Saturday, December 26, 2009

And with this I bid another Christmas good night...

I'd like to say that my house is quiet right the clock ticks past midnight, but Jon is snoring up a storm and just barely heard over that is the sounds of Hannah watching "Tale of Desperaux" on the flat screen in the living room.  For a moment I had to check and make sure she didn't have surround sound on because Jon's snoring usually drowns out the television I have playing in the same room so being able to hear one over the snoring, my t.v., through a closed door and down a hallway is pretty impressive.  Turns out she didn't have it on she just had it up REALLY loud.

Instead all I found when I ventured out to be the cranky mom commenting on the "too loud" television is my baby girl snuggled down with pillows and blankets.  She had asked Jon and I if she could sleep on the sofa tonight so she could watch television.  Our agreement to this question marked the four dozenth time of her proclaiming..."this is the BEST Christmas ever"!  I don't care who you are, if you are the parent of one or a dozen, those six words just melt your inner being and will make you relent even when you think you shouldn't.

Not that her sleeping on the couch is a huge's just that I don't get it.  It truly cracks me up that once again one of our kids is so excited to sleep on the couch.  I.  Just.  Don't.  Get.  It.  Have I ever fallen asleep on my couch? Yes.  Have I ever HAD to sleep on my couch? Yes again.  Would I pick my couch over my bed if I had the choice?  Hell to the no.

But my kids...LOVE sleeping on the couch.  I told Jon that I think it is because right now both of the girls don't have satellite service in their room, so the couch is the only way for them to lay and watch shows.  I think that now that they have cleared the destruction and clutter in their room allowing me to go in there and contact our cable provider to have them assist me in finding the problem that soon we won't have to deal with a kid sleeping on the couch.  I'm hoping that this theory is true because with a hubby that snores I really like the idea of having my couch clear if I wanna escape to silence to write, read or even watch a show without having to strain to hear dialogue through his mind grating snores.

But enough about that...on Christmas Eve we let Hannah open the obligatory (in her mind) gift and she got the boots that she was so gaga over.  Think the Gap commercial and the adorable little girls singing "I love my comfy sweater...I love my comfy cute are these boots"...yep now she is the proud owner of those cute boots.  She was so happy over them that she wore them to bed.  Not just on her way to bed but actually into bed and slept in them.  I don't think I have seen her that excited about anything since....hmmmm, I'm thinkin....ummmmm...yeah, I don't know when she's ever been this excited about a clothing item.  She was excited last year over her Nintendo DS, but to my knowledge she didn't sleep with it.

That moment of adoration that follows your child opening a gift and then the beaming of enthusiasm that follows is a drug that should be bottled and kept for the moments when they leer at you and profess how you have "ruined their life" and how "you are the WORST. PARENT. EVER".

My first taste of holiday victory came yesterday when I tackled the chore of gift wrapping.  Although I've spent the past six months in a life funk I did manage to get gifts wrapped Christmas Eve morning and NOT wait until the ungodly hour of midnight so I was able to just relax and get to bed at a decent hour.  Of course we had a repeat of last year where Jon turned in and I was left awake to place the gifts.  I don't know why we play this game anymore since the "magic" of Santa has been dispelled in our home.  I'm just a teensy bit heartbroken about that but not so much so when I realize that come next year if I am not good about getting the gifts wrapped early that I won't have to stay up another few hours to make sure that the children are asleep already so I don't destroy their belief.

This morning Jon was up and at it early and then came Hannah.  I, of course, was NOT a morning person but I was coaxed out of bed with coffee and then the gift opening extravaganza commenced.  Gift after gift Hannah's eyes twinkled.  I thought she might be disappointed at the fact that the gift count this year compared to others was visibly less but I was thrilled when after the last of the gifts were unwrapped she exclaimed that she had gotten everything that she had wanted. 

Perhaps the most treasured gift of all was the fact that she had scored her beloved boots and her sister had not been given any.  Just as my heart warmed with the spirit of the season I realized that the true gift that my girls seem to relish is when they get something that they believe the other may want but didn't get.  I swear sibling rivalry and promoting jealousy between each other is the gift that just keeps on giving in their eyes.  It wasn't an intentional move on our part but her admission as to why she seemed so happy almost made Jon and I keel over with laughter.

