Monday, February 2, 2015

Feeling adrift

I'm usually down in the winter but I have more issues to deal with this winter.  Yesterday was my Ex's birthday and I felt badly because I knew he was alone.  It was his own doing, but I still felt badly.  Isn't that a typical woman?  It has now been nearly three months since I told him I was leaving.  I'm starting to dream about him, but not as he is.  I'm dreaming about him as I wish he was.

I'm feeling guilty and tired and lonely and hopeless.  As long as I get my child support and alimony I'm doing okay...but I can't count on it.  I feel that I can't get ahead.  I did some research on other jobs that I could get in this area with minimal schooling.  I can't really find a job making much more money.

I'm overwhelmingly tired...sleepy too.  I could nap now.  I'm also feeling the depression monkey climbing on my back.  I'm not sure how to deal with that.  I've been eating poorly lately.  I wonder if cutting sugar out of my diet would help?

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

How do I trust myself?

The longer I'm away from my ex-husband the more I realize how mentally ill he was.  I never noticed when I was around him every day how strange he was getting.  People around me noticed.  They softly tried to warn me, but I didn't see it.

I'm too new at being single to even think seriously about dating.  I'm now scared of it.  How can I trust my own judgement when I lived with a mentally ill man and never even realized it?

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

I left my husband in November and since then I've had a fight to stay out of the pit.  It is there, hovering at the edge of my mind like a ghost you can almost see if you move your head fast enough.  I don't want to be depressed again.  I'm taking Savella for my fibromyalgia, but my doctor said it was a pretty low dose so if I need more help to let him know.  I'm keeping my fingers crossed that diet, exercise, SAM-e and keeping busy will help and keep me from having to take more antidepressants.

I moved into my new house in November and I've focused on keeping it clean and presentable.  Sometimes it feels like a lost cause with two teens and my young adult son all intent on destroying it.  But I won't allow them to do it.  I want a house that people can visit without me feeling too embarrassed.

I'm working full time and considering taking night classes.  Right now my company is about to split and there is a very real possibility that I may not have a job in a year.  I'm thinking of taking a class to help me pass my pharmacy tech exam.  After all, as I know, prescriptions will always be with us.  I think we'll continue to need more, not cut backs in this area.  So as I told my son, I'm done with software, I think I'll get into drugs!

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Tai Chi

One of the things that helps my depression is exercise.  We all know this.  However, when you are in the deep pit of despair full of triple chocolate fudge ripple and laying flat on your bed staring at your ceiling...your most likely thought is "Am I going to be able to move any time soon?  Or at all?"

No, in this state of mind exercise isn't going to happen.  Nope, I think, I'm too fat, too uncoordinated, too ugly to ever step into a gym where they will likely all stand, stare and point, amiright?  I'm over 200 pounds and all of this flab takes enough energy to move up the stairs to bed.  Those gyms are full of skinny people pumping iron and cycling and stair stepping and Zoomba-ing.  I'd stand out like a sore thumb!

Well last year I decided to give Tai Chi a try.  Someone was starting a class in our gym at work so it was free.  It started at 4:45 and my work day ends at 4:30.  Oh damn, all out of excuses.  I LOVED it.  The moves are easy enough, but still demanding.  The focus required by my brain to balance, shift my weight, move my legs and feet and arms and hands, while watching my posture ... I can't think of anything else!!  I've heard it called the moving meditation and it really is.  All of my problems stay at the door while I'm in that gym.  I pick them up again on my way out, of course.  But for 45 minutes my mind it clear and focused, my body is moving and those endorphins start to pump.  I feel so accomplished when I leave...even as I drag my body home and collapse on my bed to stare at my ceiling.

So for the last 4 months I wasn't going.  Why did I allow this to happen?  Part of it was the move and separation from my Ex, part of it was allowing my depression to take over and convince me I was too far behind and I'd never catch up.  Who knows, but today I went.  I'm so glad I did.  If I don't take care of me, then no one will.  I need to focus on what keeps me healthy so that I can then help my kids.

Monday, January 5, 2015

My Mother is a Wise Woman

I'm trying to fight my depression right now.  January is a hard month because I'm usually dealing with the money issues post Christmas and the days are too short and the sky is too cloudy/rainy -- why did I move to Oregon? This year I've added to my issues by leaving my husband in November.  I left for a lot of very good reasons but it is still hard to deal with all of the new issues, paying rent, dealing with the tightest budget I've had to deal with since I was in my twenties, single parenting and oh-my-gosh-what-if-the-car-breaks-down?

I needed to go up to my old house to get some more stuff to move to my new place.  I didn't want to do it.  I didn't want to face Ex and I didn't want to see the old place.  Every time I go up there I feel helpless and hopeless.  My arms feel too heavy to lift.  How was I going to deal with stuff and move furniture feeling like that?  

My best friend and all around amazing person offered to go up with me.  She brought her two teenaged sons to help complain move furniture.  She kept me moving and kept my mind focused.  This enabled me to get the task done without running away to my car and avoiding it entirely.

