Thursday, September 15, 2016

Feeling normal

Today's blog is brought to you courtesy of a soy mattcha frappucino, solanax, and paxil -- which is finally started to have an effect, because I have felt more normal today than I have in months.  The anxiety, guilt, and stress built up over the semester to the point where I'd sit at my desk at work paralyzed by fear for no reason and crying (or in bed crying, or holding back tears on the treadmill at the gym). Thanks to the kind ministrations of Dr. K., we seem to have found the right balance. I am also grateful to many dear friends who have opened up to me about their struggles over the years and shared advice about meds and shown me not to be afraid of them. I also thank those friends willing to just listen to me tell my tale of woe.

It had to hit me sooner or later, although I was in denial for a long time and thought I could just will the daily assaults of negative thoughts, some very dark indeed, away through sheer thought power.  Several family members struggle with depression and now it was my turn for the chemicals in my brain to start misfiring, due to whatever trigger. Can't place it -- twin loss, too much new stuff  all at once (move, increase in work, increase in family), dealing with my own childhood issues while raising a troubled child -- whatever, I suppose it's enough to drive anyone to distraction.

Oh, but today, when I woke up, I felt NOTHING. Not zombie nothing, but no assault. No guilt. Should I get up although I don't have to? What hundred things do I have to do today? Nothing. Oh, my husband asked me to vacuum the house, which I happily did after emptying out the cat shitter as is my new daily task. It was amazing to just do things like I used to calmly and normally and with no feeling of being overwhelmed or any pressing need to feel worried that I was or wasn't doing something "correctly" and that the hammer would come down sooner or later.

People with depression, I get you now. I am one of you. I know how overwhelming the simplest tasks can be. I apologize to anyone who I ever got frustrated with for not being able to do the easiest thing or get organized or care about what you wore or anything when it takes a herculean effort to make it through the day when all you want to do is crawl back in bed and cry (while feeling guilty about it, naturally).

Thankfully, my husband is fine and getting lots of soccer therapy -- we go for walks along the beach once a week to chat about whatever (usually family) and that is a precious time for us. Lately, I've needed a lot of reassurances from him that everything's okay, and he assures me that it is. Now that I'm feeling better, I can start helping him around the house more (although he told me that even if I did, he'd find something to complain about anyway!) Yes, this is a side of him that only the family gets to see: grumpy pumpy.

The kids are doing great and we hear more laughing and singing than before. My girl has calmed down and shows her sweet side (mostly to me because my husband can't control his frustration over small things) and the cats have calmed us and brought us all together in the nicest way. My girl made it back onto the C team and now has basketball 6 days a week. It's a good outlet for her and she seems to be back with many friends she couldn't see when she was "demoted" earlier in the semester.

We got a tutor for the boy and he's very happy about that, so we can hope his grades will improve so that grade 6 won't be too much of a challenge next year. He is motivated by the thought of an iPod -- that will come after we see his next report card. The last one showed that although he does his homework, he was below the class average.

My boy has occasional burst of identity issue stuff and it comes out in requests for more cats, a younger brother (to be specific, for us to "exchange" my girl for a little boy), or more tech. We try to recognize it for it is. He is coming to adolescence and will start wondering more and more about where he comes from. Sometimes, I find him staring at me and I wonder if he's thinking. "Who is this strange foreign lady and why is she taking care of me?" etc.

This weekend is busy for all of us. Early tomorrow morning, the boys are going out of town for a soccer tournament, the girl has basketball all weekend and is staying at a friend's tomorrow night, and I'm off to Kanagawa tomorrow afternoon to present at a conference Sunday morning, then right back home. Monday is a holiday -- if my girl has no plan, will try to think of something fun we can do together.

How fabulous to just feel normal!


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