June 16th, 2015 | No Comments »

Stage I.  Darkness

I’ve had an epiphany of sorts regarding depression. Maybe it’s best not to make a global statement here and I will simply qualify this conclusion as a description of my own particular depression.

The state of being depressed is the inability to feel, see, hear, remember or understand love.  When I say love, I mean all love.  The love that others have for me, the love that I have for others, and the love I have for myself.  In short, a love eclipse.  Complete and utter darkness.

In the moments when I am stuck there, it’s almost impossible to imagine being elsewhere, because at those times there IS no elsewhere.  It’s a lost land.  Another world. Breaking free from that place is almost unfathomable. During those moments of darkness,my thoughts drift to the conclusion that life (in this form) is pointless and empty, and being gone would mean no longer feeling the desolation of the absence of love.  Add to that the vile voice from without, sneering the words “you are unlovable”.  At the same time, I yearn for loving arms to hold me, without judgment over my ridiculous display of ego, while my tears release the poison that somehow got stuck inside me.  Clearly (now that I am collecting my thoughts), the yearning for the external expression of loving kindness is to thwart those acrid words, proving that I am, in fact, lovable.  So yes, I feel the need for an outside source to envelop me, accept me, and let me be me, while I flush the icky stuff out.  Also at the same time, I am tempted to flee and sequester myself from humanity altogether.  I want to hide somewhere alone, curled up in fetal position, and weep until I am strong enough to emerge.  Meanwhile, another part of my brain also derides me for this despicable self absorptive indulgence.  I am well aware that in this place, my ego is running wild, an untamed beast.  I am also fully aware that, logically, reasonably, the balance of positive things in my life so far outweighs any measly negatives, that in reality there is absolutely no shortage of love in my life, and it’s almost inconceivable that I would or could ever get to such a place of despair.  I don’t want to feel like this.  Ever.  And yet I do.

It’s perplexing.  It’s embarrassing.

I got stuck there for a little while yesterday.  I felt it coming on the day before, and tried to power through it with various thoughts and reasonings.  I even went so far as to try the prescription my doctor gave me when I tried to describe this phenomenon of getting stuck once in a while.   In all fairness, the pill did help a little.  I could feel that I had taken something, and I could feel it maybe keep the wave at bay, but it didn’t keep it from hitting.  In fact, I felt disoriented the next morning, and that could be due, in part, to the effects of the medication.  At any rate, the eclipse happened.  I knew it was coming and I didn’t know how to diffuse it.  Bam.

Stage II.  Anger

I come out of it when I get some sleep and rest, and distance myself with a little time, but I noticed this morning that, although the darkness and despair is gone, something else lingers.  It’s like a constipation of the brain.  I’m nearly full up, blocked up, and have barely any margin for throughput, so the slightest inconveniences or irks or frustrations push me to the ragged edge where I feel like I’m gonna blow, and I just want to explode somehow, or smash something, break something, do something, anything, to get this detritus OUT of me.  It manifests as anger.  I start dredging up thoughts of other frustrations or experiences, etc etc etc, and think about how awful so and so was, and how horrible such and such was, then immediately turn it back on myself, because ultimately, I’m the one who made the choices that put me in the situations that resulted in the various unpleasant outcomes.  So then I chastise myself for my poor choices, for wafting through life with my idealistic notions that all people are good and nice and honest and loving and kind, and everyone deserves a chance because who am I to think that I am better than someone, or that someone is unworthy of me –rather than exercise a little bit of common sense and self respect to protect my heart and my soul, for God’s sake.  Ohhhhhh, I’ve already been down this thought path before, and established that I am The Fool.  I may yet come out of this diatribe emotionally intact.  So.  Anger.  Because I am not at liberty to break or smash things, I manifest with tears.  I must be quite the vision, should passersby glance in my car as I’m driving to or from work.  Sobbing, otherwise attractive woman behind the wheel.

Stage III.  Back in the Saddle

I’m glad that I took the time to try to capture these thoughts.  Well intentioned friends and family members may point out that I don’t love myself (enough, not necessarily at all), or don’t respect myself (enough, not necessarily at all), or that I don’t treat myself as though I am complete or whole.  Maybe.  Maybe not.  It’s a whole helluva lot easier to see things from another perspective when you’re on the outside.  I don’t know.  This blog is testimony to my emotional struggles.  I should probably take some time to write about the joys and wins, but I’m generally too busy enjoying and living those days and moments to bother documenting them.  Writing out and working through my struggles helps me get back to my normal self.  I suppose it’s true to say that when I am caught up in a dark place, of course I’m not whole, of course I’m not complete, of course I’m not self-loving, of course I’m not self-respectful.  Which causes which?  If I were whole, etc, would I ever get caught in that dark place?  Or am I whole, except when I get caught in that dark place?

