Thursday, October 30, 2014

Everything but the kitchen sink

I kind of feel like the blog is starting to resemble kitchen sink soup (where you throw an entire week's leftovers into a pot and hope for the best). Sometimes it's delicious and sometimes ... well, sometimes it gives you stomach cramps and you end up slurping Pepto with a straw.

So, uh. Here.
A crazy straw seems apropos.
Part of it is just because I'm kind of random (have I said this like 500 times before? I kind of feel like I've said this 500 times before). Part of it is because I didn't start blogging with a clear purpose. Part of it is because everything just sort of bleeds onto the page when I sit down to write. But even I'm forgetting what I'm doing, so I'm thinking of semi-regularly listing some of my favorite things in each of the categories linked above. Are your straws at the ready? Here we go.

***

Crafty-wise, I made these.


A whopping five of them thus far (here's the inspiration/instructions, which yes, theirs looks WAY better than mine).

***

Crochet-wise, I just discovered Moogly and I can't get enough. I want to live in that website. And I'm working on my first-ever afghan with this adorbs hexagon pattern. I've made ... two of them.


Because I really stick to things, you guys. I am a highly motivated individual. Highly motivated to oversleep and play Words With Friends and eat massive amounts of candy corn.

***

For 20 years from now ...
In the motherhood department, can I just take a moment to say I LOVE MY JOB. I know full-time SAHMing is not for everybody and yes, even I occasionally want to lock myself in my bedroom and watch Netflix for 14 hours straight instead of being asked for the umpteen thousandth drink refill.

But I love it. I really do.

Also, just saying that is probably going to set off a domino effect.

Like the time I told someone who was harassing me at the store about all. those. babies the only reason I make it is because, "they're just really, REALLY great kids" ...

.... and then the older two stole Baby Bottle Pops while I was checking out (first time this has happened).

Nice.


***

Clicking along to photography, I keep getting random flashes of panic that I didn't take enough pictures of K's first year. I'm pretty sure this is illogical because I take billions upon billions of pictures.

I also never, ever, ever exaggerate.

I did manage to get all three of them completely dressed and into the front yard for a fall photo shoot of sorts.

Everyone is looking at the camera therefore, I win. #highstandards
My goofball.

My beauty.

My "WTF is this?" child.

***

In randomness, I recently did a series on my struggle with postpartum depression and premenstrual dysphoric disorder, which was followed by a tremendous drop in blog hits. I know it doesn't matter. I know. I know. But I did find it an interesting correlation/possible confirmation of the whole "no one really wants to know about your problems and would you please just shove those metaphorical bleeding guts back into your stomach cavity, shut up and ACT LIKE YOU'RE FINE, DAMMIT" attitude. It was rather discouraging, but I'm clinging to the hope maybe all the stuff that burbled out will help somebody else. That makes it worth it.

Also, I'm trying to break my habit of saying "like" in conversations because I realized a week ago that I say it all. the. time.

Also, I discovered taking vitamins with nothing but coffee in your stomach will make you feel like you're dying.

AND, get this. The blueberries in blueberry instant oatmeal ARE NOT REAL BLUEBERRIES. :O:O:O

I mean, okay. On some level, I knew this all along. Of course I did. But, still. Saying something is a blueberry when it isn't a blueberry? Not cool.

I mean, that's like saying politicians are naturally orange.

Doom-pa-dee-do
(source)
Shut up. Of course they are.

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Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Survive {PPD Part 8}

The end! The end! Hallefreakinglujah! It's the end of the saga! I kind of feel like I need a "I survived writing about this and all I got was this lousy T shirt" T shirt. It's been really hard. H. A. R. D. But now it's out there. Now you know. And now, more importantly, I know. It's kinda priceless, the knowing. The acceptance of the jagged edges. The willingness to work at it.

Mostly, though, I'm just really, really, really unbelievably glad it's over. Thanks for sticking with me.

