Stefani's most-fantastical-reads book montage

Crooked Kingdom
Six of Crows
Yellow Brick War
The Wicked Will Rise
Charm & Strange
Their Fractured Light
These Broken Stars
Big Little Lies
I'll Be There
Red Queen

Stefani's favorite books »

Saturday, December 8, 2012

When it all falls down...

"I haven't been myself lately"

Understatement of the year.

I had a lot of time to think today - to reflect on what ever THIS is that is going on with me. I don't know where to start with this post... with the symptoms or with the cause, so please hang on as it could be a bumpy ride.

I don't remember when it started this time... I never do. I never see it coming until it has hit me like a Mac truck doing 70 on the highway. But when it finally does it - it shatters everything. Every carefully constructed wall, every facade, every faked smile - all the things that I don't even realize that I am faking until it's too late. It all comes crashing down. I've been miserable for some time now - and if you keep reading you'll understand that by 'miserable' I really mean in a bout of clinical depression. It's not anything new or groundbreaking, I was diagnosed and started medication when I was 16. But I have what I guess I would call "flare ups" - times when no amount of medication can touch the gaping hole that I feel has been cut right through my center. This is one of those times.

I *think* this bout is a result of our new real estate endeavors. I have had a fear of selling our house for years now... not because I don't think it will sell or because I think that we won't get what we need out of it, but because I have ZERO control over the situation. None. I can't make someone love this house, I can't drag people to it and jump up and down on the street and scream, "Look!!!! It's perfect for you!!! BUY IT NOW!!!" I can't do anything but sit back, stalk the listing, and wait. And wait. And while I wait, I worry. I worry that it won't sell fast enough and we will lose the lot that we have in the new development. I worry that it won't sell at all and that for the umpteenth time, my dreams of having my dream home, will be flushed down the toilet. I hate that we aren't listed through an agent. I feel like we are sitting around, wasting our time, and by the time we do list with an agent, it will be spring and instead of a few houses being for sale there will be dozens and we will have to compete with THEM ALL. It makes my stomach turn. I hate that we are supposed to maintain this 'clean' house for the indefinite future and that some of my favorite stuff is packed away in boxes and I have no idea when I'll see it again. I HATE LIVING IN LIMBO.

And, as a result my control seeking brain stealthily started it's own power show. Whenever I feel like everything is in free fall and I can't control what is happening in my life, I quit food. Obviously, if you look at me, you'll know that I'm no anorexic. But, as a matter of asserting my ability to control something, I control food. Yesterday, I had a muffin and a 24 oz. decaf mocha. Today, I had a bowl (and a half) of cereal. I was fully intending to go to bed with out anything else until my emotional breakdown at approximately 5pm. Yes, Derek made me dinner. Yes, I ate it. And, yes, some of the symptoms that have been bothering me so badly these last few days... weeks... seem to have abated, at least for now. I'm warm for the first time in a week... I'm still exhausted and have a headache but I don't think one magic meal and a blog post is going to remedy that. The domino effect of stopping food is where most of my problems have come from lately - I'm exhausted, which is inconvenient when you are the mama of two babies. I'm not doing what I should around the house - Derek is the one cleaning, and cooking... and doing pretty much everything. I feel like right now, I exist to pump breast milk, hold babies, and educate middle schoolers. That's about all I can manage in a given day right now. By the time I get home, I'm wiped out {probably because I'm -2000 calories or so... but either way, I'm wiped out}. Then I feel worse about myself because I'm not pulling my weight around here and because I can't live up to all the other commitments in my life [clubs, work stuff... hell, even social stuff] so I control more... and so it goes.

