (and me!) and they certainly help with understanding WHY we are as we are. I think that understanding how and why we have got to the state we are in is very important - it is the key to getting OUT of it!

Inside you there is still the happy, smiling, attractive, energetic Tracey that was always there, and she can emerge again. My rut started in 1997 but I am working hard to get out of it but twenty years of habit is hard to change. We must both really believe that a fulfilling and happy life is there for us, we just have to chip away at all the things that keep us trapped (the mental and the physical) until we are FREE and can feel happy again. We can and we will do it Tracey! Never give up. Keep searching. Older, wiser and happier, that's us.

MG

Tutti Frutti Tue, Mar 21st 2017 @ 8:17am

Thinking of you MG. Keep chipping away. Love and hugs TF xoxo

Marmaladegirl Fri, Mar 24th 2017 @ 8:07am

Hi Tutti Frutti - Don't know if you will see this as it's been a few days, but just wanted to say thanks (and yes, I am still chipping away - getting there!) MG

Tracey Sun, Apr 2nd 2017 @ 3:51pm

marmaladegirl Sorry I have taken so long to reply to you. I too will be 53 in June - 11th. You sound like you knew exactly how I feel. Because of all the comments I can honestly say that I feel so much better. The real Tracey is still inside me and I will find her. Thank you. Tracey

Sally Tue, Mar 21st 2017 @ 7:26am

Have to agree with, and add my two pennyworth to what Deborah and Rachel say, Tracey. You are still there, but under a big pile of washing/ paperwork, or needs of others .
Try treating yourself as you would your best friend. Be kind and considerate to "her", Little treat, hairdo, whatever gives you a lift.. start small. You WILL start to reemerge , stronger, but at the moment everything looks bleak.
You are not being kind to yourself, and are only noticing the outward manifestations of your devotion to your mother and your son, and the toll it takes on you.
Try turning it round : I make so-and-so's life better, that makes me a worthy person. I have been told I have a lovely smile. I scrub up well. I am kind and caring. I listen well
. Acknowledge your strengths and recognise that if you were told about an unknown person with this profile, you would think, Wow! I admire him/her.
Put yourself at the centre of your life, for minutes even at a time, and positively reward yourself. It works! I know it does!
Good luck, and I never said it was easy, but it is one way forward, and who knows where you could be, how you could be feeling, in six months' time, Tracey! Big virtual hugs. Go on, you can do it!

Tracey Sun, Apr 2nd 2017 @ 3:55pm

Sally Thank you so much for your reply to my invisible blog. I had so many comments I was overwhelmed. They have all really helped me, and I am feeling stronger. I do have a lot of strengths and I must focus on those. I think as you say, I will be feeling a lot different in 6 months time, I already am. Tracey

Isabella Tue, Mar 21st 2017 @ 7:34am

Hi Tracey, You said you live on a beautiful island - a few minutes a day take time to look at the sea, the sky, nature - wallow longer and longer in its beauty. Nature will nourish you. Swim, take a boat trip, walk on the coast, explore the interior. Big virtual hug.

Tracey Sun, Apr 2nd 2017 @ 3:58pm

Isabella Thank you for your reply to my invisible blog. Im sorry its taken me so long to reply. All the comments and I couldnt believe that so many replied, have helped me so much. Yes I do live on a beautiful island which I do take for granted. Today here is such a beautiful day the sun is shining and the sea is so blue, colour everywhere. My world is no longer so grey. Tracey

Orangeblossom Tue, Mar 21st 2017 @ 7:49am

Hi Tracy, thinking of you at this difficult time. A big hug from me as well. A horrible feeling to feel invisible & perhaps be taken for granted.

Tracey Sun, Apr 2nd 2017 @ 4:00pm

Orangeblossom Thank you for replying to my invisible blog, it meant so much to see all the replies and they have helped me so much. Tracey

Tutti Frutti Tue, Mar 21st 2017 @ 8:16am

Hi Tracey
It sounds like you are in a difficult situation where you may need to arrange some practical help for your mother in order to be able to spend some time doing something for yourself. Remember that it is not selfish or weak to do this, it is just necessary maintenance to avoid becoming too worn down to help anyone else. I don't know what your mother's illness is and whether she appreciates the effort you put in or whether she will resist having external help and try to send you on a guilt trip. But remember you mustn't go on any guilt trips as it is in her best interest that you stay/get well. I agree with what loads of the others have said about stuff you might way to do and hope you will be able to get the practicalities sorted so that you can take a bit of time to recharge your batteries. And the points people have made about not comparing yourself with others are important to take on board too.
Sending you love and hugs TF xoxo

