Saturday, September 5, 2009

Still Tired

Remember those whiny, self-pitying posts a few weeks back when I told you how tired I've been? Yeah. The whining continues (as evidenced by this all new, if not improved, whiny post), the self pity comes and goes, and the sleep deprivation is worse than ever. I am so far beyond over-tired, I'm not even sure what to call it. It's really screwing with my head. I honestly feel like I could start sobbing at any time... and I often do. The scary thing is that sometimes, the sobs feel so... I don't know what to call it... so BIG, so powerful, so overwhelming... like I won't be able to keep myself together. Like if I were to really let loose, and let those sobs come all the way out, I wouldn't be able to stop. I do keep it together- so I don't think I'm crazy yet... at least not technically. I'm still holding it together. Somehow. So far. But barely. Like when a kid comes walking in, I'm able to quickly wipe tears from my face and say, "Nothing, honey. I'm fine. I'm just tired. What's up?" Then as soon as the kid leaves the room, here come the sobs again- full force, as if they never left.

It's not that I feel sad, really. I just feel like crying. All.the.time.

And I can't think anymore. My mind has turned to oatmeal. And I don't just mean regular "Mommy Brain," either. I mean more like full-on brain death. I never know what the hell is going on. I can't remember things.

I have no clue what is taking place around me. I can be watching TV with the kids and one of them will ask about something that was just said on the show, but I won't know the answer. Because I wasn't listening. I thought I was listening, but really I was just zoned out like a zombie in front of the screen, and I couldn't tell you one single detail about the show I just watched.

Mike (or some kid) will tell me where he's going, then drive off. Darrell will ask where he went, who he was with and when he's coming home. I.Don't.Know. Because I forgot to ask. Didn't even think of it. Obviously, this makes me look like an uninterested, horrible mother. I'm beginning to think I am. Not uninterested. Just not able to hang on to my interest. But definitely horrible.

I can't carry on normal conversations. Sometimes I have to ask what flippin' day it is. And that is soooo NOT like me. I used to be all about the calendar and keeping track of whatever we had going on. I had this master calendar in my head that could remember kids' schedules and what I was planning for dinners that week, and when the baby would be due for shots, and... you get the idea... Now, I just feel like I need to be taken care of.

Darrell is very good about making sure I get to go back to bed in the morning or take afternoon naps when he's home. He takes care of the kids and lets me sleep, so I can't complain about a lack of help... BUT... It's not the same. Taking a nap is just not the same as putting your head on the pillow at night and waking up the next morning. The other day, I slept longer than I think I've slept in the past year or two (really). I slept deep. I slept long (like, 4 hours). Wonderful, yes? No... The problem? It was during the late morning/early afternoon. Which basically guaranteed I wouldn't be able to sleep well that night (and I didn't).

I don't know how to fix this.

Last night, I honestly don't think I slept for longer than 10-20 minutes at a time. It's really, really starting to get to me, peeps. I'm dizzy a good part of the time. I've gotten really scared of driving, especially with the kids in the car, because I don't ever feel totally "with it" anymore. I feel weak and shaky. And I'd almost swear it's affecting my hearing. I know it's really not- but it seems that everyone sounds like Charlie Brown's teacher these days (Waa-wah-wa-wah-wa). It's probably just that, since I'm hearing impaired and have to focus closely on what people are saying to understand them, I can't hear since I can't focus. Make sense? Oh, yeah... and I'm always mad as hell. I feel really, really cranky 24/7.

It's getting to the point where all I want in life is to sleep at night. And it doesn't even have to be ALL night! Just five hours would be awesome. Four. Good God, I'd take four. I want to sleep at night, and feel awake during the day and know what the hell is going on with my kids. I want to do normal mom things, like make breakfast for my babies and do laundry- and while we're on that topic, I really want to know where my frickin' favorite blue t shirt is. I do not want to ask my teenage son if he happened to wash or fold any of my underwear lately. Is it a tiny bit pathetic that my whole goal in life has become dusting a damn table without feeling so overwhelmed and exhausted by the activity that I have to fall down and cry in the middle of it?

I want to do "Normal Mom" things without feeling like I have to hold in the sobs until my kids aren't looking. I do not want my children to feel like they are "bothering Mom" to come up and ask me a damn question or show me a picture they just colored. God, I'm so horrible. No kid should ever have to say, "I'm sorry to bother you, Mama, but I made a picture for you." I.Am.Horrible. That is now my new name. Horrible Hugeass.

