When I say I'm not ok, what will you do?

Ok, I’m not in a great spot at the moment.

In this weird place that is one foot in a depressive state and the other in “just do it” and getting stuff done. I’m happy. And I’m really sad. I know it seems I’m getting stuff done, and I am (and still have the ability to focus on that, for the moment) but under the surface … bleargh!

I’m ok. But I’m not.

Fatigue kicks it off. It makes the “busy” turn to overwhelm and the coping … well, not so much coping as dropping balls all over the place.

It started when, being tired, I lost control of something big – and something I had no control over anyway. I don’t like being out of control. It’s my “thing”, control is. Worse, the loss was loss of my website (due to issues beyond my control) for a full day. I had no safe haven, and I lost my blog, so no writing the hilariously funny things that happen in my life. Sure, I could have gone and done the ironing (*snigger*) or housework, but I had to deal with the issue at hand. This meant relying on people to get back to me, and stuff that I had no idea about.

I’m also one of those people whom depression hits. I just am. I know it. You know it. So a couple of things at once, and it started to rear its ugly, black head.

My site being down was bad, and had time to sit and think about it’s purpose. I was changing the lives of other mums. I caught some TV on postnatal depression, and felt all my efforts where in vain as the Today Show on channel 9 loudly, proudly and quite ignorantly, referred to PND as “the baby blues”. Through the entire segment. Another presenter on another show commented on the “serious consquences” of antidepressents, which had me screaming at the TV that the consequences of NOT taking antidepressents, in some cases, were much more dire and some even involved DEATH!

I couldn’t help but feel I was swimming in a quagmire of shit about parenting and barely keeping my head above water; how do you fight and ignorant society and a media that fuels the ignorance when you are just one person?

I then did some stupid things; poured coffee in an overhead cupboard, and, subsequently, everywhere else, I forgot “Crazy Hair day” at school and a few other school related bits and pieces, and actually cried at pick up on on said Crazy Hair Day. This is when the ‘bad’ thoughts start to happen.

Sometimes “what’s the point?” and the oft mentioned “put your family first” – which I get, but when you’re so passionate and driven about something it eats at you. Constantly. For the benefit of the Mumfia and the rest of them, my family do take up a fair amount of my attention. The rest of you know this and I don’t need to say anything to convince you.

Worse thoughts come. In amongst the media and its portrayal of PND, all I could think of was checking out of this society I live in. The violence and lack of appropriate management of it, the ignorance and loudmouthed sanctimonious comments that come with it, the insanity of our every parenting move commented on, the perceived danger our kids are in … I could go on. I just wanted out.

And take whatever you will from the “I wanted out” as I can assure you I entertained every interpretation of that.

I have managed to combat, mostly, the negative self talk. But moments like these, the postitive self talk almost doens’t have a voice. All I can do is sit here and let the talk come at me and at me … and just let it. I picture my mind, huddled in

21 Replies to “When I say I'm not ok, what will you do?”

  1. And it’s that “just listening”, and just BEING there to listen when I need to scream, or cry, or rant, or rain abuse down on the heads of whoever is shitting me… to not judge or offer advice, to not try and out-think me, JUST LISTEN!

    And when I know that I have friends and family who WILL do that for me that I start to feel better.

    The odd strong silent hug doesn’t go astray, either.

    Thank you for speaking up, Amanda! x

  2. Hey, thanks for sharing Amanda, I can see so many little flags in there that I can related to.

    I like having things to look forward to as well, they are the hook that pulls me forward sometimes, the only hook. I didn’t realise how important that was to me until I read this. I am going to take better care of my forward diary to keep me moving forward. So many people write stuff about living in the moment. That’s ok if your moment is livable.thanks for helpign to realise an important tool for me.

    I know, this end of the keyboard I cannot help you, but you have just helped me.
    From my heart
    Thank you.

  3. Oh hun I totally understand as I have been going through the same thing! I am struggling to keep up with work, housework and pretty much everything lately. Between housework, work and the kids appointments etc I am lucky to see friends once a fortnight for the last 6 months. I personally think we take on too much. I have also struggled with depression since I was 17, so that isnt helping matters either.
    I wish I had well meaning people in my life but unfortunately, I don’t have anyone. My family are hours away, friends are busy with their own lives…. hubby works long hours etc. I just have to keep on keeping on which is good in one way but not in another.
    Maybe you could say to them “Thank you but I need to do (cooking etc) for me at the moment”. You also need to take some time out for yourself and look after you!

