Single Moms Raising Autistic Sons

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Sunday, January 29, 2006

Not Just "The Blues"

I must say that I haven't been feeling that great lately, my depression has still got its ugly grasp around my throat and the increase in meds hasn't helped me yet. My ANP increased my Abilify from 10mg. to 20mg. but she also said that it can take up to a month for me to feel the difference. As I wait each day to feel different, and I'm not holding my breath, I struggle to keep my head up and can't even seem to force a smile when I go out in public. It seems that since I have been so low that little things bother me so very much and I can't seem to shake 'em. For instance the baby pictures that I have of Griffin, for some bizarre reason I didn't put dates on them and now I can't even tell you what age he is in this photo and it is bugging me really bad. I know that I shouldn't beat myself up over something so trivial but it really makes me feel like an inadequate mother. "How silly", you must be saying, but to me it is something that was so simple to do but for some reason I failed to do it. I have no way of knowing how old he was in the pictures and when he reached his milestones. I can only guess.
Another thing that is bothering is that my ANP told me that I have Psychomotor Retardation which means that my mind and body have slowed down considerably due to the severe clinical depression. It is so hard to think and to process information, even the simple stuff and I move like a three toed sloth. I even read that there are similar symptoms to dementia. There's nothing like reading about yourself , knowing that it is true, but also knowing that there's nothing that can be done about it. At least not until the dark veil of depression has been lifted. One thing is for sure is that I have had enough energy to go through the motions of living and caring for Griffin. My memory is so poor that I have to keep a daily journal to be able to recall what I did the day before.There is no laughter in my life, no playing around with my child the way I once did, there's no trips out of the apartment unless it is absolutely necessary. We are isolated. Griffin does go to school 5 days a week full time so he does get out of the apartment.
I am apt to start crying at a stupid commercial on TV and there's not a damn thing I can do about it . Tears started welling up in my eyes the other day when a friend of mine told me that her husband was leaving for 4 months to go out of town for work. I guess that I was feeling sad for her because I can't say that I am sad that he is going even though we are good friends. It's things like that which make me feel really uhmmm........."dumb" for lack of a better term.
Severe clinical depression is not something that you can "just get over". It's not just SAD or "the blues" it is a significant imbalance of chemicals in the brain that only the right medications can help or should I say, the right "combination" of medications.
I am writing this not because I feel like complaining but perhaps that it may help someone who is suffering the same ill effects of clinical depression but may be undiagnosed. It is crucial that if someone is Bipolar like myself and has bouts of depression and unexplained bouts of excitement, euphoria, or anxiety that they seek out professional help and get the proper medications. Also Bipolar Disorder causes more than just regular insomnia it can cause people to not sleep for days on end. Without my Seroquel I wouldn't be able to sleep at all and I am not exaggerating.
So, for those of you who frequent my blog, aka my blogging buddies, and you notice that I haven't written much on my post well, you'll know now that Lora is having a rough day and the words just can't seem to come to her. It is then safe to assume that I am okay as long as there is some kind of post within a few days of each other. Even if there is only a picture it means that I am keeping my head above water and I do still care about the things that are important to me like this blog. It means a lot to me to communicate with others and if I only get through to one person out of the average 65 people a day who visit my blog , then it will mean the world to me. I've just gotta keep on trying and sharing my stories and maybe I'll make some new friends along the way. You just never know in this blogging community. The support here is phenomenal and I have to say that I appreciate each and every one of you and the kind words of encouragment that you have so graciously given to me.
Griffin is doing just great and still playing with his abc/123 blocks, his letter tiles, his PowerTouch book, his abc/numbers puzzles, and his V-Smile. I decided to only allow him to play with the V-Smile for short periods of time so he doesn't lose interest in it. Griffin is still pronouncing out words and I don't mean sight words either, totally new words he can sound out and figure out the words. I got his progress report and his teacher, Kathleen, said that he is working with materials from Kindergarten and get this..........First grade level reading and math!!!!!! Griffin will be only 4 years old on Tuesday January 31st.
One thing that depression hasn't stolen from me is the pride that I feel for my little genius. :)


KCsMom said...

