Monday, August 12, 2013

So you're....sad?

Oh, you guys..... things are so messed up.  I just wanted to write and apologize for the lack of posts.  I've desperately missed writing.  I just....don't even know where to begin.

I guess I'll begin by saying that...I'm still really, really struggling with my depression.  And, as many of you know, one of the things that happens when you have depression is that you don't care about stuff you used to care about.  I'll be like, "Dang, I miss writing on my blog.  But I'm just...not in the mood."  And then it's like that for months.

The good thing is that I've been really proactive about getting help.  I've started seeing a therapist.  I can't say that I've seen a dramatic change in my thinking processes or whatever, but it does help to talk to someone who doesn't know you from Adam, someone who won't judge you, someone who is subjective.  Sometimes she'll give me homework assignments or suggestions, and sometimes they help; and sometimes they don't.  A lot of what she and I work on is my relationship with my kids.

One of her homework assignments I've done is taking two "breaks" a day - breaks from housework and cooking and yardwork to spend good, quality time with the kids.  We play games or read together or snuggle. And I think it's really helped our relationship.  The kids are less of a pain in the butt to me, and I'm finding more joy in them.  So that's been really great. 

My gynecologist was the one who first diagnosed me with chronic clinical depression 13 years ago.  We changed medicine once, when I started having kids - we switched me to a medication that was safe for use during pregnancy - and I did great.  I felt like me.  I felt like I could handle stuff.

Then I got this damn hysterectomy, and....I feel like my brain broke.  My meds stopped working.  Or maybe my hormones are weird, though my gynie swears up and down that shouldn't be the problem, since my ovaries are still in there.   But I have my suspicions.  He put me on additional meds, which didn't help.  Then he switched my meds.

I just learned from an actual psychiatrist that it's an old-fashioned practice to wean a person slowly off their existing meds and wean them slowly onto new meds.  I sure wish I had known that it was old-fashioned.  Because that weaning period was....really, really rough.

And now I'm not in that dark of a place, but I'm still not back to where I was before the infernal hysterectomy.  Worst decision of my life to have that thing. I mean, my bladder and uterus were collapsed inside my body, but you big whoop. :)  It hurt, but at least my brain was in tact, you know? 

If you don't have your sanity, you don't have ANYTHING.

I worry about what affect my moodiness and crying is having on my kids.

And on my marriage.

But help is on its way.  I'm going to bite the bullet (in this case, "the bullet" is a $300 charge) and see a real psychiatrist next week.  I'm literally counting down the days.  I know he can help me. 

I just hope I can last 10 more days.

But you know me - I try to look for funny stuff to help me through the hard stuff.  I had a girl in my ward - a darling girl - who learned that I'd been struggling, ask, confusedly, "But you're not withdrawn or crying.  You are sitting here, animatedly talking to me.  Are you...putting up some kind of front??"  No.  You're just catching me at a good time. 

It's really funny, in and of itself, to try to describe or explain clinical depression to someone who hasn't ever experienced it.  I had another sweet, sweet lady come to visit me.  Here was our conversation:

Cute Lady:  So you've been.....sad? [Looking at me with skepticism as I'm sitting on the couch, chatting and giggling with her.]
Me:  Well, sometimes I'm really, really sad.  So sad.
Cute Lady:  But you seem happy.  You're always smiling.
Me:  Well, when you see me, I'm at church.  And my kids are away in Primary.  And I'm getting edified and surrounded by people I love.  So I'm happy.
Cute Lady:  So when a person has clinical depression, they're not constantly sad, all the time?
Me:  No.  Sometimes I'm happy, and sometimes I'm really, really sad.  And a lot of the times, I'm just extremely angry.
Cute Lady:  Did something happen to you to make you so sad?
Me:  Nope.  A lot of the time, I can't even identify why I'm sad.  I'll be crying, and I have no idea why.
Cute Lady:  [Looking at me skeptically again] You cry for no reason?
Me:  Yeah.  I know it's weird.

Something that entertains me lately is to notice when I cry and laugh at how ludicrous the things that make me cry are.  I started making a list, titling it appropriately:

Things Kar Should Avoid

1.  VH1.  I was riding my exercise bike a couple of weeks ago, watching music videos, and I could not stop bawling.  I kept blinking really fast, and looking away, and taking deep breaths, and trying not to think about the videos, but there wasn't anything else on, and I really did just want to watch music videos!  It all started with the video to "Mirror" by Justin Timberlake.  Watching the elderly couple do the jitterbug together....oh my gosh.  I lost it.  I kept it together enough not to sob aloud, hoping that nobody was looking at me as tears streamed down my face as I did the Rolling Hills ride on the exercise bicycle. 

But then the song "Bruises" by Train and some country chick came on, and it's talking about how we all have emotional bruises, and dude.  That should be the name of my web page.  "Get it together, Kar," I muttered.  Don't think about the words.  Look at the rags used for wiping down equipment.  Listen to that guy over there slamming his weights.  Focus on the big screen TV in the middle of the room that says positive, enlightening things, like, "You are strong and amazing. You can do anything."  Nothing was working.  I just kept thinking about how we all have bruises, and I was bawling about it.