    Big Hugs!! Oh and don’t forget we have a lunch date on Thursday 😉 xx

  4. Thanks for sharing Amanda. Glad to know that I’m not alone in feeling what you’ve been feeling – lately too. As in just last week and this week, and I’m sooo hoping NOT next week. Speaking up does help – hence my tirade or at least might seem minor to some, my “bitching” about my MIL, but yes, there was more to it than that. And I have to say I have beautiful friends who do really care. Who might not have posted on my status but rang instead to see if I was indeed ok. And another who just gave me a hug, because she probably knew I needed one – and yes I did say I was ok, when I wasn’t.Clearly wasn’t , that so much so I actually upped and left on Wednesday night, when the going got too tough. No didn’t go anywhere, just drove around the block. But it did feel good. It felt good getting out of everything and emptying my thoughts. Am I ok? I don’t know, but I’m sure I will be. So there, I’ve spoken up…well, a little bit, not a lot but it still counts I guess.

  5. There must be a virus going around…. Everything is getting on top of me, yet everything is fine, but I am lonely and even though everything is fine, it is all getting on top of me. Sometimes I wonder if it’s the time of year, when everyone is tired and crazy busy?

    You are so right, when you say that noone really knows what to do. What is the point of talking to anyone when it is not going to bring much relief anyway? Thank God for my online friends, but sometimes you do just want a hug and a literal, rather than virtual, shoulder to cry on.

    Perhaps we need to ask those who speak up – what do you need? what do you need to do and how can I help?


  6. Next time when i ask “how are you?” of my friends, I will be prepared to act on what is responded. Wholeheartedly and truthfully! I know i often ask “how are you?” when i want to be asked, and often want to dump…

    Thanks Amanda, this post is really honest and true to me too

  7. Yes, isn’t it a topsy turvy experience we all have…

    Thanks, Amanda, for your raw honesty. It has me sitting on the lounge crying my eyes out while in the background “The Muppett Show” is babysitting my 3 year old daughter, which – of course I feel guilty about (and even more guilty that she has looked at me, seen me crying and asked me what I’m upset about… how do I explain?). I have a mountain of work downstairs on my laptop which is crying out to be done, but to be honest with my bub only 4 months old, I really don’t want to be doing it at all, but I have to. We need the money (apparently). I feel guilty that I am weaning her already because I have to be able to go and earn money, and I didn’t do this with my first til she was more than 6 months old. Yet, breastfeeding has been painful (again) and there have been times when I was ready and willing to give it up, and now that it is forced on me I’m angry that I have to do it. I feel like I have to be responsible for everything and everyone at the moment – my hubby is on the verge of his own mental health issues (but heavily in denial) and despite having “been there done that” myself, I have no idea what to do or say or how to support him. (I’m sure he’d say that a head job would do the trick…) I lost the plot the other day when someone implied that I was getting a “free ride” when I feel like all I do is work my arse off to do things for other people, and for once someone was doing something for me.

    I don’t know whether I’m up or down at the moment – I can’t seem to enjoy my positive experiences, and I hate the negative ones. I’m exhausted but am tired (haha) of finding that to be the only palatable excuse to give to people when I’m not the chirpy happy person they all expect. I *am* fortunate to have people who genuinely ask if I’m ok, and will accept when I say I’m not, but I still feel as if I’m burdening them with my dramas when I’m sure they have their own, and I don’t want to be that person that people refer to with kindness in saying “Oh, she’s not coping.”

    I could go on and on and on… but I’ll stop boring everyone.

    I very much appreciate all that you have said here, and all that you do for Mums. You have tapped in so closely to where people are at, purely by being yourself. I may not comment often, but I am always inspired by the amount of things you seem to achieve, and by your enthusiasm for what you do in life.

