Tuesday, December 08, 2015

Life is Depressing and Depression is Life

No, I guess it's not as bad as that, but it has been plenty bad lately. I have felt so overwhelmed, so alone, so utterly useless in the world.

So very depressed.

So depressed that I was once again contemplating suicide.

No, I won't do it. If anything, I'm really good at figuring out how bad "it" really is and I manage to get myself to someone who can help before something horrible happens. But mostly I think how wonderful it would be if I wasn't alive any more.

No more fears, no more worries, no more anger, no more bitterness. No more feeling useless.

Ah, sounds like a nice change.

However, I'm here and I'm stuck here for a while so I'm trying to make the best of it.

I came to an important realization last night as I was trying to drift off to sleep. Now, first you need to understand how yesterday went. Lately I've been so depressed that I haven't wanted to get out of bed. Literally. Will not get out of bed. I don't feel like eating and when I do eat, it's not good food that's good for me. So yesterday was one of those days where the world seemed to be circling around me, pulling me into its negativity vortex. I didn't get out of bed. All day. Well, most of the day. I slept something like twelve hours, before I went to bed in the evening again. I was so sad and miserable and utterly utterly alone.

So I'm trying to go to sleep because I am tired, surprisingly enough, and I don't want to warp my sleep/wake cycle again. Then I had a thought. Yesterday was 12/7. This was important, not only because it is Pearl Harbor Day (thanks all you veterans!) but because it is close to 12/10. 12/10 is the day where no happiness escapes. 12/10 is the gloomiest day of the year. And the lead up to 12/10 is almost always difficult as well.

I can't tell you how relieved I was to discover that! Sometimes it just takes knowing that there is a real reason that you're depressed, and not just having a serious brain chemical deficiency period (which is bad enough, I assure you).

In 1994, I miscarried a baby. He was due 12/10.

Even when I don't consciously remember what day it is, somehow, my body and my mind remember that little one. I get a bit sad around the day in May when I lost him, but 12/10 almost always sinks me. Whether I recall its significance or not.

Today was a better day. I graded a whole bunch of exams and papers I have to return tomorrow. It was beautiful and sunny all day. I made something yummy for supper. I kept my dying cat alive another day. It was a better day, thanks be to God!

Tomorrow may be another difficult day, but today was good enough. I'm still here.

Friday, October 02, 2015

Blah blah blog

Time for my biannual complaining blog post.

That's kind of what it feels like to me. I never blog anymore anyway (although I want to) and when I was finally able to log onto Blogger, I read what I'd written in years past. Somehow it sounds like today. Blah blah blog.

I still feel like the worst parent and wife EVER. I'm still depressed enough to not want to get out of bed some days. But on other days, I feel so much better...so full of gratitude and life I could just cry. Of course, I'd like to cry on these days in which I feel horrible as well, but for different reasons.

This morning I just did not want to get out of bed. Which was strange. The weather has turned cooler, I've finished a bunch of projects for other people (I'm doing a lot of sewing and alterations for pay now!), and it's Friday! No good. But I forced myself up out of bed and forced myself to be semi-normal. I took the twins to the library so David could get a Playaway for his campout and Keziah could print off more stuff for her report on muscles due next week at co-op. I couldn't even summon up the interest to look for a book for myself. I flat out didn't care. I ended up looking for books for Keziah's report and read some of one of them. It seems like everything around me tells me how rotten I am and how I may as well give up. The library books were reminding me of all the cool homeschooling stuff I did with the older kids when they were the twins' age and how little I care any more.

I could go on and on but I won't. This is my life at this second in time. I hope it improves soon.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

So Much Pain...

Also, so much drama in my life these days. I'm going to try and fail to expunge some of the angst by writing about it.

One of my college-aged daughters has a friend. Actually, she has a lot of friends, and I am fortunate enough to hear about them on a regular basis. It makes me happy that she still talks to me! Anyway, she has a group of friend at school and one of them is having a rough time. He has a number of mental issues severe enough require medication and his girlfriend just dumped him out of the clear blue. So back down to the sewer he goes.

I've been praying for this kid for about as long as my daughter has known him. He has always seemed pretty fragile to me. I spent an hour creeping his Facebook page last night and my heart was just breaking by the end of it. Why should this seemingly bright, talented, adorable young man should be in such pain that his friends are scared for him?

But hey, I've been there. Maybe that's why it rabbit-punched me like that. I've been there. I imagine I'll be there again, although I pray not. It's such a grueling place to be.

