depression

WTF’S, Beards, BJ’s, and Anniversaries. Related, but not.

I feel very restricted by the internet today. What I really want to do is jump out from behind a door and yell, “HEY! I HAVE ALL KINDS OF SHIT TO TELL YOU!” I’d have a giant creepy grin on my face and it would scare you so bad you’d pee a little, and we’d laugh….and laugh….

(more…)

I’m Down, But Not Out

*the views expressed in the beginning of this post are not necessarily the views of the blog owner. In fact, the blog owner is a little pissed about it, but HAD to let this part be written. Or Else. Capeesh?

You ever have one of those days where you just wake up feeling like a failure…at everything?

Consistently exercising – FAIL
Being a good daughter – FAIL
Being a good enough Mom – FAIL
Being a good enough wife – FAIL
Being a good enough friend – FAIL
Being a writer – FAIL
Being a good blogger – FAIL
Flossing enough – FAIL (okay, I’m being funny here, but it’s TRUE)
CONSISTENT IN ANYTHING – FAIL
Actually, I’m pretty damn consistent in failing, which would be a win if it wasn’t FAILING.

I’ve got the blues.

FAIL

Thank you for your time, I’m done now.

*******

OKAY BETH IS BACK. Thanks for indulging Negative Nelly. She has to be let out from time to time. I mean, she’s part of me so I’m forced to acknowledge her feelings. Probably. Whatever.

BUT

I’m gonna to turn that frown upside down

Welcome to the:

*Scraping myself up off the floor edition of TToT*

I hurt my back again. I’m not sure what I did, but I’m grateful. This back pain reminds me that I’m not being active enough. My muscles are no longer strong. It’s been a wake up call.

This happened over the weekend to our kitchen floor:

floor

We’re assuming it’s foundation problems, although we won’t know anything for sure until we have it looked at by professionals. We were pretty freaked, but then reminded ourselves: Our kids are healthy, and we are still IN our home and have our keepsakes and possessions, unlike tornado or flood victims. If all we have to worry about is how this might inconvenience us or what it might cost us, we don’t have problems.

It’s been over a month since I quit my daily migraine medication. NO MIGRAINES!! Well, there was that one six days in, but I’m not even counting that. I can stay off my meds! YIPPEEE!

Veganism has taught me to love cooking again. In the past I was not inspired to cook. Handling raw meat grosses me out (well, there’s some meat handling I enjoy…wink, wink), not to mention that most meat-meals are not my favorite. But now I’m loving exploring new spices and new recipes. I find myself skimming cookbooks, dog-earing new ones to try, and sometimes even cooking just for fun and freezing it for another day!  WHAT? I know!

I’m thankful for a warm day amidst a cold winter. The better part of this past week was FAHreezing, but this weekend was really nice. I walked the dog today and let the sun warm my shoulders. It was sort of magical.

I’ve learned some things about myself recently, which is good, because if you don’t realize your flaws they continue to be flaws. I’m a perfectionist who gets discouraged very easily. I hold my own standards (no one else’s) impossibly high, and then crash with disappointment when I don’t meet them, inevitably giving up, or not trying to begin with. I have beliefs about myself that are wrong, and they continue to road-block me from success because I believe them. I am terrible about comparing myself to others in every aspect imaginable, and then beating myself up for not being good enough.

If you have a day/week/month where you are at the bottom of the bottom…you only have up to go. Failures are there to learn from and improve upon. Negative beliefs are there to disprove. Flaws are there to make us human, empathetic, and dynamic. Bad things make us appreciate the good.

I’m grateful even when I’m blue, because at least I’m here, feeling things. I have the luxury of getting back up, dusting myself off, learning from it, and moving on.

And plus, how can I be sad when Downtown Abby comes on tonight??? RIGHT!?

Things are looking up.

Ten Things of Thankful

Do you ever get the blues? Do you ever feel like a giant failure in life? Do you compare yourself to others to your own detriment? Please tell me this doesn’t just happen to me!

The Phone Call

kids

I press number three to play the message. His voice jumps through the phone and squeezes my heart so hard I have to sit down. He’s singing to me.

Happy birthday to you. Happy birthday to you. Happy birthday, dear Bethie. Happy birthday to you.

