- Mental Health
Blah, bleurgh, and meh: the purgatory of being neither here nor there.
So. It's been awhile. I don't even remember what I last wrote on here, and right now it seems too complicated to go and look. So, to sum up: after our eldest daughter was diagnosed with childhood anxiety and depression, my husband and I decided I would quit my office job and try to work as a freelance writer from home so that I could spend more time with both of the kids. The timing proved rather good, as shortly after that, we discovered that hubby would be gone with the army for the summer (it was supposed to be longer, but ended up being for only the summer. But that's a whole other conversation), so me being home full time would provide at least some stability for the kids, right?
And there's the rub. I don't feel particularly stable. Earlier this spring, after my shrink fiddled with my meds a bit, I was feeling great. I felt like me again. I felt that maybe, just maybe, I would be able to get on with my life, a life where I had the energy to be a friend and give to people and to be in a room at someone else's house and be able to actually sit down and chat with them, as opposed to needing to pace the whole time. And for a while, I could. I went out with friends. I helped my grandma move. I re-visited people and places I hadn't been able to get near to for a long time before that. Yes, I had some new limits, but I recognized them and abide by them. And, boy, was I proud of myself for having won.
I`m not sure when it started going downhill again - all I know is that the anxiety is alive and, if not well, still very much present. I was trying to think about how to best describe it to Chris the other day, and the only thing I could come up with was that the core of my body is made up of anxiety. It bubbles and roils and spits and flares. It is ever-present. It takes almost everything I have to keep it contained in that one place. It renders me incapable of ever being truly still and calm. It exhausts me. It leaves me with nothing to give to my children. This knowledge sends me creeping back towards depression.
What this means is, I am living life just by going through the motions most days. I get out of bed because I have to get the girls ready for school. I shower because I know that I should. I make meals because the girls are hungry. I do laundry so that they have clean clothes. I do those things because I know that I should, and because I know that my girls deserve all of that and more. The idea of the girls needing something is almost like a life preserver that I cling to, as it keeps me afloat above sinking into depression and hopelessness when I don`t have the energy to do it for myself.
And when I have the energy, I am so pissed off to be back at this stage again. Yes, it could be worse. I could be where I was last spring, when I honestly thought I was going to die. When I scared my family. I am not there, and for that I am grateful, really, I am. But at the same time, I am pissed off that I can`t even go to my mom and dad`s house for the weekend without having to devote the following Monday almost completely to recover from the emotional stress of being away from my house and my stuff and my safe place. I am pissed that my freaking mom and dad`s house is no longer a safe place for me. I mean, yes, on the one hand, at least I am capable of driving myself and my kids there and back safely. That is a step forward from where I was. But on the other hand, I want to be excited about going there, and not need to work my way up to it, to build the energy. I want to find the joys again at hanging bedding on the line in summer, and of those first nights in late summer when it starts to cool down again enough that you need a blanket at night. I used to get such simple pleasures out of those things. And now...I just don`t. They`re just things that I need to do. I just want to feel. I want to have energy for something aside from keeping the anxiety at bay. I wouldn't say I've got it under control at this point, but I am able to keep it smushed up in its roiling ball in my core. And yes, that is a victory, but I want more. I want to be me again. I want to feel the need to go to school and embarrass my kids in front of their friends. I want to have the energy and compassion to again be the friend I once was. I want to be able to have a conversation with my husband that doesn`t involve me dissolving into (what I feel are now) my core components: anxiety and depression. I want to feel the highs as well as the lows. I want to not have to think about this anymore. I want to not feel like I`m whinging on my blog anymore. I want to feel like I`m not whinging in my life anymore. I`m tired of it. I deserve more. And so does my family. I tell my ten year old, when she is having anxious days, that she is not alone, that when one person in a family has mental illness, the whole family has it and deals with it. I tell her this all the time, and yet I still know exactly how lonely she feels. And I want all of us to have a break. To have happy, carefree days.
Mostly, I just want to not have to deal with this every day. Chris tells me that I am being too hard on myself, and that I still have a long road to go. And I know that I will deal with mental illness for the rest of my life, I do. And I know that I`ll have to keep working at it. But I guess I`m just bitter that this is the case. I wish there was a magic pill I could take that would `feel me better`, as my six year old would say. I doubt that will ever happen. So I've just got to keep my family as my lifeline, and float on, I guess, until the days when I will feel better again. I still have hope that they are coming. I think that I have to have hope. Because otherwise, there`s nothing to keep my from letting go of the lifeline.
I realise this is all disjointed and iffy, but that is pretty much my mental process these days. I don`t know why I`m even going to bother posting it, except that I hope I can come back one of these days and re-read it from a much better place, and once again be proud of myself for having, if not won, then at least continued the fight.