    Now, I’ve gotta go and work out what to do with these emotions… Thanks again!! (I think 😉 )

  8. I do know how you feel. I’m like that too. I actually have no one nearby who can really help me, although thank God for my brother and his wife, because they are rocks and can help with the practical stuff. But just about everyone else offers to help and when you break into your soul enough to accept it, they are then too busy and didn’t really mean for you to accept. I do get everyone has their own lives which is why it’s hard to ask for help, but sometimes it would be nice to feel I’m not doing this on my own. Which is where you and your website helps. Can I tell you, I often wear my Bad Mums t-shirt to the gym, and do a little shopping afterwards. The number of people I clock smiling at me (and I’m thinking what the F. are you looking at…) and the number of people who say something, really make my
    We’ll get there. Alone, kind of, but together.

  9. *hugs* I am nodding… just incase you were wondering.

    my brain really wont retain or process much more information atm .. and i feel like you have articulated it all so well

    so all i am going to do is *nod* and say you are wonderful because you share and you speak and just keep going even though you feel shit and it feels like its not working it is 🙂

    you know you can count me in to be at least 1 person you have helped 🙂 and i know there are plenty more 🙂 take that cause its yours 🙂

  10. Thanks everyone.

    There’s much more I would have liked to add – but, forgot and didn’t want to bore you with a super long post. 🙂

    And thanks for speaking up about your stuff, too xoxox

  11. Oh my goodness, did I write this?? You have just talked about my life!!! (except my husbands not a chef, LOL!!!). Thank you so much for sharing, it’s sad but it’s nice to know that I’m not the only one that has those thoughts and ideas. xxx

  12. Totally agree with you Heather, particularly your point re feeling like you’re burdening people with your concerns and struggles, when they have their own stuff to deal with. I’m very good at telling others to share their worries, don’t go through this alone, you need a supportive network of people to take the load of this horrible time in your life, etc etc……but I’m am amazingly pathetic at taking this advice myself, for fear of dumping shit on someone who, whilst I totally appreciate their advice and desperately want to talk to them and hear their points of view, may not have the strength to help with my stuff as well as coping with their own, even though we support each other.

  13. Another point – Heather and MC, you are not boring anyone here, I’m sure I speak for all when I say I was hanging on to every word.

    MC, you want to do a huge long post, I would happily read an entire thick book on this topic if that’s what you needed to do, I know in my case it would certainly assist me in my own self-discovery/awareness/healing/development.

    I truly love everything that you do xoxo

  14. Interesting you should say that wwc, about reading a book on this topic. As I was reading your book, Amanda, I kept wanting more, more about how you were really coping and feeling. Not the funny stuff, the feeling stuff. Not to say I didn’t love the funny stuff, but I wanted more, I wanted to know HOW you managed to cope and get through it all…

  15. Wow! Thank you so much for sharing your journey with us all. I found myself within a few lines wondering if you were my secret twin! 🙂 I have almost the exact same pattern and experience, and struggle with it constantly. My trigger issue is different (environment) but the result is the same (no one is listening; the need for urgent change; pathetic media; feeling that no one understands since they all think you are doing great but you are not; when you do speak out people try and ‘fix’ it rather than just acknowledge how you feel). And the pattern of other ‘unhelpful’ help is exactly the same for me too. I can quite imagine there was much more you could addas many things spring to my mind. Hang in there. You know it will pass, but it is still hard at the time. It is good to know you are not alone, but it is still difficult. I do the same thing – keep busy – even though it is not helpful at a physical exhaustion level, but it at least helps to be able to ‘achieve’ things. Today I cleaned up my clothes drawer. Small but significant. and it makes me feel better to see something tidy in my disgustingly messy house (yes… i know I am allowed to have a messy house.. everyone tells me that… i have a 3 year old and work etc etc… but you know exactly what i mean 🙂
    Take care and enjoy the good moments of the busyness until you get to the other side of this swamp. Then when you feel up to it maybe try and work out what it is that drags you into the mud in the first place. I am in the process of trying to work that out. Its hard, but it helps! eventually anyway 🙂

  16. Thanks for articulating so passionately, what seems to be a common experience among mummies, myself included. As someone who needs open, honest communication (including real listening) in order to survive, superficial conversation does my head in, as I’ve written about previously (http://pennidrysdale.com/2010/06/supermarket-exchange/). Being aware of this issue, I think it’s our duty to be those people who make a difference to the day of someone else by simply providing an opportunity to talk openly and without judgement.

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