Tracey Sun, Apr 2nd 2017 @ 4:04pm

Tutti Fruti Thank you for your reply to my invisible blog. I had so many I was overwhelmed and they have all helped me so much. I did take on board the point that many of you made about not comparing myself to others, it is almost wasted energy. I can feel for them but in reality there is not much I can physically do. I feel in such a better place now, most of it down to all the replies. Tracey

Rupert Tue, Mar 21st 2017 @ 8:26am

Tracey for goodness sake please start putting yourself first for once! I know it is hard as you have all these responsibilities but you need to push back on some of them. Your son is old enough to start looking after himself and if he can be grumpy then so can you! You are an individual in your own right and are entitled to your own life too! Rupert

Tutti Frutti Tue, Mar 21st 2017 @ 8:42am

I am sure it partly depends on the individual child whether you would have any worries about leaving them, but I have left my daughter (just turned 14) on her own so that I can go to choir practice and have plenty of friends who have done similar things. If it is just that you feel you ought to be putting your son first, then as Rupert says give yourself a break because he is old enough to look after himself to some extent. It might actually be helpful to your son to make him take more responsibility for himself. And again it is in his best interests that you get/stay well. Love TF x

Tracey Sun, Apr 2nd 2017 @ 4:07pm

Rupert I had to smile when I read your reply it was almost as if you were shouting at me - in a good way I mean. You are right I never put myself first ever and I should. Thank you for reminding me I am an individual and entitled to my own life. Your reply really helped. Tracey

LP Tue, Mar 21st 2017 @ 8:26am

Hi Tracey,

You have started to change things for you already. Taking action helps to make you start to feel better. You are very visible now! I agree with what others have said about small steps and being kind to yourself. If you had a daughter to look after too, called Tracey who had written the abouve blog what would you say to her? Look after that inner child just by the odd small caring gesture.

I am at a similar stage, but coming out of the school phase. I have learnt to make myself less available, ie not All of the time. However I can relate to your blog so well. I have days when I bother less about myself hair scraped back and grey peeping through.

It sounds like you're doing it all alone, which is tough. A little help would be good. Is it possible at all?
I have been separated for years, so feel soley responsible for my "kids", luckily my 2 siblings help with my parents. I really relate to your wanting them to be happy and confident. I'm sure that they love you and would be even more happy to see you start to blossom.

It's spring in London, the sun is shining and blossom is appearing which makes me smile!
One tiny change for you is all hun. Take care.
Sunshine and smiles to all :) LP xx

Tracey Sun, Apr 2nd 2017 @ 4:13pm

LP Thank you for your reply to my invisible blog, sorry its taken so long for me to reply. All the replies and I was shocked at how many there were, helped me so much. I feel in a much better place now and dont feel invisible. It was so helpful to think about what you said, if I had a daughter what would I say to her if she had written it. I think it would be lovely to live in London, in the real world! My island is looking beautiful at the moment, warm and sunny. I do take it for granted living here and I shouldnt. Tracey

Hopeful One Tue, Mar 21st 2017 @ 8:26am

Hi Tracey- yes things do look bleak from where you stand. I agree with many of the comments others have made. When I felt like you do when I was a 24/7 carer every morning when I got up I would think of something to look forward to. Often it was a walk,sometimes I would think of a recipe I could make that evening,sometimes it was a little time in the garden just pottering along or sometimes it could be a doable project.Often life got in the way and I could not do what I had planned but the thought gave me a lift for the whole day.Above all do NOT lose Hope and keep up that sense of humour.

Here is a laugh.

A husband and wife attend a small service at the local church one Sunday morning. The man was very moved by the preacher's sermon, so he stopped to shake the preacher's hand. Reverend, that was the best damn sermon I ever did hear!" The Reverend replied, "Oh! Why, thank you sir, but please, I'd appreciate it if you didn't use profanity in the Lord's house." "I'm sorry Reverend, but I can't help myself... it was such a damn good sermon!" The Reverend replied, "Sir, please, I cannot have you behaving this way in Church!" "Okay Reverend, but I just wanted you to know that I thought it was so damn good, that I put £500 in the collection plate." The Reverend's eyes opened wide as he remarked, "Holy Cow!

