Sunday, March 23, 2014

A day of normalcy, a blessing not gone by unnoticed

This Saturday I expereienced what most people woud consider a normal day with the family. A long one, a throughly enjoyable one. Not something I can usually get through. My anxiety most often ends up taking over and after struggling to decide to go or not to go I watch the door close behind my husband and kids while they venture out.

As they drive away I feel guilt for not being a good mother; for not being a good wife and for leaving my husband with the brunt of the parental duties. For not making myself an integral part of their fun childhood memories.

I am fortunate, I have a husband that is excellent in the role of Father and Husband. He works full time and when he comes home he has another full-time job taking care of us. Sad but true, I require more care than, in my opinion, a wife should. I need help when I am having a tough time. I need help coming up with meal ideas and getting started. I need help getting laundry and dishes going. I need help with Z's math and T's boundless energy. Getting out of bed. Getting through a long week, and even a long weekend. I need help, and I HATE it! I feel weak and pathetic and I feel that the kids and husband would be better off without me. He insists that is not true.

There are days when I am functional, hell there were years when I was functional. It all kicked off again when I became pregnant with my son in 2009 and I have not been mentally well since. They warned me in 2000 when I became pregnant with my daughter that I had a very high probability of getting post-partum depression with her. I knew, that is why I was so fearful of ever having children. I was so fortunate with my daughter, I had a few down days and that was it. I thought surely I lucked out!

Z was a surprise and one of the best I ever got. T was planned. We did not want Z to be an only child, and after seven years of putting it off we decided it was now or never. We lost one child to ectopic pregnancy and I had to go into surgery to have the baby and the fallopian tube removed. The docs told me I may not be able to get pregnant again. I was pregnant the first try after the surgery. This boy was a force from his very inception!

I knew we were tempting fate because of our good fortune with Z and the fact that she was an amazing baby. As well, how lucky could we get? I was always very conscious of how lucky we were and made it a point of being incredibly grateful for our good graces.

I started becoming depressed early in my pregnancy with T and it kept up. After his quite dramatic birth in my car I hoped the depression would leave now that we had this beautiful baby boy. He was colicy and had an immature digestive system. If he wasn't nursing he was crying. He was not a happy baby, and I was not a happy Mama. I felt like such a failure. And Z didn't really enjoy her new brother because he wasn't any fun and his crying hurt her very sensitive ears. It was a very tough first year. As a matter of fact it was Dr. recommended that he start going to daycare, for both of our sakes. It was the best recommendation, although it definitely further instilled my sense of failure. I spent many days in bed crying. I ended up in the hospital several times and couldn't for the life of me believe that I tempted fate like this. I brought it on myself. I was angry at my husband for not agreeeing to adoption. For wanting another child with our genes. I told him the chance we were taking, and part of me blammed him for not taking me more seriously.

So, I was laid off, depressed, a Mom of two who could not even take care of herself. My sister-in-law stepped up, she was laid off, so when I went into the hospital she stayed with my family and took care of them. She cooked beautiuful and delicious meals. She cleaned and organized the house. Painted my basement. Sang and danced with my children. Did arts and crafts with them and brought a sense of joy and "normalcy" to this house that so needed it. She helped my husband by freeing him up to work and not worry about the kids. He came home to homework done, homecooked meals and a glass of wine; a clean house and happy, healthy, clean kids.

She did this for two of my hospitalizations, (maybe three) and each time stayed a little longer to make sure I was settled in and acclimated to being home. Each time she left I cried like a baby knowing I was losing our rock. Knowing I couldn'y possibly live up to Auntie B's legacy. And I missed her company. Her energy. Her zest for life and functional vibe. Her ability to just get things done and not dwell. To problemsolve and especially her ability to be present and alive. Fully alive and completely enjoy life in the now. Now my family was left with me. What a rip off for them!

The last time she stayed with us I had to let her go before I was ready, my dying Mother needed someone to stay with her. B was the one for the job. The best caretaker anyone would be fortunate enough to have in their home. She treated my Mother like a Queeen and I know it was right that she was with her. It was more than right, it was such a beautiful gift for my mother. The way everyone's mother should be treated in her dying weeks.

My brother died in October, an my Mother passed in December. The day after Mom's funeral my brother and sister-in-law packed their little car and headed to the farm in Pennsylvania. They would eventually end up moving to South Carolina. I have not physically seen her since December 2012. I feel like when I lost my Mom I lost my sister-in-law in a way as well. I lost two pillars in my life.

