Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Not Gonna be Silent Anymore

Earlier this week I had a brief email exchange with Mir about our woes. Hers, which she has written about on her blog, and mine that I oh-so-conveniently tuck away behind recipes or just not posting at all. (Before I begin, can I just say that I KNOW that Mir's stuff with her son is frightening and frustrating, and WAY BIGGER THAN MY STUFF. Not that it's a contest, but I get that she wins on the severity scale right now. Just so we're clear.) About half way through our exchange she said something that was like a smack in the face.

Maybe you can take your own advice...?
(She gently followed with "I mean this gently and kindly, not like "STFU and do it yourself," more like "that is really good advice and if you're suffering I hope you can be as kind to yourself as you're being to me." So she totally wasn't being mean.)

This got me thinking... 1) What kinds of things do I tell people when I'm trying to be supportive/helpful? 2) Are those things that I could/should apply to my own life? 3) Why have I not noticed this before? (Thanks Mir!) 4) And last, but certainly not least, why do I not share my struggles with you (my readers)?

I think I'm a pretty positive person in general, and quite supportive of my friends, blog and local. I want you to see the good! the happy! the big picture! But yet, in my quiet, personal, off-line life, when I look in the mirror (figuratively, of course,) I don't see the good, happy, or big picture. In my head it's pretty grim, to tell you the truth. So, in the spirit of #4 I give you my struggles:

The week after Christmas was pretty low for me. I didn't really leave the house, nor did I shower much or get dressed. (You're welcome!) It didn't help that my husband was on an emergency for work and was gone for the bulk of the week, only coming home late at night to sleep, shower, and go again. So since then I've been hanging on by a thread. Issues? The house: unfinished and a wreck, repairs need to get done and carpets need to be bought, the tv is broken (Yes, the 52 inch tv that we only bought 2 years ago,) and my children's bedrooms are national disaster areas. True story. The governor just declared it. You could look it up.

Anyway, before Christmas, with all of the floor stuff that was getting done I didn't have a chance to decorate, bake, put up our regular tree, HD didn't put up outside lights, OH! and I couldn't shop before the 22nd because of budget restraints. (Come to think of it, the "hanging on by a thread" thing started well before Christmas!) So the last few days before Christmas were spent running around trying to get everything ready, and no time to enjoy the season. (Self imposed, I know, but try to follow along anyway.) I feel guilty that my parents didn't get their gifts until well into January because I didn't get them sent/ordered on time. I feel guilty that other relatives still don't have their gifts. I feel guilty that the ones that did get gifts got gifts that didn't have a lot of thought or planning.

This is not to make you give me the "oh poor you" routine. Seriously. I guess I'm putting it out there for me-to get it off my chest, to vent, to make me feel better. There is no need to comment if you don't understand this. There are things about my depression that I get: My life is not terrible, there are worse things than what I've got going on. Some days, though? I just need to vomit this out there and then it's not in my head anymore, banging around, demanding attention. It helps me to move on if I'm able to write it (or say it.)

So, I have a question for you. How do you perceive me? Do you see me as supportive and happy? Or do you see something else? Do you see me ignoring things that (you think) I should be focusing on? Do you think, like Mir, that I need to be a little nicer to myself? Or am I too easy on myself and need to buck up and  DO IT, ALREADY!

(I'm honestly asking here. You can be honest; that's fine, but please remember that I'm a delicate flower right now. Be gentle.)

Headless Mom


Erica M said...

Yay for not being silent! I am soooo proud of you for writing this post. Yes, you need to be nicer to yourself. Yes, you should wiggle your way into a retroactive protection plan for that TV. Your governor is awesome for paying such great attention to your kids' rooms; mine would only call CPS on me and spread racial stereotypes about me. More writing like this so we can come offer you support.

amy turn sharp of doobleh-vay said...

yes- nicer to yrself! xoox You are wonderful. xo

Just Margaret said...

Silence? I can so relate. So much of this post...I too tend to keep it in--not let a lot of it out on my blog. Some, I'm actually not allowed to put on my blog anymore as it caused a lot of trouble (I'm rolling my eyes, but I don't write about it, which pains me...) And? Being depressed sucks.

Also let me just share that no sooner had I written at one point about Yay--Conquering Depression! I went and dove willy-nilly, neck-deep right into a pit of despair.

Though I haven't known you for all that long, my impression is that you are supportive to your peeps, but that there's much more complexity to your personality...more to know about you. Which is, of course, why I follow your blog--I'm enjoying getting to know you! OK, that may sound stalkerish, but I think you catch my drift...


Mir said...

See, this is what I'm talking about. Why do we play Pain Olympics? You apologize to me because your stuff "isn't as big" as mine. I apologize to others, similarly. Why do we do this? Why do we feel like we're not entitled to say, "Hi! This sucks!" in any way other than spun to make people laugh?

What I'm going through does not diminish what you're going through, and vice versa. I'm proud of you for 'fessing up. Because this is your stuff, and you're entitled to it, and whether it's "big" or "unimportant" (no) it's stuff you're grappling with.

You deserve the same kindness you've shown me, and others. It's hard right now. Maybe now that you're not trying to convince yourself it's not, you can find your way to a better place?

I've got my pompoms out. For both of us. :)

Debby@Just Breathe said...