If I ever thought that I may be able to deny that this child was mine...this cleared up any concerns.  She is my daughter through and through.

We had a little break in between when we opened gifts and when Jon's mom arrived to go have Christmas breakfast with us.  Love me some Waffle House on Christmas.  I should feel bad that people had to work and wait on us because I'm a lazy person who didn't want to cook for my family, but we made up for it by tipping the waitress close to 50% of our bill.

After Jon's mom left we just lazed around the house.  I decided to grab a quick nap because the anxiety was getting to me.  I woke up fully rested and ready to go see "Alvin & the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel".  It was a kids movie.  Not a breakthrough performance that will affect my life like say "The Blindside" but it did make me laugh and allowed me to watch Hannah laugh and smile.

We made our way out of the theater and went in search of dinner.  After driving from one end of our city to the other we settled on Chinese.  A few servings of sweet & sour chicken, pork spare ribs and fried rice later it was time to head home.  Jon unfortunately has to work Saturday and Hannah was still hoping to squeeze in a board game before the dreaded bedtime.

Hannah had picked out "the Office" trivia game for us to play.  For anyone who is a fan of this show...I highly recommend getting this game.  We are Office obsessed so we were cracking up playing the game.  Our family is one that loves trivia.  We can pass hours just asking each other question after question about movies, music, etc.

I won the game (because I'm the Monica) and Jon came in 2nd which of course only means that he was the first loser.  Hannah thought that observation was completely hysterical.  It was a simple ending to a wonderful day.  The only thing missing was Olivia.

So here I semi quiet....another 364 days before we will do it all again and I wonder.....

I wonder what lays in store for me...for our family in the coming year.  I wonder if this will be the year that we will actually save money ahead of time to pay for Christmas and not have to scramble at the last minute putting off a mortgage payment or other household bills.  If we will shop early and wrap as we go, like we've said we would do for the past 12 years.  I wonder will we be celebrating the season in one home or in between two.  Will Jon and I still be a we or will it just be two single entities?  Is there a career in store for me?  And will I see more light in my life instead of the same darkness?

So much to think about in the coming days and so much to wonder about for the coming year.  I hope this holiday season finds you enjoying the simple joys such as kids and their boots or the giggle that arises when you see yourself moving towards the finish line of a game.  The world and life ahead is unsure and uncertain, it's these little serendipitous moments that keep us warm and comforted during the day to day grind.

Enjoy the wonder.  Enjoy the moment.  I know that I will....even if only for tonight.


Thursday, December 24, 2009

Tis the season for giving...

I have learned to keep expectations low.  Maybe, for some of you that seems like a cop out.  For me it is a survival mechanism.  Much like my comfy bed and security bound comforter...low expectations make it possible for me to survive.  Everyday brings with it really only 3 expectations.

#1 Shower.

#2 Don't kill self.

#3 Don't harm children.

Usually I only make #'s 2 and 3.  But with medication and severe ridicule from family members and friends I am bound to make all 3 at least 5 out of 7 days of the week.  Jon refers to these achievements as baby steps.  Much like his asking me to "please clear the laundry from off of the kitchen table" earlier this week was met not with it being folded but instead shuttled into our eldest daughter (who happens to be visiting her father for the Christmas holiday) bedroom.

Ummm...I put this in the win column because he left in the morning and there was clothing in the kitchen and he came home in the evening and there was....ta clothing in the kitchen.  Apparently I lapsed on the part where he actually expected the clothing to get folded and ready to be put away by it's rightful owners.  Whoopsie!

As much as I give Jon a hard time for his past indiscretions I cannot seem to properly put into words how it is that he manages to stay so calm with such a deeply depressed spouse.  He leaves and I'm asleep.  He comes home and I'm asleep.

He'll poke a head in the bedroom from time to time and asks if I've eaten.  Asks if I need anything.  Asks if I want to talk.  He says that since I've tried to stand by him in his short coming's and the fact that one day he is COMPLETELY certain that I am going to have to care for him and wipe his ass (what an impressive and heartwarming picture to create in one's mind)...he says that because of this and his love for me he just keeps pushing along.

