Thursday, May 21, 2009


Fortunately, Michael and I have a relationship with a family therapist, and we've gotten in touch with her about Joey. We're going to see her next week - actually first without Joey, then with him. I'm thinking I could use some help in that area as well.

Sometimes - like now - I feel like I am this close to cracking apart. It goes in cycles. It all builds up, the stress, the worry, the unending giving of myself (and I don't mean that to sound melodramatic or martyr-ish), until I reach a point of breakdown, which usually presents itself with lots of tears and a temporary feeling of hopelessness and an overwhelming feeling of weariness. Then I pull myself together and am fine for a while, until it all builds up again, and the cycle continues.

Do I sound crazy? Ack, I hope not. I don't think I'm crazy (well, sometimes I question it . . .). It's interesting, though. Michael gets these free magazines sometimes from the oncologist's office - cancer magazines. Depressing, let me tell you. He brought one home a couple weeks ago and in it was an article about how spouse/caregivers cope, and it mentioned that there is a really high rate of depression among spouse/caregivers of cancer patients. Not suprising, really. The spouse often gets lost in the shuffle. Much of everyone's attention and concern and support is directed at the cancer patient, and assuming the spouse is well, the spouse is sort of taken for granted by all the players. Yep, I can relate.

I still don't know if I would characterize what I'm dealing with as depression (and I've struggled with depression throughout my life, so it's not a foreign concept to me). But I do feel overwhelmed much of the time. I feel resentful lately, of a lot of things: the kids misbehaving; Michael not feeling well much of the time; not getting the same support, concern, etc. that Michael gets because I'm not sick. I feel tired and drained almost all the time. I realize that I'm not being a good friend to a single one of my friends - I just don't have the energy to. I feel guilty over a lot of the feelings I'm having and the many ways in which I feel I'm falling short of what I should be. Sometimes my nerves are so frayed that they feel like shards of glass right under my skin. I don't want anyone to touch me or even look at me.

And I feel like my whole existence is about giving right now. Serving my family. Not that Michael is bedridden or anything, but because of his cancer and the effects of his treatment, there is a lot of pressure on me to give, give, give - meet everyone's demands (and with six kids, the demands are endless), and I'm just tired. There's no spring feeding this well, and the well is running dry.

Another pity party, huh? I'm not even going to make excuses or try to offer justification. It is what it is. I'm sure if anyone else were in my shoes, I'd be saying, "Of course you feel that way." So, of course I feel this way.


Wendy P said...

Lisa - First off, right now your job is to need your friends. Your friends are SUPPOSED to be there for you right now. That's why we have friends.

And I love your honesty. You're having to soldier through this, but it doesn't mean anybody expects you to skip through it sprinkling sunshine, happiness, and good vibes all around.

You are such a strong woman - you're allowed to have weak moments. You have to.

All that to say, "Of course you feel that way!" Hope things go well with the counselor and that you find a little peace. Good vibes from me to you.

Angie said...

you are not crazy lisa and do NOT need to justify anything. At this stage you need your friends and are spent and shouldn't feel guilty if 'can't keep up'. Hell woman your doing the most outstanding job in such a very very very difficult situation. You are the glue that's holding the family together at this point in time and it's wearing you. (((HUGS))) I hope the therapist can help you get through this.

~*Michelle*~ said...

Oh man.....I am taken back on what you are going through. If you were dealing with everything with not an ounce of depression, resentment, and somewhat angry,.....I'd have to check you for a pulse! I cannot imagine how you are keeping it all together.....

I am lifting you up (and your husband, I believe in the power of prayer and miraculous healings) on my prayer list can count on that!

Tricia said...

I am so glad you are allowing yourself to feel that way. Really! It's a big step, I think. You're going to get through this. There are going to be a ton of shitty moments...but you WILL get through.

Cheryl said...

Lisa...I am currently dealing with a different set of circumstances, but feeling many of the same emotions you are.
Talking to DH, who is a veteran of several wars, I realized that it is very much akin to being a are stuck in a situation not of your own making; not within your control, but essential to the well being of many others outside yourself. People you love, admire, trust and for whom you are responsible.
There is really no way out. No way to say,"Okay, had enough. See ya." Only sure fire way for it to end quickly is to die, and not quite ready to go there as of, you take it day by day and hope you survive.
Believing in the cause, but oh, so tired of the conflict. Don't you wish they had R&R for moms? I sure do.
Sending positive energies, and a reminder that you are entitled to any doubts and fears and angry frustrations you are feeling. You are, my dear, quite frankly, dealing with a hell of a lot.