The mere fact that I felt it coming leads me to think that with proper and rigorous vigilance, I could thwart it.  And if that’s the case, maybe I don’t have depression at all.  Maybe I just have an untrained, untamed mind.  And if’n that’s the case, well I’munna beat that thang into submission.

Posted in depression, ego, me
September 25th, 2011 | No Comments »

I’m feeling scattered again.  Oh, I don’t like to feel scattered!  I like to know the boundaries of my world, as they constitute my comfort zone.  The perimeter can be very extensive, but I so very much like to be aware of what the perimeter is.

I’ve been house hunting and man hunting — up to my internet mischief.  It’s exhausting!  Add to that the cold that is trying to catch me.  My throat is a battleground.

The house hunting is proving to be very similar to the internet dating experience.  I’ve been to view several houses lately, and what they look like in real life is a far cry from what they look like in their on-line photos.  Rooms look impressively spacious, only to find they are tiny cracker boxes.  Earlier this year I was intent on finding a home with a view, maximizing the tranquility of my sphere –proximity to work, neighborhood safety, proximity to my family, and a view of mountains and salt water were my top priorities.  Frustrated with that, I refocused on vacation properties.  I thought I could buy a weekend home with the view and tranquility, and remain in my current home for the day-to-day living.  I’ve since reconsidered matters again, now that my Brutus is in school, and raised the school ratings above the desire for a view.  It has come to my attention that we don’t live in a particularly good school region, so I would like my boys to have the benefit of better schools and the stability to grow up with the same set of people.  Better views and better schools come at a price, so a similar home to the one I have is far beyond my means.  While there are beautiful and affordable homes available the further one extends from the city, and there are pockets of better schools in the outlying regions, the commute and proximity to family are prohibitive.  I don’t want to add any further stress to the world in which I live, so I have to be mindful of the effects of a difficult commute.

Add to this the pursuit of togetherness.  If only I knew what I wanted, or what would work best for me.  I know much of what I don’t want, but to quantify what I want and what I’m capable of is very difficult.  So far, it’s been an iterative process that has consumed years of my life, because I don’t know how else to approach it.  The current mission statement that best describes what I  think I want is “a respectful, respectable alpha male sex machine who is okay with me having my way when it’s important to me“.  In a nutshell.  Ha!

Meeting men is easy enough (with the online venue).  Determining a definite ‘no’ is easy enough as well.  Encountering a possible ‘maybe’ is very, very rare, and if it happens, I don’t know what to do next, other than tread softly, try not to cast forth too many pearls, and hope to remain clear headed and open minded.  None of which I am particularly good at.  (Oh, how my dad would cringe at my split infinitives and dangling participles, were he alive and reading this.)

It’s all so hard for me!  I just want to be settled down.  To know where home is.  To know with whom my heart is safely entrusted.  I want a simple and beautiful life.  (Yes, I know, I know, I already have a simple and beautiful life.)

January 26th, 2011 | 2 Comments »

shit shit shit.
shit shit fuk fukkety fuk buggers buggerdy bugger shit.

OMG!  I am SO King George VI!  Up tight, wound up like a clock, all decorum, all proper…   ….I can totally see myself exploring such profanities in just the way he did, in The King’s Speech.  Only, I probably won’t.  Other than the beauties I just posted.

Colin Firth and Geoffrey Rush have great faces to explore, and I’ve always liked Helena Bonham Carter.  I enjoyed the film.

not tonight dear, I have a headache

I’ve been giving Wellbutrin XL a go for the past couple of months.  I think it is helping.  I had a headache every single day for the first four weeks, but not the cloud or fog or lightheaded feelings I’ve experienced with other things.  I was lightheaded every day with Zoloft, even with a minuscule dose.

Anyway.  I still get headaches.  But I’ve been getting headaches and stomachaches for as long as I can remember.  And I still have anxiety.  It’s not debilitating, but it’s a nuisance.

