Confessions of a special needs father 7/04/2011

This post was not easy to write but I hope it benefits someone out there that may be in a similar boat and needs help. Hopefully, my honesty will help you to realize that you are not alone 🙂

I need help……..

 

I have been going through some things lately. I have, for a while now, been…..preoccupied with my own mortality. It has become more and more difficult to manage these feelings…….actually, more like fears, anymore. I feel like my life is over or I’m dying and it’s a HORRIBLE feeling. The rational side of me knows that my life has really only just begun. However, there is another part of me that chooses to embrace these feelings of despair. I guess embrace is the wrong choice of words…more like overcome.

I had a very honest conversation with my wife last night. I know I have been driving her crazy with some of these “worries” but I wanted her to be honest and tell me what she thought. She thinks I have slipped back into a depression. If I’m to be completely honest, I would have to agree. Not that it really matters or makes anything better but here is what I think happened and why.

Back in the very early parts of the this year you may remember an experience I shared with all of you. The experience I’m referring to is the bare-handed man. Seeing a person treated in such a terrible way is not a pleasant experience. However, as awful as that was, that isn’t what turned my world upside down. On that day I came face to face with my absolute worst fear. I think many of us share this same fear and that is, what will happen to my kids after I’m gone? I saw just how horribly disgusting people could be and it just “broke” me, for lack of a better word. I was worried about what would happen to my children if something should happen to me prior to this experience but now it’s so very different. Now it’s real because I have actually seen what can happen and it terrifies me. It’s one thing to think about something that “could” happen and it’s another to actually witness something like this happen to a person with special needs, just like your own children.. Suddenly it’s no longer some abstract fear but instead becomes a MUCH more tangible and distressing possibility. Until I saw that, I always thought the world was inherently good but not anymore. In my mind, if this could happen to the bare-handed man then it could surely happen to my kids as well. The idea of this happening to my children, my babies, is slowly destroying me from the inside out. I need to get help.

That, I believe was the perverbial straw that broke the camels back. I hadn’t really thought about the full impact this experience had on me but to me it makes a lot of sense. This is the catalyst that started my slide into a depression again. I became obsessed with my health and began worrying about everything that could take me away from my family. I started having bad dreams and became very anxious. What’s really strange is that I realize exactly what’s causeing me to feel this way but it doesn’t make a difference…..it doesn’t make it feel any less real.

After talking to Lizze last night, I decided that it was best to maybe get back on an anti-depressant that also helps with anxiety. I see my family doctor on Wednesday or Thursday of this week to follow up on my cholesterol check from last week. I’m going to have one of those very honest conversations with her and ask to be put back in something. In truth, I hate the idea of being on meds again because I worked so hard to get back off of them last year but I clearly can’t go on like this and my family needs me. Now, I’m not sitting in a corner and drooling or anything like that. I’m just VERY preoccupied with certain things and when I no longer worry about one thing, I switch to something else. This is not productive or healthy, so I’m choosing to take control back before it gets any worse. I’m not ashamed to admit any of this or to go back on the meds. I simply have more on my plate then I can handle. I was hoping that by walking and exercising again,  I could manage this on my own and maybe in time I can. However, right now I can’t and so I need to do what’s best, not only for myself but also for my family.

If anyone out there is having similar feelings of distress and just can’t seem to move on or thoughts of suicide, PLEASE don’t be affraid to seek help. Talk to someone you trust and talk to your doctor. Depression is NOT something you can simply fix with positive thinking and you should NEVER feel ashamed. Depression is like a Chinese finger trap, the harder you fight the tighter it’s grip. Please get help if you need it.

Here are the basic symptoms of Depression as per the Mayo Clinic. Follow the link for more detailed information.

Depression symptoms can include:

  • Feelings of sadness or unhappiness
  • Irritability or frustration, even over small matters
  • Loss of interest or pleasure in normal activities
  • Reduced sex drive
  • Insomnia or excessive sleeping
  • Changes in appetite — depression often causes decreased appetite and weight loss, but in some people it causes increased cravings for food and weight gain
  • Agitation or restlessness — for example, pacing, hand-wringing or an inability to sit still
  • Slowed thinking, speaking or body movements
  • Indecisiveness, distractibility and decreased concentration
  • Fatigue, tiredness and loss of energy — even small tasks may seem to require a lot of effort
  • Feelings of worthlessness or guilt, fixating on past failures or blaming yourself when things aren’t going right
  • Trouble thinking, concentrating, making decisions and remembering things
  • Frequent thoughts of death, dying or suicide
  • Crying spells for no apparent reason
  • Unexplained physical problems, such as back pain or headaches

If any of this hits home with you PLEASE get help and talk to someone.

 

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drew

Hey, Rob.

I believe the world *is* inherently good. The bare-handed man came from a generation less cognizant of human differences. With more peple being diagnosed with asd (or any issue that differentiates them from the "norm" (I.e., adhd, food intolerances, etc) that requires schools, educators and parents to become more aware.

But more importantly, you are a different parent than the bare-handed man had. You instill different lessons, sense of worth and skills to your boys than his probably did.

Keep up the good work, man. It's people like you who help make the world a better place.

Lost_and_Tired

I do agree with you. I feel like I have so much at stake with my boys and seeing how this gentleman was treated was a reality check. But I know you are right. I just want to feel that way again.Thank you for your words of encouragement. I do appreciate them 🙂

michele

I am with you Rob…last school holidays I tried to "check my self in" or I was gonna check my self out…unbelievibly when I cried out for help it poured in…depression under our circumstances is damm near unavoible…I am happy to me back on suitable medication…it does not "fix" the situation but gives you ability to be more rational with your reasoning…good luck my friend.

Lost_and_Tired

Thank you Michele. Your right. While I was on meds before they only worked so well. My doc basically said that my life is pretty messed up and no medication was going to fix that. They could just sorta take the edge off. I used to manage ok and most of the time I still do but things are just to rough anymore not explore my options as far as medications go. Thanks again my friend….

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