Winter Blues

Lately I’ve been stuck in a rut.  The days blend into one another and they feel like they’re gone before they’ve even begun.  I have no desire to do anything besides lay in my bed, where it’s safe and warm, where nothing can touch me.  My whole body hurts every morning.  The dishes and laundry pile up and I have no energy or interest in getting them done.  When the kids are over, I have to force myself to get up and socialize, to go out and do things, to make good meals for them, and I do that because I love them to pieces and I know that our time together is precious, but in the back of my mind I’m always thinking about that moment at the end of the day when I can take off all my clothes and crawl into my safe haven.

I love being naked.  I don’t love the way that I look naked right now, but I enjoy being free of those restrictions.  I’ve always been the kind of person who can’t sleep with pajamas on.  They get all twisted around your body and you’re constantly having to adjust them and I just think it’s bullshit.  When my kids were much younger and they wanted to sleep with me, I would reluctantly put something on but my sleep was always jeopardized because of it.  (That, and they sleep like fucking octopi).  I will always cherish those moments I shared with them, because now they are far too big to want to sleep with their momma, but I just always want to sleep without my clothes on.

I am in a depression.  I’ve taken some steps to improve the situation, but I don’t feel like I’m anywhere close to being out the other side of it.  It’s silly because I’m probably the most stable I’ve ever been in my life, I’m in an amazing, supportive relationship, and I’ve built strong bonds with my children.  I’m taking medication, I’m seeing a counselor, I started writing, and all of these things are definitely having a positive effect.  The writing especially–I haven’t written anything consistently for myself in many years.  Yes, I’m sharing it with others, but it feels like an outlet where that’s okay.  I’m finally doing what I’ve always wanted to do.  I’m taking the thing that I’m the best at and using it to my advantage.

It seems funny because sometimes I can go out and put on a good face, socialize with strangers and have a great time.  But other times I am dying to get away from people.  Is it possible to be an introvert and an extrovert at the same time?  I love certain people with such intensity, but the general population gives me social anxiety.  Over the weekend my stepmother and I took my kids and my nephew to the Ripley’s Aquarium in Toronto and from the moment we got there I was tense.  Some people have no concept of personal space.  Children especially, but grown adults ought to know better.  And for fuck’s sake, if you’re going to go on a family expedition, have the decency to have a shower first, I don’t give a shit who you are.  It’s common courtesy.  I was bumped, nudged, pushed and shoved throughout our visit.  By the time we got back to the car I was completely exhausted and almost falling asleep on the drive home with four kids in the car.  People drain me.  Conversations drain me.  I talk all day for a living.  Sometimes I just want to come home to some good old-fashioned silence.

Moreover, life is draining me right now.  The household responsibilities are overwhelming.  I know exercise will help, but I can’t bring myself to do more than lift some weights a few days a week.  My weight is a constant burden.  I look at pictures of myself from a year ago when I was 50lbs lighter and I want to crawl into a hole and hide.  I know I need to go to the gym, but I’m not ready to.  I pay the membership fees every month, and it’s right around the corner, but all I want to do is lay in my bed.

I think about my kids and how big they are now, how much they’ve grown into little men.  You can see the potential for the type of men they will grow up to be.  It’s a very important and challenging job trying to shape two children to be the best versions of themselves when you only have them two days a week.  I get sad when I think about how small they once were, how Aidan loved to sit in my lap all the time, how Liam was always so inquisitive and funny.  I can’t pick them up anymore.  I think about wasted time, I regret the mistakes I’ve made, and I constantly worry about whether or not I’m doing a good job of raising them.  I don’t want them to grow up and hate me, and I don’t want them to think I didn’t do enough for them or I didn’t love them enough.  I suppose this is every parent’s struggle, and I know I’m not alone in this sadness.  Honestly it is the essence of the statement that life is not about you anymore once you become a parent.  You live your life for someone else.  Everything you do is for them.  You never, ever stop worrying about them.

I know I’m on the road to recovery . . .  doing something is better than doing nothing.  It’s better than blaming my problems on everyone else and feeling sorry for myself.  That’s not it at all; I don’t feel sorry for myself, I’m not asking for pity, but simply put, this is where I’m at right now.  There’s the side to life where everything is hunky-dory and we put on our best faces for our selfies and try to depict our lives as perfectly as possible, and then there’s the darker side that people don’t like to talk about.  I once had a friend try to offer me some advice when I was going through a particularly rough time in my life.  She explained that feeling pain and loss and sadness are just feelings like any other.  They are natural emotions, and there is just as much value in the negative experience as there is in the positive.  So we must cling to that concept, and allow ourselves to feel, to process, to overcome, even if it is uncomfortable for us.  There is beauty in the imperfections of our lives.  I am on a road of exploration into the inner workings of my mind and my heart.  The best thing about it is knowing that there is an end in sight.  I won’t always be down, I won’t always feel this way, life does get better and I will eventually move on to something splendid.

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