Tutti Frutti Tue, Mar 21st 2017 @ 8:46am

Made me smile

Tychi's Mum Wed, Mar 22nd 2017 @ 7:02am

Me too...

Jane SG Wed, Mar 22nd 2017 @ 9:06am

Fab one HO!!! Please note I am now Jane SG! Formally Jane!

Audrey Tue, Mar 21st 2017 @ 8:38am

Dearest Tracey, I know where you are and I know how you are feeling. I know there is a wonderful funny caring lady inside your safe walls and I know its so very hard to climb over them. Like the birds above you long to be free, try not be so hard on yourself climb over one little step at a time and see the wonderful pink life you can lead, take your days one at a time and put in little measures to make things better. Your friends are there to help you and as time passes your lovely sparkly smile will come back and like the photos you look at now the happiness will appear ever so slowly ever so silently but never give up dear one. From one who knows.

Tychi's Mum Wed, Mar 22nd 2017 @ 7:03am

What a lovely reply Audrey. Very well expressed.

Tracey Sun, Apr 2nd 2017 @ 4:20pm

Audrey Thank you for your reply to my invisible blog, I almost felt as if you knew me. All the replies have helped me so much and I am in such a different and better place now. I am climbing over my safe walls a bit a time, and sometimes things happen to make me just want to get back in and put a roof over the walls - but I will get out and I will be pink again and sparkly like one of those glitter balls. I wont give up. Tracey

Becky Tue, Mar 21st 2017 @ 8:44am

Tracy, you are not invisible. We see you. We hear you. We're with you every step of the way x

Tracey Sun, Apr 2nd 2017 @ 4:40pm

Becky Thank you for your reply to my blog invisible. Sorry it has taken me so long to reply. I was overwhelmed with all the replies and they all helped. I truly dont feel invisible anymore. Tracey

Jul Tue, Mar 21st 2017 @ 8:50am

Hello Tracey. I am so sorry you feel so ghastly. I imagine most of us here have been there or are experiencing similar issues right now. One thing that struck me was where you live, a beautiful island where everyone knows each other. That sounds like a very unhealthy place to live. Beautiful islands are for tourists and a place where everyone knows each other would be Hell for me who wants to hide most of the time or remain anonymous. I was at my worst mentally when I lived in such a place, not an island, but a small community where I couldn't walk out of my front door without someone stopping to talk to me and find out if anything awful had happened since the last time they spoke to me (the day or hours before). Your 14 year old son must be bored too? I know moving is not easy but maybe in a few years, you might want to and be in a position to. All I can say today is that all this will pass. One day in the not too distant future you and your son will see some hope and promise of a good life. Meanwhile, you write well and I am sure you have many positive things going for you. You just haven't told us about them! Good Luck Tracey. We are there with you in your struggle. Julxx

Anonymous Tue, Mar 21st 2017 @ 8:54am

Your Invisible blog describes a very similar feeling I have had of "losing my voice". When we are torn in all directions, trying hard to do the best for others and losing ourselves in the process, we hope that someone somewhere will recognise what we are doing and support us. When no support comes, we have to be that supporter for ourselves - much more difficult than supporting others. I hope you can find solace in the beauty of your island and go gentle on yourself. Moodscope is the place to find your supporters, even if we can't be with you on your island.

Vivien Tue, Mar 21st 2017 @ 10:14am

Hi Tracey - I too feel invisible. I am a full time carer for my 91 year old Mum (currently in Hospital). The world goes on around us but we are not part of it. My feelings are caused by other people. They ask about Mum, but never about me. They don't ask 'How are you today Viv?' It angers me, annoys me, causes me to get frustrated and lose sleep. I've taken on the role of 'sorter outer, doer and helper'. There are times when I think 'hang on, I didn't sign up for this' but then none of us do. I do it, because I love my Mum and there is no other wotsit (just being polite!) who will do it. I could so easily rant about the ones who cause me to be invisible but then I think, blow it, they've got to live with themselves. We Moodscopers are there for you and we are there for each other. Take care - you are not invisible to me. If you can find 5 minutes to look at your island and above all breathe, things can only improve. Much love, Viv xxx

