The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly…

Ok, so if you’re reading this post looking for Clint Eastwood, than I’m terribly sorry he isn’t here.  You may leave now.

 

Still here?  Good.  Hi there.  I’m back.  Again.  Consistency is definitely not my middle name.  But life has been a bit of a roller coaster here and I’m still recuperating in a lot of ways.

If you’re tired of my excuses and really don’t care where I’ve been, this is now YOUR turn to duck out along with the Clint Eastwood fans.

So where to start?

Let’s start with all the bad, which ironically is just how this story goes chronologically as well.

Back in January, I swore that 2018 was going to be my year.  2017 had been pretty terrible and I was absolutely desperate for some silver lining action.  The universe cackled.

We received a notice that the home we lived in (which had been in foreclosure for some time) was finally, super officially bank owned and they wanted us out.  Which, yes, we knew it was coming, however no matter how hard we tried, we just could not find a house that would work for us within our budget.  Hands down, the most stressful situation, especially considering we have kids and animals and a whole life.  10/10 do not recommend.

If that wasn’t bad enough, the following night my grandmother called to tell me that my grandfather wasn’t doing well.  She was going to spend the night with him because they were convinced that this was it.  It was his time.  So, I trekked to the nursing home and sat with my grandmother and aunt as we waited.

Now to add insight, my grandparents are two of the most important people in my life.  They’ve played a huge role in my existence and I’ve literally spent my entire life dreading the day when I didn’t have them any longer.  I knew that they were my grandparents and therefore would pass out of my life sooner than I wanted, but I couldn’t imagine a world without them.

So in other words I was living my nightmare.

My grandfather waited until the next morning when everyone left.  He waited until he was alone to pass.  He took a chunk of my heart with him.

I had assumed that when he passed, it would be easier.  He had Lewy-Body Dementia, and hadn’t been himself for a long time.  Which is weird, because you find yourself mourning the loss of someone who’s sitting right in front of you.  I honestly couldn’t imagine anything worse.  It had been a long, hard, emotional haul.  Some would say that at least he wasn’t suffering anymore, but selfishly I just want to go back to the way things were before he got sick.

After the funeral, my brain started to separate him into two separate people: him before his illness and him after.  My brain understood that the sick him had died, but in strange, confused moments, I imagined him well and sitting at home, eating his favorite snack while watching tv.  I still struggle with this.  There are experiences that I’ll never have with him again, and good God if that isn’t hard to wrap my head around.

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My grandparents and I on the day I got married.

 

Anyway, enough of that because once I get started, I don’t stop.

Fast forward a couple of months.  We still haven’t found a house.  We still can’t stay where we are.  And it’s time to get out.  Now here’s where I’d like to say we were totally prepared to leave and had everything packed and a truck rented.  We didn’t.  And though we are both guilty of putting it off, I couldn’t see past my own sadness to do what I needed to do.  And we paid for it.  We spent three days trying desperately to pack and move stuff out, and in the shuffle, so much was left behind.  It came to a point where I had to constantly remind myself that it was just stuff and stuff can be replaced.  I cannot tell you the last time I felt like such a failure.  It was hard.  So hard.

But!  We at least had some place to stay until we got our own home and we ended up moving in with my dad while we continued the hunt.  This meant driving my kids 40 minutes to school each morning and 40 minutes to get them in the afternoon, but seeing as it was April, I couldn’t see pulling them out of school for the last three months.  Not to mention this was a big year for Slugger since it was his last in elementary school.  There’s  a big party and gifts and a graduation.  I didn’t want to take that from him.  So, drive them I did.

Thankfully we eventually found somewhere to live.  It’s an adorable house.  A cape built in the 20’s, but in good shape and the perfect size for us.  The bummer?  We have to move out of state.  It’s incredibly bittersweet.

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Our little home

When I first moved in with my husband, I absolutely hated it.  We were in the middle of nowhere.  It took forever to get anywhere.  Bugs.  Dirt.  Summer traffic.  EVERYONE KNEW EACH OTHER BUT ME.  But after 12 years,  it grew on me.

My kids went to an amazing school.  Their class sizes were tiny, so they got all the help they ever needed.  We made friends.  My kids played sports.  I acclimated.

So now we leave for the suburbs, which is all I ever wanted, but a part of my heart will remain in that little town in the middle of nowhere.

Trust me though, it will not be hard to get used to having EVERYTHING within walking distance. (Almost.  Sort of.  There’s an ice-cream shop and a diner with in walking distance.  Do you need more?)  I’m excited.  I am.  I just wish it had played out differently.

SO the point is, we are still fixing up the house the way we want it and have yet to move most of our stuff in, but once we do, I’ll be back on the grind, filling you in with our new adventures.

If you’re still here, I appreciate you reading as I pour my heart out.  There were tears shed here and it’s not always a pretty, happy, sunshine life.  I said I would be transparent.  Here it is.

