Monthly Archives: October 2013

Distractions

Rescue Me

Distraction #1 – and oh, Denis Leary, what a fine distraction you are…

Barely ate breakfast.  Spilled coffee in my car.  Forgot to transfer the car seats.  The only thing getting me through today is the plan to take off all my clothes, crash onto the couch, cover up in a big fuzzy blanket, and sleep for as long as I possibly can before the kids start jumping on my head and begging for milk or juice or fruit snacks or a new DVD.

The only way I’m surviving this week is through distractions.  Any moment I have where I’m not taking care of the kids, I am distracting myself with books, TV, DVDs, computer, anything I can get my hands on that can help me turn off the world, get rid of reality and allow me to soak in a tub full of diversion.

I’m not sure what I should do at this point.  I feel like it’s almost just the right time to check myself into a hospital, but I haven’t accepted that fate yet.  I’m still trying to trudge through this mess, most likely on a crash course to my own destruction.  I want to get off this train.  I feel like I’ve been dropped into a dark lake, dropped right in the exact center of it so that it’s the same distance to the shore no matter which way I swim.  And I’m stuck treading water, not knowing which direction to go.  I’m tired of trying to keep my head above water, my muscles ache, I’m already gasping for air.  I’m ready to give in to gravity, allow myself to raise my hands up above my head and let myself sink down under the surface.  I feel like I owe it to myself after struggling this hard for so long, not even attempting to get to shore, just simply doing my best simply to breathe.

 

Cemetery

cemetery

Went to the cemetery today.

It didn’t feel as I thought it would feel.  It felt like sadness.  And it followed me.  All of those dead souls.  And all the millions and millions and millions of them since the beginning of time itself.

And Allah keeps track of all of them – knows their entire lifetime of each and every soul – closer to us than our own jugular vein (Surat Qaf [verse 16] – And We have already created man and know what his soul whispers to him, and We are closer to him than [his] jugular vein.)

And with all the weirdness I’ve been experiencing, I started to feel like I shouldn’t be there.  And the feeling got stronger the longer I stayed.  And I read the names of people and I saw the things people had left for their dead relatives and I saw a freshly dug grave and I saw fresh dirt on top of one, new grass at a different length than the rest of the grass and I saw one with the years close to my own age and  I saw one with a wooden cross as a marker with their name painted on it who had just been buried 2 months ago.

And one had five colored pictures taped to it all lined up in a row, drawn by five little kids expressing their love to their deceased mom.

I had thought I would be reminded of death – thought I’d be reminded of life and God and the finality of it all and the temporary nature of life itself – but instead I just felt sick to my stomach and a bit lost and somewhat confused.  And maybe it was the four cups of coffee I drank, maybe it was the caffeine that was making me feel so strange and fuzzy, like cotton was stuffed through every inch of my body.

I have been getting really, really tired lately and I feel afraid.  And I feel like it would be a struggle to try to have a normal conversation with someone.   The exhaustion thing just will not go away.  It happens where I will be feeling halfway normal and then all of a sudden, I get this intense wave of exhaustion, so powerful that I have to close my eyes and steady myself to keep me from crashing to the ground and falling asleep right then and there.  Like I absolutely have to sleep or I won’t be able to survive another second.

Then it goes away, just as suddenly as it started, after about 3-5 minutes.

I feel like I am in a fog and that I’m not really myself and that I’m not really here.  And maybe I should take a Klonopin or maybe I should take a walk but I feel like I’m a little bit crazy.  And that makes me feel very nervous.  And what if I am?  Could it happen like this again?  Ann says no – it won’t.  That the medicine will keep me from going too far one way or another.  But I feel so disconnected.  I feel like I’m not really where I am.

I can’t think clearly and it feels like I’m fumbling around in the dark.  And I’m scared someone is going to approach me and know and I’m afraid I will do something that I’m not supposed to do and I feel that way so strongly that I’m kind of expecting it.  Like the time I went into the Subway restaurant with all my papers and binders and pens and asked them to turn on some music and instead they called the cops.  And the cop arrived and asked me what I was doing and I said I was just looking for someplace to work and she said you can’t work here and I said okay and I left and walked back home.