But I just don't know how to make it all better. I feel at this point, the housework is so far gone that I'd never be able to catch up, which makes me want to say to hell with it and just go take a damn nap. I apologize, by the way, to my Christian readers, for all the hells and damns. If it makes you feel any better, I'm actually editing all the effs in my head and changing them to hells and damns before they reach the page. I'm just in that kind of mood. God forgive me, but right this second, I just want to scream really loud effs and every other drunken sailor type of phrase at the top of my lungs. I'm horrible. I'm tired AND I'm heading for hell in a handbasket. How awesome is that?

Anyway... I was saying that I don't know how, at this point, to start turning this around and making it better. I feel right now like there is no light at the end of the tunnel. Like I will never sleep like a normal person again. I will never be a normal mom. My house will never be even half-way in order. And it's making me crazy. It's all just too much. Sam is going to grow up believing his mom is a vampire who sleeps all day and says hell and damn all the time and the other kids are going to hate me and I'm never, ever going to find my favorite damn blue t shirt because it has committed suicide by diving to the bottom of the laundry pile and suffocating itself.

My priorities used to be: God first, Family second, Others third, Self last. I tried to live that. I certainly wasn't successful at it every day, but I tried. Now, my priorities are: Sleep first, Sleep second, A little something chocolate to snack on, More sleep.

I've tried several times to go without sleep (for 36 hrs. or so), thinking I'll be so tired that I'll have to sleep. At some point, your body and mind just must collapse, right? Wrong! When I go so long without sleep, I'll either: A) Become so wired, that I'm no longer sleepy (still tired, but not sleepy), or 2) The baby will have a bad night and I won't be "allowed" to sleep.

I say really crazy things. I was talking to Sam the other night- thank God the rest of the house was asleep and Sammy is too young to understand, because I realized what I was saying didn't even make any sense. I could not believe I'd said it. I'm too embarrassed to tell you what I said. And Sam won't tell, so don't ask. I'm just totally Nuckin' Futz.

I'm going nuts right here in front of God and everybody and there's not a soul on earth (in my real life) I can talk to about this, either. That makes it suck even worse, because it adds the loneliness and isolation factor in there, too. Of course, talking to everyone else on the planet(that would be you), like I'm doing right now, is not quite the same thing. Isn't that funny? I can tell you, strangers, things that I cannot say to people who know me. I feel like the only conversations I have with Darrell anymore swirl around my complaints, so I try to shutup as much as I can. He doesn't need to hear it. I'm quite certain he doesn't want to hear it. I know I wouldn't. Complaints get old so fast. I'm sure he feels he's doing the best he can, and I know my complaints make him feel like he's not doing enough. I also know he's doing a lot more than many other husbands would ever dream of doing. And I will look people right in the face and LIE when they ask me how I'm doing... "Oh, fine," I say, "I'm doing great!"

I think it makes me sound like a horrible failure if I tell the truth: "Oh, I'm crappy, that's how I'm doing. I honest to God feel like I'm going to DIE. Yes, D.I.E.- DIE. Thank you for asking. I skipped church last week so I could catch a nap and will probably do the same tomorrow. I haven't cooked a decent dinner in days, and who the hell knows how long it's been since I've done a load of laundry, or spent any real time with my kids. I don't even want to be talking to you right now because I'm too damn tired to fake all the pleasantries. And how the hell are you, as if I really care?"

I know there are people in my life who, if they heard any of this, their answer would be,
"Well, maybe you shouldn't have adopted another baby... Especially not at your age. Seven kids are just too many for you to handle."

And no, I'm not just imagining that. I know of at least one person who would have that attitude.

Is she right? I'm beginning to think she is. And her voice just keeps playing over and over in my head.

All I know is I'm failing. At everything. I don't cook. I don't clean. I don't even keep myself clean on a regular basis. I noticed the other day I could smell myself. Smell.Myself. And I did not get up to shower. Now that's not good. I don't spend enough time with my kids. I snap at anyone who tries to talk to me. I avoid having to be around people. I just want to sleep. And sleep some more.

Oh, yeah- and the social worker is coming at the end of the month for our 6 month post placement report, so... um... that oughtta be good. Bwaaahahaha.

I'm sorry this was so long and even more sorry to take up your precious free time being such a whiner. My little laptop has become my one real confidante, so you are too, by default. I'll try to be more cheerful on the next post. I owe you one.


Colleen said...