Hi Lora and Griffin,

Lora, please know that we all love you and Griffin here. You have helped K.C. and I through some very hard times and I cannot thank you enough. You are a great Mommy and the little guy is making huge progress! It is so very hard to be a BP Mommy and have more labels attached to you as time goes on. I understand how you must be feeling, it is a very confusing, lonely, exhausting time.
Please keep visiting your therapist and ANP because I believe they really want to help you figure this out and it is so hard to find people like them.
I know it is very hard to find the right words when we need them and just to be in public communicating with others is very hard.
Hang in there Lora, everyone in the blogosphere cares about you and Griffin very much!

Huge Hugs
Tina and Boys

Felicity said...

I'm sorry you're having a hard time right now. For what it's worth, Grif looks to be about 6 months old in that photo? And please know that ALL moms beat themselves down for imaginary failings in some way or another. You are doing an awesome job with Griffin despite all the hardships you endure yourself.

KCsMom said...

Lora he is absolutley gorgeous! Just look at that baby face! He's looks so huggable and squeezable!

JodiTucker said...

Wow!.....You have helped me really have a different perspective for the few bipolar kids I have taught music to in past years. It often seems to be a crapshoot in getting the right combinations and dosages of medication and therapy to be effective. I will pray for you right now for some relief and peace.....Jodi in OH

Jenn said...

awww such a cute baby picture of Griffin - It doesn't matter how old he is, he's adorable, although i'd put him at 5-8 months there, considering he's only wearing a diaper, so I'm assuming it's during the warmer months, and he's a winter baby;)
(((((HUGS)))) - you know we're all here for you.
I'm glad you are still able to find a few joys, like the swell of pride at having such a clever boy! Grade one reading, WOW!

Eva said...

I'll say a prayer for you, as well.

ann said...

I knew you could write in your blog you just needed to start the words came out great you just need to put what is in your heart and you have several comments to prove that all your blogger friends love to hear from you and about griffin. Our days are not always perfect but it is great how you can put the words down and it touches several hearts you don't even know about. keep up the good work this has become the highlight of many people including myself. your little man is a happy camper and he feels what you feel. you are a wonderful mother and we are proud of you and the inspiration you put into words every day. love you both, mom

Rebekah Christine said...

Happy Birthday Griffin! How exciting - 4 years old!

Hope you have a great day! We will be thinking of you and praying for you. Hugs from all of us.

Rebekah's Mommy

KCsMom said...

Happy Happy Birthday Dear Griffin!

You are 4 years old!

What a big boy you are!

Love ya,

Tina and Boys

mommyguilt said...

Hey you! Sorry I've been AWOL, but my wallpaper from hell (check in later, I'm working on THAT post) and this evil cold have kept me from my computer.

I'm sorry you're feeling down again. You know that no matter how you feel, WE are all here for you & Griffin and that we love you dearly. All you need to do is shout and our little chain starts linking one to another until we've all reached you. Griffin is very lucky to have such a brave woman like you as his mom...battling demons big and small to give him everything he deserves. Once those meds all get to the right levels you'll feel better, and then we'll all be doing the happy dance. Until then, sweetie, you just keep venting and pouring out your soul, and know that we're all on your side.

I think it's great that you're writing about how the depression makes you feel. First of all, it's an outlet for you, so that you're not keeping that sadness inside you, your releasing it - which is incredibly healthy. Secondly, you are, like you said, helping others who may be experiencing the same thing.

You are a brave woman, and incredible teacher, an amazing mother, and so much more. I am so proud of YOU, Lora!


Roni said...

I'm new here...following in Christina's wake. Thanks for being so brave in sharing your story. That bravery will lead you to a happier place.