Tag Archives: 2013

Depression Is

A few days ago, in my private journal, I wrote:
“I don’t suffer from my depression. The people around me do.”

And so here I am again, writing about depression. Again. It’s been a month since I’ve even opened WordPress. I haven’t written, I’ve barely spent any creative time at all. I’ve been taking things day-by-day, trying to get well, trying to be me again. I’ve had a hard time finding my holiday spirit this year. We wouldn’t have a tree if it weren’t for Mr Awesome. He and I have had a lovely, kidless, date weekend. We did some Christmas shopping and went to Common Grounds and had dessert at a funky coffee shop on Belmont. And I started talking about how it feels, inside, when I am depressed. I want to articulate these things when I can, because when I am in the midst of a dark time, I cannot tell people about it. So I talk, and talk, and talk when I am well, so people know how to reach out to me when I am not. So my post today is mostly taken from that conversation, and a few things I wrote in my private journal, in hopes that it gives people the tools to help me when it happens again. And maybe, it will help others help their loved ones, too.

Depression is painful When I am depressed, I hurt. My joints hurt and my muscles and my heart and my stomach. Everything hurts, and it makes it very hard to move around and be active.

Depression takes my colors away. I am synasthetic. When I am well, colors sing to me. Their songs make me happy, and make my world a rich and wonderful place to be. They feed my creative soul. When I am depressed, the colors of my world are flat, one dimensional, and, worst of all, silent.

Depression steals my muse and kills my creative soul. When I am depressed, I cannot create. Colors don’t play well together, patterns don’t work for me, recipes don’t turn out right, and my words get lost. This hurts me more than anything, because my creative soul is the very core of who I am. I am not me without my art. And I get so scared that this time is the time it goes away for good, that I will live the rest of my life colorless, soundless, and without the joy of creativity.

Depression kills my libido. I don’t have the highest sex drive in the first place, and depression takes what little I have. Sex becomes something almost impossible, because of the huge investment of energy that it requires. This contributes to the distance that depression puts up between myself and my partners, and makes it hard to connect with them.

Depression lies. It tells me that my colors won’t ever come back, that my art is lost forever, that sex will never feel good again. It tells me that I will always hurt too much to move, that I don’t need to take care of myself, that I will feel miserable forever. It tells me that my friends don’t care, that I’m a burden to my loved ones, that I will never get better.

This has been a strange episode for me. It cycled quickly, and I was cognizant for most of it. I could hear the voice of the bitch and know she was lying, and I was able to tell the people in my life where I was and how I was feeling. The downside to this clarity was knowing that I was hurting the people I loved, again, and putting Mr Awesome through this tough road, again, and that was super hard to deal with. I always feel fragile when I come out of a bad cycle, when I’ve beaten the bitch back again, when is start piecing my world together again. It’s exactly like it feels when you’ve been sick in bed for a long time, and you are facing the world again.

Something else from my journal, from a few nights ago, which is when I really think I started to be better again. I wrote a list of things I wanted to remember. Here it is:
I am not a failure. I am a strong woman who struggles sometimes.
I am a woman who has lost a lot. But I have also gained more that some can ever imagine.
My children deserve a healthy mother.
My husband deserves a healthy partner.
I am worthy if the love I give to other people.
Finally
My life is amazing, and it is filled with people who genuinely love me and care about my well-being. I am worthy of their love and concern.

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Me Time

I made it out yesterday, and I socialized. I’m feeling pretty proud of myself for that one.

I’ve found myself in the possession of a weekend with an empty calendar. Work yesterday barely counted… just a short evening shift, which was spent mostly in the effort of making the new knickers display look nice and chatting with my part time associate about her retail career. She’s an old pro in the retail sector, despite her young age, getting her start in apparel at one of the “one-stop” shops here in town, and we were able to chat easily and swap stories about stores in which we have worked. Sort-of but not-really related, the part timers make me feel old. I was running my first store in 1997, about the time the youngest of the set was starting preschool. I was a training manager for a tuxedo chain when my other keyholder was entering high school. I relate much better to the management staff, even though I was born the year my SM graduated high school. At a certain point, age doesn’t matter as much as experience, and she and I and the ASM have that in spades. The three of us, plus the long-time retail PTSA, have an impressive list of big names in small-store and department store retail. And, I think when you walk in and one of us is working, it shows.

But anyhow, I’ve gotten off track, I think. This wasn’t going to be another post about work.

Free time.

Mr Awesome is out all weekend, at the coast with Velah for her birthday. He scheduled a grandparent visit for the kids, and I have the house to myself. Wash is busy with his family and a work obligation. And I’m free.

Like I said above, I got out yesterday. I visited a friend who was doing a craft show in Vancouver, and it was lovely to chat with her. I got myself lunch at Trader Joes and then went for a Goodwill wander, scoring an awesome argyle wool sweater vest. I came home and wrote for a while and took a bubble bath. I worked and came home and texted til early morning with Wash and slept deeply, covered in blankets and cats.

