In Which I Ramble

In a previous post called, “Documenting Even the Mess,” I decided I would take pictures of our house even in its horridly disorganized state. I’ve started doing more of that, just as a therapeutic exercise to get my finger clicking the shutter on my camera. But none of them are save-worthy, much less share-worthy. I always end up just wiping the memory card clean in favor of a new day’s worth of photos, which I always hope will be more worthwhile, memory-wise.

I am also growing more cognizant of the fact that my children need their privacy as they grow older, so I am currently doing a re-assessment of how much I share, photo-wise, of them. Two of them don’t mind my sharing, but one does a little bit. Even he has given me his permission to share pictures I take of him, but I do feel like I need to back off the constant sharing of the documenting of their days that I did when they were younger.

As such, I’ve been taking far less pictures in general these days.

All of that having been said, I do think I will start writing here more often again. It is a good outlet for me. And, I will continue to strive to use my best judgment and share family photos occasionally as I feel like I find balance between respecting my children’s privacy and my need to share my life with the world.

On that note, here’s a photo I took of O several weeks ago:

February 6, 2017

It’s time to also start writing a little bit more about real life:

I’ve been horribly depressed for well over a month now. It’s been debilitating. With the help of medication, I think I may be starting to see the light at the end of the proverbial tunnel of depression, and I surely hope this is indeed the case. This has been a stay-in-the-bed all day kind of depression, the sort of depression for which I seek out help in tending my children. I always deal with the depression after episodes like the one I had in November, in which I was manic, and I always know it will be bad in the aftermath of those episodes. I always forget how bad it can get, though. This episode was no exception to that pattern.

It’s a tough balancing act, this mental illness of mine. I go for weeks, months, and even years of being relatively okay, and then BAM seemingly out of nowhere, something triggers my brain to go haywire. I didn’t see this past episode coming at all, and sometimes there are clues.

I haven’t written about the episode here, but I have been journaling like crazy daily throughout the entire experience.

It’s always horrendously embarrassing, because I act in strange ways that are inexplicable to everyone around me, everyone but myself who follows along with the bizarre thought patterns that happen when I am in that state. And I have difficulty explaining to other people why I act the way I act, and it just turns out nasty. Sometimes I hurt people’s feelings, sometimes deeply. I’ve hurt family. I always remember what happens in those episodes too, and there’s always the memory of why I acted the way I did in the moment, and then there’s the realization that my brain jumps to irrational conclusions when I am in that sort of state. I stop sleeping and the lack of sleep becomes a vicious cycle, because then I become paranoid and afraid to sleep. The episode just takes on a momentum of all its own.

This type of episode has now happened seven times in my lifetime, counting the allergic reaction to a medication that precipitated my episode of 2008. It shatters my life each and every time. Prior to November of 2016, it had been well over six years since it had happened. I’ve gone as long as ten years between episodes.

It’s why I feel so rotten about myself. I never really had an outstanding self-esteem, but to know that I have this defect going on in my brain that causes me to act in ways that occasionally make me quite incoherent… that is just about intolerable. I cannot express in words the agony this knowledge gives me. It has cost me friendships. It has, seemingly permanently, affected my ability to work outside the home.

I sound despondent even now, even though I am not. Today, I actually got out of bed and am proceeding with a routine of sorts. But I’ve largely glossed over the details of my life in re-establishing this blog, picking and choosing the old posts to re-publish, and it’s time to stop doing that. Some days are quite wonderful around here, and some days are extraordinarily hard. Some days, for me, even breathing is a chore. Today is not one of those days, but if I am going to use this blog as a real outlet, I have to be real and admit that this is sometimes the case.

In other news…

J and I are getting serious about getting our house organized and in order. We want room in our garage to be able to park our cars inside. We want the bottom floor, at least, to be presentable so we can enjoy having guests over. I know that having organized surroundings will only help my mental state. The boys are desperate to have friends come over to play and more than once I’ve had to say no simply because I felt like the house was too messy. That excuse has to stop.

On that note, laundry is calling my name.

Thank God for Abby

My Abby is my therapy dog. She is my constant companion when I am at home. She keeps me company and keeps me on my toes, making sure that I know that I am unconditionally loved at all times.

She is maddeningly loyal. She insists on being close to me at all times, especially at bedtime or when I am sitting in one of the recliners. She doesn’t care what my mood is or what the house looks like. She is happy to be with me just because.

Abby is one of my best friends ever. Thank God for her.

Documenting Even the Mess

I tried for a while to back way off my photography hobby. It’s a fun thing to do, but for a variety of reasons, I got distracted and just didn’t pick up my camera for a while. I love to take photos of my kids, and I love just documenting our every day life. But, I am out of practice. I also worry too much about staging with my documentary photography. I have a hard time just taking pictures of my house in its as-is state.

A goal is to do more documenting our life, in all its messiness.