Monday, March 29, 2010

Stress, Insomnia, and a Bunch of Rambling

I'm tired. So very, very tired. I am yawning repeatedly and my eyes are watering from lack of sleep. And yet, every time I lay my head to the pillow, I cannot sleep. My mind wanders and I can't relax. I've tried looking up obscure things online trying to bore myself. I had a bowl of oatmeal, hoping the carbs would make me sleepy. Both things have physically worked. I'm exhausted! And yet, that little switch in my brain refuses to switch off.

It's stress. It's the state of my kitchen. It's the 10 hours I worked yesterday. Remembering to make a doctor's appointment for Brandon. Wondering when and how I'm going to dye Easter eggs with the kids since I don't have any days off between payday and Easter. Surely I can come up with five dollars for eggs for them to color! Of course, even if we do color eggs, I won't get the joy of celebrating with them, since I work every single stinking Sunday, usually 10 hour days. I've missed out on every family celebration because they're held at lunchtime on Sundays. It means getting out of bed 2 hours earlier than usual after getting home at an ungodly hour. It will mean on Sunday that we must hurriedly hunt the eggs, then I will get to swallow a little food before groggily heading into work while everyone else continues to celebrate.

Sorry if it sounds so bitter. There are no fun times lately. I worked Valentine's Day, St. Patrick's Day and now Easter. I work with my sister and we have one other employee (who happens to be the owner's brother). My sister has off every Saturday, he has off every Sunday. Sure, I have off my two days during the week and MOST of the time, I don't mind my schedule. Really, just for once, I wish I had somebody accommodate me. I'm whining now.

Home life has been just as hard as work lately. Getting the boys to take out the trash is like pulling teeth. It doesn't help that it's starting to feel like the only time I see them is when I'm yelling at them to get out of bed before they miss the bus, or yelling at them to take out the trash. I need a vacation. From everything. Many people ask where does hubby come in to play with all of this. Sometimes you pick your battles, and it's looking like I've lost the war on this one. Sometimes I wonder if we live in the same house because it's what we want or because it's just easier this way. It's been the same way, day in and day out for 13 years now. It's not going to change. Hence, another reason for my stress.  It's better we don't get into that one. Between his own poor health, his own insomnia, and his own stress, we are merely coexisting and doing the best we can. If he helps every now and then, great. If not. Well. There's always tomorrow. Why pick a fight over who's going to tell the boys to take out the trash when I can just deal with it myself and move on?

I can't stand much more of this lack of sleep. I want to go to bed. I really do. My sleep schedule is so confuzzled that my body doesn't know what the sun looks like anymore. I wake up every day at 7 to put the kids on the bus. At 7:30, I come home and my brain is going a million miles an hour, so I check my email, read, try to relax for an hour or two until I'm so tired I can't stand it. I shuffle to bed around 10ish (yes, that is a.m.) to try to sleep before the kids get home from school. That's until my phone rings, there's a knock at the door, or I get overheated from the sunlight trying to penetrate through my window. Sometime between 2 and 4, I get up. This usually gives me about a 4 hour nap. Then I have lunch, shower, look in the kid's backpacks and then we are in the car by 5:15 to take me to work. (unless it's the weekend, then I'm going in anywhere between noon and 3) Work is until midnight. Hubby comes to pick me up and we do the 30 minute drive home...unless there is the need to stop by the grocery or something like that. Typical nights, we roll in the drive around 1 in the morning. Toss the kids back in bed, then fix dinner for hubby and me. Do a load of laundry while we eat, then toss it in the dryer on the way to bed. Sometime around the 3 a.m. mark. Up again at 7. That's 4 more hours of sleep IF I can fall asleep.

It wouldn't matter if I drove (which I can't, as in, never learned), because I would still be on the same schedule. I dread Spring Break. While I do love sleeping in, my kids have not gotten the hang of it. That is why on Thursday night, I finally have a clean kitchen and by Saturday morning, they've trashed it again, just in time for me to head into work and no time left to clean it again until Wednesday. Thank you, sweet children. Sure, they're big enough for chores. YOU come make them do them. Make sure Brandon has his medication. You'll have a 50/50 shot he's going to listen if you do. You'll have to bribe Matthew. Lately he's discovered his Mp3 player. No chores, I confiscate. Worked so far. Of course, until Brandon comes behind him and dumps a bowl of cereal in the middle of the floor, covers it with a shirt and tells nobody for 4 hours.

It's approaching 11, my mind is still full of racing thoughts and even blogging them out isn't very affective today. My head is wobbling as I type. My eyes crossing and blurring. And yet, I still can't find my off switch. It's going to be a long day.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Today, What Would Have Been

Today, you would have been 3 and 1/2. It's your half birthday. Except I'm not hugging you, tickling your feet or ruffling your hair. I'm looking out the front door at the rain. Just like the day you died and the week after. Heaven's tears.