Later I was talking to my mom about how I feel about that place and she said:   I think when you moved to Oregon and bought your place it was an opportunity to start over in a home of your own.  However since you started over with [Ex] and his determination to continue doing everything his way and forcing you to live as he wanted to live with all of his junk around him, your dream turned into a nightmare life.  It was as though you were sinking in quicksand and depression so overwhelming that you couldn't even force yourself to keep the place clean nor train the kids to do that.  It affected every aspect of your life and especially your health.  Once you broke out of the quicksand, you were free but only feel that way when you are away from that disaster of a dream life.  Now that you're away from it, and can truly see the depression that you felt, your instincts are all shouting, "Stay away."

She is so right.  I have my freedom, but when I return to that house I feel like I'm drowning in the quicksand all over again.  I'm nearly done with that place and will soon be seeing it in my rear-view mirror for the last time.  Thank God, I need to move on!

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Robin Williams

I haven't written in this blog for a long time.  I've been busy between working full time, raising three teens (one who recently turned 21 and is no longer a teen) and living life there isn't much time to write a blog too.  Depression is part of my daily life, sometimes the pit is deeper than other times, but it has been manageable.

2014 is about to end and I'm so glad.  It was a year of endings for me.  Among other things my marriage ended and my grandmother died.  We lost a lot of wonderful celebrities too Shirley Temple, Mickey Rooney, Casey Kasem, Ann B. Davis, Lauren Bacall, Joan Rivers.  But the big one was Robin Williams.  I've seen so many posts about Robin Williams.  So many people who claim to have all the answers...he should've reached out!  He should've known how many people loved him!  Committing suicide is the most selfish act!  People who say they've experienced depression but managed not to kill themselves, or that have considered suicide but didn't do it, are very self righteous right now.

I'm going to go out on a limb here and say...maybe you don't really know what it was like.  You aren't Robin Williams.  In 1992-1993 I had the worst depression of my life.  I couldn't get out of bed most days.  Making it out in the late afternoon and getting to a doctor's appointment was a major accomplishment.  I had no life, no interests, no hobbies, nothing.  I wanted to be dead.  I thought that if I was dead then the pain would finally be over.

Some of my family and close friends noticed what was going on, and a few even asked me if I was thinking of harming myself.  Incredibly brave people they were!  I still thank God for them all the time.  I couldn't articulate my desire to be dead but that I didn't have any plans to do anything about it.  I remember distinctly driving on a windy road with trees along the side...wondering what speed I'd have to be going before I hit a tree to guarantee I'd die and not just be paralyzed.  I worried that my family would know it wasn't an accident and the fear of failure was probably all that kept me from trying.

I told them no, I wasn't thinking of harming myself.  It was a lie.  I didn't want to get into that discussion because I knew they'd never understand the difference between wanting to be dead and actually planning on doing it.  I was a chicken and afraid of all of the emotions that conversation would rile up.  Not in me, I didn't feel anything, but in my loved ones.  I was also afraid they might commit me against my will.  I wanted and needed help.  I didn't need to be locked up and medicated and electroshocked...okay, all I know about mental hospitals was from movies and books.

I managed to get out of the deep deep pit I was in.  Inch by slow inch.  It helped that I gave birth to an amazing baby boy (yes the 21 year old I talked about earlier) and he gave me a reason to keep trying.  I don't know what I would've done if I'd not been able to pull myself out.  At the time I didn't have medical insurance and I didn't have the wherewithal to even try to find those sliding scale places that are supposed to exist everywhere.  I did try and after three phone calls I hung up the phone and just sobbed.  It was too hard.

Suicide isn't a selfish act, not really.  It is an attempt to end the pain.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

To the Motorcyclist in Portland Oregon yesterday

I know I frustrated you yesterday when I kept changing my mind as I approached the metering light to the on-ramp.  The traffic ahead of me was doing the same and I didn't want to be the fourth car in one lane if only one car was ahead of me in the other.  Maybe you couldn't see what the cars ahead of me were doing and you were only paying attention to my car.  We had our windows open because my air conditioner is broken.  That gave you the perfect opportunity to yell into my car "Dude pick a lane and stick with it."

I didn't respond because 1. I'm not a dude and that should be obvious to anyone looking at me and 2. I had all three of my kids in the car and I need to set a good example for them and yelling at random motorcyclists on freeway on-ramps isn't a good example.  We're supposed to turn the other cheek, so I did.  I hope that you felt better and calmer after yelling at a middle aged woman in a junker car full of teenagers.

We were in rush hour traffic and I'm sure you were just on your way home.  I don't live in Portland, I was lost and hoping that the map app on my phone wasn't leading me astray.  You see, we had to drive to Portland in my 17 year old car with the broken air conditioning to see a liver specialist at Oregon Health and Science University for my son.  We can't afford a better car or to fix this car right now because despite having good insurance we still have too many medical bills.

I may be having more difficulty lately making decisions because I've had to make so many.  I have to make decisions that can affect my son for the rest of his life.  Should he take this medication that may save his life right now but cause a tumor later that may take it?  Should I put him through another liver biopsy when the last one gave me nightmares for weeks?  Should I pay this medical bill this week or buy food for my growing teens?  What will I do if my company lays me off this month or next?  You see, those decisions are more important to me than which lane I should occupy, even if my indecision is driving you nuts.

I know you will probably never see this entry in my blog but I still want to say I'm sorry that I made your commute more difficult yesterday.  I hope you can accept my apology and be a little more human in your next interaction with a random stranger because you never know what battles they are fighting.