Yesterday’s post was a little raw for my comfort, but getting it out seemed to be quite the thing to get the last of the fog to lift. Thanks for your patience❤️
Today is better. I’m sitting in my favorite blogging spot by the window, and it’s not lost on me that I enjoy blogging with the light streaming in on me there. Shining a light in a dark corner helps, especially when it’s in the inside of your head.
I was lucky enough to have a good chat with my brother last night. We don’t get to chat often, but it’s nice when we do. They just sold their farm, and were cleaning out the last of the stuff stored in the garage. He found some family items that he was curious to know if I wanted.
Given that I am trying to clear out my own space, I said thanks but no. I did find it a little easier to say no than I would have in previous years, but it was weird saying no to items that were made by, or belonged to, dearly departed relatives.
I’ve been giving away antique things I’ve inherited, just because it’s nothing my kids want, and I’m never home enough to use them. It’s better to pass those things on so they get used rather than have them take up space and gather dust in my house.
Today I’m visiting my parents, and Mom doesn’t know it yet, but her bathroom is getting cleaned this afternoon. She has a hard time with the cleaning now, but she doesn’t like other people touching her stuff. Well, it’s going to get touched and scrubbed today.
My mother has a formidable personality, and a temper that quickly ignites. I am not a religious person, and neither is my brother, but knowing what I would be facing today I asked him to pray for me, or send good vibes, warm fuzzies… anything would help. He replied that while he isn’t religious he prays every day to whomever it is that listens, or even if they don’t. It’s awesome that he has my back all those miles away.
Here’s hoping today finds the sun shining in any dark corners that need a spotlight. Don’t forget to ask for help if you need it, even if it’s just for good vibes from miles away. Every little bit helps. Blessings all!
I don’t talk about it here often, but I suffer from depression. I am like so many others who have similar issues, and while it has become very mainstream to let things all hang out in the public view I still have a difficult time speaking about my own experiences with anyone. I was trained from a very young age that airing your dirty laundry for everyone to see is a cardinal sin. Nobody cares that you are having a hard time, Sparrow. Suck it up and get on with things. You have responsibilities and no time for weakness or self pity.
I’ve become very, very good at hiding it. After years of stuffing things down and hiding it from everyone else, the seams get week it begins to leak out.
Lately I’ve become aware that it has creeped back into my life, slowly, insidiously, like some shadow in a horror flick. Except, there’s no creepy music to warn me that it is standing right behind me now.
I struggled to get up today, like I have for the last several weeks, but I made myself get up and do something. While straightening up in my living room, the ball of yarn attached to the shawl I’m making rolled off into the floor. I was struck by how well it illustrates how I feel, when previously I couldn’t begin to try to put words together to express it.
I’ve been feeling like I’m hanging on by a thread, not quite cut loose but kind of just waiting to be reeled in back to the main body of the yarn. Just waiting in a holding pattern. Just going through the motions.
Today I think I will reel myself back in, now that I realize what’s going on.
It’s going to be slow going, and I will have to be diligent in making sure I keep moving no matter what.
Slow motions count, even though slow slogging through life feels worthless and ineffectual. Sometimes I sit and curl up with the tv or phone, paralyzed with feeling worthless. What I forget is that even one room, or just even a corner of a room, or a drawer, cleaned up or organized makes your space better than what it previously had been.
It’s ok to give yourself credit for even the smallest victories. Collecting a lot of small blessings wraps up into something bigger.
I actually made mention to my boyfriend, The Flirt, that I was struggling, and why, today. I know it’s pretty awful if I was willing to say something out loud to him and ask for help with something that is overwhelming me. In the 7 years I’ve been seeing this man off and on, I don’t believe I’ve ever said anything to him. It felt awful, and terrifying, and relieving all at the same time.
Enough talking. Time to get up and do something. I have a bunch of small things I can pick away at today, and that will help.
I want to leave you with a message from a really great guy I have been following on Facebook. This video really caught my attention and gave me pause to think about my own situation. Please give this a watch, I promise it’s worth the time.
I didn’t realize I was experiencing depression because it sneaked up on me like a mosquito looking for a meal. I keep absentmindedly swatting it away, but it finally found a place to land, dig in, and began suck the life out of me.
What could I possibly have to be depressed about? I just kicked someone to the curb, who I love very much. I just couldn’t take what he was dishing out any more. My mom is losing her mind, slowly. It’s become apparent to me that Dad knew a long time ago but didn’t say anything, and he is struggling in dealing with Mom’s issues, and what I strongly feel is depression. I still need to have a chat with him, and I’m not looking forward to it.
