Wednesday, October 07, 2009

The "D" Word

The following post is not for the faint of heart. Just so you know. Leave now if you just don't want to hear any Debbie Downer stuff. Some of you don't want to hear it. You've even told me so, so here's your fair warning.



...



So...you may have noticed I haven't been writing much. Not too many photographs, either. Perhaps you're thinking, "Oh, she just must be sooo busy with all the Happy Homemaker crap! Maybe she's canning tomatoes or something?" No such luck. I'd give my vegetable gardening a C- this year. I sucked at it and the weather didn't help any. I had a poor tomato harvest, not even enough to make a single soup.

I've been feeling depr down. Very.

Very.

Down.

Quite frankly I'm tired. I'm so tired, I've gone right through exhaustion into another dimension. Apparently it's call The Crazies. I've always suspected that long term sleep deprivation leads to The Crazies. Hey look! I'm right! Um...yay me? Now when I say long term, you'll have to believe me when I tell you that I haven't slept for 8 hours or longer more than about 3 times in the last three years.

I am not fucking joking.

Recently, Logan has decided that he needs to wake up Every. Single. Solitary. Night. for the last several weeks. Right as we get in bed, whether that's 10 o'clock, 12 o'clock or 1 am, he wakes up just as we've snuggled up in bed. Right after I've found the comfortable spot on the pillow and exhaled deeply after a long day of twin rangling, the first cry goes up.

Why? I don't freakin' know. We've tried feeding him (Maybe it's a growth spurt?!), we've tried rocking him (For two HOURS.), we've tried ignoring him (He can cry longer than we can last and his semi-hysterical crying then wakes up Emma.) and now we're back to re-Ferberizing him (Don't chew me out in the comments about this method. It works on our kids. Also? I am not co-sleeping with twins. There is no bed big enough in this house.). So. Broken sleep. A lot of it for a very long time.

Then, to make matters worse, after spending all day wrangling screaming short people, I'd like some time to myself and possibly with my spouse. This often leads to getting to bed even later. Every night I plan on going to bed at 10 pm, but then wind up One-More-Thing-ing myself until midnight. One more email. One more blog. One more lolcat. I try to eke out a little more "me" time and then, yes, suffer for it in the morning.

Yelling and crying follow.

I know that exercise would help me feel better, but it's lonely as hell exercising by myself. I know that vitamins would help me feel at least slightly more energetic, but I'm too depr down to take them. I get out at least once a day, with the twins, to go pick up Caitlin from school. On good days, I walk the mile uphill (All uphill and that's not an exaggeration.) to go get her. I'm trying to click with the local moms and am having a rough time of it. My Crazy probably seeps out when I'm talking to them and they all move away from me on the bench there. The wild look in my eyes probably gives me away.

Now before you say, "Well, why don't you go Get Some Help, dumbass!", let me tell you this: we are the face of the current healthcare crisis. We are the fucking poster children for it. We don't have HC through an employer and therefore are paying for catastrophic coverage out of pocket, which ain't cheap. Anything I do to get "looked at" and potentially "treated" will either shoot that payment up to unaffordable levels or will put me on some List and then somewhere in my future someone will be all "Pre-existing condition" up in my face. Yay for the health insurance companies and the Free Market system! It's working for ME! Woooooo!

And now you know I am all for socializing our healthcare because this is just stupid. It's a stupid position to be in and I know that I'm not the only person out here that feels down and isn't talking to a professional about it because of the potential repercussion on their coverage.

So.

I mope.

I am a bad mother. A bad wife. A crappy friend. Oh and I talk badly to myself about myself. My inner dialogue is vicious. Surprise! Few people can be as mean to me as I am to me.

Except for once, a few months ago, someone said something so awful to me that our relationship took a heavy blow. I was already down and it was like being kicked repeatedly in the face. So. That was fun.

Um. Yeah.

So the writing isn't happening. The photography isn't happening. The sleeping isn't happening. The weight loss reversed and now I'm right back where I was 2 months ago because the baking is still happening.

I'm so far down, I've got tunnel vision trying to look up. I'm not so far down that I can't get up and get moving and smile, laugh, change another fucking diaper and go grocery shopping (I hate grocery shopping. Why does my eldest need to touch everything in the store?! GERMS! Fuckin' SWINE FLU, child! Cut it out!). I spend most of every day thinking about food: what to cook, when to cook, what will they eat, why aren't they eating, cleaning up after baking and cooking, making breakfast, lunch and dinner and then cleaning up what comes out of short people that aren't potty trained yet (Insert hysterical laughter here.) and cleaning up the mess they leave behind when they do eat.

I'm fucked up.

So, please, whatever you do, if you don't want to know, DON'T ask me how I'm doing, or how I'm feeling or how things are going. Because, you see, the evil part of me will want to unload on you. The desperate part of me needs to unload on you. The cynical part of me knows you don't fucking want to know and are just asking to Be Polite. Don't bother. Maybe you are down and feel like you can't handle one more thing, or someone else's personal crisis. That's totally cool. I get that. You should note, however, that I am very careful how I greet people and only really ask "How are you doing?" if I
  • want to know the answer and
  • am willing to take the time to hear the answer.
I've also discovered, with help, that when you're down, sharing your pain with someone else really does lighten the burden on both parties.

