Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Missing out


So last week, I was supposed to attend the social media event for parents in Australia: the Digital Parents Conference.

Held in Sydney over two days and nights, I had even been chosen to present a speech: My Blog, My Story.

I had accepted, in better times, when I'd been feeling happier and well.

But come DPCON13 time, times had changed. I was in the grip of a crippling depression and my finances were abysmal.

Not only could I not justify the expense, I was not physically or emotionally capable of making the trip to Sydney on my own. Let alone getting up to speak in a conference room full of my peers. As wonderful and welcoming an audience as it would have been.

Depression has turned me into a recluse in recent times. A shaky shadow of the confident globetrotter I used to be.

Oh, I'm able to do the things I need to do to be my childrens' mother. I go to the shops for food, I walk them to school, and participate in events that are important to them. I join in the cheers at the swimming carnival, I help out at school disco. I cook them nutritious and (mostly) tasty meals.

But I do nothing for me.

There are no girlie outings with friends. I can't remember the last time I had a haircut - it was mid-2012 I believe. An invitation to dinner? I make an excuse. Coffee with a friend? Suddenly I have to be somewhere else. Yeah, somewhere else like home. Alone. Alone with my thoughts and my tears. Just what a depressed person needs.

It's even hard to do things I need to do like check in with my doctor, look for work, or take a walk - it's so important to get some kind of exercise to raise the endorphins.

Sometimes just calling a friend to say I need help is all too hard.

So getting myself to Sydney to be at a conference became a jumble of times and logistics and fears that my mind couldn't cope with.

Then there was the sheer fear, irrational I know, of being away from my kids for anything other than an essential reason.

And the what-ifs. What if I got one of my debilitating migraines and had to be admitted to hospital? I'd miss my flight back. What if I had a panic attack and had an, erm, accident? What if I was hit with fatigue and slept through the whole thing?

But I couldn't afford to go anyway, so the depression had a win. And that made me even more depressed!

I tried to use the kid-free time wisely though. (The children were with their Dad).

I saw my doctor again. I cleaned house (gasp!). I visited with family, several times, and it was nice. I finished off paperwork that had been sitting on my bedside table for months.

I reached out to a couple of people for support, and I found it. (Bless them).

And although reading the tweets and Facebook statuses of my peeps who were lucky enough to go to DPCON13 were bittersweet, I realised that staying home wasn't the end of the world.

Getting my health right, and living within my means, was much more important. And it's still very much a work in progress, but that's okay.

Readers, what have you done for you lately?

10 comments:

Nadine Dewberry said...

Nothing, its so hard to find time to do things for me, even going to the toilet has to have a audience.

Bronnie Marquardt said...

I hear you. I DO occasionally get time to go to the loo by myself and those times are gold. Gold, I tell you! Your time will come Nadine ... Seriously, it is unfair that so many Mums do suffer in silence. It's good to speak out and reach out to each other. We are not alone.

Claire Hewitt said...

not much, no dp for me this year either, but thats ok, there will be other conferences on other days.

hope you get back on your feet with the support that you growing to be around you.

Char said...

Getting your health right has to be the number one priority so you're doing it exactly right. And I know how hard it is to ask for support but I will bet you that every time you ask it will be there. From your doctor and your friends and family. And if you do nothing at all apart from it try to get your walk in. Get out where there's trees or a river and put one foot in front of the other - just for as long or short as you can manage. Both my husband and son have found that a bit of exercise really helps.

Susan Harjehausen said...

Your blog touched me. I think you might be surprised at how many you blessed with that post. It's so easy for Moms (yes, even like me, older with adult children)to take time for themselves.Funny, but it's almost like I forget. I'm glad that the time worked out for you. Sounds like you got some necessary things accomplished.

Karlene said...

Oh cripes, sorry to hear how you've been feeling. I hope you rewarded yourself with something small for the achievements you made on the weekend. x

Not Quite Nigella said...

Bronnie, I hope you really do find some time or a corner or space to yourself and do something for you :)

EssentiallyJess said...

So sorry you couldn't make it. It's so frustrating when life gets in the way of us living it.
Hope you start to feel better soon. Depression is never fun xxx

Lee Caroline said...

I was obviously meant to read this post today, I understand everything you are saying as I have been and am going through similar feelings and problems.

I first gave up my life as an expat to care for my mother as she had cancer,(I would do this all over again). Since she passed away I cannot bring myself to paint or do anything I used to love, including my dancing.

I was such a social person but now I spend hours on my blog which is a great escape but I am not looking after "me". The only exercise I am getting is when I take my little dog for a walk. I don't know whats happening to me but I do feel the same as you.

I realise I have to snap myself out of it somehow or other because no one else is going to be able to do that. It's not just the death of my mother but an accumulation of problems that came tumbling down upon me all at once, financial, health and more.

My first step is returning to dancing, I have set myself a target to start dancing again the end of April. I then hope that dancing will lead to me beginning to paint again.

I hope you can feel happy again soon, depression makes one feel very sad and we are just not the people we used to be.

Thank you for being brave enough to share this post.

Lee :)

Bronnie Marquardt said...

Thanks again to all of you for sharing, especially to you, Caroline, for letting me know I am not alone in the way that I feel. And that in sharing, I am normalising this experience, and letting someone else know it's okay.
We will be okay again. It takes baby steps sometimes ... but you will begin to dance again and to paint; I will begin to laugh and to write; and one day things will be better. Maybe not as we thought they would be, but better all the same.
Thank you for commenting.