I’m kind of expecting something to happen like that.

Or maybe I will just disappear for hours and not know where I was or what happened.  And my husband will be out searching for me and he will spot me on the side of the road and I will run to him and get in the car and he will say “where on earth were you?” and I will say to him “I don’t know” and I will mean it.  And I will be calm and he will be concerned and then once we were home everything will just spiral out of control and I’ll continue to spiral out of control and it will get worse each day until I wind up back in the hospital again.

And I don’t want to go through that again.  I really don’t.

Family and Cuddly Cats

My sister-in-law came over yesterday.  She talked to us, ate, and played with the kids.  She brought them each a glow stick – both of them went to bed with theirs.  We talked about the stress she is going through.  I told her I was depressed.  We wished each other better.

It was so good to see family, especially when you’re feeling low and really don’t care to see anyone.  Before she came, I had been covered up on the couch, hiding under the blankets, unable to speak to my husband nor play with my kids, who were practically begging me to get up.  (Okay, not “practically.”  Literally.)  When she arrived, we all sat in the dining room together and talked and laughed and played.  We showed her recent videos we’d recorded of the kids, and she took some pictures of her own.

So her visit gave me a brighter outlook.  She told us before she left that we are a beautiful family – we have nothing to be sad about.  Depression hits you in a bad way; even though you may not have a reason to be sad, it still clutches hold of you and won’t loosen its grip.  But she is right at the same time.  I do have a beautiful family – two fun-loving, hilarious boys who give me so much to love and be proud of, a caring, sympathetic husband who doesn’t put pressure on me when I’m feeling depressed, and a sweet ol’ cat who cuddles me (and does a whole lot of purring.)  Even though I still am sad inside, I know in my heart that I have many reasons to be happy.

This, too, shall pass.

detroit

Painful steps

key in lock

My eyes open but I am not awake.  My body stands up, but I remain in bed.

Eventually, I realize I am in the car and I am driving.  I listen to the soft drumming of the guitar and the tinny hum of the harmonica that once pressed against Bob Dylan’s lips to make the recording I’m listening to today.  I feel nothing.  I desperately desire to feel something.  I tug at the hood on my head and nudge it forward to fully close off what surrounds me.

I pace forward.  Each step is hard work.  I follow the procedures at work – turn on the lights, plug in the machine, push here, pull there, click-click goes the key in the lock.  Inside my mind a dullness sets in.  It makes a quiet buzzing noise, enough to distract me from anything occurring around me, causing me to have to strain and lean in and ask “can you repeat that?”

I keep breathing in and out – a sign of life.  I am able to crawl along with my duties, just enough to get by.  Soon I will leave to the comfortable space of my car.  I may linger longer in the car when I return home.  Maybe I’ll watch the rain fall onto the windshield for a while.

Bulletproof

lake outside window in woodsI have a brown hoodie that I wear when I need help.  When I feel like I can’t make it through the day, like I don’t have the strength to face the outside, drivers, faces, conversations.

I got this hoodie from my stint in the psychiatric hospital.  It somehow just showed up in my room, hanging by its hood at the top corner of the door of my closet.  I put it on immediately – it was warm and it was heavy.  I faced the rest of my time wearing that protective cloak, and I wear it now like a piece of armor, like a bulletproof vest.

I haven’t looked at the sky in a long time.  I got sick of looking around and finding, in every direction, man-made creations – ugly buildings, overwhelming signs ordering me this way or that, advertisements posted on every inch of space available.  I looked up at the sky today, but it didn’t make much of a difference.

My therapist rambled on about a concept called “mindfulness.”  Something about soaking in your surroundings, being in the present, etc., etc.  I wasn’t really listening – was more interested in staring at the colors of the tree outside the window and wishing I were somewhere else.  Perhaps cuddled up in a private room in a private cabin on a private lake where no one, not a soul, could get to me.  Maybe reading a book, laying down in the bottom cot of a bunk bed made for “roughing it.”  And after I felt like I’d gotten my fill of falling into a good book, I would take a walk on the wooded path that leads down to the lake and I’d sit down in the small strip of sand in front of the water and I’d sit there.  And my thoughts would be nothing.