I still have broken sleep.  It seems that I have an inner clock that insists I open my eyes at 4:36am.  Every. Single. Morning.  Generally, it’s not so bad if I can acknowledge the time, oh, it’s 4:36 again, isn’t that nice, and drift back to sleep.  If I’ve got things on my mind, though.  Forget it.  My brain is engaged and that’s all she wrote.  There is also the matter of the resident bedwetter.  If he’s wet, he tends to arrive at my door between 1 and 2 am.  I send him off to change his clothes, while I go strip his bedding and get him situated again.  I tuck him in, and he returns to the land of nod.  I may or may not return myself.   It’s very exhausting, this lumbering about, trying to function while in a dazed state in the middle of the night.

I might try having him wear an alarm watch, to wake him in the night so he can take care of things.  He’s such a deep sleeper, but perhaps the novelty of wearing a watch and knowing there will be an alarm will be enough of a wedge in his subconscious to cause him to respond.  It’s worth a try.

Meanwhile, I haven’t much to say.

Apart from this.

shit shit shit.
shit shit fuk fukkety fuk buggers buggerdy bugger shit.

I crack myself up.  That language is so out of character!

Posted in mental health, tv/film
December 8th, 2010 | No Comments »

I need to learn how to accept the limitations of time.  I find myself, over and again, succumbing to anxiety rooted in the inability to mold my life around the constructs of time.

The hyper awareness of time interferes with my rationale and affects some priorities that I set, decisions that I make, thoughts that I think, and emotions that I manifest.

This is already a broken record.  I can tell, even before I get the words out.

There is only so much time available.  Somehow I have to work, mother, keep my household, foster my friendships and tend to my budding relationship.  I would like to have some self-nurturing or at least recovery time.  I have to multi-task even that, and glean whatever pleasure I can wherever I can.  Rather than choke at yet another chore, I choose to savor the upkeep of my household and the shopping for groceries or other sundries.  It gives me a smidgen of peace.

And what of this budding relationship?  How does it fit in?  How does one have quality adult time and not compromise child time?  Beaten down by logistics.  There’s no time for seeing each other during the week, which leaves only the weekend.  Friday nights are nearly shot.  It’s late by the time any meeting can take place.  Saturday, and part of Sunday constitute the window of opportunity and the dynamics shift dramatically as a function of child visitation arrangements.  How to be relaxed and content when there’s no time for just plain living?

I don’t like juggling.  I don’t like the ‘hurry up and wait’ mentality.  I don’t like not knowing what time I will have with whom and when.  For all I know, I could be dead in five years.  Or tomorrow.  I’m grateful to make it home alive, each and every day that I have to traverse the freeways in the dark, when it’s raining.   It’s harrowing.  I don’t want a future life, I want a now life.

So I am confounded and frustrated.

I don’t know how not to be anxious about the time.  I don’t know how this life balancing act works.

Sometimes I find myself in thought, and realize that I’m not breathing.  Stress.  It’s a stress of some sort.  I have to remind myself to breathe.

Maybe I should ask myself what I want.  Why is the time or lack of it so stressful or so important?  Or did I not just write ad nauseum about it?

After I’ve put the kids to bed, there is a small window of time that I get for myself.  It’s all I have, and there are a thousand and one mentally, physically, spiritually, or emotionally productive or constructive things I could do with that time.   But for whatever reason, the need to decompress and refuel is amplified lately, and I find myself floundering and anguishing, at a loss for doing this with the faculties I have available.

Ideally (this is pure speculation) decompression and refueling could be a symbiotic process with one’s partner, given that there is regular contact.  But there isn’t regular contact, and there’s not likely to be regular contact in the foreseeable future.

So I am confounded and frustrated.  And feeling alone.

I said it was a broken record.

January 8th, 2009 | 2 Comments »

Finding the bright side

I really like being at the office, in the flesh.  I like seeing the people, walking down the hallways exchanging hellos, sitting at my desk and hearing the buzz around me.  It’s a boost.

I like that LB is such a laid back little boy.  He’s happy to see me when we get home, and he doesn’t appear to hold anything against being left with a caregiver all day.  I hold him and he stands on his strong little legs and gives me that, -I’m the coolest thing ever- look.  He is just so pleased with himself and his new discovery that he can use his legs for more than kicking, and it’s literally written all over his face.  I love that.  LOVE IT.

