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Thursday, January 1, 2009

Ninja Mom's longest, most boringest blog post ever. Plus ADD.

This is how a puddle like me rings in the new year...

So, I haven't much been myself lately. I don't really know why. My doctor said all my test results were great, my blood pressure was perfect, my thyroid was functioning a-ok, I don't have diabeetis, and I'm pretty sure I don't have malaria, tuberculosis, scarlet fever, bruxism, or cholera.

Still, things aren't right with me, and I can tell, and I think everyone else can tell too. To be honest, I am practically non-functioning, and despite the fact that he's grating on my last nerve, I am grateful indeed for The Hub's extended layoff. Without it, I'm not sure what the kids would be doing. Probably laying in my bed in soiled diapers, waiting for me to get up, while the older ones try to scrounge up some food. The thought of it beings tears to my eyes, and not in a sentimental way.

My body feels terrible, like when you forget to eat for a day or three and end up feeling weak. (And also, I keep forgetting to eat, for a day or three or more.) But even when I'm not absentmindedly fasting, I feel this overwhelming exhaustion. My limbs feel rubbery and I have a hard time making a fist, like when you first wake up in the morning. I just want to lie on the couch all day long. Actually, I would rather lie in bed, but the tv in the bedroom doesn't have digital cable, just regular cable, and I like to watch BBC America, which is only on digital. (Like you care, but guess what, I'm telling you anyway.)

My mind is foggy. No motivation. No emotion. It's like I went to sleep and left a robot in charge over here, or maybe aliens came and turned my brain into oatmeal. No, not oatmeal; oatmeal has character. Either there's a robot manning the ship, or aliens turned my brain into Cream of Wheat. Or, ew, Maypo. Gross. And it's in my brain.

Then I found a book, and kind of read it, in my ADD way (more on that in a bit.) The book is called The Ghost in the House: Motherhood, Raising Children, and Struggling with Depression, and it's a total must-read for moms like me, who are generally pessimistic, sometimes yell at their kids, get mad at the dog and call him a fat asswipe, and throw the occasional wall kicking hissy-fit over the fact that all your socks are dingy.

If a person can self-diagnose serious illnesses through books and websites (and believe me, a person can,) then guess what, I have depression.

And guess what else: I've had it for the better part of fourteen years. No wonder my life has sucked so bad! Hello! Lightbulb!

Now the problem is, I'm too depressed to care about being depressed.

And I have a mountain of things to do, which seems to exacerbate the depression, which then makes me not care about getting the things done, which makes me feel depressed. It's a vicious cycle.

On my enormous to-do list is one very important thing, which is to empty my cupboards, give all the food to a food pantry, and start from scratch, because I strongly suspect that Four has ADD or ODD, or both, but that is another post that I haven't had the energy to write (there's that Maypo brain again.) Before I pump my preschooler full of potentially harmful medication, I want to try using diet and homeopathic remedies first. I'm open to medication, but only after I exhaust all other avenues.

This is where we get to the "Ninja Mom probably has ADD due to, most likely, the time she crashed her Radio Flyer (and her cranium) into the back of the garage."

I implemented my most favorite tool of the new millennium, Google, to find out exactly how to use diet to help ADD. And you know how when you have ADD, and you are doing something online, but you end up clicking on something else, which brings you somewhere else, which brings you to another place entirely, and before you know it you're looking at videos of baby panda bears? Yeah, that sort of happened.

I ended up at this website, and I can't cite it right now because, duh! ADD, but it was a site run by like, doctors and stuff. Real people, I mean. Not fifteen year old kids making up myspace quizzes during Geography class. It was a source you can trust, because a) it does not try to sell you anything and b) it tells you to go get some help from a real person instead of sitting on your fat ass taking a quiz about ADD. Sort of.

Anyway, long story longer, this test says I probably have ADD. And, it says I have five of the six different types of ADD: Classic, Overfocused, Temporal Lobe, Limbic, and Ring of Fire. (To which I said, no way my childbirthin' vagina has ADD, because hoo boy, that part of me has never been more focused in it's life.) Probably what it means to have five of the six ADD subtypes is you are either a sociopathic criminal type (which I'm not) or you screwed up the test (which I could have) or you're just a friggen anomaly, which I doubt because I'm not cool enough for a psychiatry journal.