I have struggled through the past few years, avoiding the hospital and trying alternative therapies to get well.

The winters are brutal, the anniversaries are painful and the mothering and wifely functionality are still incredibly difficult.

So, when I have a 12 hour day spent out of my house, at the Mountain, skiing and laughing with my family and friends, watching my children riding in the box sled we made and decorated together as a family with huge smiles on their faces, the sun shining down on us, I am so grateful for it. Feeling so blessed to have been able to expereince a day of  normalcy, a beautiful, simple, a much needed gift!

 

Saturday, March 15, 2014

...And now back to your regularly scheduled program

I'm Baaaaack, sorta.

I was, as we with mental illness like to say, "in a complete state of fucked-upness."
I am not out of the woods, as I never know when, or if I will just slide back down or come out of it for a little and get sucked back into the vortex of hell.

The winter was brutal and I caved and went to the doc to see if he could help me with a new med. As per usual, the process of figuring out what medication works at what level and how long it takes to work is, in my opinion, torturous.

Last summer I had it in my head that within a year I would get off Pharma meds and onto tinctures, naturopathic therapies and yoga. A few weeks ago I would have mainlined Cheez Whiz if someone told me it would cure me of the debilitating anxiety and depression.

I believe I am in my third week of the new med and it is clear that it is adding anxious energy and nothing else. I am OVER IT! I have been unavailable to my kids and my husband, escaping to the confines of my bed, even more that usual. Our house is VERY small, like 950 sq. ft. so while I am laying there I am listening to the three year old pound through the house like a giant looking for his stolen harp. The ten year old is stomping and whining because she can't wear shorts and a tank top outside to play, in winter, and the husband is feverishly storming the castle attempting to catch up with the household duties that I have been unable to do.

Yes, I have the headphones the block out sound but sometimes I forget to put them on. They do work. My fear is that I will become too attached and I will not be able to survive without constantly wearing the "green chainsawing ear muffs!"

Sometimes I wonder if it I could legally opt to become deaf, someway giving my ability to hear to someone who can't, but wants to, would I do it? Would it help me with my sensitivities to all stimuli which cause me to clench, go within and eventually send me into bed. I mean the pills don't work. The small house is not my sanctuary, and leaving the house every time I get overwhelmed would be, well, it would be abandonment of my family!

Hmmmmmmm, something to think about...




Thursday, March 6, 2014

Acceptance

I haven't written in a few days, and I'm not too happy with myself. The thing is, this is something that I always worry about when it comes to something I want to commit to daily. I know it's no big deal to other people, it's not like I have a huge fan base, however I let myself down when I don't stick to a goal. It's pretty hard to get me to commit to something because of my fear of failure. My fear of breaking the commitment. It's like if I agree to do it I am setting myself up for failure. I guess I have to look at it in a different way. A few days off is no big deal and the cool thing about a blog is I could write three posts in a day to catch up. I have my reasons for not blogging the last few nights, med changes, emotional crap, just exhausted. I need to let myself off the hook and say "no big deal, when you are up to it you'll pick it up again." I am not feeling it tonight. No sass, so spunk, but I did feel like I wanted to get a post done to at least say I did it. And so this is it for tonight and maybe tomorrow I will have more in me. That's the best I can do for now and I will accept that and call it a night!  :)

Monday, March 3, 2014

Shed your winter woolies one and all!

I did it. I took the leap. The winter has broken me down so low that I figured if I took this desperate measure maybe, just maybe, it would trump that useless flabby excuse for a meteorologist, Punksatawney Phil.

It was sort of a quick thought, but then it became somewhat of a superstitious obsession really. So, tonight I finally, for all of the people who are giving the old middle finger to Mother Nature, I did it...I shaved my legs.

I know, some will click feverishly to avoid reading further, most being of the male persuasion. Stick with me here. Let me esplaine you why Lucy might want to keep her winter layer, just as Ricky may don a beard. There are common reasons, as well as different reasons we females choose to keep a wooly coat, just like our brawny counterparts.

A man may grow a beard to look a little more rugged while chopping wood. A pair of Carhart chaps, a thick, plaid long-sleeved LL Bean Shirt and some shitkickers and you turn into Paul Bunion. The beard brings out your eyes and hides those little imperfections leftover from puberty.

