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March, 2012:

The Mean Reds… Alternately titled: Depression Sucks King Kong’s Yoo-hoo

Even dogs can get the blues

Even dogs can get the blues

The other day I came across a pretty powerful video blog. In the video, several bloggers described their experience with depression. It struck me how brave it was for them to come out and openly describe, so honestly, what it is like to struggle with depression. (Click here to see the video yourself)

What is it about mental illness that has people wanting to shy away from addressing it… or owning up to grappling with it? When filling out a questionnaire form at a doctors office, I’m quite comfortable to list all of my ailments– from high cholesterol to any of the surgeries I’ve had. In fact, after going through gallbladder attacks, it’s like a badge of honor to say, “yeah, it’s the worse kind of pain you can imagine, made me faint against a tree once…blah blah blah blah…” Hell, I’ll even get into the nitty gritty of the childbirth experience: natural child birth, rips, and the burn-baby-burning pain! Again, it’s like a badge of honor. You go through that much pain, you earn the right to tell your war story.


Ripping from yin to yang during childbirth… yeah, lets discuss. But depression? Um, no… not going to talk about that, that’s personal!


In the video, one blogger talks about the pain that a depressed person feels. For anyone who has experienced depression, you know that the pain is as real as pain caused by any other sort of physical condition. When you think about it, all pain is invisible, right?? So why is it harder to believe that someone is having pain from a mental source, rather than a physical one?? Yet, for some reason, it’s easier to accept… in fact, it’s more socially acceptable to have pain from a broken arm or a ripped va-jay-jay. Okay… maybe NOT a ripped va-jay-jay. But nobody is going to get denied insurance from having had a ripped nether region!


Now is ze time on Sprockets vhen ve dance!- Dieter

"Now is ze time on Sprockets vhen ve dance!"- Dieter

Most depressed people (unless you’re Dieter, see photo) would do anything NOT be depressed. But it’s not as easy as “SNAP OUT OF IT!” Also, just like every other medical condition out there, it’s not a “one size fits all” scenario. When I had my gallbladder attacks (see what I’m talking about, watch me brag!) it took two years… TWO YEARS for them to find out what was wrong with me. Why?? Because the pain was not in the usual location. It was all,“I want to be an individual and you can’t put me in a box… I’m gonna be smack dab in the middle of your stomach, where people will think I’m a Hiatal Hernia…. I’m gonna be around a while BEYOTCH!” Yeah, it was nasty like that. My point being, depression comes in many shades, there is a whole spectrum. Regardless–Depression is real. It’s nasty and mean… but, IF acknowledged, it is totally treatable and can be kicked in the arse.

For anybody who might be reading this and in want even more information, here are a few great links I’ve recently bookmarked:

Help for Depression

AFSP (American Foundation for Suicide Prevention)

To Write Love on her Arm

Baby Center- PPD Help

Postpartum Progress

Progeny on the move…

Recently I went house-hunting with my daughter. I know it’s uber cliché of me to say this, but it truly DOES feel like just yesterday I was bribing her to eat breakfast… Just yesterday that I was braiding her hair and picking out her clothes… just yesterday that I was wondering when the hell her feet would stop growing and bugging her about whether or not she finished her homework. And now… we come screeching to the present, where I’m helping her find a new place to move into with her… with her… with her…boyfriend!

I leave the little one with Scott… and off Sonora and I go to inspect this potential new abode.

First off, I notice, it is NOT on the beaten path- score, 1 point.
Second, it’s a water tower – score, 10, points.

Water Tower House

Water Tower House

It seems as if we drive over the river and through the woods to get to the water tower. We arrive and the second she sees it, she’s in love. (I will take a brief moment to gush at how much she is like me. I too would have loved this very weather-worn house.) I see the house through her eyes and with all my heart I immediately send out messages to the universe that this NEEDS to be my daughters first house. It’s so full of character, I can almost see the creative energy seeping through the nooks and corners of the interior.

We are greeted by the grounds keeper and he’s like a character out of a book. He too is weather-worn and full of character. He shows us into the house and we walk into a very small bottom floor. There is a small kitchen and small (as in micro-mini) bathroom. The bottom floor can easily be taken in with a glance. We then climb a small staircase, to the middle section of the house. It has been labeled as the bedroom, but only out of necessity… because no mattress could venture up beyond this point. This small area has a mini-gas-stove stuck in the corner. A double sized mattress would engulf the entirety of this room. Then, there is a ladder that leads you through a hatch in the ceiling to the third, and final, level of the house. On the top story, there is a closet and views of the surrounding rural area… oh, what views!

This room longs for shabby chic!

This room longs for shabby chic!

She’s in love… and I’m in love. That’s when it hits me…. I’m unemployed. The funds that I have to help furnish any new place have suddenly become very limited. Last year, when Sonora lived in Florida for a couple months, I sent many-o-care-package. That’s what moms do. But now, this time around, I’m unemployed and I need to conserve my spending and remember that my savings needs to remain dormant for a while.