The kids try to wrap their minds around it all and even though I know they would give just about anything (well except their cell phones, computer, Nintendo DS, time with friends and possibly cable) to have their mom up and participating in the daily goings on of their life.  I live for the little moments that the clouds of depression clears and I get a glimpse of what our life used to be like all of the time.

Today and tonight was one of those glimpses into how our life used to be everyday.  Of course it wasn't a continual stream of feeling okay.  It never really is anymore.  I'll get moments when I am okay and then moments when I have to tuck away into the bedroom because the anxiety becomes so high that it literally feels as though it will grate apart my head.  Jon has learned the signs and takes over parenting if I am in the middle of doing something with the kids.

But for the most was a good day.  One that defied low expectations but was made even sweeter because I really had no expectation of it at all.

I wrapped gifts and Jon cleaned. husband cleans.  Why I bitch?  Who the hell knows.

Later we cooked dinner together.  Some gorgeous pork tenderloin that I had been marinating with BBQ sauce, orange juice, honey and seasonings.  It's super good and makes the juiciest meat!  While Jon grilled I made both mashed potatos for dinner and potato soup for whenever.  It was the normal rhythm of a house and it felt both foreign and comfortable in the same moment.

Feeling the opportunity to keep things light and make me laugh Jon took a hair piece that we had purchased to pretty much torture Penny with and while I diced onions and got ingredients for dinner he waited for the absolute opportune second to catch me off guard and scare the piss out of me.

I was in the fridge getting butter and just as I was about the close the door I heard him scream out, "oh my god...noooo"...I peeked up just in time to see something dark and furry flying at my head.  I screamed like a little school girl.  Threw down the butter that was in my hand and flew across the kitchen while batting my aledged assailant to the ground.

Turns out the "attacker" was none other than the fake hair piece and the next sound I heard was the cackling of Jon and Hannah as they celebrated the fact that their little prank had gotten me so good.  All I could do was accept defeat and make my way to the bathroom because as with any good joke at my expense...I now had to pee.  Thankfully I didn't pee in my pants...but it was a close one...a very, very...VERY close one.

After dinner was done and cleaned up we preheated the oven for the ceremonial making of the Christmas cookies.  That was going to be all Jon and Hannah because once again the anxiousness was taking hold and it was time to excuse myself for a cooling off period.  This consist of going to the bedroom and usually sitting in the quiet.  Sometimes I have to actually go and take a shower to take my mind off the anxious thoughts.  I used to go and run or walk when I became anxious but found that it actually prolonged the anxiety.  Sucky find because for a while there it was a GREAT way to get in shape.  Figure 6 or 7 anxiety attacks a day...a month or so later I'm down close to 10lbs.

Thankfully this one was quick lived and I was back in the mix within a thirty minutes.  Just in time to torture the dogs and catch a few pics of Jon and Hannah's Christmas crowns.

So here is my gift to you my readers...a few pics to show you how our Christmas Eve was spent.

Yep ladies...he's mine...ALL mine!

Jon and our baby girl.  You'd think the crowns were her was all him!

The great thing about being a man in a house full of girls...LOTS of kisses!

Usually she just leaves a note...this year, she means business! In case you can't read it, the cookie says "Dear Santa, I want it all.  If that isn't possible then leave the cookie and no on gets hurt.  Love, Hannah."

And because no holiday season would be complete without my dogs....

....remember...if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all because Karma is a real bitch....

Merry Christmas everyone!!
Love, Hugs and Kisses,

Sunday, December 20, 2009

My emotional compass is broken...maybe I should buy a GPS.

I am getting really, REALLY tired of asking myself "how did I get here"...mainly because I keep getting the same answer which of course is "how the fuck should I know" and "why are you asking yourself questions and fully expecting answers to pop up...jackass". 

Answering questions with questions is probably a big part of my problem.  Another issue has to be the fact that I am asking myself questions and expecting another entity, inside my psyche, to magically provide an answer.  It's probably as close to a Sybil moment as one can come without actually sprouting the other personalities.

Good thing too because even I don't think I have the stamina to deal with another form of crazy in my mind.  That and the fact that I have no healthcare (thank you America) to pay for the meds to keep that kind of psycho in check.  I would be forced to just put on a bathrobe and shuffle up and down the streets of our fair city which would completely cement my kids having a to have a psychology fund in place of a college fund for their future.

