Thursday, December 8, 2011

Soggy Steps

Yesterday was a good day.  It was cloudy and rainy so there was potential for feeling sleepy but I decided to power through.  It's not always possible but I was successful yesterday.  I woke up on my own at about 6:30am and couldn't go back to sleep.  This is really weird for me.  If I can't do anything else I can always sleep.  Yesterday morning I felt refreshed and awake though.  I was thinking about getting up and taking the dogs for a walk when I heard the rain start.  Well that settled that!  I can't walk in the rain....can I?  After I was done arguing with myself about it I had to get up and get the kids off to school.  I got them all to school with only one incident of someone getting kicked and a little yelling.  It was a good morning!  I came home after running to the pharmacy and the grocery store.  It was only 9:30am and I felt as if it should be at least 11am.  Not in a "I can't believe how slow this day is going" way but in a "Wow, I still have so much time" kind of way.  The dogs still needed to be walked.  I was already wet from running in and out of stores and I needed a shower anyway so I took them out in the rain.  We ended up walking for about 30 minutes.  They slowed down before I did, it was really strange.  I was really wet, a little cold, really happy and it was still only 10am.  I still had two hours before I had to get the little one from pre-school.  This happiness carried on throughout almost the whole day.  It was really, really wonderful!

You see, I have been told exercise helps depression but I was not sure.  Besides, how am I supposed to exercise when I can't even get dressed?  I am still not totally convinced but two things happened recently that have made me lean towards thinking that it really does help.  One, my Dr. took the time to explain to me why it helps and everything she said went along with what I am studying for school.  Two, was my experience yesterday.  The thing is, I need to remember that it doesn't have to be all or nothing.  I don't have to put on sneakers to go for a walk because honestly, (I am not making this up) finding socks and putting on sneakers is sometimes what keeps me from exercising.  I don't have to do it every day.  I may have a bad day and not be able to get moving but that doesn't mean I have failed. 

I have always been a perfectionist of sorts.  If I can't do something completely and perfectly then I don't do it at all.  This is why I didn't do well in school.  It's why my house is messy.  I know I can't do it perfectly and I don't want the humiliation of trying my best and still not being good enough.  I have to have a constant dialog in my head telling myself, "it doesn't have to be perfect" or I freeze.  I am working on this and walking in the rain yesterday was a soggy step in the right direction.

My cute dogs, my motivation.     

Tuesday, December 6, 2011


I am putting the continuation of the last post on hold.  I can't have this blog feeling like homework.  I will continue, it's just not what I'm feeling right now.  I haven't written for so long because shortly after my last post summer vacation began which means I had no time for anything.  Then the kids went back to school and so did I.  My classes take up a good portion of my free time.  I've recently decided to make this somewhat of a priority though.  It feels good to write.

So my medication recently had to be changed.  After seven years of very little anxiety I fully flipped out at the end of the summer.  It seemingly came out of the blue but I have slowly begun to figure out why this happened.  For starters my Dr. put me on a stimulant last Spring to help with my exhaustion.  This was okay but I really hated the way it made me feel when it wore off.  I took it though because I was more productive and less tired and that was the whole reason for taking it.  I always get nervous for my kids to go back to school.  I like having them home in the summer and I don't like it when summer ends.  This year my baby started pre-school too which made it even more dreadful.  Lastly, I started school for the first time in over ten years which was very scary and stressful (also wonderful and exciting).  All these things combined to create the perfect storm. 

So now I am not taking the stimulant anymore and because my anxiety has bubbled up again my Dr. has added another anti-anxiety/anti-depressant.  I left my appointment the other day realizing that this is how it's going to be....My. Entire. Life.  I will never be able to say, "Wow, I beat this!"  It will be a never-ending journey with valleys, peaks and plateaus.  I guess life is that way for everyone.  I think people with depression probably have valleys that are harder to climb out of though.       

Friday, June 10, 2011

My Journey Part 1

I am tired today.  I'm pretty much tired all the time but today I am the "sitting and staring at nothing" kind of tired.  When I feel like this it is very easy for me to spiral down-ward.  This is why it is so important for me to sleep well.  I can power through, I've done it many times but it is not healthy for me.  If I push through I often end up crashing and falling into a depression for a few days.  I was visiting my in-laws recently and was feeling this way.  I disappeared for a bit and took a short nap.  Maybe they think I'm weird but I've learned after all these years that if I can sleep for 45 min. I can avoid falling under the dark cloud.  If I sleep longer than that it can make me feel worse.  Forty five minutes is perfect.  It's not being lazy or indulgent it is taking care of myself so that I can take care of others.  (I have to type this out loud for myself as much as anyone else.)

Having said all that you can imagine how hard it was to have babies.  The most well-adjusted, healthy person can be defeated by a little baby.  I FELL APART when I had my first child but I found I had to fall apart to become stronger.

I was paranoid and terrified as a new mother.  My first pregnancy, delivery and baby were difficult.  At 19 weeks my tummy started to get smaller from appointment to appointment.  Enter five-million ultra-sounds to find out what was wrong.  My fluid was low and my baby wasn't growing.  Enter five-million non-stress tests and non-stop kick counts.  This doesn't sound exhausting but it was.  I had to write down my kick-counts, get nervous if I couldn't feel her moving, call the Dr. right away (as instructed) and rush in for ultra-sounds a couple of times too many.  Finally at 35 weeks the Dr. decided the baby would be better off on the outside.  Come to find out my placenta had stopped functioning and the umbilical cord was the thickness of a pencil (not ideal).  After trying to induce labor for three days baby flipped feet first and I needed a c-section.  I was devastated!! 