This unemployment is a bit of a fart in a quiet room… it stinks!

What to do, what to do… Thank gawd I was poor in a past life. I’ve totally got this. I know how to decorate on a dime! I’m having flashbacks of my first apartments…. and suddenly I’m having an epiphany moment: I’m going to give Sonora the ultimate gift for those who need to decorate on a limited income– a high temperature glue gun! Though it may just be the espresso talking, and not an actual epiphany, I’m feeling like I’ve got a plan. And I always feel better when I have a plan. All hail the mighty glue gun, making 2nd hand objects look all funky and new!

Now I’m all excited and raring to hit garage sales… but I need to pull back the reigns and acknowledge that the espresso has hit my blood stream, because I’m getting way ahead of myself. After-all, I suppose I should let her turn in the application first…

The Awakening…

Dublin

Dublin

When you bring a baby home from the hospital, it’s all “ooh’s and awwww’s” to any twitch or wiggle. You look at your new little addition for any spark, any sign that the little lump of cute-leach-ness begins to merge into the personality you can feel simmering beneath the surface.

And so it was with Dublin. The boy chuckled in his sleep from the get-go. CHUCKELED, like a knowing old man. He stared, as if casing us all out. I felt like he was studying us, like if he could grip a pen, he’d probably have been taking secret notes.

I could feel the awakening starting early, like he was trying to get the slip on us. But I’m a watcher too and I could see his moves. First came the sly little smile, then the following us with his eyes, and progressed to where we are at today, with the grabbing and mouthing everything.

A couple weeks ago the screaming started. Shrill. Stop. Smile. Shrill. Stop. Smile. This made me realize that he’s just like my first born, Sonora… and I inwardly shivered “Gawd, this one’s going to be loud like me too!” Poor Scott.

The Doctor says that a babies personality starts to show at 6 months, but I think it’s a bit like an awakening. There are clues from the day they’re born, letting us know what we’re in for. I think Dublin is going to be a bit of a flirt and good with the ladies. I also think he’s going to be sensitive and a music lover.

I wonder if anyone has ever taken a picture of a babies eyes, every day, for the first year of life. I bet that would be an interesting experiment. At what point would you see the shimmer of understanding staring back at you?? Things that make you say, “Hmmmmmm….”

For anyone who thinks that’s an interesting idea, you might find this video interesting. It’s an experiment done by Deb Roy, a MIT researcher who set up cameras all throughout his house and filmed his son for the first year of life to document the birth of his vocabulary.  You can view the video by clicking this link: The Birth of a Word

Riding a bike in traffic…

Week before the layoff...

Week before the layoff...

I started this entry a billion years ago, or so it seems. I had it open on my laptop, vowing to finish it THAT day, then the NEXT day, then the next… but there it sat.

Eventually, it became a bit obsolete.

What I planned on writing was: “Having a baby again after so many years has been just like riding a bike… except this time around it’s like riding a bike in traffic.”

And that was to start a colorful bit about how I was doing great as a mom, but had a bunch of extras going on at the same time. And that’s true… I did pile on the extras. And on and on and on.

Not only did I have my 2nd child after 19 years… but I decided to change my job of 15 years and my town of 25+ years. Yup, we up and moved, so I could start a brand new exciting position of an assistant to the president of a winery in Sonoma county.

I was very nervous… what if things didn’t work out? How would I feel leaving Dublin behind, when I left for work every day? How was I going to find the time to move… to pack… to unpack… to nurse…. to sleep??

And that’s when you just sort of jump, both feet, into the deep end and go for it.

Alas, yadda yadda yadda… the job didn’t work out. A month and a half in, no notice, I was let go. I worked my arse off for my boss and BOOM… one morning I have a job and that evening I didn’t.

I got a real taste of the rat race. The 110mph kind. And I didn’t like it and it showed. It’s not that I have an aversion to work… absolutely I do not. However, 110 mph is where crash and burn happens… I’m more into going the speed limit!

So here we are, having moved to Sonoma county for a new job that is no longer.

All of a sudden, I’m a full time mom, by no choice of my own. But here’s the thing: I’ve WANTED to be a full-time mom…. it’s just that financially it wasn’t an option. Now that it’s forced to be an option, I’m really conflicted. I’m excited to be at home, but at the same time I feel horrible that I’m not going to be able to financially contribute more than unemployment. I don’t even know how much that will be, never having been on unemployment before.

To review: new mom, new town, new job, new termination, new unemployment…. new challenges.

My brain is still whirling from being let go from a job that I was trying so hard to master. I’m depressed, I’m happy, I’m anxious. I don’t know if I’ll try and jump into another job full-time, or just go part-time. I don’t know if we’re going to move out of this area, since we were only here for the job. I don’t know how I’ll live without my weekly Starbucks (costly) treats. I don’t know what I’m going to do with myself…

Don’t expect me to become an extreme couponer anytime soon… but I do need to figure somethings out. Meanwhile, I’m going to try and write more.