OK, so I clearly haven’t been on here for awhile. I have been busy, true, but I wouldn’t be completely honest with you if I didn’t admit that I have been having quite some time keeping the negativity at bay. There have been a few days-long stretches where I could barely get out of bed. And I blame myself and heap oodles of self-hatred my way, saying that I should try harder and that I need to ignore my feelings and just be there for my children and my husband. I feel guilty and awful most of the time, paired with debilitating anxiety. Hubby, although he tries extremely hard to be understanding and supportive, is understandably frustrated and overwhelmed with dealing with our crazy household (the kids don’t stop) as well as a spouse who wants to check out most of the time.
I don’t exactly know what set it off. I am feeling overwhelmed with the task of housekeeping and motherhood right now. I am tired of barely keeping up with the mess and the needs of five other creatures (eight, if you include the pets). I am exhausted with not being enough. I crave the delicious feeling of accomplishment – of feeling pride in a job well-done and the satisfaction of being competent at a task. Motherhood doesn’t offer this emotion….not really, anyhow. The task of raising a child is never done. Even when they are adults – they could screw up badly and, as a parent, you will always wonder if that failure of theirs is somehow tied to your failure to feed them organic meat.
When I was younger, unmarried and childless, I was an organizational freak. I loved having everything neat and tidy, everything in its place. I thrived on making my space beautiful and having my decor reflect who I was and what I loved. I think that is why, now that I am part of a household with young children, I become so discouraged with the state of my surroundings. These surroundings are messy. They are dirty. They are disorderly. They are ugly. I could spend every second following my children around, yelling at them to pick up, to not take that out, to leave my stuff alone, but that would still probably not achieve my desired goal: to have a beautiful and orderly and calm place to call home 24/7.
Readers will argue that having a home-design-magazine-worthy home is a silly goal while being a SAHM to youngin’s – that they are only young once, and energy and time should be spent playing with them instead of worrying about the amount of mess they make. I would agree. But perfectionism and depression are filled with a font of irrational thoughts that don’t make sense and obsessively spin around in your mind making you feel that there really is no point and you might as well give up.
So, this last month I really have. I have dropped the ball on housework, I have let the kids watch day-long marathons of Netflix, and I have essentially checked out. Occasionally I have been able to summon enough gumption to cook dinner or do laundry. I still run the kids to lessons and play-dates and if any of my friends ask I am doing JUST FINE. But I am locked in a gloom that is very difficult to shake.
We took a family vacation last week and I was able to get outside of myself and just be for a few days, which was nice. But coming back home was hard, getting back to real life was hard.
I go through something with my medication every two years or so where the normal dosage suddenly just doesn’t cut it anymore. So I am starting a supplemental medication along with my normal prescription. I am hoping that there is an improvement. Generally, I have always felt that before the positive thinking and self-care suggestions my doctor and psychologist have suggested can kick in, there needs to be a biological “jump start” in the form of drugs in order to to be able to move forward. And I feel like the current dosage is no longer cutting it. I worry that by the time I am 60 I will be taking such an inordinately large dosage of psychotropic prescription drugs that I will no longer, chemically, be me. Or that after so many years of taking antidepressants my brain will be severely damaged or I will develop a giant, inoperable tumor thanks to the miracle drugs that have gotten me out of bed and into the land of the living for 40 years. But I suppose it will have been worth it. Not living under a constant, debilitating cloud of depression is worth it. I think.
So that’s what has been going on. I am hoping to check in more often going forward. I am hoping I will have happier, more sunny things to write about next time. I know I will be fine, the sky is not falling, and life is actually beautiful. I know all of that. I just need a little help (and prayers) getting to the point where I can really feel it, too.