Lacey Tue, Mar 21st 2017 @ 11:06am

Tracey
I feel for you having to cope with the difficulties that are completely suroundng you.
You are still Tracey although not the Tracey you want to be;however you keep going...because you HAVE to for your sake and your son and your Mother.
Please try to remember the good times; there were some way back maybe, and they can bring you hope that,one day, your life will be yours to control and live how YOU want and not for others.
As women,we're always relied on to cope without complaint.
Maybe rant and rave in private..go in the garden or down to the beach and scream at the top of your voice that does not get heard often.
Let out your worries,hurt and anger as keeping it in and putting on the coping mask is not for capable people like you and me...make yourself heard even if its just the sky.....
Love L x
P.S. if you can't find a moment of quiet write your rants on paper and then bin those words...or burn them.Then they will no longer exist hopefully ;-)

Leah Tue, Mar 21st 2017 @ 11:11am

Tracey
What a touching and a relatable blog. Many have written wonderful comments. I hope the writing of the blog and the insightful compassionate comments help you in some. Hugs Leah

Vickie Tue, Mar 21st 2017 @ 11:48am

Hi Tracey,
I hear you. I too have felt invisible. After devoting 30+ years to other people’s needs, I woke up one day and did not know who I was or what I wanted. I somehow found myself at a self- esteem class and this is where the first stirring of my awakening began. I came to realize that I was waiting for someone to come and take care of me the way I was taking care of others or for someone to give me permission to take care of myself. I realized that the only one who was going to take care of me was me and that I needed to treat myself with the same compassion that I did everyone else. I started doing one small thing for me every day and I can’t tell you why, but something this simple is helping me rediscover myself. I focus on 1% improvement every day. I hope you can find one thing to do for you today.
Sending you virtual hugs xx
Vickie

Susannah Tue, Mar 21st 2017 @ 1:12pm

Hi Tracey
You evidently touched a nerve with many moodscopers, judging by the number of comments.

Along with the "wot everyone else sed":

Don't feel guilty about feeling down. Just because others are suffering more, doesn't reduce or negate your suffering. I know that there are people starving to death in Africa - but I still get hungry at lunchtime.

If your son is being a pain in the backside, then you can tell him so. You can tell him that it's not just him having a difficult time, and to show some consideration for you. You could point out to him that you are doing too much for him and your mother, and that you need time for yourself. You can tell him that part of growing up is realising and respecting the needs of others, especially those closest to him, who he might take for granted.

Can you see your doctor to test your hormone levels - there may be something to help you.

Breath out fully - especially the last little bit, and take a large breath in stretching your arms up and lifting your face to the sky.

Good luck - you have a large community here willing you to win.

The Gardener Tue, Mar 21st 2017 @ 2:10pm

Tracey, I started this morning where you are now. Mr G has undergone marked deterioration - resulting in day-long abuse mixed with self-pity. He has also started making most hurtful remarks, making one doubt all the pundits who say Alsheimers sufferers cannot help themselves, so no blame attached. But the hurtful remarks are not daft, out of the blue, so it presumes some desire of thinking, and emotion, although a very negative one. He must have woken me up 10 times last night. Now, I am no angel - but I thought of somebody here's 'blesings jar'. In went a blackbird song - he started before dawn - and, my lovely new house, designed to cope with Mr G's problems gave me pleasure, so I did it so it was (silly) pleased with itself. The sun came out. I can see how islands (we've been to so many, loved them all) can become prisons. As Susannah says, time for yourself vital - I think Davis? poem 'no time to stand and stare' could be good in your position - just go for the best view on your island, and think of nobody but yourself. All the luck in the world

Jane SG Wed, Mar 22nd 2017 @ 9:05am

Dear Gardener, your ref to the poem lept out at me. Having always been a lover of poetry I learnt this pome by heart as a little girl. It's perfect for Tracy love Jane SG (formally Jane!)

Molly Tue, Mar 21st 2017 @ 4:27pm

Hi Tracey, like others have said, some good comments here. I thought it was great that you could be so honest about how you feel. I can relate to that lack of identity and putting others before myself. Sometimes it's just the way we are, other times I guess there is not much choice, but you are obviously a very caring person. I too can relate to the menopause and I feel it plays tricks with our emotions and zaps our energy, so I hope there is light at the end of the tunnel for you. Love Molly xx

Poppins Tue, Mar 21st 2017 @ 7:59pm

You are amazing. Not only are you coping with your sick mother and adolescent son but supporting them both, working and caring for your home, while suffering yourself. You were also strong and kind enough to share your feelings making others feel they are not alone. As several other bloggers have suggested try a small treat for yourself - mine is wholenut chocolate, only you know what yours will be. I admire your strength and kindness, hope and pray things will soon improve for you.

