Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Good question

If you need help to get through the death of your children (meds), why not get that help?

Because, quite simply, there is nothing that can be corrected by a chemical readjustment. I've got two dead kids. They'll still be dead and I will have to deal with that when any prescription runs out of refills. I will still have to walk this particular part of the path of grief at some point in time.

I function well. In fact, I think I'm pretty good at my job. I just don't CARE about it. I don't care about a lot of things that I feel like I have to do.

Technically, lack of interest in things is a symptom of depression, yes. A generalized lack of interest in things. That is not this. I love to do things...bake, crochet, blog, play trains with Sam, work on my house...fun stuff. Depression runs across life lines and isn't job-specific. If it is, I've been suffering from depression all my life. lol.

I think it is perspective. Acute perspective. Perspective with a laser focus that reminds me daily that none of this crap means a whole hill of beans...and I'm tired of pretending that it does. Maybe I do need to shake things up and find something that I do care about. But here's the thing...I can no longer subscribe to the Tony Robbins school of thought that says I can do anything I want in this life. I have learned that painful lesson...twice. Dreaming is isn't enough. And waking up from those dreams can be terribly painful. So instead of dreaming, I feel numb and paralyzed. After all, there is NOTHING that I could dream of that would give me the satisfaction I feel like I was cheated out of when my true dreams died. Everything pales in comparison.

So those things that bring any measure of joy...those are the things I enjoy doing right now. The drudgery of a normal everyday life...there is no joy in that...so who cares? Find me the joyful moments. I live for those moments. I only exist between those moments.

Two dead kids and I'd rather be crocheting. I don't think that would sell as a bumper sticker.


R said...

I still come back with: you know not the power of a good medication. Even if just for a little while until you feel more "even-keeled".

No, medication won't bring your kids back, but it just levels the moods. You're not a zombie, but you just feel more "at ease."

I will shut up now, as you are probably throwing darts at the computer screen right now.

Holley said...

And just to add to the above...

You're right, medication doesn't change anything, it doesn't fix anything.

For me it helped me feel less zombie like and less overwhelmed so that I could actually go through the grieving process and not just drown in the sorrow of dragging my butt to work everyday (even though my co-workers at the time were delightful) and going through the motions of eating, bathing etc. I still cried every night and I still missed Lucas and later Angie.

I wasn't mended or healed by the antidepressants. I was able to cope a bit better and not feel like doing simple every day things was a monumental effort.

But that was just me. As I think lots of commenters have said over the past year and a half, you have to decide what is the right way for you to deal with two children dying in such a short period of time. We can all tell you what helped us, but you're the one who will find what works and what doesn't work for you.

And just to be clear: it is not a generalized lack of interest, but a "Loss of interest or pleasure in hobbies and activities that were once enjoyed." Having been diagnosed with mild depression in the past certainly doesn't qualify me to diagnose any other person. I simply care about you and will occasionally voice a concern or two.

Still, reading this more recent post, I think your situation is more the perspective thing. I'm glad you feel joy in some things. Work will never love you as much as your family. Petty disputes are all the more irritating when you've been through big tragedies.

I hope you find a way to work at something you love again. Looking at your list of loves, maybe you can be the next Martha Stewart, but without the prison time--you wouldn't like the poncho.

I'll quit babbling now.


msfitzita said...

I totally get what you're saying. I see things differently now, and it's hard to care about things that once seemed important when my brain has been permanently re-wired to see the world - and everything in it - with new eyes.

I care about the important things, and I have joyful moments. Many of them. But some things, like work, I will never be able to care about the same way again.

Except for the needing to eat part.


Anonymous said...

I still struggle with my feelings about my work and the fact that i see it as sublimely unimportant, yet i have to do it in order to bring in a paycheck. This was extremely hard for me after Nicolas died and i have never resolved it. In fact, teaching is no big deal -- i can see (somewhat) the greater good in that but my research is a big stumbling block. I really hate what i *do*, because it is so inane. I was hoping to change directions totally, but that is not feasible in the near future. (i hope!)

I would rather be knitting and beading too...

Re depression -- i have not taken meds yet either, but i can forsee that they might be helpful in the future. We will see.

three minute palaver said...

I tried ADs after I lost my son in 2005 and in my opinion they didn't really help nearly as much as I wanted them to because I still had the grief to process. I stopped taking the medication (zoloft) after a few months and was no better or worse off for forgoing them all together. Catherine, I think you are very smart and wise and full of perspective and knowledge and IMO you are doing extremely well considering the living hell you have been through these last 20 months. I think you should trust your own instincts on this one, as I believe your instincts and self awareness is very important. You know you don't have to deal with your grief the same way others have done. and you know what you discover works best for you may not be right for someone else. You are a wise and inspirational woman. and you have been so strong and purposeful in grief. I look up to you as a perfect role model. I really hope you find yourself immensely happy this holiday season with Sam and Steve and your wonderful newly renovated house.

Anonymous said...

For me depression was different than grief, although it wasn’t always easy to see where one started and the other ended. Because I was depressed, I think it was harder for me to actually grieve for Kate. I just couldn’t do anything. Even seeing friends (who didn’t have babies) seemed overwhelming. I had no interest in doing anything, even things I used to like. I got to a point where 27 days out of a month I didn’t really do anything other than work, sit on my couch and sleep. I could maintain a fa├žade of functionality, but anything beyond the minimum was almost impossible. I couldn’t find joy in simple things like a nice clean house (not fun to do, but occasionally worth the effort), eating, or talking to anyone in my family.

I think the altered perspective thing is related to grief more than depression. Losing children changes who you are and how you see the world. And I think that is unavoidable and, ultimately, ok. We just have to figure out a way to make the new world one where we are happy sometimes.

Hedda said...

I'm sorry if I offended.

That was not my intent.

Jill said...

I think when people confuse grief and depression that it is out of a need to make you into the person you used to be. When someone important dies, everyone who loved them does too. Then they come out of it as someone else.

Anyway, as much as there is an argument for ADs based on some of the stuff you feel, on the flip side, grief can crystallize your priotities and help you cut out the bullshit. Which may account for the loss of interest in some things for some people.

Trick is figuring out what is depression and what is clearing cobwebs. And I agree with Clare in that your experience is extreme and you have dealt with it with extreme grace.