I look forward to maybe, one day, being consistent.  In the meantime, thanks for hanging in there.

 

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Let’s Get Real

90% of having a blog (for me) is ignoring it because you can’t think of anything to write.  Truth.  But sometimes, something hits you in the  middle of the night and keeps you up while screaming “YOU HAVE TO WRITE ABOUT THIS!!”  That was last night, and this is me, tired but listening.

Now I’ve been pretty open about Slugger and his ADHD/ODD diagnosis, but what I’ve failed to mention is that I suffer from mental illness.  There it is.  Bomb dropped.  It’s out there.

According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, 1 in 5 adults will experience mental illness, so I know I’m not alone.  Regardless, mental illness is still a taboo subject for a lot of people and therefor most people suffering aren’t very forth coming about their experiences.

So here we are.  We are talking about it.  I was diagnosed some time ago with chronic depression and anxiety.  Now, what drives me out of my mind, is when people say “Everyone is depressed.”  or  “The whole world has depression!”  Trust me.  They don’t.  But there are a lot of us.  Chances are you may not know someone in your circle suffers.  Let me explain.

Again, this is where I pause to say that what I’m about to talk about is my personal experience.  I do not speak for everyone; I only speak for myself.  I am not a medical professional.  If you are struggling with ANY health issue, mental or otherwise, please reach out to your doctor.

Ok, now that we have that out of the way…

I think a common misconception is that people with depression are “just sad”.  Which leads to a group of uninformed people who think that by saying “We’re all sad!  Just get over it!” magically, they’ve found the cure for depression.  But it’s so much more than “just sad”.  It’s raw.  It’s painful.  It’s all consuming and all encompassing.  It means there are days where, despite knowing I have a million things to do, I don’t make it off the couch.

I feel like I’m not good enough.

I’m not smart enough.

I’m not pretty enough.

I’m not funny enough.

I’m not skinny enough.

I’m NOT ENOUGH.

I spend everyday feeling all of these things.  When you couple that with my anxiety, I now also worry about how I’m none of these things.  And again, “We ALL worry.”  Yes, but this worry doesn’t go away.  This worry tells me I don’t belong… I don’t deserve… I don’t need…

On a typical day, I leave my house, let’s say, to go grocery shopping.  Easy enough, right?  We all have to do it.  Now where most people go about their day and get the things they need without a second thought, my trip is a little different.  My brain tells me I’m in the way.  I’m inconveniencing everyone around me.  I don’t deserve to be there.  I imagine everyone I come in contact with leaves thinking about how much of a waste I am.  How I can’t do anything right.  How I was in their way.

Now, rationally, logically speaking, I’m pretty sure most people don’t even notice me.  I’m like 80% sure.  I know this.  But in the moment, I cannot convince my brain that everything is fine.

I once had a therapist tell me:  “You know, it’s really self centered of you to think EVERYONE is paying attention to your every move…”

And I see her point.  But trust me when I say it doesn’t stem from self centeredness.  Quite the opposite.  It’s a serious lack of self esteem with a heap of depression and a sprinkling of anxiety.  Needless to say, I didn’t go to that therapist anymore.

So what do I do about this?

Here comes another disclaimer:  Don’t handle it the way I do.  Seek professional help.

I have convinced myself that because I know and can rationalize why I feel the way I feel, therapy isn’t for me.  I don’t need to talk things out to come to a conclusion.  I’ve felt this way my whole life.  Literally.  And I’ve had a lot of time to soul search and understand where this all stems from.

I also don’t want to take medication.  I know it works amazingly for some, but I’m just not there.  I’ve tried it once (I know, I know) and there was no difference really.  So I’ve just told myself I don’t need it.

Depression is a funny thing.  You have this illness that tells you how worthless you are everyday.  And then you’re expected to get help.  What those on the outside don’t realize is that you don’t feel like you deserve help.  There’s someone who “really” needs it.  And it can’t be you, because you don’t matter.

Pretty messed up, huh?

So if you’ve gotten this far, and you know me personally, you’re probably thinking “But, you don’t act like this.  You’re always laughing and smiling.”

Well, this is how I deal with it.

When I’m around people, I tend to be a little too loud, a little too awkward, a little too happy.  Because I want what any one else wants.  I want to be someone people want to be around.  I don’t want to be isolated all the time.  So I do and say the things that I think I should.  I bury all the things that are whirling in my mind so as not to be a burden to my friends and family.  And this is why I say you may not know that someone has depression.  We sometimes hide it.  We want to be happy as much as the next person, and sometimes you have to fake it ’til you make it.

So why am writing this?  Why am I pouring my heart out on a blog post that maybe 5 people will actually read?  Well, you always hear “Don’t compare your behind the scenes to someone else’s highlight reel”.  That seems to be a big thing with the invention of social media.  So, if it helps one person feel less alone, if it helps one person better understand their friend or family member…

If it helps one person, it’s worth uncovering my behind the scenes.