Rockslide.

Rockslide.

Two nights ago I had this dream, I was standing at the top of a mountain. It was a barren, granite mountain top like those you often see in Maine. Suddenly the earth shifted under my feet and the rocks slid in a jagged, irregular path down the slope. I was left standing on what remained, knowing I needed to find a way down to the valley below where everyone else waited. It was then that I realized my Papa was with me and was waiting for me to lead the way down.

I began walking down, weaving around boulders and sliding over rocks that rolled beneath my feet. Every step of the way, Papa was behind me. I finally reached a point where there was a sheer cliff in front of me and a hill so steep and unstable behind me that I couldn’t backtrack. I was stuck.

In a blink, I was back at the top…back at the beginning with Papa waiting for me to try again. I did. Over and over and over again, I zig-zagged my way down the hill only to end up in the exact same situation. My frustration and my exhaustion increased each time but still Papa stood and waited, and I walked on.

Finally, I was too tired to try again. It was then that Papa reached out and grabbed my wrist. It reminded me of a time when he and I were sitting at his kitchen table talking and he had reached out and wrapped his hand around my wrist. He was able to encircle my wrist with his thumb and pinky finger with room to spare. The memory warmed me and I felt my hope rising. He grabbed my wrist firmly, and he spoke to me. I watched his mouth moving and started crying when I realized I couldn’t hear him. Whatever advice he had, was lost to me. Whatever happens next, I have to decide. That little seed of hope was gone and I woke up.

I’ve put forth a lot of effort doing the same things over and over and over hoping that this time I don’t end up here…stuck with no way forward and no way back. I have been stuck for a very, very long time…in fact, I wrote in 2011,

“It’s like…I am this great big ball of AWESOME but inside is still this teeny, dark seed of misery. I keep hoping will just die if I don’t feed it. So I take my happy pills and I turn my attention to other, much more important stuff and the AWESOME rules. Then I think, “Surely it’s gone now!” and peek.

Dude, I’m that idiot in horror movies who just HAS to open the basement door because it’s been quiet for SO long, surely the ax murderer is gone! D’oh! *sigh*”

I am so very tired of this endless loop. Somehow I have to figure out how to rid myself of that dark seed of misery. I need to do it, I can’t just keep waiting for it to vanish. I just wish I knew how…

 

 

It’s a new year.

It’s a new year.

On Tuesday, Caleb went back to school. This always seems to me to be the logical start of a “new year” rather than January 1st. After all, our lives will be measured in school days for at least another decade, right? So because of that and because of some conversations with my BFF, I’ve decided to make some new year resolutions. It’s time to begin again.

I said back in June, “There is so much room for hope based on what we and other families saw. I need to rebuild that hope within myself right now.” (Balancing Hope)

It turns out that hope doesn’t rebuild itself, I have to do the work. *Booooooooo!* And the only idea I have at the moment is “fake it until you make it.”

I’m going to try to get back to focusing on the positive in our lives again. I’m going to try to get back to being the mom I was before all of this…the one that had to plan weekends and stick to it, the one who would tell her anxious, little boy over and over and over and over what was coming next. The mom who would model deep breathing when his  behavior began escalating rather than snap at him to “get it together.” (P.S. – That isn’t effective, I would not recommend trying it near anything breakable if you decide to test it out on your own child.)

I did all this once, not very long ago either. I can do it again. I just need to stop stomping my feet and screaming over how unfair it is (see how easy it is to slip back to the negative? Redirecting quickly!)

Resolutions!

Bedtime – Caleb has one and, now, so do I. I need to get at least 6-7 hours of sleep and I need to get up at 5:45/6:00. I need the sleep to recharge, to keep my temper in check, to get moving on-time in the morning.

Mornings – We are going to get Caleb to school before the first bell every morning (we had been shooting for 2nd bell). We’ve built in a half hour buffer in the morning. We are 2 for 2 so far. He transitions into the school better when he’s part of the mob that rushes the doors at the start of each day. If it’s a super anxious day and he can’t handle the crowd, we will be there early enough to skip it.

Evenings – We will be starting up homework again. Unlike most families, for us homework is optional. That is probably the one thing that I admit typical parents should feel totally jealous of, we don’t have to have homework battles. We choose to. Errr…put that way it doesn’t seem very smart. Anyway, we got a list of what the 3rd graders will have for homework (reading, every night…) and we have requested the same for Caleb…ours would need to be modified. I’m thinking some of him reading to us and some of us reading to him.

Organization – I have some ideas on how to be better organized to help manage Caleb’s anxiety and for him to gain some additional independence in the mornings in particular. I need to be organized in order to create opportunities for success for myself because I’m tired of failing at life. That requires that I get it together…so that is what I shall do.