Oh dear, you are WAY overtired. Have you ever tried melatonin? It's not a drug, it's a natural hormone that helps promote sleep. We've had to use it with Linlee at times because of her autism. (Autistic children often do not produce enough melatonin themselves and need the extra boost.) You can get it over-the-counter at any pharmacy.

I am going to be wishing you peaceful night's sleep so that you will soon feel like yourself again. (We are still working on adopting another baby and being up during the night is what I'm most scared of. I also HAVE to have my sleep to function.)

Nancy said...

MIchelle, my heart hurts for you when I read your post. It almost sounds like you have a case of major insomnia with maybe some post adoption depression (PAD)? I have 2 friends who both had post adoption depression, one was the typical description, the other was just really really tired, overwhelmed and angry (not so much depressed).

I don't know how supportive your agency is, but ours encouraged us to contact them for help with post adoption struggles, without repercussion.

I know you are an experienced mom, but are there outside family or friends who could help until things feel more manageable? I have a hard time asking for help, but when I do ask and get it, I kick myself for not asking sooner. I have a sister who comes over and just empties the dishwasher once in a while, and it's amazing how even that seems to help.

To help with my tiredness and low level depression, I use a full spectrum light box in the morning for 20-30 minutes, along with a low dose of anti-depressant. I was able to get the light box covered by insurance. My only problem was staying awake while using it! But within only a few days I started to perk up and now use it only when I feel myself starting to dip too low again. It literally transformed my energy level.

I don't know you, and I hope I'm not being too forward with my suggestions, but I care (I followed your posts during your travel to get Sam). I hope you will find a solution soon, life is too short to feel miserable.


mrsbroccoliguy said...

Get thee to a Doctor. STAT. I am serious... there are so many possible reasons for your insomnia, from PAD to perimenopause and a zillion things in between that a doctor could help you with. But go to a good doctor - the kind who listens and doesn't just shuttle you along or pooh pooh your very real concerns.
I was doing some reading on the perimenopause thing (egads, at 38... sigh, there's just no ignoring what is in my near future...) - and I was just amazed at what the author said a doctor could test for and the *very simple* things that could be done to cure what feel like huge problems. (Like huge mood swings, and insomnia,for instance).

Take care of you! I'll be praying...

Elaine said...

I am going to ditto what Christina said! And I hate doctors! If you have the energy to read, I would suggest the book It's My Ovaries, Stupid! It's been a few years since I've read it, but I think it does talk about insomnia (I read it because of my migraines). I would also suggest the melatonin. I know it works like a champ for some people and not so much for others, but it's not expensive and it is easy to find. You need to get some sleep (which you know), because lack of it does make you bonkers (I speak from experience). I'll email you later so hopefully you don't feel so isolated. I've been through it and can share crazy lady stories with you. (((hugs)))

Tami said...

I'm sending in my ditto on Christine and Elaine's comments. If I put my pseudo-doctor hat on for a moment, I would take a guess that its PAD. I've battled it three times now - with each of the adoptions and your symptoms sound awfully familiar. I didn't do anything about it - DON'T DO WHAT I DID! I wish now, oh how I wish, that I had gotten some help. Just know that you're not alone - so many of us go through it, but we're too ashamed, tired, embarassed to admit it. People (and doctors) readily accept PPD, but nobody thinks about all the stuff you go through when you go through an adoption - especially an international one. Hang in there. We'll keep lifting you up in prayer and if you feel like talking, just send me a quick email (six sunflower seeds at gmail dot com). At the very least I can offer you a sypthathetic ear. ((hugs))

Kathy said...

Big hugs to you. I also was thinking it could be PAD. Do this one very important thing for yourself and go see a doctor. Besides discussing PAD, he should check your thyroid and order a sleep study. Hoping things start to get better soon.

Christina Hubbard said...

Have to agree with going to a Dr ASAP!! I also would suggest the melatonin. I take it about 2 times a week because I have sleeping problems as well. It was suggested by our Dr because I refused prescrition sleep aids. I was afraid I would not wake up if one of the kids needed me. Melatonin does not knock me out and give me a walking in the clouds hangover the next day.

Hang in there. I will say extra prayers for you.

sassy chic said...

Chelle, I feel so helpless here! I have been praying for you all day and finally got on here to let you know. I wish I had answers and a secret weapon for you but I don't. I agree that you need to get to the dr and get this checked out. Does Darrell know how bad it is right now? I guess he does if he read your blog! I am praying for you, and I love you dearly!

