Just so you know

All right. I have ideas. I think about stuff. So here is the spot for stuff I'm thinking about and want to be able to share more broadly and possibly promote. Like I have time for this.

Everything is provisional at this point and subject to change in the future - as far as the blog is concerned. In real life some things will remain unchanged.

Also, our children are not really named Lenny and Linus. We are not that cool.

Feel free to share, rant, disagree, but please remember that I'm an actual person who tries to be respectful. I'd love it if you are and do to.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Horton Hears a Depressed Mommy

I feel like my inner monologue has betrayed me.  That voice that keeps me company as a swing between the wordless world of Linus and the constant chatter of Lenny.  That voice that helps me make sense of the world and keep some order in my mind when fatigue threatens to throw me into complete chaos.  That voice that says, "I am still here" and prompted me to start blogging.  That voice, it seems, has betrayed me.

When I wrote my last post I was speaking from that inner voice.  But once I put some of those thoughts into words and saw them on the screen I could not put them back into some dark corner and look away.  The pain and the tears welled up while I was writing.  They keep welling up as I remember the words, as I try to come to some conclusion that will bring me peace, as I keep dealing with issues of faith over and over again.

It didn't help that the event that brought the thoughts to the forefront - Easter - had to be gotten through.  With all my emotional turbulence making me distrustful of my desires I pushed through and tried to find ways to make the time fun and meaningful for Lenny.  On Saturday I took the boys to a local church that was having an outreach with a "walk" designed to tell the resurrection story as well as games, a bouncy house and egg hunt.  Then I went shopping for Easter day food and even items for an Easter basket.  Not candy.  We already have enough of that.  Oranges, balls and sidewalk chalk.  Fake grass even because that has for some reason caught Lenny's imagination.

On Sunday we went to church, had the meal, took some pictures.  It was a simple day.  About right really.  But the whole thing hurt.  I tried not to cry but failed so I tried not to cry when people who could understand and remember were looking.  The baby doesn't mind.

I keep trying to get back to a place where I am at least almost OK.  I try to put this in perspective.  It's a mood.  I'm depressed.  I've been depressed before.  In fact, I've dealt with depression since I was a teenager.  I've taken medication for depression almost all of my adult life.  I'm not taking any now.  I'm trying to avoid it while I breastfeed.  But I know I can take it if I need to.  I have a prescription in my purse.  I took it when Lenny was a baby.

But it seems crazy to start now that I've almost made it through the dark days of winter.  Now that I can spend time outside and get some real vitamin D.  Now that I don't have to lug the car seat every time I leave the house or brace myself against the cold every time I... ...get out of bed.  It's about to get better, right?

Maybe, I think, I should make an appointment with my counselor.  I've worked with him for years and I think if I see him it will help.  But it's tricky to make the time and it's expensive.  What I really need, I realize, is to talk to my Chinese friend.  She has this amazing way of helping me see that it's OK to feel the way I do now and also OK not to feel that way.  Her confidence that I can take small steps to care for myself and move away from darkness is contagious.  Just thinking about other conversations we've had leaves me feeling more hopeful.

But she's working full time and has three kids and the chances that we will be able to have a conversation before this weekend - at the earliest - are slim.  I need to get this sorted out sooner than that.

Having so much experience with depression is useful because I have tools - strategies for making it through.  But it's also hard because I feel all the previous depressed mes reaching out from the past and trying to pull me back to them.  Hurts I thought were healed, grievances I thought I had forgiven, insecurities I thought I had let go of all crawl out of the shadows and accuse.  They try to become who I am.  They try to deny the existence of a the me who has both good and bad moods.  I am not a person, I am just this throbbing pain that I need to get away from more than anything.

Because "literature" in my mommy world usually means quality children's books I think of the Dr. Seuss book Horton Hears a Who.   I can picture that extra-tiny boy hidden away in a small room in his speck-world not making a sound because he doesn't think it will make a difference.  I picture the mayor, not waiting to explain the situation to him but physically carrying him to the highest point and telling him to make noise.  I remember what Horton said to the Whos:

"Don't give up! I believe in you all.
A person's a person, no matter how small!
And you very small persons will not have to die
If you make yourselves heard! So come on, now, and TRY!"

And I feel just a little bit comforted.  Almost hopeful.  I believe, if just for a few moments, that I am here - somewhere.  I think that I can make myself heard.  And maybe it will save me from boiling Beezlenut oil.  Or the serotonin guzzling synapses of my exhausted brain.  Maybe even the sour kangaroo will acknowledge my existence and I can feel secure for a while.

Has the winter been hard on you?  Do you need to be heard too?  I'd love to hear from you in the comments or on Twitter or my Facebook page.

photo credit: Cale Bruckner via photopin cc 
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  1. One of my favorite names for God is in the story of Hagar: "the God who sees." Sometimes I just want to be seen, and sometimes I really depend on that aspect of God. And right now I just want to say to you that I, Elizabeth, see you, Rachel. Peace.

  2. I feel such a difference now that the sun is shining and the weather is warmer...but I'm still coming out of the winter fatigue and depression. You are not alone.