I close my eyes and press play again. His voice sounds so pure. So…absolutely him it takes my breath away. I can reach out and touch the memories it’s conjuring. Us climbing trees. Exploring creeks. Getting in trouble for eating all the Debbie Snack Cakes Mom just bought for our school lunches. Dissolving in laughter at his dark wit and ridiculously awful impressions. The time he needed stitches after using the weed eater for the first time. And of course the fights. There’s nothing quite as vicious as a sibling fight.

Play.

Happy birthday to you….

Heart Squeeze.

The voice I’m hearing is just him. True him. At the core. Not the him I will get if I call him back. Oh, at first I’ll get true him. But soon the sickness will take over, and the lies will tumble out of his mouth. The pathological lies. They bore a hole in my stomach and make my head spin. I have to remind myself:

He can’t help it. It’s the disease.

Or he’ll bait me with a seemingly innocuous question, which I’ll answer because I’m hoping we’re having a real conversation. Like normal people. But the agenda soon rears its ugly head, and I’m suddenly being evangelized on his latest conspiracy theory. So much anger. So much paranoia.

He can’t help it. It’s the disease.

Play.

….Happy birthday, dear Bethie…..

Heart Squeeze.

The guilt is an anchor in my gut. I carry it always, dragging its toxic weight. It turns me inside out when I see his name on my caller ID…and I don’t pick up. You’re an asshole, I say to myself. What kind of sister doesn’t answer when her brother calls?

It’s not your fault. It’s the disease.

I used to pick up. For twenty years I picked up. The cyclical, inane conversations that went on for hours were torture. Especially the ones that came in the middle of the night. When the distress calls happened, I invested, physically and emotionally. “I’m here for you,” I would say. “Let’s get you help,” I would plea. Others have tried to help, too. But that’s the thing. Once he’s got your attention. Your time. Once you’re on the hook…

He swims away.

And we’re left dangling, feeling like asses for trying. Lost. Scared for him. Awaiting the next call.

Until it becomes too much to take on anymore. If someone won’t help themselves, isn’t it time to stop enabling? Doesn’t there come a time when I have to show him I’m not that person anymore? That person his disease can toy with? Doesn’t there come a time when I have to draw boundaries?

It’s not his fault. It’s the disease.

I see him once every year to two, when he decides to resurface at a family event. He acts as if no time has passed. As if he’s been at every get-together. We hang out. We talk. He inevitably makes me laugh. But his eyes…my god his eyes. They kill me. The sadness behind them scours my soul.

Even after years of me holding him at arms length, he still calls for my birthday.  Why isn’t he angry with me? Why doesn’t he hate me?

Play.

Happy birthday to you….

Heart squeeze. Hot tears of sadness. Anger at him for not getting help. Guilt for the anger. His voice is flooding me with memories but I can’t stop listening. Like the lure of the deeper waters even though you know there’s an undertow.

I miss my brother. I fucking hate mental illness.

Play.

Play.

Play.

Play.

Play.

mental illness photo: Mental Illness Poster MentalIllnessPoster.jpg

Do you have someone in your life who won’t get help for mental illness, or won’t stay on their medication? How do you cope with them? How do you cope, period? Did/do you keep them at arms length?

I Wish I Blogged When My Boobs Were Exploding

My first baby was born over nine years ago. I can’t quite believe I just wrote that. Seems like yesterday his tiny, squirmy body was placed in my arms and now he’s almost as tall as me. YOWZA! But aside from the happy memories of bringing a healthy baby home, and the absolute wonder of it all (I fucking did that? I made a human? ME?), you wanna know what I remember from that time?

fear-panic-isolation-anxiety-frustration-angst-depression-anger. all at once.

Why? Because I didn’t know what the hell I was doing and I didn’t have any other friends who’d been through it yet. Oh I had acquaintances, but not close friends. I had books that pretended to prepare me, but not buddies who’d been there. I had no advice, no one making me laugh through the trials of breast feeding, no one telling me to hang in there, it just gets worse the hard part’s almost over. You know what I was missing?

THE BLOGOSPHERE.

