Sunday, 2/12

6:41a. For the past several weeks, I’ve set an alarm and gotten up before anyone else in the house. I’ve really come to enjoy this little bit of time in the dark, and it puts me in a much better mood than waiting for Jet to rip me from sleep. I’ve also really been trying to work on self-discipline, of which I have very little, and this routine is a great first step. A few reps a squats and curls each day, and waking up early. A start. It makes me proud of myself, honestly, and I hope it starts to build something in me that spills over into other areas of my life (like shopping/consumption/spending money).

To switch gears, lately I’ve been having some seriously dark compulsive thoughts. This really has never been an issue for me, and I’m wondering what effect the Abilify, which we add usually every winter to the mix, is having. I didn’t take it last night, and plan to wean myself off and see how I do. I’ve read stories of Abilify and some pretty nasty side effects, but it always worked well for me in the past. I always have much more of a tendency to get depressed in the winter, which is of course, really common. Since I’ve was pregnant with Jet (3 years ago!), everything in my body is different. Including how I respond to medication, and Abilify hasn’t been nearly as effective this time. So it wouldn’t be completely abnormal to experience different side effects, this being the first time I’ve been on it since before I was pregnant. So we’ll see. I can always go back on it if things worsen. And of course, still on the Lamictal which is really the driver of the bus. Anti-depressants have never really worked for me, but mood stabilizers? They’re the shit.

Wish me luck, self.

 

Saturday, 2/11

Yesterday was a huge astrological event – Lunar eclipse in Leo. A fiery, dramatic, creative, intoxicating sign. So I spent the day with my favorite Leo. Chani reminded me in my horoscopes and courses to seek pleasure amidst all this change and upheaval (both in our country and in my mind – in the things I am working on inside myself.)

Alisha and I got manicures – my first ever! I am officially addicted. We had lunch and mimosas and went shopping at all the best metaphysical haunts. So cool to expand on my new passion.

But perhaps more importantly, I took some pictures of her modeling her beautiful kimonos. And it reminded me that i love photography, and that I’m good at it. I’d forgotten that.

Thursday, 2/9

What is good, in this moment:

  • Ben and I are in a great place, full of love and partnership
  • We have ample money, and  more coming in.
  • The shop is doing great, and I’m making movement in my involvement and in getting the administrative things in order. I am a full partner.
  • Jet is in a fun, happy place. I am confident about myself as a mother and my approach to mothering.
  • I am not harboring any resentment towards my loved ones. There does not seem to be any bitterness in my life.
  • I am creating time for myself, to seek pleasure and enjoyment.
  • My friendship with Alisha has blossomed, and she is truly an important person in my life. I am thankful to have fun with her and she is helping me to seek that pleasure.
  • I am excited about the prospect of starting to try for another baby.
  • I have begun the process of examining my health and am taking steps to become healthier.
  • My weaknesses, those areas in which I am demanding growth in myself, are right at the surface for me to explore.
  • My depression is manageable at this point.
  • I am passionate about photography again.
  • I have ideas and roads to travel to form a sense of community for myself – friends and partners and groups of like-minded individuals. While it hasn’t happened yet, I can see avenues beginning to open on the horizon.
  • We are making improvements on the house, and for the first time in two years, I am enjoying living in it. It feels like a bright, clean, happy space instead of a burden.
  • I have been more creative. I am writing, taking pictures, exploring my metaphysical interests. I feel as though I need to be committed to a large project, but I am remembering that my life, for the past two years, has been devoid of creativity. It’s going to take some time for that to fully open again.

Saturday, 2/4

It’s early. 6:17 am. If I can force myself to get up before Jet, get showered, dressed, have a cup of coffee, the morning is so much better. Something about being drug out of bed by someone who is already wide slap open is…confronting.

If I weren’t a mother, I would sleep all the time. For me, as a depressive, sleep is seductive. It used to be my favorite way to pass the time, but that all changed the second Jet came into being. It wasn’t an easy adjustment, that’s for sure.

And since Ben works essentially all the time, the mothering and house stuff falls to me. Which is fine; this is our arrangement. When I was working full-time it was stressful and hard. I needed at least a 50% partnership – to help cook, clean, grocery shop, take Jet to daycare – but Ben just can’t do that right now. His work means he’s always busy (thank god his shop is on the property or we’d never see him) and his grief over the death of this father (and the shitty parental impressions his father gave him) mean that he struggles with Jet. It certainly has gotten better the older Jet gets – they can talk and laugh, relate to one another, and do things together. They have common interests.

