Friday, March 27, 2015

The [Not So] Great Pretender

Motherhood is tough.

And for weak, whiny me, it is much tougher.

How do some women make it look so easy?? Are they always ever so healthy and cheerful? Do they really have time to pamper themselves? Cause some of them looked, well... pampered.

Let me just admit it straight and frank, how it is for me on most days.

There is an average of 30 days in a month. Out of that, at least one whole week of each month is a goner. That would be the time when Aunt Flo comes visiting, and she's one hell of an imposing visitor. I'd be down and weak, bloated and in pain most of the time that the only thing I want to do is lie down and never have to get up for anything. For anything! It is the time when I wish for meals in bed, and that toilet visits can be put off indefinitely! It is a time of abdominal pains, backaches and foul moods. And little sleep too, cause these pains seem to worsen at night.

Of course, meals in bed is just wishful thinking. Not having someone send me meals, almost always result in me delaying taking them and that, in turn, would trigger my gastritis. I would then be dealing with heartburn and more bloating (masuk angin la tu kan?). More pain, yeay!!

As if that's not enough, if you know what heartburn is like, if it gets too bad, it even makes it difficult for you to breathe. You'd feel short of breath and that, ladies and gentlemen, would then set off my anxiety to an overdrive. That's when racing hearts, shaky hands and butter fingers come into the picture, and finally, the climax of the show....anxiety attacks and thoughts of myself dying. Thoughts of DYING. M.A.T.I. How fun is that?

So from a whole week of dealing with AF, I would normally take another 4-5 days or so afterwards to recover from the gastric and anxiety attacks. Let me tell you people, anxiety and panic attacks can shake you to the core! If you have never experienced it, pray that you never will. No matter how much I've learned about it, every attack would still lead me to believe that this is my final moment of life.

Now this whole pattern has been recurring every month for... geez... I don't know how long. Years, at least. And recently, after discovering that I have a thyroid goiter, my anxiety has gotten worse. I had been out of depression for many years before. I was doing pretty well managing my anxiety without medication. But now, I am back on medication and despite that, depression is seeping in. Not cool.

Depression is not cool.

It's a feeling of doom and hopelessness. A feeling of inadequacy, self-disgust, and loneliness. Feeling unwanted and hated. Feeling negatively judged, never good enough to be anybody's company. Feeling like everybody is ganging up against you. And guilt.

Guilt, guilt, guilt.

Feeling like you are in a separate world of your own. A lonely one.

Depression drains your energy that even waking up in the morning is hard cause you don't feel rested. If it was up to me, I'd be in bed all day. You cry easily, and I've cried every, single day since the depression set in. I have no explanation on why I cried other than the fact that I don't feel good about myself. I don't feel happy. This, despite ALL the crystal clear blessings around me that I am very much aware of.

And do you know what the worst part is? It is putting up the charade that you're all fine and dandy. Presenting the facade of confidence, having all things under complete control. When the truth is, you can feel yourself crumbling inside from the pressures of keeping up with all the pretensions that are not you.

So this is my struggle, every single day. It's one or the other. On days that I can drive in and out running errands, that would be a good day. On any weekends that I can join my family for an outing to the movies or the swimming pool, that would be twice better. But good and better days don't come often. I've had times when I was not feeling well enough (that also means, brave enough) to do any shopping that we totally ran out of food in the fridge. And with much guilt, I had to give my children eat instant noodles. There were also times when I stayed in my room all day that I only saw my children once in the morning, and didn't see them again later in the evening. I left them the whole time with my maid. I'm a homemaker, but homemaking I am not. 

I've also had times of total meltdown where my family was on the receiving end. I've always had a short fuse to begin with, that I admit. But in recent years, I began to notice that I no longer get angry. I get crazy mad followed with a meltdown. I would come out of the episode feeling defeated and extremely guilty for putting my family through all that childishness. But trust me when I say that, sometimes, I just couldn't hold it in.

Wow! Enough confession for now eh?

So back to my first question... how do these seemingly perfect mothers do it? Are they really good at what they do?

Or are they better pretenders?

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