I’m excited, these are all things I have control over and I need to feel in control of at least part of my life again. As a bonus, these are things I can do to make him feel better too.

I love a good plan…now to follow it…eep.

Frustration.

Frustration.

I often wonder what it is like for Caleb when he doesn’t have the words he needs. Fortunately, he’s a fairly calm kid who deals with frustration well…he basically dismisses it entirely. He did not get that from me. When I am frustrated I am quiet too but I don’t dismiss it, I stuff it alllll down until I explode…mostly over the wrong things. The explosion helps, but it’s not very healthy.

Right now, I don’t have the words I need. My life has been twisted inside out and the last two months in particular have been awful…full of grief and anxiety. Full of fear. This past weekend my gorgeous, funny, loving BFF was here. We both needed the time together, her life hasn’t been any easier than mine lately. I knew I needed the time and I was holding myself together until she got here and then I thought I would fall apart. But the most amazing thing happened, I suddenly discovered I could breath again. The knots loosened, the feeling that there was a fist in my chest squeezing my heart and lungs just…disappeared.

By the time I got home after dropping her off at the airport though, it was all back. It’s crushing me now…maybe it was before too but before it had built slowly…this felt like a ton of bricks coming down on me. I know I need to do something. I need to find a way to fix this. I find ways to be awesome for Caleb and to make him happy, I wish I knew how to be awesome for me. All I know is to stuff it down, ignore it, cover it over, hide from it…I have a million different ways to do it but it doesn’t make it go away. It doesn’t make me happy, I miss being happy.

I laughed more than I cried today.

I call that a good day.

For those who are still unaware, we had to say goodbye to Copper last Friday. Even after everything we had been through with him, even knowing for weeks that our time together was limited, I was still surprised by how quickly it all happened at the end. At the beginning of last week I had said to Eric that I thought we might not leave the vet’s office with him after his Friday morning appointment and then my boy, a fighter to the very end, rallied and I allowed myself to hope for a little bit more…I am a greedy girl.

Unfortunately,  his rally was more based on his fighting spirit than actual improvement. Monkey was home sick and had accompanied us to the appointment. He was very upset and did not want to take Copper inside when we arrived. After I promised him that we would take Copper home with us, he settled down. Then Copper collapsed in the vet’s office during the exam. Eric took Monkey to the car to wait while the vet and I discussed how to proceed. She did not think it was time to euthanize him, she thought with an adjustment to his medication we would be OK.

She ran some simple blood tests while I waited just to be sure there wasn’t anything more going on. When she brought back the results, the printout was covered in red ink. His kidneys had failed. I was given 2 options, 24-48 hours on an IV in their emergency hospital or euthanasia. I had promised Caleb that Copper would be going home with us. I also just knew…his time was short even with the IV treatment. I didn’t want his last days to be spent with strangers in a hospital. So she gave him fluids under the skin and I told her I would call our regular vet for an appointment the next day.

When we got home around 11, I convinced Copper to eat a bit and we cuddled on the couch. By 2 he was too weak to move around and I moved our appointment to that afternoon at 4. It was utter torture to sit there with him, knowing the minutes were ticking away bringing us closer to our goodbye…mostly because they weren’t going fast enough. I know that sounds horrible but my love for him, this dog who was the only lifeline I could see when my depression had been at its worst, was such that I couldn’t bear his pain. I would take my heartache and grief gladly if only to spare him those painful hours.

Many years ago I promised Copper that I would never leave him. As hard as it was, I kept that promise until his last breath. I’m glad I was there, I know he was completely comfortable at the end. I heard his last breath and felt the last strong beats of his heart, he did not suffer. The suffering is left for us to bear. The only moment I feared I could not cope with was the moment when I had to finally break the promise and leave him there while I went home. It took a long time for me to do it but I did finally do it. I am counting the days until he comes home again for good. I won’t leave him again.

I know there is a good percentage of people who think I’m nuts, some might even be related to me…but he saved my life. When I had to make a promise to my doctor, all those years ago, when she wanted to admit me to the hospital to treat my depression, I promised I would not hurt myself because I couldn’t leave Copper. That promise that I had made to him when I adopted him was the promise I leaned on when I didn’t have anything else.

So today, when my son was spraying me with vomit, I laughed because, really what else can you do at a moment like that? And I suddenly realized that I had laughed a lot today. Even though there is1 a Copper-shaped hole in my heart he did more for me than I could ever hope to do for anyone else. He had been my reason to keep going and, because I did, I found a whole new world of reasons to keep going. I have Eric and Caleb and Holly and these awesome2 Mamas I go out to eat with every month and the Cupcake ladies and CANADA and the Pinterest peeps and you…each one of you reading this and supporting us and loving us…it’s all a gift from him.

