Feeling Stuck and Not Wanting to Stay There

All of the stressors I’m currently experiencing are just normal parts of life.  Some struggles related to Down syndrome are feeling heavier than usual.   Until menopause, with the exception of when birth control pills had me wonky, I’ve not been an overly anxious person and I’ve never been depressed.  Like everyone, I have had bad days, but I usually bounce back pretty quickly.  I’m not bouncing as well lately.

I have found myself feeling “blah” a lot this summer.  I’ve even questioned whether I’ve been experiencing a mild depression.  I feel sure some of it is hormonal and some of it is situational.  Because the way I feel isn’t the same everyday I haven’t been at the point that I felt ready to consider medication.  I’m not ruling it out, but  I’m not ready to go there. It’s a shame that all the natural options are expensive and not covered by insurance, because there are natural options on my radar that just aren’t affordable at the moment.

I don’t primarily feel sad, although I sometimes feel more emotional, but I have lacked the emotional, mental and physical energy to do what I have wanted or needed to do this summer.

After looking forward to having time for home projects, this summer many days I have found myself feeling tired mentally or physically, wanting to lay in my bed more than I should (even when I don’t, I really want to), and generally lacking the motivation or energy to do what I have in mind that I really want done.  I also feel that my phone is a constant distraction and part of what makes my mind feel so scattered at times.

I have worked on some projects and done some de-cluttering and reorganizing but it has seemed such a struggle.   I have wanted to implement some new things with Jessie and I just haven’t been able to make myself do the necessary work.

Some of my emotions are brought on by situations we’ve experienced with Jessie recently.

I have felt saddened by several situations that occurred with Jessie this spring and summer.  I don’t want to give you the wrong idea, individually these are small things, there has been no big or terrible thing that has happened.  I don’t feel able to share the specifics.  But these small things have added up to me feeling very sensitive where she is concerned.  In these situations, I can respond rightly on the outside but it tears me up on the inside.

As I talked with my oldest daughter last night about some of the things regarding Jessie that I hadn’t had opportunity to share with her, we were both able to see some positives that have come from some of these struggles.  In each hard situation, either someone else gained knowledge and better understanding (of Down syndrome, disability or Jessie in particular) or Jessie learned some skills that will help her as she is getting older and gaining independence.

But can I just tell you, when I feel protective of Jessie because something has happened, I really just want our little family to live on an island where only people who understand and go with the flow are allowed! My instinct is to pull her back where she can’t be hurt or misunderstoodI know that isn’t healthy, and I wouldn’t actually act on those feelings, but that is how I feel.    

I’ve heard Dr. Phil use the analogy that emotional hurts are like your psychological skin has been burned and that’s how I’ve felt.  Raw.  Easily injured (where Jessie is concerned).  I don’t like being in this place.

I find it difficult to be willing to share our struggles with Jessie. but I think it’s so important to be honest about both the joys and the challenges.  If I shared struggles I had with my other children, no one would question if it was a good idea that they were ever born.  The same should be true of Jessie.

I’ve also been stuck physically.   

We currently own two vehicles but only one of them has air conditioning.  When I need the car, my sweet husband drives his old 1960 Chevy truck, which he loves, other than the fact that it has no A/Cand its hot as you know what in south Alabama right about now.   I do most of my grocery shopping and errands at night, because I’m home without a car most days.  Most of the time I don’t mind that, but sometimes I do.   We hope to buy another car within a year, but we’re both making the best of our car and financial situation for now.

Maybe I’m not overreacting.  I guess we have had some stressful events lately.

We’ve had a lot of pet drama this summer.  Our dog, Boo, was in kidney failure and after a couple of weeks of stressful worry and care, she was mercifully (for her) put to sleep.  Last week, our 15-year-old cat had to be confined to our bathroom for about a week to restrict her movements because she had a bulging disc and Buddy won’t leave her alone in other parts of the house. I’ll spare you details, but it was a very stressful, very poopy, very stinky week.  Our dog Stella is having some kind of allergy, we think to fleas.

Jay had a stress test and heart cath a couple of months ago.  This week we couldn’t figure out what was going on with his ankle and it turned out to be gout.  I have been having tooth/jaw pain for about 3 months and finally had a root canal earlier this week.   I was having headaches too that I couldn’t determine if they were related to the tooth or the barometric pressure related to weather changes.  Either way, being in pain has contributed to my feeling “stuck”.

This is a season, and I don’t like it, but I know it won’t last forever.  Mine won’t and yours won’t either.  

Yesterday I spent several hours with a friend that was feeling some of the same things.  Although our specific struggles are different, we were feeling much the same.   Our kids with Down syndrome are the same age and their entire lives it has been this way.  One of us will call the other needing to talk and often we’ll find we are feeling similarly.

Sometimes It feels so good just to be understood.  There are things we can talk about that are immediately and deeply understood with so much less effort than it takes to explain to someone else.  Sometimes just talking through it helps alleviate the hurt or find a solution.  Even when there is no quick solution to be found, my heart always feels lighter afterward.

Yesterday I talked with my friend and then my oldest daughter.  They each love and understand me and help in different ways.  It was nice too to just have some time out of the house, some of that time alone, and it helped me wake up today with fresh perspective.

Jessie had been overly emotional the last few days, every tiny disappointment leading to tears.  Although I don’t have periods anymore, I definitely still have cyclical hormonal changes. I think I may have synced up to Jessie’s cycle and maybe both our emotions were somewhat explained when she woke up with cramps yesterday.

Now I just want us to eat all the chocolate and feel better 🙂

We all have good days.  We all have bad days.  Sometimes we have a season of real struggle and that’s not fun.  This too shall pass. If you’re feeling stuck, for any reason, I’d love for you to send me a note and I would like to pray for you like only someone who has been there knows how to.

Till next week friends,

Josette

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