I had a lot of bitterness over the distribution of household duties, and parental responsibilities for a long time. But since I’ve left the corporate world, my job is the house and Jet and helping at Ben’s shop, and that relieves the expectations of Ben. His job is to work his ass off, to build the life for our family that we dream of. My job is to facilitate him doing so. And this is my choice; this is exactly what I want. I hope we can make it work, financially.

But working from home (I’m still freelancing, luckily) is lonely. It’s easy to stay inside all day and clean and do work on the computer, but that is so detrimental to my mental health. And lately, at night, I’ve been binging. I eat so much – I will down a half a pack of cookies, easy. I wake up feeling so gluttonous. Gross. Too full. Last night Ben and I cleaned out space outdoors to work out. It will be great for me and my health, and hopefully help improve my self-discipline in general. And it will be great for us as a couple, to do something together like that.

I’ve been meditating on over-indulgence and self-discipline a lot lately. Rituals to help build that strength to say, “No, I don’t need that.” Those are some of my parental impressions. Something I just have to keep working on.

Jet is awake.

Monday, 1/23

It’s Monday, so Jet’s at daycare. I feel better today. Is that all it is – Jet being home? That makes me feel awful. I love being a mom, and before the past couple of months I just knew I was an amazing mother. But my mothering self-esteem is dissipating, and I find myself questioning every move I make. There is no confidence in my game, which I’m sure he senses and I’m sure it adds to his discomfort (and thus his acting out).

If I’m a good mother, why am I so miserable during the weekend? If another mother told me she felt badly that she would rather be doing her own thing most days, I would assure her that many women feel that way. That being a mother is hard as fuck, and takes every amount of patience and reserve that a person could possibly have. That it’s completely okay to want your own world – to want it and to make sure that you get it.

And yet, somehow, my own would-be advice falls on my own deaf ears. All I wanted when I was working was to have more time with him, and yet, here I am…struggling.

I must remind myself that I am struggling right now. I am dealing with a (seriously) depressive episode and a ton of anxiety. Now is not the time to judge myself, my thoughts, my desires, or my current situation. I have to get better before I can accurately measure anything in my life.

Just keep swimming. It will get better. It never stays hard forever. I love you.

Sunday, 1/22

By the end of last night, as I left Jet’s room for the last time, I felt like a failure. We had such a good day – both in lovely moods. The day went quickly and happily. Around 5, Ben finished up and we decided to go walk around the dam. It worked so well for us yesterday, improving both Jet and my mood and giving him an outlet to expel some energy. It was raining, but we didn’t care. It was nice to be out, all three of us for a change.

Sometime after dinner, Jet and Ben were rough-housing and it must have got him all worked up, because he got aggressive. He threw some toys at me, so I told him he had to go right to bed (even though it was still a bit early). I never do that – bed as a consequence – but sometimes I’m at a loss as to how to respond to aggressive behavior, especially when it’s directed at me. Then, in his room, after a book and as I was placing him in his crib, he slapped me. Twice. Across the face.

I left his room feeling very sad and very defeated. It was a good day, and to end on that note was devastating. When he acts like that, I don’t trust my instincts as a mother. Am I doing the right thing? Is this a natural consequence that he understands? I don’t believe in punishment – it doesn’t work and I won’t emotionally alienate my child when he’s calling out for help, calling out in discomfort (as it is with aggressive behavior). The other side of that is – am I doing enough? Am I strong enough in the boundaries I set? What am I doing to further the aggression?

It’s so hard. And then my mind starts to spiral. What kind of adult will he grow up to be? Will I look back on this stage and see clues to future problems? Will I see the mistakes I made and how they contributed to difficulties later in life? I know I’m not perfect, and I don’t judge other mothers as harshly as I judge myself (although I probably judge Ben pretty dang harshly.)

The thing is, right now I can’t trust my mind. Is this depression talking? Anxiety? How much of this is rooted in reality, and what do I need to do about it?

I don’t have the answers, but I need help. Help in the day-to-day, and help with my mind.

Saturday, 1/21

And what is it that will make me happy? As I adjust to this new way of life, as I struggle (and I am struggling) – as I look for guidance on my life’s direction and in those small glimpses of everyday beauty. What will make me happy? That’s the question floating around my head. When Jet goes down for a nap, What can I do with these two hours that will improve my mood? That I will enjoy?

I am lonely.

He is crying – awake. Actually, I’m happy. I missed him and need some interaction with another human, no matter how small.