Posted by: Kate | December 10, 2008

A Slow, Slick, Uncomfortable Slide

I’m heading into a reasonably significant depression.

I recognize the signs; I’ve been here before.  There’s the simple stuff: the fact that days slip by and I can’t figure out where the time went, the fact that the simplest of household chores presents itself to me as a monumental task.  I can’t think, in the most fundamental sense.  I simply cannot form a coherent thought, follow it along, and reach a conclusion, not with any semblance of efficiency or usefulness.

I’m not completely disabled by it, nor do I think I would ever become so.  I’m functioning; chores are getting done, kids are being fed and entertained, necessary phone calls are being placed.  I can feel glimmers of myself at moments, especially when other people are around; somehow it’s easier for me to fake happy if I have an audience.  But only an audience that expects me to be happy – it’s becoming increasingly hard to paste on a smile and an acceptable level of interest and enthusiasm around Willem.

And he deserves better, he really does.   He’s working so hard in school right now, plugging away so that we can move on to the next phase in our lives and leave this house and all its unpleasant memories – I was sitting on the bed when I decided to walk away from my doctorate, I’ve had a year’s worth of negative pregnancy tests in the bathroom, I collapsed on the couch and cried for days when I lost my job, all in this house – behind.  He’s been playing with the kids and organizing health insurance and just keeping things running as best he can, and he deserves to have a  partner who can listen better when he talks about his day and give a bright, genuine smile when he walks into the room.  And I’m trying, because right now, somehow it’s easier to cry for the people around me than it is to cry for myself.  I feel horrible about not being a good enough wife right now, and am funneling all of my energy into being at least a minimally good enough mother; Willem, in the long run, will get over my current depression and will forgive me for being human and breakable – the kids shouldn’t have to.

So far, I think the kids are OK.  Emily stayed home most of the day yesterday with a headache/stomach bug that seems to be going around, and so of course Jacob informed us that he had a headache, too (pointing to his cheek, or ear).  But they’re both playing happily, getting chores and homework done when asked, not behaving differently than they were before.  I take that as a good sign.

I’m just running out of things to be hopeful about, employment-wise.  The position I thought I had locked in, another Emergency Services job an hour north of here, never called me back.  Likewise with a school counselor position which I had decided, on my own, that I did not want to pursue; still, it would’ve been nice to get a call back.  Not hearing back leaves me feeling increasingly paranoid, worrying that I’m misreading the interviewers or that my references are coming back poorly despite promises to the contrary.

I think it will help once the unemployment checks arrive, when I feel like there’s at least some income trickling in while I read through these incredibly depressing job postings and accept that there is precisely nothing within a 50-mile radius that even remotely approximates my skills and preferred field.

And in the meantime, I’m playing too many computer games, wearing sloppy clothes and pulling my hair back in a ponytail because I can’t be bothered to try to put myself together when I’m just sitting around the house all day.  I’m sleeping a lot – a lot – and having horrible, unspeakable dreams.  I’m lonely but too overwhelmed by inertia to seek out other people, and it’s hard anyway because the times that are worst for me are the times when everyone else is off at work.

The weekends are better, so I’m hanging on for the weekend.  And I also do realize that I’m on a high dose of Clomid this month, 150mg, and that can cause mood swings and depressed feelings and lethargy.  I so, so hope it’s the Clomid, because that means next week will be better.

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Responses

  1. You know what, I could have written much of this post, verbatim. I’m struggling with what I recognize as depression from having been there in the past.

    Hang in there, and feel free to bend my ear. You don’t need to be falsely happy and cheerful with me.

    And call those job places back. Sometimes things get bogged down and the folks involved in the hiring just need a reminder.

  2. I’m sorry to say this is exactly how it went for me when I was going through something similar, except I was single and living alone.

    What helped me was going back to school. I had actually signed up before I was layed off. I had made the decision to go into teaching and needed to take some classes. I almost backed out because of the expense, but didn’t. It was a smart move on my part.

    The other thing I had to do was force myself to shower, dress, and leave my apartment. Luckily, you have kids to keep you doing that. ;o)

    I sent out so many resumes and did so many interviews for jobs that should have been a piece of cake for me. With most, I even made it to the 2nd interview stage, but no one ever contacted me back. It was so rude and so demoralizing. I was in a catch-22 by then because I’m sure I was projecting what I was feeling and thereby ensuring I’d not get the job. I doubt you’re doing that.

    What finally did it for me was signing up with a temp agency and doing work totally unrelated to my field. I ended up accepting a long-term temp job for peanuts working for a satellite office for the cable company. This office took care of replacing old cable lines. It was a bunch of blue-collar men who had no idea how to run an office and one 18-year-old “office manager.” Whipping that office into shape was such a boost for my very bruised ego. Ironically, I got the next “real” job I applied for. Coincidence? I think not.

    So my long-winded advice to you is do whatever you need to do to heal your ego. It’s very, very important.

  3. I’m sorry Kate. I hope it gets better for you.

  4. I remember those days well. I swear my husband was a saint. It took me about 6 months (no medication and no therapy) to get my self dignity back. I wish you luck and remember to think a positive thought every day to pick yourself up.

  5. Thinking of you.

  6. I also hope it’s the clomid. And feel free…I’m around during work hours- I can visit, call, write, host…..

  7. It’s totally normal to be depressed with no one around during the day, the clomid, the job hunt NOT happening, and dare I say, NH dark that starts about an hour after we wake up.

    And the cold . . . which is coming back after this one day reprieve.

    Just to say, you have valid reasons. And I hope a glimmer of SOMETHING comes through to help you move through the swamp to brighter ground.

  8. Oh, Kate. I’m sorry. Everything you’re feeling makes total sense — but that doesn’t make it one mite better. Thoughts coming your way from down South…

  9. Dear friend Kate. I am so so so sorry you are facing so much right now. I’m here for you as well as all your other PALs for a shoulder and virtual margarita or glass of wine!!! Please make some attempt at the obvious, getting out for a few minutes going for a walk or whatever. I tried calling the other day however I have your old #. Great big hugs of support heading clear across the country right to you.

  10. Thinking of you, and knowing how it all feels.

  11. I must have been channeling you the last couple of days. I thought to myself yesterday that I hadn’t had so much internal turmoil since the last time I stopped taking the antidepressants. I haven’t stopped again, so I have no idea where the ick is coming from.

    I, too, hope it’s just the Clomid and that you can climb out of the depths soon.

    And, call those people back. At the very least, they can tell you they hired someone else. Then you won’t have to wonder anymore.

  12. Aw, Kate.

    Hugs.

  13. Once again, except for the clomid, I can relate to your description of the down slide. I’ve been pretty good for the last year, the best since Brennie died and I started playing the depression game.

    You know how destructive hormones can be to mood disorders. Just hang on. You are in my thoughts and prayers. HUGZ 🙂

  14. Hang in there, Kate.

  15. {{{hugs}}}

  16. Hang in there, Kate. Depression is a bitch and a half. Would meds help or do you just ride it out?

  17. i love you!

    i miss you.

    and you’ll always be good enough.


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