I have started writing different variations of this post no fewer than two dozen times in the month or so it has been since I last updated this blog, but the weight of the depressed funk I have been in is like a lead cloak and makes it really difficult to lift my arms and type for any length of time. If I haven’t been in a frothy panic to get my homework done at the last minute because I have been procrastinating, I have been working my sluggish ass off to get a household chore half-finished, only to have more filth pile on top of what got left unfinished as soon as I turn my back. When I am not doing that I am either sitting up at all hours of the night swearing the gods of sleep or crying at 2:30 in the afternoon because I fell asleep on the couch and slept my day away. So you can see… I have been far too busy coating myself in awesome failure to make time for blogging.
Before I venture too far into the soupy mire that is my current frame of mind I want to acknowledge the positive that has happened in my world. The 4th of January was my 4 month non-smoking anniversary! So really I am at about 4 ½ months now. I turned 40 without incident and my birthday party was a blast! I had an awesome Christmas. No major family fights. The weather cooperated for all of the driving we had to do. We had our nieces for a week after Christmas, which is always a blast. Oh! And I hit the jackpot for gifts this year! Big Orange got me a new iPod touch replacing the 2nd generation iPod touch that I have been limping along for the last several years. It is pink and it is a 32 gig rather than the 8 gig I had before. I am in love with it. Also, I got three new pairs of Sock it to Me knee-highs in my stocking and the black sparkly Old Navy fake Uggs I have been wanting for two years. My brothers chipped in and got me the photo box setup I badly needed, and I got the popcorn maker I asked for… oh yeah! And several books I have been dying to get my hands on! All in all the holidays/birthday business were a win for me… which is why the depression I have been wrestling like a rabid fucking crocodile is so upsetting.
I always get a little bummed when the holidays are over and the pressure of the New Year is on. I want my world to be wrapped in twinkly lights and glitter and chilly holiday cheer 365 days a year! But it always ends… I could keep it going but everyone else gets sick of it. In reality, as sad as taking down the Christmas tree and putting away my zombie Christmas village is, it wasn’t the end of the holidays that kicked off my depression issue. My family avoided a major Christmas blowout, which is saying a lot when considering years past, but being around family always brings up little issues. Certain people just pick scabs.
Once one scab is lifted then it reminds me of other wounds, maybe some that are a little deeper than others… this starts a horrible cycle wherein I carry all of my little hurts around in a jar and the moment I feel any sort of pride or confidence, I rip the lid off the jar and start huffing the ghosts of my past like a hobo greedily sniffing jenkem under a freeway off-ramp. Then when I feel so down that sleeping my life away sounds like the only viable option, I chop up a great big line of “what ifs” and fuel myself on the anxiety of living out my worst nightmares playing on an infinite loop in my head. It is sick and awful and I hate when I do this but I can never remember how in the hell I pulled myself out of the muck in previous visits to the fucking swamp of sorrows once I am in waist deep. I should probably seek a little professional help at this point but I think I will give it another month. I could use some therapy and I am not at all opposed to it but I don’t want to go down the bumpy path that is medication because I think I can overcome this without it at this point. If it gets worse I will start getting serious about help.
Any of you who followed this blog in its previous incarnation know that I don’t really do the whole New Year’s Resolution thing because I feel like it is just setting myself up for failure, which will only result in more self loathing than is necessary. That is not to say that I just go waltzing into a new year all willy-nilly though, no, I have a goal setting process that lasts roughly 365 days and begins anew when I take the old calendar off my wall and put up a fresh one. What I like to do is take a serious inventory of the previous year and decide what I didn’t like about it and how I can change it. These goals usually deal with pretty big things… yes, I have the I want to lose weight or exercise more goals too but the most important goals I have (and the ones I stick to the most) are the ones having to do with how I have behaved and handled myself through the previous year and what I feel good and what I feel really shitty about. For me it is about acknowledging my happiness or unhappiness, appreciating or taking responsibility it, and understanding how I can make needed changes that will result in more of that elusive happiness.
After assessing it, I am calling 2012 The Year of the Self-Loathing Shut-In because I spent more time locked away in my house criticizing myself than I have since the year I got sick with Ramsay Hunt Syndrome. This is another infinite loop that I need to create a terminating condition for. There are generally two reasons I don’t want to go out; the first being a genuine health situation and, the other being a narcissist meltdown over the way I look on a given day. There isn’t a lot I can do about the first cause because sometimes I just have bad days with balance and that is something I have to live with. What I can do is look at those days for what they are without allowing them to result in a meltdown day. As for these meltdown days… well I am going to have to force myself to interact with people (like real people in person) even when I think I am the ugliest, no-talent, cow, hack on the planet. I am ashamed to say that I can’t remember how many times in the last year that I have realized I either didn’t know when I last left my house, or I have gone out and realized I hadn’t left my house in over a month. I am not joking here people, I think my record was from the last week of March when we got home from Mexico to the second week of June when we went to the coast for my mom’s birthday!
THERE IS NO REASON IN THE WORLD THAT A SANE ADULT SHOULD STAY INSIDE THEIR HOUSE WITHOUT LEAVING THE FRONT PORCH FOR TWO AND A HALF MONTHS!!!! Really, if it weren’t for our 4th of July camping trip and our Labor Day camping trip I might not have left our house all summer! This is unacceptable. One of the things that I am doing to combat this is making plans with my friends. One of my goals for the year is to start spending more time with people who make me feel good (and less with those who don’t but I will get to that in another post). This week I went out to dinner with one of my best besties ever and then we went to Target for a little retail therapy after dinner. I had a wonderful time! I love my friend Robin and she is a very important person to me and I felt awesome after getting out for an evening with her.
I have a date with my sweet friend Sharon next week and I am my friend Loni and I are trying to reschedule a date that I had to cancel earlier in the week for next week or the week after. Oh! And I am going to a dinner on Saturday with a bunch of women who all had kids in preschool with my son… I haven’t seen most of these ladies in close to 12 years! Rather than fret about the fact that few of them know I had Ramsay Hunt Syndrome or know I use a cane, and none of them really know what I look like now (the very thought of this would have forced me to sequester myself for weeks last year at this time) I am going and I am expecting to have a wonderful evening of catching up. My goal is to see each of my best friends at least once a month and to go out at night with my husband at least once every two weeks. It is an overwhelming thought to tell you the truth. In fact, if I think about it too much it makes me feel very anxious! But if I calm down and really think about the prospect of having a real social life again, I eventually remember that I feel better when I am spending time with people I love and doing things that I love.
I will be back in a few days to tell you all about more goals for 2013, update you on my social goals, and tell you about my sleep apnea test! For now I had better try and make myself go to bed because it is 1am, which means that by the time I post this, shower and get in bed, I will only have about five/ five and a half hours to sleep before Cinnamon Roll Friday happens around here (and I can’t be sleeping though Big Orange cooking eggs, bacon, and orange cinnamon rolls for The Boy and I)!