Archive for March, 2011

November 19, 2006

// March 1st, 2011 // No Comments » // Uncategorized

Jae and I went to San Diego to pick up Nicholas today. I’ve seen so many children grow over the last thirty years. I don’t know why it should surprise me when I see it again. But there I was, amazed to see that not only did Nic get taller but he also developed his young man face while he has been in Pennsylvania. His little boy face has been left behind in a time zone that I am completely unfamiliar with. In the meantime he is growing to look more and more like his dad. He has even developed the same deep chuckle Steve had. No one else in the family can imitate that laugh, it was so uniquely Steve. Or so I thought until today. But rather than feel sad over a loss, when I heard him chuckle like his dad, I got happy butterflies in my tummy. I couldn’t have dredged up any sadness for what I have lost, even if I had wanted to, over this boy’s obvious joy as it bubbled out of him when he saw us. What a treat, and truly something to be thankful for!
While Nic is here he will be spending about half of the time with Lori’s family, but he will be here on Thanksgiving Day.

November 6, 2006

// March 1st, 2011 // No Comments » // Uncategorized

I’ve been taking Chris to school in the mornings since August and have started taking a walk three or four times a week after I drop him off at school. I’m able to get about a mile and a half to a mile and three quarters in forty minutes. I know that’s no record but it makes me feel really good! I’m able to get so much more done on the days I take my walk. As soon as I get home I’m ready to dive into the day’s work. And I’m starting to feel better, I don’t have that dragged down feeling I’ve been living with for so long. I talked to my doctor about cutting back even more on my meds in hopes of getting off completely. I told him that I’ll just take it slow, cutting out a little at a time for a few weeks at a time, to see how it goes. If I see that I’m getting depressed again I can go back to the prescribed dose.

November 1, 2006

// March 1st, 2011 // No Comments » // Uncategorized

I used to waste so much time reminiscing and sometimes am still drawn back in time. But why do I ever look back on the “good ol’ days”? Were they truly better than today? Would I have stayed at one point in time, stop growing, not allowing any changes in our family, to keep Steve here? Oh, how I love him and my heart aches with missing him but I don’t think I would have chosen to stop time. He also wouldn’t have been able to grow and change, especially in those final weeks as I know he did. Everything changes. Our tiny town is now a city. Our children have grown and have given us grandchildren, etc, etc. Nostalgia in moderation is fine, even fun. But in the extreme it is a thief robbing Today of its joy. I know now that I don’t have to dwell on the “good ol’ days”. I own all of my yesterdays, each one tucked away inside of me, a building brick in the superstructure of who I am today. I don’t have to look back to find anything because it is all here within me. Every step I have ever taken walks alongside each step I ever will take. The only thing I don’t have yet is the rest of my Todays. Days of choices that help shape my Tomorrows. Today I can choose to be content and to smile. And, in the end, God tells us; all things will be made new. Brand new experiences will fill our Tomorrows. I don’t know what it will be but I know it will be perfect. Lord, hasten the day, and let me be a part of it with all those I love and have loved.

October 20, 2006

// March 1st, 2011 // No Comments » // Uncategorized

This is about when I usually start my yearly low, a few weeks before Steve’s birthday. But so far, I’m doing OK this year. I seem to have a better outlook in general and when I do start to get that pressed into the pit feeling I remind myself of that old phrase that has gotten me through tough times for the last thirty years, “This too shall pass.” I know that the low feeling is but a moment in time. It won’t last forever and sometimes I just need to let it be, do its job, and let it pass on its own. I’m learning that if I try too hard to fight it I put too much focus on what should be fleeting and I give it the energy it needs to stay. It’s better if I just go about my daily activities, do my exercise, and avoid eating sugar. This way I don’t give the sadness a foot in the door, instead he lingers awhile on the step then wanders away.

October 18, 2006

// March 1st, 2011 // No Comments » // Uncategorized

I actually fell asleep on the couch this afternoon, but I had a nightmare. In it I was at my bank and was told I couldn’t access my account because of some procedure changes the bank had made. The teller was no help at all so I asked for the bank manager who was talking to someone several steps away with his back turned to me. I looked at him and noticed that his shirt collar was made of fur. He turned and came to tell me that I had to go to another part of the bank, outside and to the right, through a vine covered pergola of some sort. As I opened the door to go to that other area I realized that that part of the bank was being renovated (or painted, I saw a tarp draped across a chair or a potted tree). I wanted to turn to leave and go back to the part of the bank I had started from but I couldn’t. I was being pulled into the new room; the pull was equal from my head to my feet. I told myself that it’ll be OK, it’s just a dream and I can control it, but even though I kept walking backward the pull wouldn’t let go. I could physically feel the pull as I struggled to wake myself up, but I couldn’t quite do it until I heard a noise from outside that pulled me out of the dream. What is it I need to face but avoid? What’s in that room?

October 26, 2006

// March 1st, 2011 // No Comments » // Uncategorized

I saw my psychologist yesterday. I thought I was feeling pretty good as I walked in so I didn’t know what I was going to talk about. A few minutes after “How have you been?” the ball got rolling. As we talked she helped me to understand that I don’t really believe what I already know. I know that I am an intelligent, decent person, but that shy, insecure little girl who was me rules my emotional responses to everything presented to me. Also, I truly believed that I was able to distance myself from my kids and their problems, but I’m really not. I think that after losing Steve I unknowingly started clutching the others so close to my chest that I’ve been choking the life out of our relationships. For my own mental health, and to help these relationships heal, I need to get that distance. They’re adults for cryin’ out loud! Dave and I bought them up to be strong and resourceful. They can solve their own problems! If they want my help or advice they’ll ask. These realizations feel liberating! I feel lighter.