Then the pain gets generalized. How many people do I know that are hurting? I've met this kid once. Yes, I've prayed for him, which denotes a relationship of sorts, but I really don't know him that well. How many people I do know are crumpled up inside, losing ground in their struggle, or feeling weighed down? And what can I do about it? In the end, what can I really do to help? Because it doesn't take much for me to go plummeting too, and there I am, back on the bottom again, struggling up the long hill, pushing a millstone ahead of me.

Why am I writing all of this? Who knows? Part of it is concern for my daughter and her friends and the daughters and sons of my friends as they grow up and move away from us. How easy it is to listen to the siren song of the world and feel ourselves unequal to the cares of life.

Part of it is my own continuing attempts to make something of myself. Outwardly, I look like your average American housewife. I am grateful to be here, looking that good, believe me. But inside I'm still fighting to get back to where I was ten or eleven years ago when my fabulous, thriving life took an abrupt tumble.

I'm so tired of fighting.

Maybe that's part of what scares me for Andrew. Maybe that's why I reacted to the news of Robin Williams' suicide with a surge of fear. Because I am tired. Of fighting. So very tired. It would be so easy to just let the tides of my mind take me along until they submerge and drown me. No more fighting. No more pain.

I don't want that for Andrew. I don't want that for myself. But some days it just costs so much to fight. And I have to wonder: is it really worth the struggle?

Thursday, July 31, 2014

The Scarlet F

How to even begin this little missive? I do not know. Here we go: I am no longer a perfectionist. I was one in high school and it made me very ill. It was still there in college, but gradually went away after I married and realized that my husband loved me no matter what. Some days I wonder if he wishes he'd done otherwise.

Like today.

Today is D-Day for getting my 19-year-old's high school transcript done so that she can apply to the college of her choice. Why am I not finished? Many reasons: procrastination, busyness, laziness, depression, not caring...on and on and on. Nevertheless, I am going to make the deadline, much to the utter disbelief of my husband.

Except for one class, which the child has not finished.

She took this class a year and a half ago and failed it. Which bothered her not at all. Until she had to have the science class for college, at which point she started to do it all over. She worked diligently on it, studying and taking tests. I was so proud.

I texted her yesterday to remind her to find the notebook in which her tests resided. She didn't text me back. I asked her this morning about the text and she said her phone was dead but she'd find the notebook so we could grade the tests and have the grade for her transcript. Which needs to go to the college tomorrow. Did I mention that? Tomorrow is the ultimate deadline.

She could not find the notebook. It was not where she remembered having put it. Chaos, tears, railings ensued. The whole family plus two of the neighbor kids looked for the lost notebook. While we were looking, I told her she needed to start retaking tests. She was not a happy camper.

Here we are, about sixteen hours before I need to leave for work, having completed the transcript and having had it notarized. There are so many ways that this is due to my ultimate status as the Queen of the Losers. I wear the Scarlet F (for failure).

If I were better organized, more caring, more on top of things, more insistent,etc., etc., etc. this wouldn't have happened. Yes, it is not totally my fault. But I am the one with the F on my forehead.

Friday, February 28, 2014

Into the Woods We Go Again

I am blogging for you from the commodious spotlight room of the Anderson Center where I am currently pursuing my night job as spot operator for my daughter's show. Which is "Into the Woods".

As always, I'm blogging way too late because last week I was full of the milk of human kindness and goodness and happy with the whole world. Naturally, this is not the case tonight. It was a horrid night & day and I'm CRANKY. Surprise!

Anyway, this is my second-to-last day doing this gig and I believe I will miss it. It has been great fun to be a part of such a wonderful show filled with talented actors and awesomely cool crew. I realized last week that it makes me much happier to be a part of something creative. Creating makes me happy. Even if it's just running the spot, it's been a blast and I'll be sorry to have to move on to my usual humdrum experience. Although it will be nice to linger over the dinner table again!

Into the woods!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Into The Woods

Sweet daughter Rachel is in yet another performance over the next two weekends. She is Little Red (Riding Hood) of Into the Woods fame. She has been absolutely thrilled with doing this show with this group. It's a new group to her (although her father and I are familiar with it, having seen a few of their shows over the years) and much more professional in many ways than what she's dealt with before. It has been excellent experience for her.

It has also been excellent albeit bittersweet experience for me. You see, although Rachel will turn 19 next month, she still doesn't have her driver's license. So she needs someone to drive her to and from rehearsals. We have made quite the team over the last couple of months, and have spent a lot of time in the car. The theater is just far enough away that it doesn't make sense for me to drop her off and go back home. So I've brought projects: papers to grade, craft projects, lessons to plan. It's worked for us.