I like that, since LB is an every other day pooper, and generally a daytime pooper, I have very few poopy diapers to contend with.  Nice!

Daycare is frighteningly expensive, and I’m still getting used to the thought of it, but I can afford it, so I’m grateful.  The part about having to pay for it whether or not we actually go still bothers me, but I have to remember that our caregiver’s living depends on contracted service, and it’s not her fault if the roads are flooded or frozen or otherwise impassable.  Also, if we didn’t contract, then we wouldn’t be guaranteed placement, and that could be far worse.

Even if all this adjustment makes me dry up (the supply has plummeted this week, which in itself freaks me out which then causes it to dwindle further; it’s a horrible, vicious cycle -I was three ounces short in just one pumping session, this morning, which is SUBSTANTIAL), it won’t be the end of the world to have to switch to formula, and I can still be grateful that my baby has gotten over 4 months of breast milk and all its benefits.  I still hope I can recover (which is why I’m spending all this time trying to think of the bright side of things and get my head into a better place).

The yin

(Why is it that the negative and dark yin is the feminine attribute, whereas the positive and light yang is the masculine?)

The other morning while I was getting everything ready (even though I’d gotten as much ready the previous night as possible, there is still a lot to do in a morning before getting out the door), BB kept asking, -Mommy, why are you running so fast everywhere?-

I tried a new tactic of feeding LB as much as possible just before I went to bed, to try and hold him through the night.  He would only take 5 ounces, and by morning there was a smell to the remaining 2-3 ounces, so I had to dump it.  I can’t say how wrenching it is to have to dump that substance for which I work so hard and sacrifice so much!  Maybe it was still okay, but normally I can barely detect only the slightest sweet scent, and I’d rather not take any chances.

Part of me wouldn’t be too heartbroken to wean at this point, but the better part of me is concerned about the hormonal effects and the appetite effects.  I’m a bit leery of sending myself into a psychological tailspin by rocking the hormonal boat, since I can feel myself teetering as is.  And as far as appetite goes, I’d hate to find myself sustaining a large appetite without having my body work some of it off in the milk factory.  I’ve put on some belly fat since having LB, and am somewhat afraid of exacerbating the condition.  Okay, terrified.

There is also a part of me that wonders if this stubborn and neurotic obsession with lactation is hurting my developing relationship with my child.  If I weren’t obsessing so much, would I be snuggling with him more?

In need of a paradigm shift

Paradigm in itself is a good word, but it’s been so abused in corporate circles that it is forever tarnished. Tarnished or not, I am in need of a paradigm shift.

It’s hardly the norm any more for women to be (just the) homemakers and men to be (just the) breadwinners, yet somehow it’s been etched in my mind that this is the ideal, the way it’s supposed to be (even with those commercials in the 70s where the woman, hear her roar, sings -I can bring home the bacon, fry it up in the pan…Because I’m a woman, W-O-M-A-N…-)   And because of this, I have a tendency to resent the fact that I am the main breadwinner, when I should celebrate that there has been no glass ceiling for me.  I envy those women who get to be SAHMs in this day and age, or, gasp, SAHWs, yet at the same time I feel guilty that I am out in the paid work force eking out a living, as though I should give it up and buck it up and just find a way to live with the one (lesser) income, because I’m a mother and should be home with my children.  I tend to fall into the thought pattern that if I weren’t the main breadwinner, maybe I’d have more of a choice to be a SAHM.  Hence the resentment.  Poor Gadget.  He’s good at what he does, and he’d be a terrible SAHD.  Truly, the essence of this narcissistic spiral is that deep down I just want to be a princess, dammit, and spend my time leisurely kissing the children (while the nanny does the work), playing the spinet, and sipping tea from the finest translucent porcelain while my dear husband dotes on me and lavishes me with lovely gowns and jewels.

Then, because I happen to like my work, I feel even guiltier, because when it comes down to it, I get cabin fever when trapped home all day, and crave exposure with more people.  So I can’t win for losing, what with the tangled mess that is my mind.

I need to make peace with the fact of being a career woman.  I need to find a way to convince myself that it doesn’t make me less of a mother.

It may be PPD trying to get its grip on me.  I suppose, if I’d read through the convoluted diatribe I’ve just written, I’d concede that it HAS taken root, and just bust out my Zoloft, for God’s sake.