My coffee is gone now and I’m considering my day, trying to decide between a trip to Powells or a wander through Saturday Market, or both. The family won’t be home until dinnertime. I should write some more… I have the first three chapters of my novel drafted, and my goal for this week is to finish chapters four and five. It’s brightly sunny today, and I think it will feel good to get into the city and go for an adventure…

I’m going to be 100% honest here. It has been a hard, hard road beating back the Bitch this time around. I’ve had days recently that simply getting dressed has been a huge victory. The weather doesn’t help… cold windy days make me ache all over and make my joints stupid and clumsy. My kids are having a hard time with me back at work, even though they love the time they have with their dad. My breakup with the Boyfriend has been hard to process. For all that he wasn’t really there for the last several months, I still miss him terribly. And heading into the holidays without his family at our side feels weird.

But, I’m doing what I can, taking each moment by itself and doing my best. I’m writing again, which feels awesome. But I wouldn’t be if it weren’t for gentle pokes from my friends. If you were one of those who sent me a text or other direct message, asking if I was ok and when would I write again, I want to say thank you. Knowing that someone wanted to hear what I had to say is the whole reason I started this blog. Writing helps me process things. Processing things helps me heal. Life moves on, looking brighter and better and healthier.

Thanks to you all, for listening. And all the loves I have to offer.

More about my Bitch can be found here:
The Bitch is Back
The Boy With the Sad Eyes

And as always, I welcome your thoughts and comments below. ❤


The Bitch is Back

Mr Awesome asked me yesterday if I was still writing. If not here, which is a place I haven’t been in a month, then was I writing elsewhere? Somewhere?

The sad answer was no.

I have a lot of excuses, and a few very good reasons. They can all be summed up easily. The bitch is back. Or at least she was.

I fight depression. That is something I am frank and open about. It’s as much a part of me as my brown eyes and freckles. And my depression is often triggered by huge life changes.

Let’s just say there’s been some of that going on, lately. And my bitch likes to take away my craft and my muse. And when I add the creative paralysis of depression to the exhaustion of starting a new job and stir in the bare fact that some of the stuff going on I simply cannot write about out of respect to the other parties involved, I’ve hit a bit of a dry spell.

So, in a nutshell, here’s where I am at:
I started a new job. Kind of new, at least. It’s at the dress shop I worked at a few years ago, only in a new position, one a little higher up the management food chain. It’s retail, at the Giftmas season. No mall for me -thank Bob!- it’s a stand-alone store. Room for advancement, the hours are good, the pay is more than I expected. Back with a manager I like and who likes me. It was hard for Mr Awesome to ask me to return to work, but he had to do it. Ends weren’t meeting, and prices are going up at astounding rates. But it’s been hard. I’m missing soccer games again, and bedtimes, and my muse hasn’t visited with me in a while, just when she and I had been getting nice and cozy. I’m closing the store a lot, and it’s hard to get to sleep after a late shift, so I’ve been tired during the day. I’m dealing with the uncertain schedules that are part and parcel of working retail, and getting the store and myself and my staff ready for the holiday season.

And that’s about all I can write about it. I can’t post much about work, or my staff or my customers, because I can get fired if I get caught. So there you are.

But wait, there’s more!
I ended things with the Boyfriend. We had grown apart, communications were breaking down…. All the standard excuses that get dragged out when two people just aren’t in sync anymore, and never will be again. It was sad and awful and heartbreaking and it hurt like hell. I know I hurt him, and it kills me to think that this gentle man that I love very much is hurting because of me. Wash had some very tough words for me, though, that ultimately led me to the decision of breaking up… Hard words to hear, but needed ones. Sometimes the hard truths need to come from someone outside the situation to be heard. But still, I’m mourning what was. I miss my friend and lover. I miss his family, and I feel like I failed his daughter in some way, by not being able to fix what was broken between her dad and myself. Mr Awesome is no longer seeing the Other Woman, either, which is a very very good thing, but still a sad thing at the same time.

“There’s a light…”
I can’t type that without thinking of that song in Rocky Horror… Brad and Janet, searching for the house with the phone… Anyhow.
I’m starting a new relationship. And I’m nervous and scared and giddy. There’s this wonderful guy I met. He has two adorable kids, and he coaches their soccer games on the weekends. He loves the same books I do, and loves hiking in the Gorge and going out for dessert at bookstores. We’ve talked about it, and we think we’d like to start dating.

I’ve started dating my husband again.

I realized that I was getting hit with jealousy like I had never experienced. The tiniest things would trigger me, and that just isn’t normal for me. Mr Awesome would go to do stuff with Velah and it would hurt me, not because I don’t love her, but because I felt him drifting away from me.

We have been together two months shy of 17 years. Literally half of my entire life, and all of my adult years. And it started feeling like all we had in common was the house and our kids, and our history. There have been some hard conversations… The other night we agreed that this whole relationship thing was hard fucking work. But it’s worth it, to have my best friend back. I feel closer to him now that I have in ages and I think we are on a really good path.