A Suitable Handle Tue, Mar 21st 2017 @ 9:08pm

Tracey, it's such a big step even just to recognize what's going on! My mom has described feeling very similar when I was a teen and her mother was beginning to decline mentally.

The inability to connect with pleasure can sometimes be a symptom of depression, and it wouldn't be particularly surprising if you ARE experiencing a depressive episode in your current circumstances. I've been there, and it was just so difficult to take even small steps toward healing on my own while in its grip. If this is true for you, please do find a way to connect with a health professional and try to get a hand pulling out.

Everyone here has shared great advice. Carving out a little time for yourself, even if it must be short because of constraints.

With your son... this might not apply, and it certainly might be tough depending on the circumstances, but have you tried asking him what he's going through? My parents spent a lot of time telling me everything that I was going wrong and lecturing me on how I overreacted to things, but I never felt they really listened to what I was experiencing or connecting to their own younger selves. I always felt judged and ended up bottling everything up to avoid that judgement... which only got me into worse situations. Again, this might not be practical, but it could be helpful for your son to get a sense that he can mess up without wrath descending on him. Or maybe, as another moodscoper suggested, perhaps being entrusted with some responsibility while you take a bit of extra time for yourself. If you're a bit vulnerable with him and ask for help as an equal, he may surprise you by how he can step up and mature.

Whatever road you take, I wish you all the best. You're in a tough squeeze, and it's okay to feel overwhelming. Try to remind yourself that this will pass, and take one small step at a time. We're here for you!

Jane SG Wed, Mar 22nd 2017 @ 9:00am

Dear Tracy your blog is very moving and I can relate. Your life sounds exhasuting, please do factor in some 'me time.' Time for yourself. Not easy I know. Believe me I know... Sending you a big hug love Jane SG (formally Jane!) xxx

Salt Water Mum Wed, Mar 22nd 2017 @ 9:24am

Dear Tracey,

I just posted a long reply to you but for some reason, it has disappeared.
Maybe just as well. It was full of suggestions and recommendations and personal anecdotes (!) and perhaps all I really want to see is that I hear you and I empathise. I would love to give you a big hug.

Well done for posting here, it's a safe space where we understand those feelings of despair and sadness. Some great posts here. Teeny steps as people have said...

'I don't even know what makes me happy anymore' - what an honest reflection. Start there maybe? A 'what makes me happy ' list. Start small - playing a song you like loudly, your fav chocolate and / or coffee, a paddle in the sea, a browse and buy in the book shop, half an hour to watch a comedy show... discover new things - teeny steps.

I am gong to my therapist this morning - one hour every two weeks. I didn't think I could fit it in with work and kids but I can. I rarely miss my appointment. It's vital to my well-being. I can be me - I can cry and rant and there's no judgement. Do think about therapy.

As for your sense of humour, it's not gone, it's just hiding... it will return.

take care Tracey, I am thinking of you and sending that hug - a virtual one but sincere nonetheless,

SWM x

Tim Thu, Mar 23rd 2017 @ 9:46am

Oh yes. I recognise that blog! It spanned many years. But life does move on, sometimes when we want and often when we don't. But it shifts. Your core self returns to "who you were", but moderated (extended!) by the bleak and bland times when all you'd known was a barely recognised glimmer. And you, often, give thanks for getting that enlarged, though painfully draining, experience.

Laura Thu, Mar 23rd 2017 @ 11:26pm

Hi, Tracey. I can totally relate. I, too, have only found the strength to care for my kids and my mom. I didn't matter. I ceased to exist. Today, I don't feel that way and I am grateful. I just wanted you to know that I know exactly how you feel.

Nicco Thu, Aug 24th 2017 @ 2:04pm

Tracey - I came across this still in my inbox & thought I would leave a quick comment to say that I know how you were feeling & hope very much that you are feeling a lot better and not so invisible. It also seems to happen that children & parents need us most when we are also going through the menopause - I felt very much like that when my daughter was leaving the nest, my mother was dying, and my father was needing help to cope, and my husband was having a tough time at work & wondering whether to change jobs at a late stage in life. No one seemed to wonder, care or mind how I was feeling about it all. I am the other side of that now, and can say from experience that things do change and get better. x Nicco x

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