I'm not sad. I'm melancholy. Reflective. What would you being doing today? Would we have gotten the trach out for good and would I be rolling my eyes as I shushed you and your brothers? Would you be walking? Maybe? I don't know how your skinny little chicken legs would have ever held you up, much less took a step. I imagine, as I look out my door that I would see you running. Picking flowers. Laughing. Hair all a mess and dirty feet.

Some days are easier to get through than others. Today was an easy day. I thought about you fondly. Only one or two tears welled up in my eyes.

Matthew has a hard time. He hates hearing the sound of your name. Brandon on the other hand, loves to see your picture and talk about you all the time. They fight a lot. I have to remind them that they have each other.

Daddy loves you, but he's quiet about it. He's very private with his grief. Sometimes we will talk about you and he will stop me and tell me it's enough.

I can't stop talking about you. You're my hero. You made me who I am today. I wish I could say that to your face, but even if I could, you're only 3 and 1/2 today. For everything you'd been through in your short life, you would have probably understood.

Would you still be signing? Be in preschool? Grown into the Terrible Twos? What I wouldn't give to spend a day in Heaven to see how you've grown.

I love you, sweet Tommy. On your Third and a half birthday. I love you every day. I miss you more and more. The physical pain of losing you has subsided, but the longing, the aching, the feeling of closing my eyes and reaching for you in thin air never goes away. I know you are just beyond my grasp. Just beyond my senses, and yet, somehow, I feel you there. I feel you in the whispering wind.

I see babies nearly every day. The ones that are younger than the day you died must have met you in Heaven. They smile knowingly at me and I know that they know I am your mom. It comforts me and fills me with love knowing you told them about me. The older ones let me see how big you would be. Gosh, 3 year olds are tall!

Keep taking care of my heart for me. Someday, when I get to Heaven with you, we can share it again. Happy Half Birthday. I love you always.

Life Going Well

Life is going well so far. I do have to constantly remind myself that my depression does not run my life. Every day is a challenge. I've tried to keep what is important in the front of my mind, and things I have no control over out of my thoughts if I can.

This week has been good to me. I was able to work a 5 day work week instead of the 11 in a row I pulled last week. I was able to get a small treat for myself and tonight we took the boys out for pizza. Being a "normal" family again isn't as hard as it used to be. Nobody knows we are really a family of 5 and that one of us is an angel. Tonight, we were just a mom and dad with two boys eating pizza and watching the big screen tv.

I let the boys decide what kind of pizza to get. I'm trying very hard to eat well, so I knew I would only have one slice no matter what it was. It happened that they wanted Meat Lovers with a stuffed crust. Oh My! They enjoyed it very much!

So, me eating right... Yep. For about a month now, I have not had a soda that was not diet. And more recently, I've gone the diet no caffeine route too. I have cut out red meat to about once or twice a week instead of typically 5 or 6 times a week, including lunch. I'm also trying to keep it under 1200 calories a day. Movement/exercise is still a challenge. I walk the boys to the bus stop every morning, about a football field's length. I'm trying to walk back at a faster pace than I usually do. I think the combination of eating well, squeezing in a little exercise and keeping my thoughts as positive as possible can only have a good effect on my mental well being. I also found I still had about 2 weeks left of Prozac, so I'm taking it for now.

I'm hoping in a couple of weeks that I can rearrange my schedule enough to be able to meet with the director of the clinic. Until then, one day at a time.

Friday, March 19, 2010


From Google Health: (full article here)

Major depression is when a person has five or more symptoms of depression for at least 2 weeks. These symptoms include feeling sad, hopeless, worthless, or pessimistic. In addition, people with major depression often have behavior changes, such as new eating and sleeping patterns.

This is my diagnosis. I've struggled with depression since my teens. Back then they told me my diagnosis was chronic recurrent depression, but when Tommy passed away,  I slipped into Major Depression. There's no going back. For many years, I was on a low dose of antidepressants off and on. When I was diagnosed with MD, my dose was upped and I have been on it for over a year. Due to circumstances beyond my control, I am not able to get medication at the time. Despite the fact that I have been well managed for so long, since I am new to the area, the clinic that follows me requires me to do talk therapy for 3 months before giving me meds. The problem with this is that I must meet with the director of the clinic first and she only sees people on certain days at certain times, which just happens to be while I am working. I've tried to work around this, but one thing leads to another and I'm not able to get off of work on the day I need or she's book up if I can. Very frustrating.

Today I bought a bottle of St. John's Wort. It's probably nowhere as strong as the antidepressants I have been on, but it's better than nothing at this point. I've also decided I have this blog, so why not use it therapeutically?

Depression affects my life every single day. It is a medical condition that I cannot just "get over". Little things become very overwhelming. Being tired or hungry makes it worse because I am not at my best so it's harder to deal with symptoms. I cry often, many times for no reason. Maybe the song on the radio hit me the wrong way or maybe my husband didn't tell me he loved me at the right time. I get angry and irrational too. Sometimes it lasts for just a few minutes to several hours. I have to constantly remind myself that life really isn't this bad, and that my depression skews my view.