We lady folk do not grow our leg hair, and occasionally armpit and nether-region hair (NO, no, no...stick with me, please, you've come this far) to feel more rugged. We don't do it so that you will look down at the space between sock and pant and think, "now that is a girl who knows how to get through a winter! I'd sure like to cuddle up in front of a roaring fire with her!" We know it won't bring our the color of our eyes, only the shock popping eyes of those that get a sneak peek. We know we can't get too close to a fire while in our natural state due to probable singeing of our entire lower half.

No, we know it's not something that will turn you on, which is also part of why we do it. But I get digress.

A man with a beard looks like he can fix things. He may have the handyman skills of Richard Simmons, but with a face full of hair, to us, you appear as though any leaks, outages, logs too large to spilt on our own, means you are the MAN for the job!

As woman with fur laden legs, and the rest, that I won't mention for fear of losing you, we too give off the appearance of someone with handyman skills. We may be better suited to more delicate jobs like making photo albums of holidays gone by, or trying out that new gluten-free, no-bake protein ball recipe. But for some reason we end up at an elderly neighbors house with a blowtorch in one hand and a Home Depot “How To” book in the other.

There are other reasons we, both buck and doe, choose to take a season off. To simply get a break from shaving. It's labor intensive, razors are expensive and frankly our skin just needs to be left alone!

After you get through the gross, and frankly hazardously prickly stage, it's all smooth sailing from there. Men can have scratchy beards, but most women's hair, during the growing season is long and quite soft. Certainly the look can be a turn off, but if one can get past that, the smoothness might be even better than the five minutes after using the Lady Shick Ultra. I mean, I have always associated this bizarre, and frankly quite infuriating phenomenon to my Irish heritage. Five minutes after I have shaved, towel dried and applied lotion (I have long gams so it's a labor intensive gig for me) I inevitably get the chills and a 1/4" of stubble immediately emerges from every pore that has just been stripped clean of all hair, and usually some skin as well. I literally grow a 5 O'Clock shadow within five minutes of a 20-minute maintenance protocol. Sometimes I will tell my husband "quick feel how soft, like right now while I'm in the bath," because I know the minute I emerge from the water I will take on the tactile resemblance of a fucking porcupine. "Come feel the silky smoothness that one would associate with a REAL woman," a well quaffed lady, a Brazilian model, or maid (they all look the same). I really do attribute that horrible, and quite frankly, libido killer of a trait to my Irish heritage. Could be the Finnish heritage too, not exactly smooth and supple peoples, the Irish, nor the Finns! We all have crosses to bear.

So remember men, we women need a break too. We need a winter without razor burn or stubble or cleaning out the bathtub that, which after we get through with resembles those magna doodles with that guys face and the little magnet on a red stick for you to give him a beard, mustache and eye brows. We too want to be warmer, to just be the hairy beasts we are so not encouraged to be, if only for a few months.

Have no fear, most of us, come spring will tidy up all our lady parts to your liking, while looking forward to seeing the face we haven't seen since "Movemeber."

In light of all this I am establishing a women's movement to grow hair for a cause to give the men some competition, which we all know they love. While they will continue to raise awareness of men's health issues, ours would be a fundraiser to protect beaver habitats far and wide. We shall call it "Beavember!"

Game on boys. GAME ON!


Just another manic Sunday

In a perfect world Sunday nights would include a relaxed evening meal, talk about the weekend and week to come, baths, books and bed. I would have the backpacks hanging on their respective hooks and hubby's work bag near the door. My home desk would be orderly and ready for work in the morning.

My reality is making a salad after the main dinner is already served because I can never figure out what I should eat (I have food issues). The three year old complaining that the food is "too spicy" and he doesn't like any of it and decides to get up and circle the dog in an attempt to satiate his need to constantly be in motion while simultaneously not listening. The ten year old who demands her brother stop bothering the dog and sit down, she can't NOT scold him, she feels a loss of control which, if she would just listen to me, she would realise she's right, she doesn't have any control. "Let it go and let Mom and Dad be the parents" (who are also not in control!)

After we hectically ingest our food it's back to the computer for me, catching up on work and pushing my blog on more platforms than I cared to know about. Filling out online sign-up forms and adding to the list of passwords that I will never remember. I think I "Tweeted." I am "Following" people I do not know (I'm hoping that isn't code for "stalking") and I am pretty sure I gave permission for Bloglovin' to help themselves to one of my organs if I did not reach 75,000 likes in 30 days. 