Katie said...

You really should have a doctor check your hormone levels. Having something out of whack can seriously mess with your emotions and your sleep patterns.

Something else jumped out at me--maybe because I've been thinking about it a lot lately. You talked about wanting to put God, family and others before yourself. You seem to feel guilty for wanting to put yourself first (which, I think, is pretty normal). But your know how when you get on an airplane they tell you that, in the case of an emergency, you should put on your own oxygen mask first? It's because you aren't of any use to others if you're dead (literally, figuratively, emotionally...whatever). If you want to do for others, you have to take care of yourself first. Don't feel guilty about doing what it takes to get back in a good place.

Good luck--I really hope that you are feeling much better soon.

Anonymous said...

Ditto what everyone else need to go see a doctor and get this straightened out. Sleep deprevation can definitely cause these symptoms. Depression is the word that came to mind first when reading your post. You need to take care of YOU first before you can take care of others! Please get some help! You are definitely worth it!

Lina said...

Oh, I am so sorry you're feeling that way. I agree with the others - go to your doc and tell him what's up. And talk to your family about how you feel. You need someone to throw you a rope here. Or to make it easy - cut and paste your post and have them read it. As for the people who would say anything like that you shouldn't have adopted your effs for them. Sleep deprivation can do crazy things to you, but it sounds deeper than that. Big hugs to you Michelle.


Anonymous said...

Oh, and I forgot to say that I'm in Topeka, so if you need help, Kansas City isn't far away!

Deb Harrop

Kate Gj. said...

Oh Michelle - I don't know how you can have me laughing & crying all in one post nearly every time (i'm sorry but the suffocating missing blue shirt was pretty damn funny).

Anyway, I actually have a lot of thoughts on this so will email you too, but since that takes me forever these days my initial thought echos others on here. Sleep deprivation can pretty much make one head into a downward spiral...becoming an emotional mess for some of us.

And, while I respect the order you've listed your priorities, when you put yourself last your children get less of you. While it sounds overwhelming, I know there are ways to get time to put yourself a little higher on that list. Don't try to do it all, but rather try being honest with Darrell or others so they can be there for you.

Hang in there. Love ya!
ps. you are a blogging fool & I haven't been able to get to comment in time between each of your posts. I've added a couple comments on past ones...lucky you!

myminivanrocks said...

OK. Holy Hell-O, Woman!

I am just getting caught up on my blog reading. I was going to leave a comment on your Obama speech post, since none of your other nutty liberal friends have chimed in yet, and a comment on how signing you up for ACLU e-mails was genius and I wish I had thought of it, but I’m just going to have to let those go since this post definitely deserves some attention.

I absolutely have to agree that you need to see a doctor ASAP. There may be some underlying reason for the sleeplessness, hormonal or otherwise. However, if it’s just that life is the underlying reason for the sleeplessness, you need to get some sleep so you can get back to your life. Going without sleep can REALLY screw with your head.

When Noah was born, he had digestive issues, and he cried all.the.time. And he never slept. Therefore, I never slept. I showed up at my six-week OB appt in tears. My doc wanted me to join post-partum support groups, etc, but really all I needed was some sleep. She ORDERED me to get two nights of sleep IN A ROW and a she gave me a prescription for Ambien. I cannot tell you how much better I felt after that. If you sleep at night, the days are so much easier to deal with. It’s still hard, but much more manageable.

Is there any possible way you can get two nights IN A ROW covered by Darrell and/ or kids? You need more than one good night’s sleep. And I mean 8-9 hours or good sleep, not the 4-5 you say you are dreaming about. If it helps them get their wife/ mom back, I’m betting they would consider it a small price to pay. After you get started with your two nights, maybe you could come to an agreement where you are completely off duty at least one night a week.

Also, I know others have suggested Melatonin, but I am seriously and vigorously recommending you ask your doctor about Ambien. Your situation sounds like it could be helped by a Big Girl pill, and not just an herbal remedy. I know that may be hard to swallow (ha ha), but I really think you need to check it out.

Hang in there. You CAN do this. You WILL get through this.

I’m going to send you an e-mail with my phone number in case you need to talk.


metaphase said...

Just back in town and catching up. I have nothing to say that others haven't already said to you, except that I am more than happy to email, talk and pray with you anytime. I truly mean anytime, girl. Email me and I'll give you my number if there's something you'd like to go off about but feel like you can't to anyone else. No judgements here. I just want you to feel better. Love Char