Now what?

Now I wait. I'm waiting out the dark times. I'm waiting for us to have enough cash for day care. I'm waiting for yet another spring. I'm waiting for the day when I have something good to write about.

In case you're wondering why my garden looks like shit and why my house is never clean, it's because I'm waiting. I'm waiting for a time when I don't suck.

How are you doing? Because I'd really like to know.

14 comments:

Monica said...

Re: "I'm fucked up."

You're not fucked up. You're in a fucked up situation. You're not getting enough sleep, and you spend your days herding very demanding children who, while they love you, have no idea how much work it is to care for them. There's not enough time for the stuff you want and need, and it seems like it's never going to end. Being "down" is a perfectly reasonable response to your life.

I do want to hear it, so email me at the.tuch@gmail.com if you want to vent.

kristi said...

Been there Mama. My 7 year old still has days when he does not sleep. Guess who suffers most?
ME!!!

Sleep, or lack thereof, affects every aspect of our lives. I know, trust me.

I hope things get better soon.
Melatonin was my lifesaver.
My son takes it, and it is all natural.

ellen said...

If you'd like to talk to someone, professional, Coni might be able to help you. Let me know if you want to contact her and I'll send you her info.

Monica said it all quite well...

Yvonne Montgomery said...

Feel free to vent in my direction, dearie. If I get filled up & start sinking, I'll let you know. Something that has helped me through some horrific times is
SAM-e, which is available at all sorts of places, including Sam's Club & Costco. During my worst times, it helped me to stop crying every day--I just cried some days. That was an improvement. Hugs & hopes for improvement. Love.

Sara said...

okay. please don't get mad. but, there is one free thing you can do to feel better.

number 1. GO TO SLEEP EARLIER.

number 1000. GO TO SLEEP EARLIER

does it suck? yeah, ask my husband. i hardly ever see him either. he stays up, watches movies catches up on work, and that is his choice. i go to bed early, and i hate it. i try to get in a couple four hours before someone wakes up with bad dreams, needing water, getting up and going to the bathroom. but, if you aren't getting enough sleep, nothing will ever look right.

plan a late nite a couple nights a week, when hubby is home the next day and you might be able to squeeze a nap in if you've BOTH had a late night. the other nights, forget the "me" time or the "couple " time for a few months and concentrate on your health. it is a proven fact that long-term sleep deprivation leads to being over-weight, short tempered and overall to a shorter lifespan.

yes, i know it sucks, it sucks hard and it ain't fair. if you're like me, you think, but what else in the day is there to look forward to but a few hours at the end of the day playing with the gadgets and hanging out with my husband? let me repeat, if you aren't sleeping, nothing will ever seem right.

i'm right there with you, babe, and it sounds like others are too. get some rest. reevaluate in a few months after you aren't so damn tired.

Sara said...

i'd also like to add that i hope hope HOPE that me and mine were not the ones who said something nasty to you. i have a big mouth. if we were, please email me privately.

and oh, one more thing FORGET those mommies at the school drop-off. i used to feel that way when i dropped hazel off at preschool. then one day i said, fuck it. went to an online business card site and got 500 "calling cards" for like ten bucks. (cause it's impossible to try to write down info with a kid in each arm). they have my name, email, phone number. so, after i the cards arrived, kept some in my pocket, and at drop off and pick up, i just started smiling to strangers and saying "hi, i'm sara, hazel's mom. we'd love to have a playdate with you some time." and handed her (never approached the daddies, too weird) the card. only about ten percent of those folks have contacted me, but they have been GOOD contacts. we've had some playdates, the kids get out, i get out, i find out we're all in the same damn isolated boat. will they be lifelong friends? most likely not. but even a connection lasting a few months helps.

here i go again. sorry.

Scylla said...

I love you honey and I am sorry things have been so overloaded for me that I haven't been up to see you.

Would you be willing to see me? My household is plague ridden right now but will be better soon and I would love to tea with you or just sit a while together.

I think you need a combination of the remedies suggested above. Maybe focusing on sleep three nights a week and getting a sleep in day from Eric on the weekend and taking Sam-E would ease things a little.

Also, Coni rocks and if she can't help you I have another friend who might be able to.

Love you lots. I still think you are a rocking mom and an amazing friend. I enjoy spending time with you every time we get together and I believe this will get better.

(Sending you hugs. Lots of them.)

Red Flashlight said...

Ferberizing? Wha?

Big "yeah, what she said" to what everyone else said. (1) not fucked up, (2), hope things get better soon, (3) I bet I, too, can find you a counselor to talk to, dirt cheap (I got contacts), (4) feel free to vent in our direction too, (5) I'm a fan of going to bed earlier and I don't even *have* kids, and (6) you're an inspiration and an amazing friend!

Lets do a couple shots of tequila sometime. Nothing serious. I know you don't drink much.

Much love for you, lady.

BigChunkySoul said...

