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.

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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.

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. Postpartum depression and premenstrual dysphoric disorder (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.

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Sunday, October 19, 2014

Don't Huff Glitter

I'd love to write something here that grabs your attention while simultaneously making you think my life is all sunshine and rainbows, something that makes you want to be just like me and live in my sparkly clean house and wonder how I manage to make awesome crafts out of toilet paper tubes while wearing really high heels and ridiculous amounts of eye makeup. Something that makes you hate me a little for being so perfect.

Unfortunately, I'm not perfect (this is the part where you act surprised). I tried to be. I tried really, really hard. And I ended up with a face full of glitter and a lot of self hatred. 

Don't huff the glitter, you guys. Just don't

Sometimes my life is dark and messy and broody. Sometimes there are monsters lurking in the dark. Sometimes I don't feel like I can do it. I rarely put on real pants and my house is clean in the same way that Pluto is still totally a planet, but it's real life. It's a little bit random and a little bit weird and I'm learning to love it.

And sometimes there are rainbows and sunshine. My family. My children. My Nikon. My sweet skills with a crochet hook. Other assorted beauty in the universe-at-large.

But all of it, this whole big mess of contradiction stuffed into a freckly and very easily-sunburned package, that's who I am.

I'm working on it. Sort of.

In between slamming Snickers bars and Facebooking and keeping my kids from eating more than five bugs a day and other super-important and possibly top secret stuff.

It's nice to meet you.

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Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Fruit Stripe Flaws

Hullo peeps,

I'm working on the final bit of the PPD saga and writing it all out has led to many revelations about myself. Like how I really, really, really love milkshakes (of course that's a revelation). And am terrible at conflict. And sorta kinda hate myself for no good reason at all.

I also tend toward randomness, which makes for awkward social situations. I found this out last week  when a Lowe's guy practically ran away after my lengthy disquisition on the myriad uses of window plastic. Some people just don't understand.

I'm also supposed to be figuring out big picture stuff like "who I am" and "what I want to do with my life."

HA. Good one.

Anyway, I've had a mystery sore spot on my leg for about a month ... and that's way less random than it seems, I swear. There's a connection. But I'll go ahead and give you the opportunity to run like the poor traumatized Lowe's guy. I mean, I probably shouldn't have said anything about storing body parts, buuuut ...

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