I tweeted, some weeks ago, that depression is a bitch. Later, I amended that it say depression isn’t a bitch, she’s my bitch, and I’m winning this round. Which is completely accurate. She’s still sulking in the corner, and sometimes her voice is louder than others. Sometimes her voice is loud enough to drown out all the other voices, and sometimes, like lately, it’s harder to get her back in her corner and force her to stay there. But she’s my bitch, and I’m calling the shots, and she’s not going to push me around, not this time, not ever.

I have written about depression before. Please read my post “The boy with the sad eyes” for more of my thoughts about depression.

Thank you for your time. As always, feel free tool comment below, and like me on Facebook or follow me on twitter for regular updates from me.


Doing allright

I wanted to insert an inspirational picture, or something funny. I found this instead. Cute fixes everything, right?

I wanted to post a follow-up to yesterday’s post.

You see, I didn’t want to concern people. But I did want to talk about where I am in my life. After all, that’s kind of the point of having a blog.

When I started this blog earlier in the year, I did it with the intent to write about being poly, dealing with depression, and raising a family. And this means writing about the bad things along with the good.

I got some concerned text messages yesterday, from dear friends who were worried about me. And I love that about my people… I love my support network and how we all work to keep each other healthy and sane.

So I’ll tell everyone the same thing I told them. I’m doing fine. I really am. I am at peace with where I am in my life. Changes are big and scary, but I’m dealing with them ok. I realize that even the sad bits have reason and purpose, and I’m going along, feeling well and happy and centered. I am still recovering from the pain and numbness of a pinched nerve I suffered over the summer, but it is healing, with the help of turmeric and qi gong and massage. I am sad about some of the changes in the relationships I am involved in, but all relationships grow, and change, and sometimes even end. I can still take away the happiness and love and lessons those people have brought to my life. I am mostly excited about going back to work. I interview tomorrow with my old boss for a new position on my old team.

So, yeah… that’s where I am at right now. And I appreciate all the kind words and concern. All of y’all are the best. Really.


Let’s Talk

“Let’s talk…”

“We need to talk…”

“There’s a few things I want to discuss with you…”

Aren’t those some of the scariest words a person can hear? Not, precisely, the scariest… I tend to agree with Mr Awesome that the scariest three words are, “I trust you”.  But, when you think about it, trusting and talking kind of go hand-in-hand, don’t they?

Poly people talk, at least we should be. Scheduling is a long conversation of who, when, where, how many, how long… What can be done, what can’t be done. We talk about partners and friends and children. We gossip – which is a nasty and harmful habit, but we still indulge in it. We talk about our feelings and our lives and our goals. Things that have been said in a group of poly people have often left me speechless and blushing for the blunt attitude with which they were presented.

I like hearing “I need to check in with you” because that often means good things, or at least not bad things. Checking in, to me, means making sure people are on the same page, or at least reading from the same book. Checking in is usually the language Mr Awesome uses for scheduling and general emotional well-being queries.

“I think we need to talk…” will evoke a near-panic response in me. And I got those words last week, in a text. And there was a long, uncomfortable conversation afterward, and tears. And yes, everything is ok, or will be.

The conversation was long-overdue. Needed. Important. Healing. Healthy. Exhausting. Draining. And sad. I left it feeling tired and battered. I went through the rest of my day in a fog, and begged off of a date night with Mr Awesome so I could go someplace and process it. I walked the mall for a bit, and got a hot cocoa at Starbucks and sat in the bookstore and wrote. I did a lot of texting with Wash, which kept me feeling a bit centered. He had some good insights. I came home and collapsed and slept badly.

I spent the next day at the soccer fields, in the sun. I had to play mean mommy to the Boy, and by the time Lil D’s game came around, all I wanted to do was go home and knit and ignore the world. I found a friend who had had an even worse week and let her use my shoulder for a while, and it helped a lot. Velah and her Boychild came over for dinner, and I made pizza and we played Apples to Apples.

The day after that – yesterday – I went and hung out with Wash and his girlfriend. She and I are making a tentative friendship, for which I am thankful. I helped her with a crochet question, and then Wash bought us lunch. I stopped at the craft store on the way home, and got yarn for a Giftmas present for my little nephew. Wash doesn’t mince words, he doesn’t sugarcoat anything, and he told me a few things that were good for me to hear. Even better, he didn’t judge me for some things I was feeling, just let me say them, and purge them from my mind. On the freeway, between JoAnns and home, I started to bounce to the music. I had my rescheduled date with Mr Awesome last night, and I was looking forward to the time… and it was a lovely evening.

There are some changes ahead. People are in different places in my life than they used to be, and I’m adjusting to what that means. Mr Awesome and I had a talk yesterday about money, and it looks like I need to head back to work. I’m mostly ok with that. It’s been nice being a stay-at-home mommy, but it will be nice to be back to retail and all of it’s ups and downs. It will be easy to get a job, I think… the dress shop where I used to work is always hiring, and I think they will be happy to have me back.

This sums up a few people that have been in my life….

 

 

And right now? I’m enjoying the peace of a quiet house. Kitty is next to me, because he wants the chair I am sitting in. I have no one to talk to for a few hours, and the quiet is refreshing, after all the chatter of the past few days.

 

I’d love to hear any thought you have, in the comments below, and thank you so much for taking the time to read.