Oh my lord, girl, I don't even know you, yet I DO KNOW YOU. I read your blog every now and then and I have always thought, "how awesome to have three great kids and a caring husband and a nice house and all that jazz"...but I appreciate your exhaustion, no matter how pretty the painted picture. I feel your pain.
WHATEVER (the most annoying phrase ever, apparently) with the herbs and the "going to bed earlier." This does not work - as a once-married woman, and now (for 11 years) a single mother, - I laugh especially hard at that, although it is a lovely thought. [Note that it is now midnight and I still have a load of laundry to dry and dishes to wash, and I have not been watching TV or reading this evening.] That sounds terribly cynical and jaded, I know, but WHATEVER. Sleep is a very precious commodity, and 8 hours is something I dream about (pun intended.)
If you ever need a free, reliable weekend babysitter (with references, who are people we probably have in common given the close residential proximity), let me know. I would be happy to spell you while you walk it off for an hour or so (or see a movie with your husband), and as the mom of a precocious 12 yr old, step-mom of 3 teenagers, and soon-to-be step-mom of 6, 4 and 2 yr olds, I am hard to throw off course these days. It takes time to get your strength back over the years once those little lovebugs start to wear you out. But it DOES get better as they get older, and you work out the daycare thing, and/or give up on ever sleeping a full night again in your life. "Fucked up" is a relative term when you're a parent. :-)
Seriously, feel free to call on me (i.e., email me and we'll chat or get together for so-called "fat-free" cupcakes and coffee. [Cheesy phrase alert] Hang in there...Cynthia

alessa said...

5HTP 3 a night helps with your sleep. Benedryl might help with Logan's sleep. I dope Scully and Duncan at times when necessary. OK, they're dogs and not kids, but the intention is the same.

Ear plugs also help me, when Dean the snoring machine gets to sawing logs.

AND CALL ME, YOU GIT! I DO WANT TO KNOW HOW YOU ARE!

Cindy said...

I didn't think you were unloading on me, so neither should you. I think that I just happened to call when you needed someone to talk to, I'm ALWAYS HERE to talk to whenever you need me, so is Mom Dawn & even Ian.
We love you, we want to help out how ever we can, and if it's 15 minute phone calls then so be it, but know that we are all here when you need us.

Excerise- When I was going to a gym I picked one that a) had child minding b) had group classes. You kinda can't help but talk to/ get to know the other women there, it was a great 2 hr. break. Also most gyms will offer you a free membership if you offer to help out in the child minding center.

Medication/Vitamins- It's no harm in trying a few, give it a month and see how it goes.
A friend of a friend had all kinds of sleep issues with their kid and started giving them melatonin and bang they sleep through the night. Ask your Ped. if you're not too sure.

B-100 Complex Vitamin D Omega 3-6-9
Start with those.After a few weeks I didn't feel so draggy during the day.

Saint John's Wart and that Sam-E stuff a PP mentioned are supposed to be good. I have also heard about a vitamin B-12 shot that you get from your Doctor that is supposed to be amazing.

Libraries often have Mom and Tot reading times, other at home Moms are there you should check it out. Same things with community centers, often times they are free and happen during school hours.

Menu Plan- Seriously, I kept hearing about *everyone* doing this and finally bit the bullet and put one together, I based it on what's in the deep frezzer and pantry and now have 1 months worth of meals planned out. No more "What's for dinner?" and today I cut my grocery bill literally in half. Took me all of 40mins. to come up with ideas.

I love you Sis, hang in there.

Sara said...

oh, and i wanted to add.... a friend and i sometimes go walking around the indoor track at the Paul Derda rec center (Broomfield)on Friday mornings while our "older" kids are at school. . we drop the kids at the in house care center... it's like three bucks an hour. One also has to pay to use the facility, but i shelled out for a punch card at the beginning of the summer, and i think it is worth it. you are welcome to join us...!

Pamela said...

FYI just so you know - the very young and the very old may have 'idiosyncratic reactions' to some medications especially Benadryl (Diphenhydramine). This means that what would put you or I to sleep may actually have them wired and climbing the walls. I would vet every and anything in the way of over-the-counter medications or herbal supplements through your pediatrician & or pharmacist before dosing the kids.

Love always your sis, the RN

Shaari1 said...

Y'know... I don't read your blog devotedly, but I read it regularly enough that I catch up on everything I missed from last time without having to go back more than three pages.

I really enjoy your writing. I enjoy your photographs, I enjoy your stories and what you have to say. You're a pretty amazing person, and while I've only really known you from the sides of various interactions, you're someone I really respect and admire.

You and Eric have/do sacrifice(d) so much to make your home one full of love and happiness for your children. I know that someday that will be worthwhile, but please... try to take as much care of yourself as you can, so that you can make it to that point.

This might sound crazy to you, but... I'm here in Saudi, away from my wife, my friends, and everything that I used to take for granted. Reading your blog, watching your baked goods rise, seeing your little impish devil children play, and reading your words...

It's like a slice of home. A home that's not mine, but that I get allowed into, to smell the bread, and taste the cheese and wander around, poking in corners and watching the chaos that is life, and a family.

It helps.

I don't know if me saying any of this helps you at all, but... there it is. You matter, to much more than just your family or your children. You're much more than just Mom.

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