Over time, I've become more involved in the show. I helped make the sets, some of the costumes, and some of the props. It's been fun. Now I'm going to get to do something I haven't done since I was something like 16-years-old. I'm the spotlight operator for the show.

I won't say it was a put-upon job. I am secretly kind of excited about it. It's a job that depends on paying attention to the script (and to the stage manager's cues) but also has an artistic sort of bent to it as well. Obviously, I'm not really good at it. I just hope I don't totally screw up during the actual shows.

This will probably be the last show I have to shuttle the girl around for. She keeps saying she's going to get her license this spring. But, in the meantime, we've had a great many laughs and I'm even learning new skills. I joked with Friend Husband that it will be something to put on my Linked In profile (which is currently collecting dust with nothing in it).

Show opens tomorrow night. Wish us luck!

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Up and Down Like a Roller Coaster

It seems this blog is mostly about my mental state. Ah well, it is what it is. This week has been hard. Rachel is in a production of Into The Woods which starts 2/21. Rachel doesn't drive. So I drive her to rehearsal every night. Which is four hours in length. And then do the rest of my business during the rest of the day.

All this is to say that I am getting to the giddy point of exhaustion. And that is quickly followed by the grumpy and insomniac points of exhaustion. It is true for me and very very odd that when I am really tired, I have trouble resting adequately.

So I'm tired which, of course, affects my mood negatively.

And then there's homeschooling, which is like herding cats with regard to the twins and the aforementioned Rachel. And then there's the house, which is a complete disaster because we're living in it all day long and have too much stuff that we don't return to where it belongs. That's the sword of Damocles hanging over my head ever since my in-laws decided to make it know that they hate the way we (read: I) keep (or don't keep) house. It's definitely the pain that keeps aching and aching.

Occasionally something positive happens but it's been a bummer of a week. Yesterday was one of those bummer days. Really a bummer day. I spent the last couple of hours in bed, trying to get past my pain and irritation from the day and fall into blissful slumber. I ended up having nightmares, which sort of botched that idea. But then today dawned.

Saturdays at least hold the promise of being good because I get to go out and do whatever I want. Presumably, I'm supposed to do homeschool prep but the underlying theme has always been, "Go out there and enjoy yourself a little." So I do. In my own strange way. I often go to the library and do my 3 hours of volunteer work there. I read a lot. I usually take a good nap. I go out to lunch. It's quiet, I'm not in charge of the kids, and I get to feel like someone who is not beaten down into the mud all the time.

A couple of weeks ago, I got a letter in the mail from the branch manager of our library. She was inviting me to attend an initiative to make plans for the betterment of the county in which we live. I was baffled. Why on earth would she invite me to do this? Nevertheless, I was tickled and I agreed to do so. The meeting was this morning.

It snowed about 4 inches last night. When I went out, ten minutes before the meeting was to start, to get the car, it was covered in fluffy, beautiful, cold snow and a bit of ice. Needless to say, I was a bit late. No worries. I got coffee (huzzah!) and sat down with six other women. One man showed up a few minutes earlier and there was a facilitator there as well.

The exercise was strange in that we were supposed to be having "conversations" about what we wanted our county to be doing in the next several years. Sounds like psycho-babble to me and my tolerance for psycho-babble was used up long ago. The facilitator was, likewise, one of those Toastmaster-type guys. I'm sure he was a nice fellow but I amused myself by counting up the number of times he did one of those hale-fellow-well-met things. And I didn't look him in the eye because I didn't want him to know that I thought his technique was a little...what? Forward maybe? I don't know. I dislike it when I think anyone is cajoling me along to do anything.

The "conversations" themselves were interesting, though. A couple of the ladies were retired, the rest were still employed, I was the only person not gainfully employed. But we got to talking about a lot of things, individually and in group settings. I was still kinda zonked (no sleep) but I was able to force myself to think and come up with some intelligent things to share. It was nice.

Afterwards, I did a little shelving seeing as I hadn't been into the library in a month, because of Rachel's intense rehearsal schedule. I was flying, I was so happy! I had ideas coming out and zinging around while I was shelving. I felt invincible. I wrote beautiful words and had amazing ideas. Why? Because I had been taken seriously, not only by other people but by myself. Scary and sad and lovely.

The buzz is largely gone, but it was pleasant while it lasted. And I don't feel like I have to crawl into bed to recover from a difficult day. I'm even planning to get up and use the last hour my family is out to the movies to clean the house. How's that? It's a pleasing thing. So, while I'm no longer at the top of the big hill, I haven't zoomed down to the bottom either. And the view from up here is marvelous!