Thursday, August 16, 2012

feel free to skip this one.

i was going to begin with “if you’ll allow me to indulge myself for a moment…”

but then, i realized, blogging is nothing if not inherently self-indulgent.
hi, here’s my pantry i organized. and my picture i painted. and my skirt i sewed. now praise me. and dance for me! (whip crack)

be that as it may, this is my space for self-indulgence, and so i shall. it’s quick Brain Check Time, and the forecast is looking rather grim these days.

oh look, the poor little suburban white mommy has the sadz. let’s all boo-hoo for her.

and there it is. the inner dialogue that depression takes on. the running soliloquy that follows your every move—that judges your every thought—dropping by for a quick kidney shot. oh, did you think you’d get out of bed and DO something? why bother. nothing is worth it. just go back to bed.

it’s like having your very own creepy stalker. except one that can read your mind. and doesn’t want to steal your panties so much as just beat you down emotionally. but other than that—totally like a stalker.

we’re solidly in the dog days of summer. the frenzy of june and july has given way to too many days in the house. too many days cleaning the same dishes, vacuuming the same floors, folding the same laundry, stopping the same sibling battles. too hot and far too mosquito-y to enjoy any outside time. trigger #1—getting too stuck in a rut. i know it. but i can’t really help it. this is the minutiae of life—the things that need doing daily. the job i signed up for 13 years and 10 months ago. 

i feel like a drowning person clinging to the thought that in 2 weeks we start anew—the school year begins! it’s a new schedule, a new beginning! change is in the air—the change of seasons and the cooler air like a balm to my depression addled mind.

but then my stalker returns…why do you think that this school year will be better? you always start out so upbeat, and 4 weeks in it’s lateness and screaming and mismatched socks and unbrushed hair and rushing out the door. and you know what else? while we’re talking—your kids are HEALTHY you ungrateful swine. you have friends all around you who’s children are sick and facing surgery and you’re sitting here depressed???!? pathetic.
p.s.—you’re fat.

i’m lulled into total inactivity. although, that’s not entirely true. my newly downloaded marble shooter game gets a lot of action. (level 78—WHAAA?!?!) it’s mindless and repetitive and doesn’t ask me for anything.

it’s the weirdest thing. i simultaneously want to go for a jog, and eat a dozen donuts. i want to crawl into bed, and hop a plane to somewhere—anywhere.

i’m not sleeping. 2 AM has become my mistress these days. then i finally fall into a fitful sleep and in the morning i beg off mothering, if that’s even a thing you can do. and i’m pretty sure you can’t.
feed the baby a waffle. put on sesame street. mommy doesn’t feel good. let me sleep, i tell the older ones.

and i hate it. i hate that i say that. that i did that. that i’m telling you that now. that i spent more hours of my day today either asleep or playing stupid computer games than i did interacting with my children.

so i have guilt. trigger #2. and i sleep too late so i can’t sleep so i sleep too late so i can’t sleep…vicious messed up sleep cycle. trigger #3.

the day goes by in a blur of sitting. and sitting. then getting up and loading the dishwasher. and sitting back down. and thinking hey, maybe i’ll go sew something. you like sewing, right? go—sew! or…just sit here. because…why not? what difference does it make anyway.
and then night comes and jeremy comes home and i look at the sum total of my accomplishments for the day and in my eyes they equal precisely ZERO. trigger #4.

and i get frantic. grasping at whatever i think will help me conquer this get over this climb out of this pit. and i’m haunting target at 10:30 at night with greasy hair and a ratty t-shirt, throwing $150 worth of whatever into my cart because hey, why not? maybe it will make me feel better. but even as i’m paying i’m tucking the receipt carefully in my bag knowing i’ll probably return half of it.

jeremy, to his credit, allows me my retail therapy. whatever will help he’s there for. and if a new fruit basket is what my stalker demands at the moment jeremy is totally on board. (seriously, it’s a cute fruit basket)

i texted him this afternoon. i can feel it coming, i say. i’m slipping down and i don’t know how to stop it and i HATE it. so he comes home from work and climbs into bed with me. and doesn’t get annoyed or angry when i have no idea what’s for dinner. because i started looking for something but then i remembered i didn’t buy broccoli. and then i wandered away.

long periods of time pass where i’m just staring.

shake it off, shannon. shake it off.

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  1. I'm so sorry you're feeling this way, Shannon. I have struggled with depression myself, and I know how scary that "it's coming" feeling is. Fight the good fight, and I hope you can make your stalker STFU.

  2. Mama to five here (4 girls and a boy just like you...same order and all!) and I feel your pain. I'm right there with you. This summer has proven especially hard. Thanks for sharing this. You put into words so many of my own feelings. Stinking hormones, and whatever the heck is messed up in my head. I hate it. You are so not alone. Just want you to know your post encouraged me tonight. :) Keep your chin up.

