Alright, now that you've put your therapist's phone numbers away because I don't need a referral, we can get to the post at hand.
I totally dropped the ball last Christmas. I mean, I bought the presents on time -- actually purchased them in October, because normally I'm good like that. Even had them wrapped in mid-November. And here's where I lost steam -- the frickin' box. I couldn't find one that would fit the big-arse bag of toddler legos. So the presents sat in my room (even my parents' presents - and I was able to find a box that fit those presents) for months. I would look at them daily and just cringe because I wasn't getting them sent out. Christmas passed and Jason moved the them to the basement. I would move them back to our room so that I wouldn't 'forget' to mail them out every.freakin'.day. He would move them back to the basement. We would never really discuss it, we just kept moving the boxes of Christmas presents up and down the two flights of stairs. FOR 7 MONTHS.
So I finally did it. I mailed them out. With this note:
And then the boxes were stacked in my car for a couple of weeks and it became Christmas in August
This picture reminds me I need to clean out my car.
This got me to thinking....why did I do this? What's going on? It's not the only thing I've messed up on this past year. I missed paying the kids' dentist bill for a few months (seriously, I hate those bills that aren't auto deductions because I forget them normally, but this past year, I forgot on steroids). It got to the point though they fired us. (So suck as a consumer, a mom, a the family financial keeper). My desk is a mess, my filing has piled up into two TWO laundry baskets and now my laundry is folded and piled on the floor near the washer and drier. It took me like 8 months to get to the hairdresser, and I went way too long without a pedicure. I've read maybe like 2 books for pleasure and except for making some Christmas ornaments I haven't done anything creative. I picked up a lot of extra shifts and changed jobs (really a good way to keep my mind off of my life).
I'm kind of a hot mess.
And I realized, I've been depressed. It wasn't this obvious depression (well to myself) but this sort of underlying lack of energy, motivation, and ability to do MORE. I was still able get the kids where they needed to go (for the most part), I kept most of my appointments. I was able to still decorate for Christmas and entertain...but didn't send out cards or gifts (local people got their gifts). But some of the extras -- forgotten birthdays of some really good friends, not doing extra things like cards for no reason, paying attention to the needs of the people around me (except the kids), and more importantly not having overall joy in life -- just glimpses here and there. I laughed, I cried -- but not my normal loving life kind of person.
You see, I'm generally a pretty happy person -- not one of these exuberant shout to the roof tops life is grand...but a mellow happy person (apparently depression looks pretty mellow on me too). And this past year that was gone. And it's taken it's toll on me. But I didn't realize it was some low level depression because I pushed through and lived my life -- just wasn't enjoying it much AND things fell through the cracks (more than usual -- because even though I'm generally a mellow happy person, I'm also seriously ADD). It kind of sucks. I'm happy to say though just realizing what was going on (I'm also a little slow and it took awhile to figure it out) has helped me realize why I've been doing (or really not doing) what I've been doing this past year.
Death of a loved one can do that to you. It's coming on the year anniversary of when my sister died. I miss her. As I wrap up her estate and am ready to send the paperwork to the court, I realize this is it. It really hit me when I sold her condo a couple months back. I cried off and on all day and had to tell people my allergies were acting up (because God forbid I let people know I'm freaking out because I sold my dead sister's condo). It was hard, it was a teminder she wasn't coming back. I'm doling out her ashes soon, some to my mother, some to my niece and nephew, and some to me. I'm going to spread my share in the mountains in a beautiful peaceful spot. I want her to have peace in death in a way she couldn't have in life. I think she would have liked it that a little part of her will go to the people that loved her the most and loved her with out conditions. It's sad, but she never really felt that love but she was loved. One son at her funeral was so heart broken, and another, who didn't shed a tear, later designed his baseball glove to honor her and his other aunt (who has MS).
He had "for Nini" the nick name he actually came up with for my sister, because he couldn't pronounce Leyni. and he also had 'for shaina' stitched to his glove. He doesn't really show his emotions, but it was when he ordered this glove that I realized he felt that loss too.
It's time to move on now. Not forget, or even stop missing her. But to get back the part of my life that I miss and love - the joy of life. A part will be always be missing, but isn't that true of all of us? Every time we experience loss we lose a little part of ourselves. But then we also fill those losses with people that bring us joy and love (and sometimes we fill the loss with chocolate cake - did I also mention I gained 30 pounds this past year as well - I wish I was one of these people who don't eat and over exercise when I was depressed). We just have to allow that love in -- for some of us that's harder to do, and during some times in our life it's harder to do.
I know I'm coming out of this, different but whole and strong. I'm lucky that depression for me comes in periods of my life and it is not (thankfully) something from which I suffer all the time. For me it's usually related to a major life event like a death in the family, or hormonal changes, in the case of some postpartum depression (and thank you Lexapro for getting me through that). I know there are people who suffer from depression all the time and it sucks - I'm sorry this is your lot in life.
In the mean time -- I'm crawling out of my little dark depression hole and bonus, my nephews got a mid summer surprise (okay late summer). I'm wrapping up my sister's estate so will not have that weighing on my mind, taking up space that should be devoted to my family, friends, and self.
Seriously....put away those therapists' numbers, I don't need a referral...I got this.