Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Thinking about this...a note to the future me.

I am thinking that I just need to get something down on pretend paper, something that I can read again next year or next month, because I know that this is all going to happen again.
The creep of depression.

It has been washing over me, slowly for the last month. Every few days I would check in with myself and say "Yeah, I feel kind of bad today. Why are the kids driving me so nuts? Why is every answer murky and hard to figure? and why can't I remember anything?"

To Future JMB: This time it is both a seasonal light trigger and lots of change, good change, but your brain has a hard time dealing with change, in all of its forms.

To Present JMB: You are the mom of a school age boy now, he is moving out in to the world in larger and larger circles and that feels scary. He is making wonderful new friends and learning about the world in new ways. People like him and also want to include him in their lives and this feels scary too. He still needs to have his place at home, to be grounded and know that there is a safe and quiet place in his growing world.

You are moving outside in to the world too. Learning new things, trying things that you might actually really enjoy, this is scary too. What if you discover what you "want to be when you grow-up?" What if you had to choose to pursue a dream in ADDITION to being a mom? How is it all going to balance? What is going to have to give? Sometimes, the status quo is too warm and comfortable. Staying the same doesn't allow room for new things to come in, for growth.

I think that this last bit is what I am really having a hard time with. I like routine, I like to know what is going to happen...I can't help but think of the wake-up call of having a baby. Boy, did that really throw a wrench in to my desire for order-- because just when I thought that I had something figured out, he went changed on me. A baby learns to sit, to move, to speak, to run away, incrementally.....and I was just trying to anticipate the dangers and how I could protect against whatever COULD hurt my child. I had a hard time with that, but eventually I could see the other part... the beautiful part, where I saw the first smile and heard the first laugh. The part where I picked my son up after he had fallen from standing and he just tried again and again until he found success and stood alone.

I can see the balance here when I think of being a mom and helping my kids grow. Trying to translate it to myself is quite another story. I deny my fear and it buries itself inside of me and forms this nasty boil, eventually it makes me depressed. It festers and makes me uncomfortable....but I am unwilling to look at it and call it by name. I know it is there logically, but emotionally I keep it covered and hidden, because then it isn't "real".

My logical self has been doing things to grow, I am only seeing this now, because I feel right in the middle of it. Over the past few months I have, before I thought of how scary it was to that emotional self, entered a quilt in a juried show, entered 4 quilts in my guild's show, and signed myself up for a Pattern making class. Written out like this my logical self scoffs and makes light of the four years that I have been "dreaming" of taking this class. Showing my quilts is public??? who cares? Right?! Apparently the little queasy emotional self does....these are all scary things to her.

Right now, I am trying to look at this, to really SEE it, and make peace with myself.

I want to "High-5" my logical self for being so brave and also to hug my emotional self who is feeling so anxious about changing. I am trying to catch "us" up, to make my logical self and emotional self "get- along" better. The whole of us, of me, doesn't like to be depressed. I would like to embrace my fear in order to get on to the other "good stuff" that is out there for me.
I know that I am not the only person struggling with depression, or even the only person struggling with "what I am going to be when I grow up?"-- I know that I will be here again, because I haven't yet decided and the world is going to keep on changing.

So, here it is Future self, proof that you have been here before and you have made it through again...

with hope.



Katy said...

I can totally understand how you feel. After having my daughter (now 9) I got depression, it went on for over 18mths with meds until I weaned myself off, but wasn't 'right' for another couple of years. I am still a little prone to ups and downs, still need my routine to never falter, and the thought of not being in control. It scares the pants off me. Once the nights start drawing in and the weather is colder I suffer little bit more. Funny (and comforting) to know I am not alone, though x

Lazy Gal Tonya said...

Jessica, wish I could be there to give you a big hug, sit and quilt and just talk. yes, the changing light is horrible - I'm with you there. So dark in the morning - bleah.

Take care of yourself and talk to your doctor if you need/want to. There ARE meds that can help, seriously. I still have lows but they're not as bad as they were w/o the meds.

Cracking out of the shell is hard. much easier to stay inside and not venture new things. But you CAN do it and do it well. Good luck.

Diane said...

Oh Jessica, You are so brave to face these feelings head on and share your discomfort and uncertainty with others, even if it's just your future self. You're in good company. Tonya's comment took some of the words right out of my mouth. The rest I'll put in a letter, so watch for snail mail.

Anonymous said...

Reading your post put a lump in my throat. Don't be afraid to seek help if/when you need it. Depression is no respector of persons and is treatable. I applaud your strength thus far. Best wishes.

Carol E. said...

You have it in you to make it through. Take a moment at a time, a day at a time. Try not to let tomorrow's worries spoil your today. And we're all here to listen when you need help. You never have to be alone.

Carrie C. O'Neill said...

What a great post! Thank you for sharing--I've been feeling that same sort of seasonal sadness, too. It is amazing how a slight shift in thinking can cause you to overlook the things we really are achieving in life.

Congratulations on the juried show!

Yaz and Rob said...

You are strong and it will all come. The neighbors are moving and just gave me an accent pillow that were purging. The caption on it is: Leap and the net will appear. (Zen proverb) I feel this is a great synopsis for the kids growing, the unknown future and changing identity....yeah to life and change. I feel if I fear something it is the n mandatory to embrace and overcome that fear.