  3. Hugs, girl. I had no idea you struggled with depression and I'm so sorry you do. Just know we're reading your blog because we care about YOU, Shannon the person, not only ooo-ing and aaaah-ing at your sewing projects. I'm glad your husband is a supportive one, and I hope you're able to get the change of pace or help you need to pull yourself out of the funk. Take care of yourself.

  4. trying to think what to write and make you feel better... But this is the fourth time i write in this space and dont seem to have the words, so, i just hope you'll feel better soon! God Bless you.

  5. I'm kind of at a loss of words, but I just need you to know I'll be thinking of you. Wow you're brave for being so honest in this not so honest Bloglandia. Makes me really wish I knew you in person. Tone

  6. Believe me, you are not alone. Just remember this too shall pass. It may feel like your drowning now but in a short time you will be wading back to shore to play games on the beach with your babies. Sending nothing but positive and upbeat vibes your way!

  7. I've managed to outrun the evil stalker for a few years by staying impossibly busy. I'm worried that staying home this year is going to be an invitation. I hope you can push yours back into the closet soon. (((((hugs))))).

  8. Thanks for reminding me that I'm not alone. Neither are you.

  9. Isn't this kind of mood the worst??? And hard to shake off, bc you have no energy or don't have the emotions to shake it off?? These ARE the dog days of summer, and as I read your post, I felt I was reading a description of myself. Except that I end up back on bed playing Solitaire on my phone. Go take a shower, MAKE the bed (even if you do lie back down on it), put on some cute jeans and a cool top and some cool sandals or sneakers, go tidy up the kitchen and sweep the floor, and just try to do ONE thing once an hour. Then, at the end of your day, you will feel somewhat better that you DID get something done, and then tomorrow you might feel a bit better, and so on. I am going to go shower and take my own advice!! You ARE not alone. There are plenty of us in the same boat, but it will pass, it always does. It is what it is. Don't beat yourself up. At least you aren't like this EVERY day!!

  10. How often does your stalker visit? I wish I'd just go ahead and track mine so I could predict it and either prepare or fight it off somehow. Big hugs to you. I know that if your beautiful kids don't/can't pull you out of it, then nothing much can/will. Just get through. I wish I knew you too! :)

  11. You could have just described me the last few days. In a funk, no energy to do anything even though I know I have a million things I should be doing. My kids are currently watching little mermaid and americas funniest in two different rooms, still in their pjs and I just don't have the desire to make them do anything different. We have been stuck in our home almost all summer, the Vegas heat is too hot to do much outside and my dh is on light duty which means he has to drive my car instead of his cruiser so we can't even drive anywhere fun :( Like you I want nothing more than to climb into bed with my nice cool sheets and compfy pillows and ignore life. But instead I will listen to the person above me that suggested just one thing and hour and find the drive to just plain take a shower :) Good luck and hope you are feeling better soon.

  12. Nope I can't skip this one! I read it and reread it and then read it again. Please know that I'm here for you whenever you need to talk, gripe, vent, etc. Just keep saying to yourself, this isn't the real life. Over and over and over. This isn't the real life that we were meant to live. I wake up every morning and say it to myself and it helps me get up and get moving. Keep on trucking sister, you can do it. I have faith in you!

  13. Like many here, I know first-hand of what you are talking about. This summer has been rough for me too. I think about all that could have been done...but I was too deep in the "what does any of this matter?" mire to do much of anything.

    My toddler is learning to hate my computer because that is where I retreat when I am doing poorly.

    You will feel better soon. Allow your husband to pick up some of the slack while you are not at your best.

  14. I think this happens to all of us sometimes. Especially stay at home moms. I mean it, it really does happen to ALL of us. A lot of us just don't like to admit it. The only thing I've found that helps is to try to be productive and do something that I can feel proud of. And I know, the natural reaction to that is "Why does it matter?"

    Well, maybe I don't know. But here's my conclusion. It matters to you, and you have one of the hardest jobs out there. It might not make a difference in the great scheme of things, but it makes a difference to you, and to your family. You have to do something to help yourself get through it. Whether that's sewing, shopping, or something else you enjoy.

    It takes time. Give yourself a break. You don't have to cook dinner, and clean house, and have everything perfect. You just have to do what you can for today and be proud of the tiny things you accomplished. There all big accomplishments when you're struggling.

    Good luck, hang in there.

  15. Hey Shannon, I wrote you a huge long comment and thought maybe it'd be better to email instead. So I'm sending it to you. I feel your pain, sister. ~Angela~

  16. Dear Shannon,
    It's good that we can talk about depression. It's not like a broken leg or chicken pox, easy to see, diagnose. To people who haven't experienced it, it may look like we're lazy slobs and drama queens. Don't think that's you. Don't think that's me (most of the time).
    When I finally had to get help, (you can't teach kindergarten with tears pouring down your face) I nearly laughed out loud when my doctor called me a perfectionist. ME?? Yeah, and probably a genetic tendency towards depression from my mum as well.

