Archive for January, 2012


Slow As

Things have been slow and kind of sepia toned around here. Everyone was sick, about three week worth of, and I’ve been depressed. I’m not through it yet, but I seem to be on the ever so pokey upswing. There is no sickness. Everyone is better, except me. I am trying. I swear.

For me, I kind of shuffle along wondering what the hell is wrong with me for a while (usually for a day or two, but this time for more than a week) feeling ill, but not really being sick; lethargic; sad; hypersensitive; easily irritated; TIRED; and negative. Then I open my eyes one day and see that I’ve fallen into the bottom of a well that seems so deep there is no view of sunlight at the mouth. It’s like I’ve fallen swift and silent to the deeps of depression. Gently landing at the silt lined bottom so that I don’t even know I’m there until I finally gaze around myself and see the truth.

The climb out is slow and laborious. It feels like swimming through molasses: draining and sucking, cloudy and opaque. The first step out for me seems to be the moment I recognize my mental surroundings and pinpoint the hallmarks of what’s happening to me. Then as I process that I find that I can talk about it a little. Let my people know what’s up. Cry at them some and begin the painful process of beating myself up over my failings. It’s a backwards way to function for sure, but that is where I am right now.

I’m doing more. Participating in life more, but it’s like this quicksand that is sucking at my brain and body and refusing to let me go. I feel bogged down and the effort to function, even minimally, is so, so, so hard. I have kids, though, people, and I homeschool them. Somehow that saves me. I have a purpose. One I cannot shirk. So I do not, at least so far as my kids are concerned. Me on the other hand? Eh.

The evenings seem to be the worst.

When I come to the end of my rope with my kids. When I look around and see how much I didn’t accomplish. When I stare into the fridge and just wanna go get hamburgers. When I look in the mirror and hate what I see. When I recount what crap I’ve put into my body when I wasn’t even hungry. When I go to bed feeling like I’ve failed again for one more day. Egads. That’s freaking depressing.

I get up even though I don’t want to. Mostly I don’t shower, but I did this morning. I haven’t been doing what my PT said to and my back has started acting up again. So I stretched this morning like I’m supposed to. First time in a long time. I put on clothes. Sometimes they are clean and sometimes not depending on whether I’ve been able to wrangle up enough energy and care to get some laundry done. I get out the clothes for the kids and order all types of brushings to occur. I brush my own teeth. Brushing my teeth is a must no matter what. I fix the kids’ breakfast and get my first cup of coffee and make Pieces’ lunch for preschool (four days a week) and I do morning e-checks: email, facebook, google+, news feed, blogs I follow. Then I set up Chi’s workbook work and go over it with him before taking Pieces to school. Then I come home and school begins. This can take anywhere from an hour per kid to four hours total depending on their attitudes and how much challenge they are up for. A snack time for the kids occurs about halfway through school and after school comes lunch. What we have varies on my energy level.

For Depression. I haz it.

Then we pick up Pieces and run errands if there are any to be had. At this point, I should come home and work with Pieces on reading and maybe do a load of laundry and clean something. But what’s been happening since the holidays expired is a whole lotta nothin’. I am mostly completely done. All I want to do is crawl under the covers and sleep until the next day starts. I’m having a hard time even having kids over to play with my kids because I don’t want to be around anybody. I don’t want to talk. I don’t want to socialize. I avoid the phone like the plague and I don’t write or do anything else creative. I’m in the middle of crocheting a gift for my cousin who had a baby right after Christmas, and I struggle to work on it (Sorry, Bec!). I’ll get it done, but at this rate, Little Jack might be heading into Kindergarten.

I’m mostly saying all of this as an explanation for my lack of posting. I have almost nothing positive to say and I’d rather stay positive here, especially since this depression feels so effing self-centered. So I’ll stop now before I get even more sick of myself, but I’d like to say one last thing.

Pieces read a book. He was ever so proud of himself. It was the first book of Level One of the BoB books. It had about 5 different words, but he really got what we were doing with those letter sounds he’s been working so hard to learn. It felt really good right when I really needed it to when his face lit up and he announced to his dad that he “read a book about Mat and Sam. They sat. On each other and by each other.”

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Zombie Earth

My youngest children were plotting the demise of humanity in the back seat today.

 

Pynni:  What if the zombies won?

Pieces: Yeah.

Pynni: What if the zombies took over Earth?

Pieces: What about the aliens?

Pynni: What if there were only zombies? What if the Earth became Zombie Earth? When the aliens came they’d see only a big giant zombie face because the zombies are all that live on Earth.

Pieces: Yeah. The zombies would eat the aliens.

Pynni. Yeah. And I’d be in charge.