Then Macklemore gets on with his music video about his gay uncle, and it's showing this poor gay kid getting bullied in high school, and then being lonely in college, and then meeting another guy and dating him, and then the guy proposing to the gay guy, and then them getting married, and I thought of my darling, darling gay friend and THAT. WAS. IT.  I was full-on sobbing.  I had to actually run to the ladies room.  I stayed in there, weeping about this dumb Macklemore video for like half an hour. 

What is WRONG with me?? 

I think part of the reason I was bawling was because I was bawling.  I was in a gym, for goodness' sake.  I wasn't alone in my bed, or curled up on my couch, or other acceptable bawling areas.  I was in the middle of the gym, exercising.  Sweating.  I should have felt like a million bucks!!  So dumb.

2.  My bathroom.  I can't ever be in there alone - there's always someone in there with me.  And the dang thing is six feet by six feet.  Including a bathtub.  Sunday mornings can be especially hectic in there.  I hit my head on my cabinet a couple of weeks ago when our entire family was crammed in there, and my frustration at having only one bathroom for six people just OVERFLOWED.

I cried walking all the way to church.  I had to go to the bathroom there and get my act together.  Because I hit my head on a stupid cabinet.

3.  The kitchen.  Again, too small.  If anyone but me is in there, something gets brushed against and spilled.  Usually an old bowl of cereal that no one will rinse.  So then I start crying, because I can't find the energy to rinse the dishes and because the dish got knocked over and because I have to clean the dang mess up. 

4.  Driving.  I just start thinking about my frustration and start bawling.  If you see me in the car crying, just move along.  Nothing spectacularly horrible has happened to me.  I didn't just get into a wreck.  I'm just bawling in my car.

5.  Conversations about my housing situation with anyone.  Long story short, my family is outgrowing our house.  And we're also kind of tired of scary situations in our neighborhood.  We looked into being able to move. We can't.  We won't even get what we still owe on the house.  So I'm stuck here, hitting my head on cupboards and brushing against, and then spilling, old bowls of cereal.  And having scary things happen near my children.  Forever.

But then I feel guilty, because I almost feel like my house is a living, breathing entity, and that I'm cheating on the house by wanting to leave the house.

Yes, I feel guilty about hurting my house's feelings. 

I also feel guilty when I throw old shirts with holes in them, away.  I have to wrap them in their own little bags and turn away when I throw them in the dumpster in my alley.  And I verbally tell them how sorry I am.

I told you I was crazy.

6.  Making plans with anyone that will cost me more than like $15.  I can't afford it.  And because I can't afford it, I feel resentful and trapped. And then I feel guilty for telling the person that I can't afford it.  And then I feel like a crappy friend.  And then I get really mad that we're poor.  And then I cry a lot.

But look, I made another list.  Wanna see?

Things Kar Should Go Out of Her Way to Do

1.  Yoga.  Yoga literally makes me feel like a goddess.  It makes me not want to swear for a good hour afterward.  Like I am above such nonsense.  I can handle anything.  I am strong and lithe.  I am a warrior.  I am confident. 

2.  Go to lunch with friends.  You have no idea how much this helps me. 

3.  Eat Caramellos as often as possible.  The best candy bar ever made.  And when I'm eating one, for one minute, I feel like I'm in heaven.  Like life is so delicious and fantastic.

Did you know I didn't used to care that much for chocolate?  Not until this depression thing started kicking my butt.  Now I cannot stop.  Interesting, no? 

4.  Watch 30 Rock.  That show makes me laugh so hard.  I never cry when I watch 30 Rock.

5.  Cuddle my five-year-old.  He is the best cuddler ever.  I should just basically hug him all day.  When we're cuddling, he's not slapping his little brother or stealing his sister's toys or swearing at his big brother (I'm raising my hand in acknowledgement.  That part - my son swearing like a sailor - is my fault.  He heard it from me.  I own that, sadly).

6.  Gab on the phone to our Infant/Toddler Case Worker.  She's like a ray of sunshine, pouring into my ears.  She makes me laugh and makes me feel human.  And now that Gage is three, she's no longer our case worker.  I'm trying not to think about that.

So I don't know.  I'll try harder to write more.  Because writing really does make me happy.  See?  I just thought of a number 7 on the second list.  I'm just trying to find a good balance between time on myself and time with my kids.  Plus dealing with the whole losing-interest-in-pasttimes thing that happens when you're depressed.   So you know, hang in there.  Old Kar will be back soon.  I hope.

I miss her.


Patty said...

(Arm around your shoulder) *sigh*

Kathleen said...

Just know that you are loved by a lot of people. Really, you are... Hugs.

Mindy H. said...

I'm so sorry you have been having such a rough time! I hope your docs get your meds figured out so that your adorable brain can get back to being awesome.
I will be sending lots of prayers your way!

brooke said...

It shouldn't be that hard for anyone. I hope you can find your happiness soon. Did you know that Carmello's are my favorite candy bar, like ever?? Who knew?!! huh.

Megan said...

I feel like a horrible friend that this is the first time I'm reading this post! After almost a week of it being up!

I LOVE you Kar! You are seriously, SO. STRONG. I don't know how you do it! You are such a good house wife and mom. I'm so glad you're doing therapy and spending more time with your kids! I need to do that too! Know that you are loved, no matter if you're crazy, sad or bawling like a baby in the gym! :)

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