So if my love for him seems over the top it’s because his gift to me was so…wondrous.

  1. and always will be []
  2. fucking []

I confuse myself.

Sometimes I think my depression diagnosis is just flat wrong. I think a lot of people might think that because I’m the queen of the Public Face. I am good at hiding the fact that often I can’t say what I need to, I harbor unshareable thoughts and put out a shiny face because that’s how I cope. It’s how I keep taking step after step after fucking step.

I’ll tell you a secret though…I’m the mom of a beautiful boy, a boy I love more than anything…more than anyone…and sometimes I would give anything to be able to go back and do something, anything, to make it the way it was supposed to be.

Can I tell you another secret? Tomorrow, or perhaps even in an hour, I will want to slap myself for even thinking that because this is the way it was supposed to be. He is the child he was meant to be. I have the life, the friends, the husband, the child that I was meant to have and I love them all…I can’t imagine my life without any of them.

So, when you read here and get confused by my near constant cheerful posts and my random black-hearted posts, know this…they’re all true. I am exactly as happy and as pissed off as it seems at any given moment. Now, take a second to consider that and think about what it’s like in my head.

That should cheer you right the hell up 😉

 

I am so with it.

Today is September 21 and I just figured out why I’ve been in a rotten, low down, hide under the covers mood for the last two weeks. No one has ever accused me of being overly bright.

I don’t want to remember that day. I tried really hard to avoid all the anniversary coverage but it was not possible. I really just want to pretend it, and the 6 months following, never happened. It was before Monkey, before Duhdee…it has nothing to do with my life anymore. I’m hoping that by acknowledging that the shock and fear and stress that sent me into a downward spiral, which ultimately left me hospitalized, were real…will let me crawl back out of this hole.

It’s like…I am this great big ball of AWESOME1 but inside is still this teeny, dark seed of misery. I keep hoping will just die if I don’t feed it. So I take my happy pills and I turn my attention to other, much more important stuff and the AWESOME rules. Then I think, “Surely it’s gone now!” and peek.

Dude, I’m that idiot in horror movies who just HAS to open the basement door because it’s been quiet for SO long, surely the ax murderer is gone! D’oh! *sigh*

For those of you who are unaware…depression, it sucks donkey butt. That’s all.

**And I wasn’t going to publish this because *WAHHHH!* but also because it’s still hard to admit…if it’s hard to admit it needs to be dragged out into the light because…feeling ashamed of being depressed is more depressing than just being depressed.**

  1. the most humble sort awesome, of course. []

Unshareable thoughts shared.

I’m moody and snappy and irritated beyond all reasonable limits given the relatively happy situation ’round these parts. My thoughts are tilting noticeably to the blackhearted and ugly and I hate that. It’s not who I am.

It’s weird at times to sit here and type away, sharing so much of myself and my family and not really knowing who is reading it. Most days I don’t think about it. Then again, most days I’m sharing safe thoughts and feelings. Not all of my thoughts and feelings are safe though, some of them scare me.

That whole IEP thing, for example. Sure, it was mildly annoying but I didn’t react like it was an annoyance. I reacted like it was a threat or an attack of some sort. I stewed and fumed about it all weekend. I woke up in the middle of the night thinking about it, getting angry about it again and again. I thought up lots of vicious and cutting things to say to this woman1 who obviously had evil intentions.

Does that sound crazy to you? Yeah, it does to me too. I don’t like the person who thinks those things, who feels that way.

What is at the root of all this? I don’t feel better. It’s been a month since I restarted my Welbutrin and I do not feel better. I should. I want to, oh my god, do I want to. I’m tired of being tired and snappy and having to work so hard to keep focused on the positives.

I’m trying to convince myself that my awareness of my unreasonable moods is evidence that I am getting better. I am just not all the way there yet. But I’m really and truly scared right now that this time it won’t work and that I’m going to feel exhausted and overwhelmed and depressed forever. I’m not supposed to feel this way anymore! I’m supposed to at least be able to feel the freaking breeze on my cheeks.

I know this isn’t rational. I know that I will feel better someday. Maybe tomorrow or maybe the day after that, something will give me the boost I need to get back on the positive side. But there is always that little voice in the deepest part of my brain though that whispers that maybe this time is different. Maybe I won’t ever feel better.

It’s the most hopeless feeling in the world when that voice is louder than anything else.

  1. Who I have never met. []