Feeling depressed is often mocked and made light of. I have never been in favor of just “laying down and taking it”, rather I always tell myself to get the hell up and get moving. The familiar tape plays through my head…No more feeling sorry for yourself, there are too many people counting on you so get your shit together and take care of your responsibilities. This isn’t the healthiest thing to say to one’s self, or anyone else for that matter.
These days, my perspective has changed, along with my circumstances.
Being an empty nester, I don’t have the daily need to make things happen for my kids every day. In large part, they saved my life when my ex husband left. Just the fact that I was needed made the difference, and I was able to suck it up for them. It’s different when there’s nobody at home to suck it up for.
A lot of people are able to go the route of medication as a means of feeling better. I went down that road from 2000-2008, and it was a giant medicated disaster. Most of the many anti-depression or anti-anxiety meds I gobbled either didn’t help, or had such horrendous side effects that I felt like killing myself or just slept all the time. Others have success with medication, but I’ll never go down that road again.
The only thing that does help is extreme exercise and better eating. When I was in the process of getting divorced, I walked, and walked, and walked. I spent much time and many miles just walking and thinking.
A nice unintended side effect of that was that I lost 50 pounds, and felt stronger. It gave me the space to think and work through problems. It was a like playing a long rambling game of chess with myself, working through all of the contingencies of whatever problem cropped up.
It’s probably the solution I need now. I have a tendency to eat my way through my problems, and I have gained back all of the weight I lost since joining Curves in February, plus some. Some people drink or do drugs to try to feel better. My favorite poison of choice is carbohydrates…it’s like consuming anesthesia.
I see it now, and it’s to time to kill it like I would any other blood sucker.
I’m in the middle trying to paint my living room, and it’s been hard slogging. I have painted this same room twice before, and have done it in less time. That’s ok. It will get done this week, and that will have to be good enough. No more beating myself up because I’m not moving fast enough. It’s just me living here, and I don’t have to worry about anyone else being inconvenienced.
It’s time to clean out my fridge and only stock it with things that aren’t junk. The less carbs I eat, the better off I will be. More Whole Foods, less processed pretend food.
Time to get started. Daylight’s burning.
Here’s wishing you are all finding a way to practice self care, however that looks like in your world. Taking care of yourself is a good thing. Blessings all!
I don’t know about you, but sometimes I go through swaths of time where I just can’t quite function. I fake it really well, but things pile up and then I am left with a giant mess to try to fix. I hate to even call it depression because it’s not catastrophic, but I think that’s what makes depression so insidious. It sneaks up on you, and it’s a little like the opposite of the proverbial frog in a pot of boiling water. Instead of the heat gradually increasing until it’s too late and the frog gets boiled, the water gets colder and colder until the frog is frozen in place, and everything is all locked up. It’s paralyzing. I let my house go, I haven’t blogged or walked on my treadmill in a week, and I have been eating all kinds of crappy food.
This last couple of weeks has been that way for me, and the weird thing is that I don’t even know it’s happening until I’m mired in the middle of it, much like having your car stuck in the mud and coming to the realization that you just can’t simply drive away from it.
After a lot of years dealing with this, I have discovered pharmaceuticals aren’t helpful for me. The best thing for me is sunshine, fresh air, decent food, exercise, and good music. The latter will pull me out of a bad funk quicker than anything else, but for some reason it’s not been a go to remedy, and I will have to change that.
Something I noticed that isn’t helpful is the internet. I spend a lot of time listening to podcasts regarding news and current events. Talk about depressing information. Even though the internet is full of good things, I think I will be taking a break from so much of it.
This time of year is toughest because I am so, SO, done with winter and the cold and darkness that comes with it, and so ready for Spring to arrive. I went through my phone this morning to clean out some junk that I don’t need anymore, and I found some pictures I took last spring. How lovely to find a nice reminder that spring is just around the corner.
Another thing that just blows the top off of the funk I have been living with is Pandora. For those who don’t know, Pandora an app that plays all of your favorite music, and is free with ads that play. I am not getting paid to give this recommendation, it’s just an app I really love. As soon as I am done writing this blog post, the volume is going up, and the housework is getting done. I’ll probably open the windows and get some fresh air in here too.
I feel like the fog that has been hanging over my head is evaporating, and I can finally take a breath and feel like a human being. Here’s hoping that you are having a sunshiny happy day. If not, try some music. Turn it up loud blow the top off of that funk. Blessings all!