The first time I remember this cycle starting was when I went away to college at WSU. I was terrified to be living on my own, hours from my parents, with ZERO friends around. I didn't know a soul when I walked into my dorm that first day. It was only by chance that I ran into some friends from my hometown a few days later and, eventually, met Derek and his friends. But at first, I was completely alone. I ate alone. Went to class alone. Studied alone. I didn't make a single friend my entire first semester {in fact, aside from Derek, there is only one other person that I would ever consider a friend from college}. I stayed in my room. I lived on steamed rice or goldfish crackers and Sprite. And it set me up perfectly to come down with meningitis that first October. I was malnourished, consuming large amounts of alcohol, not sleeping on any type of proper schedule, and living in a dorm - there really aren't more perfect circumstances for coming down with it. I spent two weeks in the hospital. Alone. I didn't have any friends - not a single person, to visit me in the hospital. My nurse felt so bad that on Halloween he brought me a singing pumpkin and a printout of my EKG with a note on it that said, "You have a good heart."

I remember it happening again before the wedding, and again while we were living with Derek's parents trying to find our first home, when I was first diagnosed with infertility, while I was interviewing for my first teaching job, when my dad found out he had cancer, when my marriage was in such a dark place that I believed nothing could save it, when I miscarried... when my world spins out of control, I hang on to the only thing I have control over. I know it's unhealthy. I know it's insanely unhealthy to be doing this and breastfeeding... and I know it's sick that I researched it to make sure that Cohen would still get what he needed from me, that my body would be the one to suffer, not his. But it's the only coping mechanism that I have that has ever worked for me. I've tried counseling, I'm on medication (although I ran out last week which may have contributed to today's emotional breakdown...).

I wish I could say it won't happen again... that I know the warning signs and I'll ask for help [laughs] or find some intervention that will prevent this stupid downward spiral. But, as I tell my kids in Social Studies, history has a way of repeating itself. What terrifies me is now I have a daughter who is smart, too smart for her own good... and I'm scared to death that she will somehow pick up on this. I want to be a good mother, and a good role model... and in most areas, I feel like I'm doing okay... but in this one, I'm failing miserably. I'm sorry that this has turned in to a 'woe is me' post... but it needed to come out. Sometimes seeing it on the screen, staring back at me, helps me ground myself. Sometimes, knowing that my 'secret' isn't secret anymore, takes away some of it's power. I can hope, right?

This song has been the very definition of my life so many times in the last 15 years... It has applied to about every miserable situation that I have ever had to break down and blog about {and the few that I've never had the never to blog about at all}. I don't know, it just fits. 

I watched the proverbial sunrise
Coming up over the Pacific and
You might think I'm losing my mind,
But I will shy away from the specifics...

'cause I don't want you to know where I am
'cause then you'll see my heart
In the saddest state it's ever been.

This is no place to try and live my life.

Stop right there. That's exactly where I lost it.
See that line. Well I never should have crossed it.
Stop right there. Well I never should have said
That it's the very moment that
I wish that I could take back.

I'm sorry for the person I became.
I'm sorry that it took so long for me to change.
I'm ready to be sure I never become that way again
'cause who I am hates who I've been.
Who I am hates who I've been.

I talk to absolutely no one.
Couldn't keep to myself enough.
And the things bottled inside have finally begun
To create so much pressure that I'll soon blow up.

I heard the reverberating footsteps
Synching up to the beating of my heart,
And I was positive that unless I got myself together,
I would watch me fall apart.

And I can't let that happen again
'cause then you'll see my heart
In the saddest state it's ever been.

This is no place to try and live my life.

Who I am hates who I've been
And who I am will take the second chance you gave me.
Who I am hates who I've been
'cause who I've been only ever made me...

So sorry for the person I became.
So sorry that it took so long for me to change.
I'm ready to be sure I never become that way again
'cause who I am hates who I've been.
Who I am hates who I've been.

1 comment:

  1. Oh honey I am so so sorry that you are struggling like this. I can practically hear your pain. Selling a house was one of the most stressful things I've ever gone through, until I had to buy a house. It sucks and it's very difficult to give up control. I'll be thinking of you.


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