    Easy to say from medicare Canada, but go see your doctor. You and your family deserve
    the best version of Shannon they can get.

    Read your blog. You're creative, very hard working, a talented artist, seamstress, photographer and writer. And a loving mum. There's PROOF!

    I bumped into a website called that you might find helpful too. Finally Loving Yourself. There's a gang of us out here who think yer great!

    Lots of love to you

    what would you do if it was your husband or one of your children feeling this way

  17. Hang in there. Thanks for sharing... I mean it.

  18. Everything you wrote is everything I think daily. With the exception if the school thing since I home school my 4 kiddos. I've had depression, diagnosed, since about 16. But, honestly, it started way earlier. The meds only help some, the depression monster always creeps back, even if just for a little while each day. One day at a time is not my motto, one minute at a time is more like it.
    Btw, which marble game? I need a new distraction for my bad days.

  19. Depression is one of the worst diseases. And I say this because it makes you think that you don't have a disease at all. Because the chemicals in your brain don't play nice they can trick you into thinking that you should be able to "snap out of it". Someone with cancer or a broken leg doesn't expect that they can just suddenly be better without help, and neither should you (or me, let's be honest).

    I second a lot of thoughts here in the comments. helps a lot - she talks about getting rid of "stinkin' thinkin'" and forgiving yourself and doing what you can.

    Talking about it helps, praying helps (even if you don't know what to say), pharmaceuticals help (if that's your thing), there's natural stuff too (if you prefer). But mostly don't give up. Keep trying. Keep fighting that monster in your head. And if what you're doing isn't working, try something else.

    I know we don't know each other, but you're a friend of a friend (and we're all sisters, right?) so never forget that someone out there is thinking about you and caring for you.

  20. Several years ago I was fired from a longtime job that I loved, for refusing to do what I thought was immoral, and a few weeks later my son was deployed to Iraq. It was a very difficult and frightening period for me. I eventually went to the doctor and against my better judgement, started an anti-depressant. It was very, VERY helpful. A few years later, I stopeed and have not needed help since. I think Drs are a little too pill happy, but I don't think I could have managed without that help. One way or another, I hope you feel better soon.

  21. Just know that I'm praying for you. I've been there. Hang in there.

  22. Can I copy this and post it on my blog and put my name there? As I type this, my son is stomping and screaming in his room - to which he has been sent for punishment and I can't think of a thing to make for dinner. I don't even have 5 kids, just two so I have even less of an excuse. Gosh I hate it. Hate it.
    Unfortunately, I don't think my sweetie is quite as knowledgeable and understanding about the whole stalker/monster thing. Ah, well.
    There are times I want to write exactly this and put it on my blog but I'm too much of a chicken to put myself out there like that. Lame.

  23. I know exactly how you feel. I'm only nine and a half months into this "Mommy" thing myself, but I've fallen into the same trap. I thank God every day for my husband, who, much like yours, is there every step of the way. He's battled depression himself, and knows what I've been going through.

    Other than relying on him, though, what helped me was learning. I gave up my job and my studies to move 1600 miles cross-country with my husband and son, and when I came to terms with the idea I was now a stay-at-home mom, mostly-friendless and becoming depressed, I started taking an accounting class at night. I met some people from the area and felt a little better about myself for trying something new.

    I don't think crunching numbers would magically cure you (I recall reading about your dislike of math, and it's certainly not a cure for me so much as a step forward), but maybe setting something up outside the house and away from your family would help? Going somewhere to be Shannon instead of filling the mom or wife roles?

    I wish you all the best -- I'll keep you in my prayers. And if you ever want to vent to me (for any reason at all), please feel free to drop me a line. My email is available on my LJ profile.

  24. Wow. I was scrolling through my blog-reading list, looking for blogs that were just clutter to my life. I thought I'd catch up on things I hadn't been reading before un-subscribing to any. You know, just to be fair. And I read this. I also have 5 kids, and I homeschool them. They are here, eating, making messes, fighting, living ALL THE HOURS OF THE DAY. I struggle hugely with a desperate need to have a clean and tidy house and the reality that is my life. Three cheers for the previous commenters succeeding with the Flylady plan, which I greatly admire, but have never mastered. I'm too busy frittering the day away on the computer and begging off mothering. I agree that guilt is significant component of the problem. If we all just accomplished everything, then we'd feel so much better about what we've accomplished. ugh. Anyway, I won't be unsubscribing here. May God's good providence be with us all.

  25. This totally made me tear up - a lot of it struck a deep chord with me (as I write this at 2:30am and am already dreading the morning). You are clearly not alone and props to you for having the courage to be honest and open and share about it. And props to Jeremy for being supportive. I know you'll get through it - one day at a time. With love...


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