Sunday, January 17, 2021
My son has major depression. It is very difficult and painful for me when I can't help him. I feel depressed myself when he is not doing well. He has accomplished many unbelievable things in his life despite his condition. I am very proud of him. I wish we lived closer. If he can't make it on the current career track he is on then I have to help him with a backup plan. I am pulling in support from my daughter and my son's father though we are not together anymore.
My concrete action steps to provide him support are below.
1) Text/Call him every work day (rest on the weekends/no decisions made on Fridays) at lunch to touch base. In our conversations ask him to identify the issues that are upsetting him and taking things one issue at a time, resolve them in a way he wants to resolve him. Also serve as a reminder for him because he can forget what he needs to do sometimes like make sure he has his doctor's appointments scheduled and picks up any medication. The goal is not to enable him but to support him and I know the difference between the two.
2) Take care of myself. Eat right/Exercise - Work my support systems. Talk about the reality of the situation with others - don't cover this up - there is no shame in depression. People treat it differently to heal. Some take medicine, some go to therapy, some do both - exercise and eating right are part of helping ourselves to recover also.
3) Plan regular visits with him because we do not live close. I admit I haven't had this part in my plan. The reason is because of a) the Pandemic - he lives up north and I live in Florida. b) the expense - I have two other children also and I am divorced and trying to get ready to retire. c) he doesn't always want me around - he is a grown man and I want to respect that. I'm going to establish a particular savings account just for travel purposes that I haven't done in the past. You see the issue with Major depression is everything goes along great and then there is a big sudden drop off and as prepared for this as I have always been, this is an action I can take now and that helps me feel as though during this Pandemic, I have a tiny bit of control over the situation.
Thank you for listening. I have to keep it real. I have a perfectionist personality and I know myself really well. I appreciate you being my SP friend.