Rainy Tuesday

It has been a dark, rainy, super-humid kind of day.  

Normally this day would make my mood worse.  Like many, I am happiest in bright sunshine…whether it is the peak of summer heat, or one of those icy cold but blindingly bright January days.  Light = happy.  Today though felt different, as in, it felt much like the weekend, when it was bright and sunny and I still felt like crap.  Oddly, I feel less crappy feeling crappy on a gloomy day, rather than feeling crappy on a beautiful, warm perfect-weather kind of day.  That’s when I feel most like a loser for feeling depressed.

That all said, I am pretty certain that today, on paper at least, was a better day than yesterday.  Yesterday, I did not go to the gym.  I got up, got the kids off to school, and promptly went to bed for another two hours.  In the afternoon I was a bit more productive- I booked the kids into their day camps, made some phone calls that needed to be made regarding the girl, folded some laundry.  

I cried a fair bit, too.  And, like every other day this past week, I took an Ativan to take off the edge.

Days like these it feels like a relief to make it to evening, to see the responsibilities of the day behind me.  To leave a mostly-clean kitchen behind, lunches made for the next day, and to quietly retreat to my bed/haven upstairs.  By the time I get under the covers, I feel mostly calm.  Not happy, but calm.

Today I got out the house and into work on time.  I was reasonably productive.  I ran a bunch of errands after work without getting myself too worked up about it, including taking the boy on an impromptu trip to the mall (which I am so not loving these days).  I hate saying no to the things the kids want to do though because of my depression, so I am proud that I did that for him.  We then came home, made dinner, and I am now winding down.

One week from tomorrow I go back to the psychiatrist.  This is my beacon of hope right now.  I am trying to not overanalyze or judge myself from now until then.  I am not a failure if I need a bit of benzo to get me through, because the important thing is that I get through.

I so, so, so want to feel joy again.  To be happy when I face a new morning.  To look forward to something, anything.  

I felt like this once upon a time.  That used to be my normal.  I have been through depression three times already and made it through to that normal.  Always.  So I need to believe that I will beat it a fourth time too.

 

 

 

Cut me some slack, universe…

I went in to work today feeling weary.  Sorry for myself.  Like, sweet Jesus, can the universe not cut me a break?  

After about a week of mulling over the girl’s new label, I started to feel okay with it.  Like, it is just another convenient descriptor of her, like brown-haired, or creative, or tall.  And she was really seeming ok with things, even lightheartedly calling herself an Aspie at one point.  

They went off to their dad’s on Friday afternoon, the way it always goes.  Routine clockwork.  I was settling into a quiet weekend with G, who was working doggedly on the home stretch of report cards.  I cooked, puttered, went shopping with an old friend Saturday afternoon.  Weekend stuff.

Then, on Sunday afternoon I got a call from xh.  The girl had been apprehended by security at the grocery store.  She’d lifted some makeup.  Could I come and pick up her brother and take him home while he dealt with it?  

My head spun.  OMFG.  SHOPLIFTING?!!???  I quietly freaked out and then raced to the store.  Gave the boy the key to the house and told him to go let himself in.  There was no way I could not be at the store, with her.  Xh wasn’t exactly full of details over the phone. He didn’t know what was going to happen.  They were waiting for the police to arrive.

I kept thinking…she is only 13.  She has ADHD and Asperger’s.  Could this be because of that? Could she have done this on purpose?  Was there an impulsivity thing happening?  We’ve never known her to steal…not from us, not from anyone else.  I was in utter shock.  I started to quietly panic.  This could really affect her future.  Did she even understand what she had done, what this could mean?

I was reeling.

They waited in the little security room at the store, behind an unmarked door.  She was scrunched up, her knees tucked close to her chest.  She was weeping.  I sat next to her and hugged her.  Asked her, in a whispering voice, what had happened.  She said she’d been intending to ask her dad, who was shopping elsewhere in the store, if he would buy these things.  And then she forgot.  