It sounds as though I make it out to be like it sneaked up on me, and caught me unawares. Well, that’s sometimes how it happens…at least for me. I realized recently, that I’d been falling into old patterns and having no feelings other than unhappy. Today I heard stories about two people I work with at The Big Box Store, who have decided to move away because they lost their homes, and most everything in the flood. There’s nothing holding them here, so they are moving to where they have family, and starting over. It really made me think about all the things that I have taken for granted, and how fortunate I have been.
Do I have more bills than I can keep up with? Oh, yeah. Do I run like a chicken with my head cut off most days? Yep. Do I feel overwhelmed all the time? Most definitely. Has my ex-husband served me with a legal motion because he thinks he’s paying me too much, and wants a refund? Yes he did, that rotten so-and-so. Has the heart of my city been destroyed, and so many people I know been displaced and won’t be able to get back into their homes before the snow flies? Yes, and it makes my heart ache. Have I got more things around the house that need doing than I have time and energy for? Oh, man, do I. Did my engine light come on? Unfortunately, it did. Ugh.
I’ve been feeling really down because of all of this stuff on my plate, and didn’t realize how down I was until I realized I have been having a continual internal pity party for quite a while. Hearing about these two families who have had to make such a hard decision really jerked me out of my rut, and I was able to actually get up and do something. Feeling depressed is very much like wearing weights around your neck…it’s just so hard to get up and do anything. I wish I had realized I had sunk down so far before things got so out of whack.
The thing is, I have got so much to be grateful for, and that really should outweigh the bad stuff. Do I have a home to come home to at the end of a long day, that is dry and safe? Are my kids healthy? Am I gainfully employed? Do I have parents that have stuck by me and helped me every step of the way my whole life? Do I have good friends? Did my garden produce food for me, even though I neglected it all summer? A resounding yes to all of these things and much more. I am so blessed, and it’s a huge bummer that I lost sight of that.
So, after I got home from working at The Big Box Store this morning, I took Older Son shopping. We came home, and then Younger Son and I spent three hours outside. He changed light bulbs over both doors and washed the van, and I spent my time cleaning up and organizing the rock beds that surround two sides of our house. The front one was especially bad, but it turns out that it didn’t take as long as I thought it would. Since I had extra time, and was on a roll, I weeded out my strawberry/herb garden and found some interesting things.
I planted rosemary, thyme and oregano this spring, which grew fabulously. Now I have a nice bunch of fresh herbs to cook with. Actually, I like to just rub them in my hands and sniff them. There’s nothing that drops my blood pressure quick than smelling fresh thyme. Who needs drugs when you have a good kitchen herb garden!
After that was done, I took a look at my VERY over grown vegetable garden. We planted snow peas, corn, carrots and pumpkins. The only thing that did really well was the pumpkins. The vines and flowers are so pretty! Younger Son has been telling me for a couple of weeks about some really strange-looking pumpkins, and he thought the vines might be infected with something and the pumpkins were deformed. I finally made the effort to take a look tonight, and it turns out that not only do we have genuine baby pumpkins, but also spaghetti squash! I had a spaghetti squash that I ended up throwing in the compost heap this Spring, as it went bad before I could eat it. Apparently, they are very easy to grow!
We also have ground cherries and dill that re-seeded themselves from last year. The strawberries looked a little worse for the wear, but were holding their own and had sent out runners. We even had some carrots that survived all the rain we received. Even though Younger isn’t a veggie eater, I talked him into trying a carrot straight out of the garden, since he was the one that planted them. I was surprised that he actually ate it, but he did. I ate some too, and it was a little woody as it should have been picked earlier, but it was good anyway.
So, by 7:30 this evening, the rock beds had been cleared of all weeds, one garden had been weeded and watered, and the van had been scrubbed for the first time all summer (There wasn’t
much car washing going on with the city requesting water conservation during and after the flood, until just recently), and I was able to sit down and eat supper with a genuine feeling of having accomplished something for the first time in a long, long time.
Today was the first day of the year that I could get out and go for a good long walk. It’s got to be close to 60 degrees today, which is just right. During this long Winter, I’ve missed walking so much, and I think it’s because that’s what kept me sane from April until the snow fell last year. Not only did I lose a lot of weight (which I gained again over the Winter months), but walking constantly, multiple times a day helped me physically rid myself of tension, depression and anxiety so that I could function. It didn’t take it all away, but helped a lot.