October 17, 2006

// March 1st, 2011 // No Comments » // Uncategorized

Our family has been steadily overcoming the troubles we were having earlier this year. A week ago Sunday at family dinner we had two episodes of strife and because of our progress they were resolved quickly, but for me it was the straw that broke the camel’s back. It had been coming on for awhile. Steve’s birthday is coming up in a month and I’d been so very tired these past few weeks. I haven’t been able to sleep and this constant fatigue is making me irritable and blue. I’d been holding back my tears for days. Once the dam burst that night I “took to my bed” hiding myself away. I just don’t like to be so public with my tears (even though I often am). As I lay there, numb with exhaustion, desperate for sleep, I had a vision (for lack of a better word). I watched myself as I stepped into our shower, the running water burning my skin as I turned to sit on the shower seat, leaning back against the wall. The hot water had already filled the shower with steam and the full force of the water felt so good as it hammered away at my exhausted, aching body. I saw a pottery shard laying along side the soap. I picked it up, turning it over to examine every aspect of its jagged edges and sharp points. In my vision I saw myself use the shard to slowly pierce my left wrist opening the scar left there many years ago as I washed an old ceramic cup, breaking it. I watched as I forcibly dragged the shard up my inner arm leaving an oozing red line. I imagined the feel of the blood emptying from me and the peaceful rest that it could bring. In my mind’s eye I watched the bright red blood mingle with the hot water on the shower floor as it circled and then slid down the drain, carrying with it my exhaustion and my pain. I continued to lie on my bed reaching vainly for rest.
When I heard my family all leave I got up from my bed as exhausted as ever. No lasting relief from the fantasy I would never act on. I’m too curious about tomorrow and I love my family too much put them through that kind of pain.
The only one I’ve told about this so far is the psychiatrist who is helping me with my depression. I assured her that it isn’t even a remote possibility but the fantasy felt so good, like vicarious sleep while it lasted. She talked a little about the meds I’m taking and asked what time I’m taking the Wellbutrin. With a little embarrassment I admitted that I keep forgetting my second dose with lunch so I’ve been taking it at bedtime. She told me that this medication is somewhat energizing so that’s most likely why I haven’t been able to sleep. It would be better to skip the second dose entirely than to take it after lunchtime. So as a trial I’ll just take the one dose a day in the morning and see if that will be enough to help me maintain a positive frame of mind.

October 11, 2006

// March 1st, 2011 // No Comments » // Uncategorized

This morning after dropping Chris at school I started on my way to visit Mom. I knew when I got up in the morning that I was too tired to make the drive but I felt so committed to the visit. I want so badly to be with Mom as much as I possibly can but these trips are literally wearing me out. I tell myself, “You’re just tired. So is half of America. Suck it up.” This morning I felt like I should push through the fatigue like I always do. I wanted to do the right thing, to go see Mom. She’s counting on me to be there. So I got onto the freeway and started the trip. I always stop at Carl’s Jr about forty miles up the road for a bathroom break. Today as I sat there with my head in my hands I could barely keep my eyes open. I realized that no matter how strong my commitment, I am a danger to myself and others on the road. There was no way I could make the rest of the trip today. Before leaving the restaurant I ordered an iced tea and then headed my van south toward home where I gratefully curled up on the sofa and fitfully slept for an hour. I’m sure I’ll feel better next week.

October 6, 2006

// March 1st, 2011 // No Comments » // Uncategorized

I’ve been driving up to see Mom as often as I can. For the last three weeks I’ve made the 90 minute drive to Lakewood twice a week. By the time I leave Mom the traffic has gotten thicker and the drive home takes even longer. It’s been very taxing on my already depleted reserves. Today as I was making the trek north I found myself seething every time some other driver would cut me off or even something so small as to change lanes without a signal. At one point I actually screamed at someone after he pulled in front of me too close for my comfort. This is just so unlike me. That scream made me take stock of my feelings and from my churning gut I yelled out to God “Why am I so angry!?” In answer tears burned my eyes, slightly blurring my vision. Now I know what the real problem is. It’s not the other drivers. It’s me. I’ve been so busy taking care of everyone else lately that I haven’t taken the time to take care of me. I’m practically exhausted. For weeks now I’ve felt the need to cry but haven’t had the time and opportunity for tears. I just keep packing it down, telling myself I’ll do it later. Well, later came today in the form of rage. Once I recognized it I was able to let a few tears trickle down my cheeks. After a relatively good visit with Mom and an uneventful drive home I curled up on the sofa with one of my favorite tear jerker movies (Beaches) and let it go. I just knew I was asking for serious trouble if I denied myself any longer. And, I do feel somewhat better in that one respect. But oh my word, I still feel so tired!

September 21, 2008

// March 1st, 2011 // No Comments » // Uncategorized

I went to Marisa’s tonight for our weekly “Stamp Night”. It’s always so fun to get together with my girls, even though we don’t always work on a project. On Thursday nights there’s no cooking or clean up to worry about like at family dinner on Sunday nights. We seem to be pretty much past the stress and trials we were having earlier this year and now we can just enjoy each other’s company and visit while the cousins all run around like miniature Keystone Cops!
I had to leave early again tonight. I’ve been so tired these past few weeks but no matter how tired I am I can’t seem to get a good night’s sleep. I lie awake for hours, too tired to get up and read yet unable to doze off. I can’t even get a nap in the daytime, for that matter. I’ve had insomnia as long as I can remember but nothing like this.