Excellent post! I don't normally read others comments but I did today and they are good ones. Mir is right on target. You know I read a lot of sad posts each day, people who are suffering with things we could never imagine. I almost feel guilty to complain on my post but even if our pain is different, to us it is real and gets us down. I know that you are super supportive of people and want to help in any way that you can. I have seen you do this and your will give your all. I often turn away help from people because I don't feel worthy of their support. Why would they want to help me? I saw you yesterday and I didn't even know about your tv, you could have shared that with me but you probably didn't want to burden me with your problems. You have been through so much lately. I know that I would have gone crazy with all that you have been through the last two months. It affected your Christmas and I know you felt bad about that. It's not about being truthful on our blogs but my thinking is why would people want to hear it so we just talk about the fun stuff. Life can suck, we all get down and it's okay to say we are blue. Thank you for sharing your feelings. ((HUGS))

Ramblin' Red said...

O.M.G., darlin' next time you are in CO (and Mir too, since I know you have your good friend Kira lives here also), we HAVE to get together and do something. I would totally offer the same thing for when I'm in CA next, but uhm, seeing as we never leave the state, well.... ;)

Honey, you are an amazing supporter, and you are a good filter-er, by that I mean a person who shares the good in her life, which is great. But...

Rainbows are never seen without the stormclouds in the the background, right? Know why? Because that rain from the storm has to be present in order to bend the sunlight into the pretty prisms that make us depart from reality and go looking for leprechauns. Meaning, a rainbow ain't never gonna be seen on a sunny and clear day.

So share the stuff you're struggling with, because you will 1.)likely find some help and support here, 2.)we relate, most likely, in some fashion, and 3.) and a little rain on gorgeous sunny you will not turn you into an Eeyore type that everyone dreads, but we'll likely get to see a spectacular rainbow as a result (not that it's about us, but you know what I'm saying, right?)

As women and mothers, it's generally a given that we ARE too harsh on ourselves - so yes, dear, you are too.

You are awesome (and I mean that in a non-Stuart Smalley kind of way!) and even if I'm not here all the time in comments, I still check in. Because I care. About you.

And, even though this is too long already....ZOMG! Mir commented on your blog!!!!! I too have e-mailed with her a few times, but she has never commented on my corner of the blogosphere - so I'm totally jealous ;)

kyooty said...

I think you are doing a fine job. I think that this time of year in general can be very depressing. There are so many expectations by a lot of people that fall on either just 1 or 2 people. Being good to yourself is important but we all struggle to keep the balance. We struggle (we means me... ) to keep it looking like we care for others while taking care of us. Ever notice how a mom will eat after everyone else? It's a thing it's what mom's do. The mom frame of mind can also bog us down too and then we feel like we don't matter and next thing you know it's 12pm and we're still in pjs from the night before and on the 4th cup of tea and no lunch started for ourselves?
Budgets suck they just do. Christmas? comes every year. House repairs? surprise? house repairs? put gifts on teh back burner and if people are seriously 'expecting' gifts? they really don't get it do they?
I think you are VErY supportive, look how much slack you gave Xbox. :p

Liz@thisfullhouse said...

You, my friend, are kind, funny, intelligent (3 killer traits, right there) and, well, remember that telephone conversation we had not too long ago?

I vomited, then came your turn and it was good.

That's what friends (and blogging) are for.

You're an awesome listener and really should heed Mir's advice.

Because, she's smart like that too (DAMMIT!)

Love you, lady!

Kizz said...

Yeah, what they said.

As a newish reader I would never have known you were depressed if you hadn't spoken up. Through all the annoying house stuff you seemed like the kind of person who was too busy and on task to spend time getting upset by it.

So, on the one hand you're not complaining and laying all your shit on everyone who walks by.

On the other hand you aren't opening the door so other people can commiserate or help.

Sorry you're feeling crappy. I hope it starts to look up soon.

Karen r said...

One of the things that I love best about you is how you support other people. Having lunch with a mutual friend (not any of the ones u r thinking of :), your name came up as we were talking of people we trust with the bad stuff in our lives. We both see you as so supportive and nonjudgemental, such amazing things to see in a friend. However in friendship that works both ways, so sharing yr woes not only allows you to get it off yr chest, but it also allows our friendship to deepen, if that makes sense? Plus we are all in the same boat here, hearing yr woes makes me realize I am not alone in my struggle. As women, we struggle with many of the same things, yet don't realize it unless we speak out.
Love u and I am sorry u r hurting, please let me know what I can do to help (all day cleaning session of boys bedroom?)

Dory said...

I've always appreciated the supportive comments that you left on my blog!

I haven't been writing much because I have some depression issues too, and I also feel like if I share, I have to bring Teh Funneh, or shut up. Teh Funneh has left the building, so I shut up.

Dory at Can't Remember Diddly

Sam said...

It's always great to be able to take one's own advice…as long as you can hear yourself above the din. Or beneath.

This is one thing I've found my meditation helps with - things slow down for that 20 minutes every day. I'm looking forward to the time when I'm done with my paper and I can start sitting at night as well. It's kind of like sleeping while awake - my mind isn't concentrating on anything, and eventually it mostly settles down…sometimes…but the point is that it's nice to take some time and just *be* instead of doing all the time. No drinks, no TV, no music. Just sitting.

It's been nice for me. And it's helped me to take a step back from my emotions sometimes so that I can respond to the situation calmly. Or at least take my own advice. :)

Love ya, sis. Call a brother up if you ever need to.

Jenn @ MommyNeedsCoffee said...

You, my dear friend, are one of the kindest, most generous, beautiful souls I have ever known. You are always ready to be there for friends. You truly would give the shirt off your back for someone you care about. And? With you, that never goes away. You're always loyal to people. That is a rare and amazing trait, my friend.

So, I agree you should show that kindness to yourself. You are smart and funny and gosh darnit people DO like (and love) you. I'm honored to be your friend.