The good news is my baby was completely healthy.  The hard part was she was 4lbs 3oz and super skinny.  She needed lots of food all the time.  I had to nurse, pump and tube feed every two hours.  This meant about sleep.  I was told she was fragile and if she got sick it would be very bad.  I became very protective and defensive.  I would see all kinds of horrible things happening to her that were out of my control.  Specifically I would see myself falling down the stairs while holding her and her flying into the wall.  I thought these were just my protective instincts kicking in.  When she was about six weeks old I was up in the night feeding her.  I had just finished changing her and she had fallen asleep.  I was getting ready to go back to bed and she proceeded to fill her diaper....a lot.  I burst out crying and could not stop, I mean for months.  Of course I am exaggerating a bit but really whenever I was alone I cried about the tiniest thing.  I remember sobbing uncontrollably because I couldn't screw the cap back on the peanut butter. 

Now as I remember this time in my life I can see that I had a classic case of postpartum depression.  At the time I did not see it and I was really good at pretending I was fine.  However, I was certain there was a reason why I was feeling this way.  I threw myself into figuring out what it was.  I read all sort of books about parenting, pregnancy, childbirth and c-sections.  I learned a ton and had my theories but I would never fully understand what was happening until a few years later.

How's that for a cliffhanger?
To be continued...

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

I'm Messy

Okay, now I need to decide how honest I should be on here.....  I want to totally put it all out there but I am afraid.  What if no one is as bad as I am?  That would be a horrible discovery.  I am willing to bet that I'm not alone though.  The comments you all have shared have been wonderful to read (in a "I'm not the only one" way).

I clean in weird ways at weird times.  I'll give you a few examples...Last night at 9pm I went to take out the trash.  Not weird at all, right?  Right, except I ended up cleaning half the garage while I was out there.  Not planned, just started picking up and organizing until my family came looking for me.  The other day I went to do the dishes and ended up taking the stove apart to clean the drip pans under the burners.  They are clean, the kitchen is not.  In fact, we had to eat cereal out of tupperware this morning. 

You think I'm kidding just look at this.

Now in my defense the dishes on the right are clean and waiting to be put away.  The rest definitely need attention though.  I feel as if I am surrounded by dishes, laundry and paper all the time.  Paper?  Yes, and not the good kind of paper.  The amount of paper that comes into my home every day is obscene.  Good thing we recycle, right?

My "desk"
(I use the term loosely because I really don't know when I last sat at it and used it as such)

There you go, I'm putting it out there.
I am messy.
I don't want to be.
I don't like to be.
I am working on it.

Sorry the pictures are really bad, I took them with my phone.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Writing Is A Good Thing

I have to say I am terrified that I put this out there.  I am so thankful for the kind thoughts that have been shared.  It eases my fear a little bit to know that not everyone is scared off by me and my crazy ;).

I had a good day.  I got the kitchen cleaned and babysat for a really cute baby.  I cleaned the tub too!  I hate cleaning the tub.  Does anyone actually like cleaning the tub?  If you do I would love to become really good friends so you can come over and clean my tub.  It really should be done more than once a quarter, don't you think?

I was thrilled to discover last night that writing still helps.  I used to write a lot.....B.C. (Before Children).  It is therapeutic and all those negative thoughts are not in my head anymore.  I don't hate myself today and that is all I need to know right now.

P.S.  I am a bit annoyed though that we seem to have skipped Spring here in New England and gone straight to hot, humid Summer.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

I Hate Myself

Sometimes I hate myself so much it is totally consuming. I hate the kind of wife I am, the kind of mother I am, the kind of friend I am. I could keep listing but you get the point. The sadness I feel seems to come from some outside source and I feel like I need to be comforted and the person that wronged me needs to pay. Then, I remember that it's me that has done this to myself and that is where the self-loathing comes from.
I have so much I want to be and do. I see a path that I am supposed to follow that will lead me to these great things. I wake up most mornings with a great plan in my head. I want to finally get caught up on laundry, finally get that mudroom done, paint the chairs I got for the dining room. I want to fix nutritious meals for my children. Play, color and read with Lucy. Go for a walk with my dogs. Clean the garage, clean my car. I am excited to choose from all of these wonderful things. Then it happens. I can't even describe it. It's is like when a water balloon gets a pin hole in it and slowly but forcefully all the water leaks out.
Fixing a snack for Lucy feels like the equivalent of the effort it would take to run a marathon. I want to sleep and I hate myself for wanting to sleep. It doesn't make me feel better it just makes me not feel. As long as I am awake I am aware of all the things that I am not doing. The little things and the big things. The little things I already spoke about, the big things bring me too much sorrow and self-loathing to even talk about in detail. I know I was not meant to be this person. The person I was meant to be is encrusted in layers of depression and hatred.
The depression is not me but it has me under it's control. I can't win because every time I break through it becomes stronger. You're not the only one who thinks I should stop feeling sorry for myself, I think it too. (Enter more self-loathing.)
I want to shout out to everyone who will listen (and even louder to those who won't) that I am ill. This is a sickness. A real, I have no control over it, sickness. Then I wonder if I'm just a lazy, fat girl who could control it if I really wanted to.