To say that my emotional life is a struggle is an understatement. Imagine one moment you are having a fine, ordinary day and WHAM! Suddenly you feel as if everything you've ever done in your life is a waste, your kids are better off without you, you call yourself a loser, and pick fights with those you love. For a few hours, you are stuck in a puddle of feelings of being worthless. Eventually, it goes away. Usually after sleep. While on medications, days like these might happen once every two months. Without medication, it's 24/7. A constant fight that I battle with myself.

Years of therapy have taught me that I am worthwhile. I am entitled to my feelings, but I cannot let them rule my life. That is where this blog is coming into play. I cannot, CANNOT keep things bottled inside. The words, the feelings, the emotions MUST come out in order to move on each day. Some of the things I write might be uncomfortable. I don't know that for a fact just yet, but I will be writing in order to get things off of my chest. Comments are welcome, but try to keep things positive and use constructive criticism. The worst thing a person with depression needs is more pressure and negativity.

I am trying to heal. While I have no secrets, not everything I've been through in my life is know by everyone. I came from abuse, married abuse (divorced abuse) and finally when life was going well, we had and then lost Tommy. I don't like being depressed. I don't like hiding my tears from the customers at the store. Life should be filled with laughter, as it's been said before, this blog is a place to empty my thoughts when they become too much.

Thanks for coming along for the ride. There is NO shame in having a mental condition such as depression. I pray someone will come across one of my posts and recognize themselves and seek their own therapy.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010


I'm such a bad, bad blogger. No updates in over a week. I know I said I would be cutting back, but darnitall, I can find something to talk about, right?

 Let's talk a little green today.

My kids are so excited for tomorrow. Nothing special going on, except that it's Saint Patrick's Day. We're not Catholic so they have no idea what a saint is, nor do they really care who Saint Patrick was. What they care about is the green. Green shirts for school tomorrow, something dyed green for dinner tomorrow night, and Leprechauns darting behind the house to hide the gold. And it's all my fault.

It started years ago when my oldest was about 4 years old. He would wake up to a green breakfast, like in "Green Eggs and Ham". We'd hunt Leprechauns if there wasn't snow on the ground. (We lived in Maine). Of course this had his dad rolling his big Scottish eyes at me. Hehe. I'm Irish. What can I say? (Okay, I'm just a little Irish, but Irish is Irish on Saint Patrick's Day)

Growing up, I never left the house without wearing green on March 17th. Ever! My mom took great care to make sure I wasn't pinched at school. This year is no different. I've already painted my nails shamrock green. I have my green glitter covered hat from last year. Debated on wearing it or not. Matthew wants to wear it to school, but I'm afraid it would get destroyed. He will just have to be satisfied with wearing a green shirt.

I have to work, so that cuts into our Leprechaun hunting time. Usually it's done in the afternoon (when its warm) and we search patches of clovers for 4 leaf clovers and clues to where the Leprechauns are hiding. Matthew swore he saw one this morning lurking around. Instead, we will look for them while waiting for the bus. I can't wait until they get up. I have already dyed the milk green.

To top it all off, I have the ULTIMATE Irish accessory. I married an Irishman! He can trace his lineage back to an Irish king. There's no living with him around this time of year, as he insists we all refer to him as "Prince Robert". I'm kidding. He doesn't insist, but he does get a kick out of it.

Happy Saint Patrick's Day!!!!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Spring Has Arrived!

Spring is here! How can I tell? I woke up today, got the kids ready for school like every other Monday and we walked out the door. I sneezed. I sneezed again. Before the bus made it, I sneezed about 5 or 6 different times. Ahhhh....pollen....

It was 37 degrees at the bus stop this morning. Perfect for my favorite hoodie, cropped pants and pink snow boots. (Hey, the ground is still muddy!) The school says I have to be at the bus stop, they didn't say there was a dress code. Good thing I'm past the point in my life where I worry about what people must think of me, because 5 cars were stopped behind the bus and they all saw me in cropped pants and snow boots. I'm kind of hard to miss.

On the way to the bus stop, Brandon and I spotted life growing from the cold ground. Beautiful bright green shoots that will become beautiful bright flowers.

As I walked home, I noticed buds on the trees and just how lovely everything looked. I love Spring.

Spring brings something else too, here in Kentucky. Rain. Lots and lots of rain. Right on schedule with the flowers and budding trees is a weather forecast of a 40 to 60% chance of rain for the next 7 days, starting tonight. I'm not too worried about the weather because I happen to be working for the next 7 days so I won't be missing anything. I'm actually hoping for a really good morning thunderstorm to lull me back to sleep after the kids have gotten on the bus. Let's just hope Mother Nature keeps the tornados to herself this year. Nothing ruins a good nap like the prospect of a tornado. But, it's Kentucky and it can't be helped. It's Spring.

Here's a few more pictures to show you why I live where I do and why I refuse to move closer to my job. I wake up every single morning and look out my front door at this.

Diagram of Tommy's Heart Defects

Diagram of Tommy's Heart Defects
Double Inlet Left Ventricle with Transpostion of the Great Arteries