I’m not real big into the whole “New Year’s” thing. I don’t, on the whole, look back at my year with grateful fondness, or wistful nostalgia, or even apathy. It was a time period. It passed. What’s coming up this afternoon? Tomorrow? Next weekend?

In the same vein, I do not look forward with gleeful hopes of major lifestyle changes. I don’t plan lists of resolutions that will get dumped and/or forgotten in the first few days of the year. Sure, I have things I’d like to change about myself: lose weight, eat better, get more exercise, be more patient, smile more, laugh more, etc. But this dreamer is a realist and I know that making a giant list of “THIS IS WHAT I’M GOING TO DO, DAMMIT” is just setting myself up to fail which injures a self-esteem that wobbles from assured and confident to shattered and bewildered and back again.

Those things I’ve listed? I like to think I work on them always. I’m far from perfect and I’m a professional rebel. I question all authority, even that which I have over myself. “Self,” I say, “Self, sodas are bad for you. They rot your teeth and they are addictive and they make you fat(ter).” Self gives me the finger and has soda. So I have to play mind games with Self and trick it (me). (I AM NOT CRAZY!)

So, anyway. What I thought I wanted to say, was that with all the above mentioned things in mind (that’s YOU keeping those things in mind since I already know them), I was thinking about this year passed. It was a year like any other, I guess. It had bad, dark moments, months even, but then the light always broke through and things got better.

There were things like:

My back. It was awful at the beginning of the year. I was heading into month four and I was still almost completely stuck lying flat, no sitting or standing. Very little vertical allowed or even possible. The pain was awful. I saw my chiropractor two times a week until March or so and then I saw him every week until August when I was finally able to start physical therapy. Now I go once a month and physical therapy is over. And you know what? I’m better. I’m still at risk for surgery, but I have tools to help myself, now. Yoga for one and Tai Chi for another. Pain is minimal and sometimes gone altogether which is a revelation!

Chi. His third grade year was so much better than his second grade year thanks almost entirely to Miz Eff, his third grade teacher. We fretted and worried and planned and prepared and still I just knew that Chi was going to bomb that End of Grade test, but when we got his scores, he was among the top 5% in his grade. And all with no drama. He just let that test roll right off him as if it was nothing. I’m still not sure if it was nothing because we prepared so much, or because Chi was just inexplicably unaffected. Then we started homeschool in the fall and that has exceeded my wildest imaginings for what it would do for him. He is wholly himself. He hops around on his exercise ball and answers questions. He will even write a few sentences with no complaints. He loves school. He is more calm and collected than ever and seems so at ease in his own skin. A first.

Pynni. The start of 2011 began the odyssey that pushed me over the edge and made the decision to homeschool. It has been a hard row to hoe with her, but we seem to have hit our stride. I can only guess that most of our issues stem from how her Kindergarten experience damaged her self-esteem. It took four long months but she is reading. The light returned to her eyes when she was reading a short book to me and as she struggled through and sounded out all the words without any help from me, I touched her cheek to get her attention and said, “Pynni. You’re reading. Do you realize that? You. Are. Reading.” A grin that became a full on smile that lit the room (I swear) dawned across her face. Every so often, now, she’ll be reading quietly to herself and turn suddenly and say to me, “I really love to read!” All of that has made school with her easier, quicker and more enjoyable for the both of us.

Pieces. My fabulous, jolly little man is in preschool again and again it is all business. He loves it, but he is very serious about school. And it turns out, he may be my smartest child. He knows all of everything he is supposed to know for Kindergarten already. I’m going to start teaching him to read.

Doodle. He lived with us for most of 2011. Things got strained at the end. Things that are too personal, and still yet, painful to put down here. He moved out and then promptly got a new job and moved away. I will not be seeing him much anymore, although we talk on the phone. We have a very special relationship, my brother and me, and distance has never interfered, but I miss his presence. With his move comes the reality that his kids won’t be here much anymore, but we will get them here for a week or so every summer. I can be happy with that. Content? No, but happy and grateful for any amount of time for sure.

Grandad. My maternal grandfather was hospitalized after Thanksgiving. He’s had bypass surgery before and due to his age and heart issues, he is no longer a candidate for bypass surgery. Things were very sketchy for him there for a bit. He is very at peace with where he is in life and what his life has represented. He is a Godly man who has spent much of his adult life ministering to those in need, and I don’t mean preaching. His life is such a great example of what being Christian means. I can look at his example and be less jaded. Still, I am not ready to say good-bye and I am very grateful that he pulled through and is at home recovering.

Yeah, 2011 was mostly good. I’m sure I could month by month it and list all the things, good and bad. But I won’t. 2011 ended and I’m moving onward, but resolutions? Nah. I’m constantly working on bettering myself. One thing, though. I’m making my cousin a scarf or something, even though she hasn’t blogged SINCE JUNE!