I walked the dog and carried poo in a biodegradable bag, I even collected poo that may not have been that of my own dogs (so I guess I did a good deed for the day.) I did zero laundry. I barely kept the fire going. I took my morning meds too late and took my night meds too late. The son is asleep. The daughter keeps making excuses to see what else is on the Oscars, and with every prompt to get back to bed she performs her own Oscar-worthy performance, stomping back into her room and throwing herself on her bed in tears at the injustice. Husband is sleeping like someone who enjoyed his Saturday night. And I, in typical "me" fashion, have been trying to write my blog and watch the Oscars, just proving to myself that it really is NOT possible to multitask. Not on a Sunday. Not with this head. And not with the Oscars on!!!!!!

Now to see what Monday shall bring...



Sunday, March 2, 2014

Bloglovin

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Saturday, March 1, 2014

It was fun while it lasted...

I like to write my blog based on things that happened either recently or that day, or at least something that is relevant at that moment in my life. At this point though I am not sure I should. Because while I sit with the iPad in my lap I am looking across at my husband. He is sitting up, book in lap, completely passed out and in FULL-ON, alcohol-induced, sleep apnea coma. H.O.T ----N.O.T.!

We were invited to a birthday party and had a lovely time, actually we didn't really see each other the entire time. I had wonderful conversations with people I usually only see as we are hectically dropping off or picking up our children at preschool. It was nice to see each other in a relaxed, showered and made up way (I speak for myself when I say that I am NEVER showered, made up nor relaxed, I am not a morning person and I lack executive-functioning skills, so I am constantly looking as though I am late for something or have lost something).

Tonight my husband was quite relaxed and enjoyed meeting some guys from town that we have only met a few other times, but again don't really ever get to converse at length with; I was glad to see him enjoying himself.

After I finished listening to THE BEST story about a couple (that shall remain nameless) who moved into a co-housing community only to find out it was polyamorous AFTER they signed their names and got the keys to their eco-townhouse. I tell you if I didn't think she should write about it I would fill my blog about this place. Talk about a creative writers dream. What a refreshing night, to hear her talk about this place, so much better than going on about benchmarks and MCAS and the sucky weather! Anyway, after hearing this story I saw we were close to being the last ones to leave. I think it is always best policy to NEVER be the last ones to leave unless it's someone you are extremely close to, or a member of your family.

I jumped up and told dear hubby it was time to go. We went and made the farewell and thank you rounds. At one point we were told to grab a bag of left over BBQ, I being a vegetarian passed and I knew Steve would pass because he rarely takes leftovers. What I didn't expect to hear was "Nah, I don't need to take any leftovers, but I'll take a few beers for the road."

"ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME?" is what my inside voice said. I tried to throw him a horrified look but he was not looking in my direction, he was finishing his beer. I asked for the keys several times as he was getting his to go 6-pack together.

I mean, this is probably the third town party we have been invited to and I, at that point thought, "well, they were really nice to have invited us, and it was fun while it lasted..."

So, as I sit here across from him, bathed in light, head turned to the ceiling as if he is sunning himself on the beach, each time the apnea kicks in and the breathing stops I think, "should I wake him?" He eventually wakes himself with the loud snort, snorkel and eventual jolt associated with drinking induced apnea. I keep assuming he will head down to bed, but when I suggest it he mumbles something about why does he have to go to bed, "ashshshshsahsahshash."

I plug away at my blog and as I near the end he wakes up, heads to the kitchen, comes out and looks at me surprised "When did you move up here?"

Yep, that's the man I choose to be my life partner. The father of my children and the man who may have just sealed our fate when it comes to being invited to anymore birthday parties, or parties of any kind in this town.

It was fun while it lasted. Now to Google CPAP machines and see just how sexy I can really make him look.

Disclaimer: I am totally attracted to and in love with my husband. I know he is a good man who doesn't have the highest tolerance for alcohol. I also know he deserves to let his hair down occasionally. I also know that he is used to hanging around with rugby gang and that it might take some getting used going to parties that don't involve drinking out of a cleat, but rather having a few beers with preschool parents that tell stories about their polyamorous cohousing.

Here' s hoping for second chances.