Monday, September 13, 2010

I feel like the girl on the box of Morton salt, "When it rains, it pours."

Lately the weekends have lost their luster and I find myself actually looking forward to the work week; it's normal, routine. I have something else to focus on. Three of the last four weekends have been some sort of drama so today I spent as my own personal mental health day; sipping tea, sitting in the warm sunshine and blogging. It was our anniversary Saturday but A has been in and out of the house all weekend; on-call again and always some "crisis" to deal with. We managed to sneak out for dinner tonight to our favorite Japanese restaurant but no other celebrations this weekend. Plus I'm amazed to report that even since I hit the "Place Order" button for my Mac, this damn PC has been functioning fine. Three months of daily bullshit and now it behaves?! It doesn't matter now how well it works, I've crossed that bridge and I'm not going back.

My dad has been up and down with an especially bad time Labor day weekend. I received a call from neurologist Sunday morning around 1am telling me he probably wasn't going to make it again. He had been unresponsive for 2 days, blood pressure and heart rate critically low. I was up most of the night; on the phone with doctors, nurses, family. Sunday morning at 10am he was sitting up in bed eating breakfast. They stabilized him enough to place a pacemaker, he's back in rehab and we've had one good week. So hey, I think things are looking up.

**Warning, things get depressing after this so if you want to quit reading, I'll understand.

I may have hinted to the fact that there has been some mama drama in my life recently also, but for the most part I've tried to avoid discussing it with too many people and it's just felt too personal to share here. Now I feel I just need to write it down. The last 1.5 years I've watched my mom's life spiral out of control. She started dating a guy who is an alcoholic, then she started drinking too and well it just does down hill from there. I just can't understand how someone barely drinks for the first 55 years of their life (well except for the occasional have a few drinks and live it up) can so quickly go down the other path. More and more she was drunk and her behavior erratic. She was lying to me about everything. I found myself putting more and more distance between us. It just became to difficult to watch and I could feel myself getting pulled into the situation.

I know that the root of mom's problems stems from the fact that she's suffered with severe depression her entire life. It's been a constant cycle; she hits bottom, goes on medication, evens out so stops taking the medication, then cycles back down. This year has been extra rough on her. First my brother and his family moved away in April, June she lost her job and now in August dad had a stroke. She came to Ohio with my younger brother to see him, but he refused to let her in his hospital room (for reasons only he knows). When she got out of the van in Ohio it was the first time I had seen her in months...she was barely recognizable.

Since then she had called me several times always slurring and crying. Friday I received one of these calls on my way home from work. She was asking me to help her, telling me she just wants to die and how she's considering taking pills and ending it all. I told her I would help her by taking her to a hospital. I drove to the apartment she's been sharing with a friend to find her in a terrible state; unable to stand, wailing uncontrollably, and begging to die. I called 911 and after spending the night in a local hospital she was transferred to a mental health unit. That's where she is tonight and for a few days at least, I don't have to worry.

All this time I've been accusing her of drinking, but when we arrived at the ER, I found a pill bottle in her purse with no label and pills I didn't recognize. When the doctor identified them, we found they contained Valium. Her "good friend", the nurse with a narcotic problem who always quits her job when things start coming up missing, gave them to her to help with anxiety. Valium + depression + alcohol = one very big mess!

A is a saint for putting up with all this shit. I can feel her eyes on me observing every move and mood; watching me for a sign, waiting for me to have a tearful breakdown. Honestly for some reason I have not; not through all of dad's situation and not through mom's drama either. I'm still in problem-solving deal with things mode. I can't let myself be too emotionally involved because then things don't get done. I don't have the luxury of sitting around feeling sorry for myself. I talk to A and discuss how I feel. I rant and bitch about bad decisions but for the most part what I feel right now is just anger and annoyance. I feel myself wanting to close off and I have to constantly remind myself to not block out A and the other important people in my life. Hmm, how long before I have to check myself in for a mental health vacation too?


Ms. Moon said...

Oh Jesus. Life is just a big old cluster-fuck sometimes, isn't it?
I'm sorry that it's this way for you right now.
What can you do to help yourself? Think about that and try to do it. Don't push away from your dearheart. Try not to. I do this same thing myself and it serves no purpose.

aneke said...

Wow Mel, things are really rough on you right now huh? It sounds like you're under an extreme amount of stress - I'm sorry for your hurt.

On the positive side, the best thing that could possibly have happened to your mom is getting into a mental health institution. I really hope they can help her.

Jude said...

Ms Moon hits the spot again with "what can you do to help yourself?" Always keep yourself in mind Sweets and A too of course. Your Mom called out for help and you responded. She's in the right place for now, but she's the one that needs to put herself into the right environment done the road.

Hugs to you and A. I'm hoping things get better for you soon.

Jen said...

Mel ... blah :( I feel at a loss for words for you... this shit just plain sucks. I'm glad A is being as supportive as she can and I'm glad you were able to write this out - maybe it'll help your feelings with it? Just make sure your taking care of yourself.

I wish I could come have a drink with you! Don't you live kind of around me? We should get you away and distracted : )

Ang said...

My heart goes out to you. I understand how it is to deal with issues with moms. I have had very similar experiences with mine. Make sure you take time for you and A. I know the stress can be so overwhelming. Me days really do help sometimes. Hugs to you hun

Sarcastic Bastard said...

I am so sorry to hear this and so glad you have A for support.

Love to you both. You are in my thoughts.


crystal said...

Wow, that is a lot to handle! Thanks for opening up to all of us.

She sounds like she really is asking for help, so that means she is in the right place. I can't imagine how hard it must be to deal with that, especially when you are already dealing with so much! But, she came to you for help and that is big. Try to take that as a compliment, she knows you are strong enough to share in her pain.

Ok, that said, please please take care of yourself...and allow your lovely girl to do so :) Also, its ok to break down. As my girl, Brandi Carlile says, "Sometimes seeming happy can be self destructive even when you're sane."