I am trying to think if there has ever been a time where I have felt this out of sorts with my own self.  Having trouble pinpointing one.  I know I've had some lows in my 32 years of life but this one certainly seems to take the cake, ice cream and pie of all the other moments.

Certainly no one plans out their life and thinks...hey better pencil in some time to absolutely lose your mind and go completely insane.  Maybe if I had been a better planner I would have factored it in so that it wouldn't have thrown everyone elses schedule and my own for such a fucking loop.  You really can't get anything accomplished when your busy self destructing.  Just a little FYI for if you ever decide to have a nervous breakdown.  What can I say...I'm a helper.

I sit in my room and think "today will be the day that things will turn around"....and then magically it doesn't.  Hmmm...what a let down.

The only constant is Penny, my bed, laptop and my unending stream of thoughts.  It's a constant barrage of self examination.  In case you ever think that someone else could be your worse critic...I suggest that you spend a good 24 hours alone with yourself.

If that doesn't work and you still think that someone...anyone can tear you down harder than you could ever do to yourself...I suggest you go back and spend a few days, weeks, months locked inside this depression with the unending loop of failures playing an then get back to me and see if you are able to name ANYONE that can lay on that type of personal dismanteling.  I'm thinking your list will be blank.

Anyone willing to offer up suggestions or antecdotes to possibly aid in the reconstruction efforts is more than welcome to pass them along.


Greetings from the land of lost....

I used to relish in the idea that I couldn't possibly fall farther down into the deepening waters of depression and then miraculously and viciously...I did.  They, whoever "they" is say that when you hit rock bottom that you will know.  I do not doubt this to be true.  I just wonder how far, exactly, precisely does one have to sink before they are truly at this horrendous place marked as bottom.  Cause I'd like to enter those coordinates into mapquest or some kind of life GPS. 

Instead of being able to discern my location based on some kind of emotional lardmark all I can profess is "greetings from the land of lost".  Lost in emotion.  Lost in disillusion.  And lost in the sheer vastness that is uncertainty.  It is painful and overwhelming to the point of feeling like ones chest and all that is encapsilated inside of it is going to be crushed and just come oozing out of what ever opening happens to be the closest.  And yet it doesn't and thus the panicked pain continues until mercifully you sleep.  Whether it be from exhaustion or just in order to escape from whatever else you should be doing at that precise moment that may in fact help you turn this unending decline around but that your body, mind and soul has deemed you incapable.

Medication doesn't help.  "They" say it's because you haven't found the right one or combination of ones and for awhile you believe it until you've spent so much time wrapped up in that little orange bottle with the white cap that you begin to think that it is a family member that you should possibly begin sending holiday cards to.  I like to envision Mr. Prozac receiving my chosen foil embelished festive greeting with smiling picture of my children nestled inside and a hand scribbled "all the best to you and yours this Holiday season" and it justfeeling so warm and fuzzy inside at being remembered. 

And why wouldn't it be remembered when it was the reason that I was able to function a full 3 whole days with out debilitating anxiety and depression out of a full 30 day period.  Wow, behold the magical powers of pharmaceuticals!  I think not.

So we take the hollistic approach and meditate upon the reasons as to why I am in fact so damn depressed.  Meditating turns to thinking.  Thinking turns to feeling anxious.  Anxiety leads to panic.  Panic leads to no good and then frustration and then sleep.

Every approach I have taken in the past 3 years has lead me to run into one brick wall after another.  I've gone through 6 different combinations of medication.  I've seen two therapist.  Logged countless pages in journals.  What has this journey of sliding further into the darkness yielded me?  The loss of 5 jobs.  A failing marriage and two children who have come to attomatically assume that I am asleep when I may actually be standing in the same exact room. 

I am listless and completely lost.  I have long since run out of ideas and now just try to go from second to second.  It is hard to find bits of humor in this bone crushing madness.  This and only this is why I haven't posted in almost a month.  The times of smiling and humor are so few and far between that I cannot even begin to extract enough to make a humorous post out of it and when something truly funny does happen I can't seem to find the where withall to remember to write it down. 

I miss the comments I received from my readers but more so I miss not puting out something funny to entertain all of you to begin with.