She started to weep louder.  She said that her dad was furious.  She worried that he’d never treat her the same.  He just sat in the corner, glaring at nothing in particular.

I tried to make sense of it all.  

The one thing I could ascertain was that she was scared out of her skin.  I asked her if she understood that what she’d done was wrong, and she said she did.  She said she’d never, ever do anything like that again.

I closed my eyes and prayed for that, in silence.  I’m still praying.  

After about an hour, a police officer showed up.  He asked her to explain what had happened.  He asked her to explain the consequences of what she’d done.  She did.  

And fortunately, he let her off with a warning.  She was thankful.  Very thankful.  We all were.  

Xh thinks she is going to remember this, and learn from it.  I sure fucking hope so.  I can’t bear the alternative.  

***

I am so tired.  Weary.  I said that before, didn’t I?

I look back over the last year and a bit and I can’t believe everything that has happened in my world.  Xh nearly got himself killed.  His assailant (or who the fuck knows) harassing us, under the safe cloak of an anonymous proxy server (I hate you, internet).  My mother’s dementia.  My old acquaintances, anxiety and depression, coming back for yet another visit.  Asperger’s.  

Yes, there have been good things too.  My amazing, supportive man, G.  A stable (even if the pay sucks) job with benefits.  Great, awesome girlfriends.  

I just want a little break, universe.  A break so that I can heal and deal with these challenges that have fallen my way.  

***

It is almost funny, that I’ve stopped thinking about my mood ever since all this stuff came down with my girl.  Oh, my mood is still there. I feel just down.  Sad.  Weary.  Tired.  I have stopped checking the calendar to see how many weeks it has been since my meds were increased.  Stopped looking for anecdotal evidence online that sure enough, this will do the trick.  I go back to the psychiatrist in two weeks.  I do my CBT homework.  I try to stay on top of the usual things of life.  I watch Dexter or Homeland or Breaking Bad in the evenings and I try to get out of my head a bit.  It helps.  

But when will life feel joyful again?  When will I be happy to get out of bed in the morning, rather than grateful at 8 p.m. that the day is coming to an end?  

 

Up…and down.

My girl has been diagnosed with Asperger’s.

While I am not surprised at all, I can’t help but feel sad.  It is the word I have been worrying about since she was 2.  And now it is an undeniable truth.  Not that it wasn’t there before.  I keep telling myself all the right things — things that I know are true — like, she is the same kid she was the day before the diagnosis.  That having a name means she can access all kinds of services that will help her. That her knowing will help her understand that she’s not a bad person, that there are others like her that she can identify with.  That she has so many strengths and that her prognosis is great.

What do I want for her, ultimately? I want her to be happy.  

Maybe my struggle is what happy will look like for her versus what it would look like for me.  I think as a parent we all have a dream for our kids, our version of a good life for them.  Maybe the battle is to reconcile that what their happy is, isn’t necessarily the same as ours.  And really it is their life, and it is unfair of us to project our definitions onto them.  

And right now, the reality is, she is doing pretty great.  She IS happy.  She feels good about her diagnosis…even better than good — optimistic.  

I am so proud of her.  And I love her madly.

***

And in me-land, I am…I think doing better.  Thursday (the day before the girl’s diagnosis) I had the best day I’d had in weeks.  I got a ton done at work, had a relaxing, fun, evening with G.  I even thought about the feedback appointment the next day and how we’d likely be talking about an Asperger’s diagnosis, and I felt good about it.  I was even looking forward to the appointment.  

Then hearing it of course…it felt like a thud in my heart.  But I talked to people about it, her dad, my two closest friends, and of course G.  That helped.  I did shed some tears…partly of sadness, but partly of relief.  Relief that we know more, relief that now we can forge ahead in getting her help in the few areas she needs hit.  And love — I felt love.  Love for the girl, love for me.  And love is strengthening and empowering, only a good thing.

We will forge ahead, in love.