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Several major life events at the same time
I'm new to this forum and felt like it would help me a lot to reach out for support from forum members.
I currently have anxiety and depression and am on medication. My GP is great and regularly reviews my condition. I live on a farm and am married with 3 children aged 14, 12 and 8. Since mid last year, things have been super tough. We were handfeeding stock and buying drinking water for over 18 months. Then came the fires, followed by the pandemic. It has been exhausting and I don't have much left in reserve. My marriage is under great strain and we are in financial hardship.
My life is complicated with a husband who has complex PTSD after working as a police officer. Unfortunately my mum has early onset dementia and is in residential care. She recently became very sick when the nursing home was closed to visitors and we could not see her. After a battle with the nursing home, she was admitted to hospital with a blood clot from her knee to groin and pneumonia. Our family were convinced if we had not pushed for Mums treatment, she would have died. This happened in April and she can no longer walk and has lost a lot of weight.
I feel like I can cope with drought, fires, COVID-19, my mental health condition and husband's PTSD - but I can't cope with my Mum being very sick and maybe passing away. Even though I know she has a condition whereby she will continue to deteriorate, it seems cruel and inhumane to allow someone with dementia not be able to get treatment for another illness.
I am crying as I type. It is so hard and it doesn't seem fair to have one difficult event happen after the other. I know I can't change things, but it does help to reach out and tell someone what is worrying me.
Hi don't give up,
Welcome to Beyond blue forums. It's lovely to have you, feel free to always reach out and tell us how you're feeling.
It sounds like you are going through a lot emotionally and mentally, the recent events this year have just hit us one after the other leaving us with barely anytime to recover. I can understand this may be a very difficult time for you given your many recent events. It seems as though you are lacking emotional and social support. I think this is very important, especially during this given time, paired with your current circumstances. Do you have any family members or friends who you can confide in and seek emotional support from?
I'm sorry to hear your husband has complex PTSD, I'm sure this may be stressful for both you and him and your marriage. Is he getting treatment and professional help for that? It can be quite an overwhelming condition. I understand you are also currently seeking professional mental help, which is a great step forward. I am also sorry to hear what you're mother and you are going through in regards to her illness. I understand this can be an extremely difficult time as she is someone whom you love dearly. I can see that although you know deteriorating health is inevitable with increasing age, it is something that can still bring emotional distress and grief.
It seems as though your primary concerns are emotional/social support, your relationship, your mother, your mental condition and financial hardship. It seems like a lot, but I recommend separating them and categorising them so it doesn't feel like a big ball of overwhelming distress. That way we can also approach each situation individually. In terms of financial hardship, I understand it is a difficult time for many Australian workforces and businesses, have you seeked any financial support from the Government's Coronavirus aid?
Hi Don't give up
Just wow. Your name says it all. I can only imagine the strength you have to get out of bed every day; having said that, I can absolutely see that you would have to be nearly at the bottom of your mental, emotional and physical strength.
A support network to get through all of this would be absolutely essential. Living in a rural community myself, I realise the wider community is there for each other in times of bushfire and drought, but I hope that in addition to this you also have close friends who are stepping up as much as they can to try and be there for you.
All I can really say is that your words and emotions are completely valid and it is absolutely ok to feel like this; you've soldiered on for so long, it is ok to be exhausted, drained and just done. It's not fair, you're absolutely right. And it hurts so much, because we're conditioned to believe that if we work hard and do everything 'right' then we'll have a great life, and be rewarded. Which is true for some, and not true for others. And I think it's really important to acknowledge life is incredibly hard for you and your family right now, and you're still managing to put one foot in front of the other and getting through another day. And that alone makes you tough, but it's ok to acknowledge how much you're hurting too.
I hope that life does give you some good moments from time to time - laughing with a friend, or a cuddle with your husband, or watching your child do something amazing. And I hope those moments of light will carry you through the darkness of this time in your life, until eventually the dawn arrives and your life starts to become better again, whenever that may be. It will rain again, your mum may improve, your mental health recovery will start.
Best wishes to you and your family; you have to put your head down and plod through the darkness and the cold now, but the dawn will come.
Hi Don’t Give Up,
You are certainly coping with a lot at the same time and you are right, it isn’t fair. It is no wonder you have anxiety and depression.
The only thing I know for sure is that it is only when we go through very tough times, overwhelmingly tough times, that we seem to find a resilience we never knew we had. And I do mean resilience, not strength. Because I’m sure right now you don’t feel strong, you feel vulnerable and broken and completely worn out but yet, in spite of all those emotions, you still get find a way to cope, to carry on. That is resilience. It is continuing on and coping simply because you have to. I have also had times in my life when everything that can go wrong does to wrong. Murphy’s Law! Everything just piles up! I am sure many people can relate to that. But those times do pass, things do eventually calm down to a level which seems more manageable. Everything must pass! In the meantime, the only thing you can do is try and find the easiest route through and look after yourself in every way you can and that time allows so that you can stay resilient - physically, emotionally and psychologically. And get all the support you need to do this, from any source any available including this forum.
I think there are 3 things you mentioned in your post which are signs you are already on the right track. 1. You have been to your GP who, it seems, has put a good management plan in place to help you cope and seems very diligent. 2. You were crying when you wrote your post. That is actually a really good thing. Letting out all your frustration and stress through tears is very cathartic. Let all that emotion out as often as you can either alone or in the company of those you trust. 3. You are here, on this forum, opening up to others, reaching out for support from others who have or are struggling with issues in their own lives. Everyone who answers your posts will do so because they can relate and they care, I mean really care. So keep talking. Keep seeking advice and support.
My advice to you would be to try and concentrate on the things you can control. You can’t control nature, the drought or the impact of the fires. You can’t control the current Covid situation. So let them lie for now. Concentrate on the things you can control. For example, you are obviously not happy with the situation regarding your Mum. You may need to devise a new plan regarding her ongoing care. If you have siblings or extended family, include them.