I’m new around here, but as I’m reading all these HILARIOUS, AMAZING mommy bloggers I can’t help but feel a little pang of resentment that I didn’t have this resource when I was leaking milk and sneeze-peeing my way through sleepless nights. I would have taken anyone – ANYTHING – if it just felt like solidarity. If it just made me laugh or feel like I wasn’t insane. More than normal, anyway.

I’m reading The Mother Of All Meltdowns right now and OH if I had only had this book then! It’s SO funny! No one asked me to review it, trust me, this is all on me, but reading it is partly what inspired this post so I had to give it its due mention. If you don’t have it yet – do yourself a favor. And then follow all the authors because their blogs are GENIUS.

Okay, so maybe I didn’t have the insight and wisdom of other mommies when I was post-partum, or having to PUMP ALL MY MILK CUZ HE HAD A SUCKING PROBLEM WHAT THE HELL, through the potty training years (which just happened like a week ago BECAUSE I HAVE BOYS AND THEY DON’T CARE IF THEY SIT IN THEIR OWN FECES ALL DAY), or the tantrums, or losing naptime, or….or…breathe Elizabeth, breathe.

I do have it now, though. And now it’s going to help me with my third baby: my novel. They say the Universe has a way of making all things even. I believe that, utterly and completely. The Yin and the Yang. Karma. All that stuff. Balance Baby. Yeah. Can you hear the drums? Can you smell the weed sage? Kumbafrickinya….sing it with me…..

 

How about you? Did/does the bloggy world give you support during challenging times? I LOVE your comments!

Sticks and Stones aren’t Shit Compared to Words.

A lovely, insightful comment on my last post got the ole noodle crankin’, and you know what happens next: I have to write it or it won’t leave my head.

Growing up, my room was right across from my mom’s and I could hear everything she said. Under the same societal pressures to be “perfect” we all are, she was always frustrated with her weight, a perpetual dieter. She never met an exercise craze she didn’t try, but I do remember the emphasis being more on weight than fitness. When she was getting ready I would hear her mumble (or sometimes yell) things like:

“I’m too fat and ugly to wear this in public.”

“I’m such a fat cow.”

“My ass looks like a bull-dozer in these pants.”

We’ve all done it. It’s just crap you say when you’re frustrated, tossing that third pair of *shrunken* jeans across the room.

Of course, when a young girl hears her mother say things like that, her mother who she thinks is beautiful and perfect, she does one thing:

She adopts that same self-criticism.

Her words became my inner dialogue, and my weight became my measurement of self-worth. It’s vicious and ugly to hear those things in your head. It stops you in your tracks. I had zero awareness of body issues and – in an instant – became so hyper sensitive to them I remember skipping school because I thought my body was unacceptable. I was a size 8. But I was curvy. I hated my curves and saw them as fat. I wanted to look like those no-booby-stick girls that walk the runway, because yeah, on top of everything else, this was the 80’s and I had media pressure to be a waif.

I remember once my mom joking and saying it looked like I had gained 10 pounds over the summer.

BLAM!

That stung. I was twelve, so my zoom lens on a comment like that was about 1,000X. That began the era of giant shirts to hide my body. The takeaway: never make an inference IN ANY WAY to a young girl’s weight.

Between girls being nasty to me in school, and the pressure to find a place, any-freakin-place, to fit in, I didn’t have a chance in hell. Not when I started out-of-the-gate with such negative inner dialogue and a horrible self-image.

*I just wish someone had warned her*

That’s why I wrote this. Because my mom had no idea her words were doing damage. She would never want that.

All of us make mistakes. Hell, I’ll probably make four today. But if this post reaches even one person who might be saying these types of things within earshot of a youngin’, whether it be about their nose, their value on this earth, or their weight….well, that would be everything.

**Happy ending. It took  thirty twenty a handful of years and the Frankenstein of patch jobs, but my self-image is intact and healthy. Oh, I still hear the negative voices. The difference is now, I don’t believe them. I have perspective on what true beauty is. And my diet and exercise goals are based on fitness and feeling comfortable more than a size on a tag. My therapist probably drives a Range Rover to her lake house, but who cares, right? Thank God for therapy.

What about you? Do you remember hearing anyone talk like that when you were little? How did it make you feel? Was weight, beauty, or perfection over-emphasized in your house? Please share. I value and look forward to your comments!