So, Spring is here again and I’m itching to get outside. My ex husband had time scheduled with the boys today, so I decided just to go for a walk and be away from the house when it came time for him to pick them up. Being 15 and 17, they don’t need me around at all times, so I took the opportunity to salve my sanity. Yesterday when he picked them up I had to see him, and speak to him, and it was excruciating. I’ll never admit that to him or the kids, but there’s still a knife hanging out of my back, and every time I have to see or interact with him, it gives a good sharp twist. That’s what I have to work on this year…knife extraction. If I am to be completely honest with myself, the only reason it’s still there is I give it permission to be there. Part of the reason for that is that I’m hanging on to my anger… and I like it. I don’t want to not be angry about the kids and I being cheated on and dumped so carelessly, and, quite frankly, I just can’t imagine a time when I wouldn’t be angry about it. However, it takes a lot of energy to keep that up, and I suppose that one day I will just be too tired to keep it up any more. It would help a lot if my ex and his hussy would just kindly drop off the edge of the Earth, never to be heard from again…is that really too much to ask?
But, I digress…back to walking.
Not only does walking help drain off the negative energy I have all pent-up, but it gives me real time to think. While I listen to podcasts on my Ipod the whole time I’m out, sometimes I tune it out in favor of working stuff out in my head. Sometimes I pay sharp attention to whatever podcast is coming though my headphones, just for the pure distraction. The motion of walking and the mental distraction gives me time to reset, especially when I’m out walking for an hour to an hour-and-a-half. I anticipate that once I get rolling, all this walking will help me take that weight off again, too, and hopefully I can keep it off.
Now that we have walking weather again, I’m hoping to get the boys out of the house to go walking with me more often…one at a time. Late last summer I was able to get some time alone with each kid. It was nice to just be able to talk about stuff alone, which was helpful given the eventful Spring and Summer we had last year.
So, now that I’ve had my walk for the day, I find I want to go for another one! I’ll have to start going early in the morning again every day now…and the evenings too.
Yesterday we went out to run some errands really quick. On the way to our first stop, Older Son said something that really annoyed the crap out of me, and I couldn’t quite let it go. It wasn’t that he said anything particularly incendiary, but it was the way he spoke to me that really lit my hair on fire. After that I had a really hard time being civil, and I can’t even remember the content of the comment. I just remember the sound of it and how it made me feel.
By the time we made it to Walmart I was in such a snit I could barely see straight. The boys both went to Game Stop, and I went into Walmart and did my shopping. By the time they came back I was still angry and upset and couldn’t figure out why. I finally figured it out when Older Son turned to me and chastised me for purchasing a particular piece of fruit…in a tone his father used to use on me all the time. Then it hit me…I wasn’t angry at Older Son, I was angry with my ex.
I’m approaching the anniversary of when my world exploded and my marriage died. I don’t feel that I should have to worry about approaching this kind of anniversary, but for some reason my body isn’t listening to any good advice. In the last few months I’ve been depressed and feeling the need to hide. I’ve had no energy to do anything, and would like nothing better than to go to my room, close the door, and lose myself in a good book. But I spent the better part of ten years doing just that. The difference between now and then is that I tried to medicate myself back to happiness. I think I must have been perscribed almost every antidepressant/anti-anxiety med at one time or another. They all come with their own little quirks, and they all come with their own side effects. The side effects generally cancel out any benefit you might get from taking a given medication.
The last thing my doctor put me on was Lamictal, which is an anticonvulsant, after having diagnosed me with Bi-polar II. This particular malady causes a person to stay in a depressed low and have almost no manic periods. She must know, right? So, I took it and hoped for the best. After being on that for a year, the side effects of the other medication went away and I had no problems. I continued to improve and things got so good at work, I ended up getting promoted to a job checking other people’s work. After a while, I quit taking it, feeling like I didn’t need it any more. Turns out I was right. The Lamictal didn’t do anything for me, really, but I was able to get all that other crap worked out of my system and get to know myself again. Not only did work improve, but things improved at home too…or so I thought. Just about this time last year, when I was riding high on my success, my husband was planning a trip to visit family, and plotting to cheat on me with an old girlfriend from high school….the bastard. More about that in a later rant. I’ll be doing a lot of that in the coming weeks.
Anyway, the long and short of it is that I can at least identify why I’ve been so out of sorts and put an end to it. Life starts today, as it does every day…all I can do is take it one step at a time.