What is interesting, and this is the point I am trying to make, through this novella of a blog post, is that almost all of these 5 ADD subtypes share a very common thread with certain types of depression, and that is dopamine and norepinephrine. There just isn't enough of either chemical, and when a person with these, ahem, issues, is put on a norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor, like Cymbalta, or it's cousin Wellbutrin, they feel better. A little, anyway.

I think it's pretty obvious that the Wellbutrin is, as of now, most definitely not cutting it. Cymbalta works for me, but I'm not comfortable taking it while breastfeeding. So I feel like I'm walking in circles, alternating between not giving a crap about anything at all, and feeling very strongly that something's gotta give. Right now, I feel like I need to find a doctor, stat. (Haha, see my little doctor pun there... get it, doctor, stat... never mind.) I just don't know where to look. Therapy is not a real good option for me, mostly because there is a huge portion of me - probably 99% - that I absolutely cannot open up to anyone, not even The Hub, not even my friends, not even you, dear readers. When I go to therapy, I lie, because I don't want anyone to know that I am absolutely falling to pieces on the inside. And if you are going to lie to your therapist, well that's kind of like cheating at Solitaire, which I might have been known to do on occasion too.

So hopefully I won't be treating you all to the chronicles of my demise. Hopefully I can find something, even just a speck of something, that will help pull me out, put my mind back to normal. I guess what I'm afraid of is that I have no idea what normal is. The crazy is my normal, and to be honest, I don't know any different. I cannot imagine a life without the shackles of misery, self-loathing, and poor impulse control. It's as unfathomable to me as the breadth of the ocean. I have absolutely no clue what to expect. I am scared - no, terrified - of losing myself. But then, I have no idea who "myself" really is, and the self that I know is a worthless piece of crap, so what could be the harm in losing it?

I only hope that whatever helps me doesn't also make me not want to walk places and build log cabins and make forts and check out abandoned buildings. Because I really like doing that stuff.


Lisa said...

Wean the baby and take the medication that helps you. He would rather drink formula than have a miserable Mom. Trust this. I would also suggest exercise. You should be doing some everyday, walking, jogging, dancing, whatever you like. And I am a real person, not a 15 year old on Myspace. I have a B.S. degree in a health related field and am a CHES (certified health education specialist) which means I had to take a big test to prove I know what I'm talking about, so please take me seriously. I had a Dad with depression when I was growing up and that ended very badly and years later I still struggle. Wean that baby and start small with making changes in your life. You can do this! You can, I swear.

Tara said...

Mama, I don't want to give unsolicited advice but you have my support. I have lived through depression and am out on the other side. I struggled with it for years, so when I say I do know how you feel -- I do -- perhaps not exactly but enough to know it SUCKS. I will pray for your healing. I believe in your healing. *hug*

iMommy said...

I'm nowhere near certified, like Lisa, but if you were to ask me - which you haven't - I would strongly suggest weaning and switching to formula so that you can be treated the way that you need to be.

Because maybe there's a chance another med would make you feel better. That's going to make you a better Mom, yes, but it will also make you happier and healthier, too. And that might just put you in a place emotionally where you CAN open up to a therapist. And if you can get to that place...well, that would be a very healthy, good thing, in my opinion.

I have been struggling with depression for a long time. I just now, finally, started going to a therapist for it. I'm a talker, a sharer, so I admit that it's easier for me than it would be for you. For you, the solution may be medication, and if that IS the solution, once you talk to your docter...well I'm just saying that no one with half a brain would fault you for making the decision to take care of yourself and, in turn, do better by your kids.

You have my support, too, and you can email me anytime if you feel like a little human contact. Sometimes that helps, too.

Tyler said...

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Jenni said...

hey, ninja, sorry I'm late to the party, but hang in there! sounds like you have some good ideas for working through things in the next post, but we are all here for you.