The New Normal

(If you’re new to The Lorix Chronicles, you may want to read this first.)

It’s been a while, hasn’t it?  In fact, it’s been over three years since I’ve written a blog post.  Life got busy, and I stopped writing.  And by “life got busy,” I mean life is always busy, always a bit crazy.  I realized (again!) that even though life is busy and crazy, I need to write.  The internet even told me that’s the career I’m meant for.  How do I argue with that?

So I will write.  I might even finish the novel (and I use that term loosely) I’m working on.  I took a 3-year hiatus from that too.

I felt the need to write again because it’s cathartic for me, and I need something cathartic in my life right now.  See, I’m still depressed.  Not everyday for the last three years kind of depressed, but I have my moments.  They last a week, or a month, or a couple months.  I have been diagnosed with chronic depression.  I told some friends from my old PPD group that I feel like I was lied to.  It didn’t get better!  Of course, in reality, it has gotten better, but when I spiral down into one of my depressive episodes it feels like I have always been depressed.  For the past month, this is how I’ve felt.

Early this summer, I went outside every single day, I weeded and mulched, I planted and made my yard the most beautiful it’s been in the 9 years I’ve lived here.  I wasn’t irritated with my children.  In fact, I enjoyed the time I spent with them.  I went camping with my family.  Camping, folks.  As in, doing the one thing that reminds me of panic attacks and my first intrusive thoughts.  And do you know?  I had a great time!  The campground had a pool, and my 4-year-old son “swam” (in his trusty life jacket) by himself, rather than grasping tightly to my suit straps.  He giggled and laughed and loved it.  My 7-year-old daughter read a chapter book, by herself also, and reminded me of my own childhood camping days when I would read-and-read-and-read all day long.  We ate s’mores (of course), made fires, and I even finished reading an entire book myself (Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere – you should check it out).  I had fun.  I relaxed.  I felt like a normal person.  It was great.

Stewart and I took a short vacation.  By ourselves!  We watched movies in the hotel and walked along the Lake Michigan shoreline.  I felt better than normal.  What was this feeling called?  Oh, that’s right: happy.

_DSC0035

This is me, happy.

Relaxation, fun, happiness.  These things happen to me every now and then.

Two weeks after our vacation I took a major mental and emotional dive.  I even had fleeting suicidal thoughts.  What brought me to that point?  Well, other than my schedule being a bit more hectic than usual, not much.  It doesn’t take much for me to feel overwhelmed.  Anxiety and hopelessness overtake my thoughts.  Oh my God, there’s more work than usual.  I can’t handle this.  I need to escape.  I need to be alone.  I shouldn’t be a mother.  I shouldn’t be a wife.

This is how my brain works.  My psychiatrist likes to say that my “perspective gland” is out of whack.  Okay, there is no such thing as a perspective gland, but if there were, mine would be malfunctioning.

I questioned my faith, and, of course, in the middle of my unbelief, I thought Screw you, God.  Then the next thought was There is no God.  Then, If there’s no God, then there’s no hope.  People are horrible, I’m horrible, there’s no reason for any of this.  I just want it to end.

I had those thoughts just a few days ago.  Yesterday, I worked hard, answered phones, solved problems, smiled and felt confident.  I went home, helped my husband make dinner and snuggled my kids to sleep.  Today, I’m in a decent mood.  Everything’s all right.  My perspective gland has shrunk down to its normal-ish size, at least for today, and I can look around and think This isn’t so bad.  I’ve got this.

Tomorrow may be different.  Depression is a strange world, to be sure, but it’s my world and I’m navigating it as best I can, without a map or guide, and never knowing where the next road will take me.  The cycle will continue, I can guarantee.  I am forever a changed person, and I know there will be more depressive episodes.  Later this week?  Next month?   Next year?  I don’t know.  But I’m not going to pretend I’ve got it under control.  I’ll be scared when I’m scared, confident when I’m confident, and crazy when I’m crazy.

In short, I’ll just be me.

(And, I’ll try to write more.)

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5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. dmessinger
    Aug 29, 2014 @ 05:40:56

    I love your honesty, and I love you even more. My favorite part of your post was the part where you felt lied to. Depression doesn’t always go away or get 100% better, and doctors don’t always have the answers, but I have found that it can be managed differently at different stages in life. Here is a “Deep Thought” that will hopefully give you a smile…

    ” The crows seemed to be laughing at him and calling his name.” thought Caw.

    Like

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    • lorixmom
      Aug 29, 2014 @ 21:22:20

      Dee – I giggled. Thanks for the laugh!

      How about this one: “If you saw two guys named Hambone and Flippy, which one would you think liked dolphins the most? I’d say Flippy, wouldn’t you? You’d be wrong, though. It’s Hambone.”

      Like

      Reply

  2. misstikiwak
    Aug 28, 2014 @ 20:31:21

    I recommend the Zen Path Through Depression; it was a good read for this depressed Catholic. The thing about motherhood is everything changes. I’ve had depression since childhood, but definitely the hardest times were when my children were young. They are ever spinning machines of need, and we have to be there for them. It gets easier. Be well.

    Like

    Reply

  3. ferndalemama
    Aug 28, 2014 @ 20:21:18

    Thank you for coming back! I can’t be the only one who reads your words and thinks, “you mean I’m not the only one?!” Thank you for your honesty and for sharing your perspective. I, for one, feel a bit better for reading this!

    Like

    Reply

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