Last night was the full moon. In the tradition I follow, it is a time for healing and releasing and, boy, do I need a lot of that right now. I’ve been really depressed lately, which is par for the course. Caregiver depression is not uncommon and I’m certainly experiencing a lot of the symptoms. It drives me crazy, though. I am usually a pretty resilient, glass half full kind of gal, but lately I just feel a combination of sad, sometimes hopeless, and angry at nothing in particular. So much these days feels out of my control. While I am committed to and want to take care of my mom, there are times when it feels like I am growing old while life passes by, even though when I look at it objectively, all things considered, I’ve managed to hold onto a lot more of life than a lot of caregivers manage.
I am taking care of my mom alone 24/7 with no breaks, yet somehow I have managed to build a very modest business that allows me to do creative things I really love doing and that allows me to work with with clients I really like as people, even if I can only devote myself to it part-time right now. I have really good friends, who are there for me when I need them (and even when I don’t and even though I am not presently able to give back to them at anywhere near the level they give to me). We occasionally get out, albeit not as often as we used to. I have food, shelter, and pets that make me crazy, but that I love as fiercely as any family (because they are family). My mom is still around. At this point, while her short-term memory is never great, the less pleasant parts of her FTD are like storm clouds passing through and we can still have conversations.
That alone is a huge improvement from the situation nine months or so ago. It’s interesting, actually, that all the behavioral things evaporated almost immediately when I pulled her out of adult daycare. Even though she enjoyed it in the beginning, she seems much happier just being home with me than she was at the end. That is an aside, but the point is it’s not that I don’t have a lot to be grateful for, because I do.
But there is a lot to be sad about. I don’t feel sad most of the time, but sometimes it’s like it banks up and then I start feeling like I do now and working desperately to pull myself out of it, because I know if I let it get out of control, it will paralyze me and that would be disaster. That’s why I love the full moon it’s a monthly time to release and recalibrate and that makes me feel better. It’s amazing how much better I feel after doing some work for myself and others last night. Everything is not perfect and it will take some time to pull myself out, but I feel like I can breathe again, which is not something I was feeling when I made my post on Thursday.