Previously:
The Monster is Back and It Won't Do the Dishes {Part 1}

***

The first few months after Kellan was born were wonderful (as wonderful as sleeping in two hour increments can be, really). But the depression came back. And it got bad, really, really, really bad, before I finally took my own advice.

In June, I started feeling like everything from brushing my teeth to keeping up with housework was a Herculean task. Then I got the itch to dye my hair a crazy color (for some reason that's generally a warning sign that something in my head needs attention). Then I started spending massive amounts of time on the Internet avoiding life.

And then the thoughts started again. I was not worth the air I was wasting. My family would be better off without me. I was broken beyond repair.

I'm still floundering with my Christianity and what that means, so instead of being able to accept the great big grace of God, I just felt guilty. I should have figured it out by now. I had used up all the mercy for reals this time. There was nothing wrong with my life and I had no reason to feel this way.

I started crying about everything. Stopped taking care of myself. Let the suicidal thoughts build to a crescendo that drowned out all else. Everywhere I looked I saw a possible “out.” But this time, in LARGE part due to the prodding of my family, I managed to drag myself to the doctor. I told her everything from the beginning - the postpartum depression after Gracelyn, the suicidal thoughts, all of it. Instead of judging me, she gave me another lifeline. A diagnosis. Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD). Which is basically PMS on crack and meth at the same time. Craaaazy bad hormone cocktail.

And guess what? It was not my fault.

There was HOPE. There was HELP. Medication and counseling and doing this super-awkward mindfulness exercise thingy where you pretend you're a tree. So. Weird. And it's working.

I'm beginning to accept there is no “getting back to normal” from this point on. It's about finding a new version of normal, or even chucking the whole “normal” premise out the window and starting over with something else entirely. Stasis, maybe. Balance. Some days just straight survival.

But survive I will.

***




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Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Saved By Grace {PPD Part 7}

Previous posts on postpartum depression:

The Monster is Back and It Won't Do the Dishes {Part 1}

The following is the second-to-last bit and I cannot tell you how excited I am to be done hashing and rehashing and hashing some more. I do think it's brought me (forgive the buzzwording) "closure", though, and my greatest hope is that all this soul-baring and life sharing might help someone else ... and not just make you think I'm in serious need of a straight jacket and some Valium.

I'm not sure you're wrong about that.

***

There was no "reason" for me to be depressed, no "reason" for me to want to commit suicide.

And you know what? There doesn't have to be a reason.

You don't have to justify. You don't have to rationalize. You don't have to make excuses. 

But you do have to tell someone. 

They won't know unless you do. They can't help unless you let them. 

I didn't say anything because of guilt, shame, pride, fear and a variety of other assorted stupidity. DON'T DO THIS. IT SUCKS. I barely made it. The only reason I did, in fact, was because I got pregnant again. As pregnancy hormones took over, the nasty imbalance wreaking havoc in my brain resolved. It was almost as if someone had flipped a switch.


Coming out of the fog, I realized a few things. Like how the whole, “It's better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all” thing was not just poetic BS. It was TRUE. It didn't matter if I had another six days or sixteen years or a whole lifetime with my daughter. It was worth it. Loving her was worth it. The paralyzing fear of losing my child lost all power in light of this little epiphany.

I also realized the God I really believed in would never give me a child just to take it from me. The God who required me to pray x number of hours per day, read through a list of scriptures morning, noon and night, go to church every time the doors were open, tithe, abstain from “unholy things,” never EVER say “shit,” and make sure I didn't have too many square inches of skin showing at once was a god of my own making.

Not God at all.

The God I really believed in was Love. He saw all of my disgustingness. He knew how screwed up I was and still, He loved me.

These realizations and the happy hormones looping through my system made me shove the problem into a mental box and try to forget about it. It worked ... for a while. 

Which is why, if any of this resonates with you, please, please, please don't stay miserable. You don't have to live with this. Call in the professionals. Tell somebody. Do it now.


It's wayyy more awkward/messy/embarrassing/painful if you wait two years for the monster to circle 'round and take a bite out of your ass.

Kind of like doing this:

Or this:

Seriously. Don't wait.
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