Sunday, June 10, 2012

Smell the flower, blow out the candle

So I realize that I have ignored my blog for three months.  It has been so much easier to post one sentence updates to Facebook than actual blog posts, but this is not fair to my friends and family who actually want to know about our lives.  And its not really fair to myself, because blogging is a really good way of expression.  We are still here.  We are all alive and breathing.  We only had to call poison control once. 

I am just going to announce that I intend to come back to blogging.  Mostly because I like the sound of the keyboard clacking on my new computer.  It is very pretty and I named her Violet.  It is so fast and does not overheat, it has Windows 7 and the number three on the 10-key actually works.  These are good things.

I realized today that at 28 I have officially been dealing with depression for half of my life.  That darn puberty thing really screwed me up.  I am going to therapy and breathing deeply.  I am adopting the mantra that life is hard and that I can do hard things. This may or may not be working.

There is this thing about Survival Mode:  In order to survive, you must make sure your children are fed and wearing clothing (bonus points if the clothes are clean).  Breakfast for dinner is acceptable, however cinnamon toast can only be used as an entree once per week.  The house should not catch fire, and showering should be attempted at least every two days.  Makeup and hairspray are extra credit only.  If you have a job, you should go or they might fire you, but you don't really have to look nice unless you must interact with actual professionals at said job.  You should probably at least lay a towel over the spilled milk in the kitchen, and make sure the sheets are washed after a bout of vomiting.  Actually putting away laundry is more of a maintenance, cruising mode kind of thing, and doesn't really happen in Survival Mode. Survival Mode is marked daily by curses over missing keys and persistent alarm clocks.   Going visiting teaching is out of the question.

In addition to the necessity of keeping the children alive and safe, there is an Activity of Withdrawal from responsibility that usually lasts a couple weeks.  I played a lot of Solitaire for awhile.  Sometimes it is sleep, thanks to electronic devices that four year can operate by themselves.  Sometimes I do nothing but read murder mysteries.  Or design and construct skirts.  Sometimes it is Angry Birds.  Often it is Facebook, where I can stay abreast of important events in the lives of my former junior high acquaintances and receive validation from people without actually having to interact with them.  Sometimes I do nothing but watch Grey's Anatomy.  I really miss George.  There were two weeks where all I did was Rubik's cube.  You get the picture.

Every once in a while I emerge from a cocoon of bedsheets and drawn curtains and become myself again.  I actually take dinner to people I care about that are having a rough week.  I might make biscuits from scratch, paint with the kids, or genuinely laugh at a joke.  I might go to story time at the library and pack a picnic lunch at the park.  Sometimes I wear make up and once last month I actually blow-dried my hair

I miss being me.  I want to be me.  I hope to get to the point where I can look back on the Survival years and be grateful for a healthy, New me.  An involved and cheerful wife/mom/food buyer/individual whose socks are predictably matching, does not have a caffeine habit, is not running late or scrambling for a babysitter, and whose keys are not lost.  Her history of Depression is actually history, with wonderful lessons learned and an inspiring story to boost and encourage another who is still in the thick of it.  I will be someone who doesn't get her feathers ruffled because life isn't fair.  I don't want to continue on a path that makes my years of depression outnumber my years of wellness.

That's it.  That is where I am and where I want to go. In a recent epiphany, I realized that feeling hopeless is not actually because there is no hope, but because some evil spirit is sneaking into my qi and trying to make life seem hopeless so that I will just Give Up. 

So now that I know that all is not hopeless, I know to pray away the adversary and try again to be Me tomorrow.


Jamie J Stansfield said...

I so totally can empathize here! This is my battle often too. Trying to convince myself to not give up but keep going and actually try to improve. Had goals I was to start today that I gave up on and will hopefully try tomorrow. Love you Jenny!!! Hang in there. It will get better. It has too!

Petersen Palace said...

I'm pretty sure there are a lot of "motherhood-trash-kicking-moments" in there mixed with the depression. You are amazing in so many ways and I am glad we are friends. :)

HailerStar said...

You may not believe it ... but just reading this account, you are a light of hope to me. Because I deal with the same thing. I find it amazingly couragious that you talk about it openly and that gives me hope that at some point I'll be able to talk about it more openly too.
You're not alone in the struggle. And the fact that you keep moving forward encourages me. (Some days I just want to stop, give up). Remember, all the crazy that came out of the box that Pandora opened, there was hope at the bottom (which is probably because we need hope the most when WE are at the bottom). Don't ever give up on yourself. You mean a lot to people and the light you share with the world is unique because only you have your personalized set of challenges and triumphs. What you have to give is important. Never forget that. And thank you for writing about the struggles as well as the triumphs.