“I’ve been doing this all on my own with no help and basically just white-knuckling it this whole time.” ~ Pat to his therapist in Silver Linings Playbook
I highly recommend the movie I quoted above. It’s a dark comedy with more laughs than gasps. I found it relatable…which isn’t necessarily good…but it also made me feel pretty good about myself. (I’m not as screwed up as those people! Ha!) That line above though…that’s my line.
Depression and anxiety go hand in hand. All the different cocktails of medications the doctors were suggesting….bllll. It just wasn’t working out for me. I mean, they did what they should in that they would alter my moods but it wasn’t fixing the actual problem. Ya know?
So Man and I decided, no meds. White-knuckling it.
There are days that I just want to punch a hole in the wall. There are days where I wake up sad and I have a steady stream of tears running all day long. Sometimes I cry myself to sleep pressed with a feeling of uselessness and just praying, “take me, take me, take me…”
“Don’t let the bad days carry on to the next,” Man tells me. “This was a bad day. Go to sleep and wake up in a new day, detached from the previous.”
So I cry to sleep and imagine myself cutting through any ties to that day, refusing to stay docked to it. For the most part, it seems to work. I mean, you don’t wake up from a night of begging God to take you feeling rested and perky, but I can get out of bed, set my feet on the floor and say, “Let’s make this day better!”
In the movie, Silver Linings, Pat (played by Bradley Cooper) is bi-polar and is trying to “heal” himself with exercise and positive thinking. “Excelsior” is his mantra and means “ever upward.” He seeks the silver lining in everything.
Today I passed through the kitchen and saw in the sink my chip and dip service dish. You know, those things with a well for chips surrounding a bowl for dip? Mine is wooden and it has a hole in the middle where you set a glass dish with dip. My wooden chip and dip service dish, a gift from my Grandfather (who never gives gifts, only gift cards) was completely submerged in water. Did I mention that it’s wooden?
“Why is my chip and dip bowl filled with water?” I asked muffling a shriek.
“I’m soaking it,” Man answered.
“Soaking a chip bowl? Those pesky corn chip crumbs and salt giving you a hard time?”
Man sort of laughed.
“Husband! You do NOT soak a WOODEN bowl!” I laughed to keep from crying.
He apologized (with some snickers) as I rescued my bowl from its 3 hour soak. (Oh Lord in heaven….) I took deep breaths, my chest tightened and the pangs returned.
Silver lining: You have a husband who helps with the dishes. Yes, that’s good. He wanted to help. But…he’s a real smart man. The dishwasher has dirty dishes in it but he chose to “soak” 3 bowls (one of which was wooden…) Why can’t he just scrub them out and load them in the dishwasher? Because he wants ME to scrub them. He is soaking to avoid the scrubbing! Silver lining: You have a husband who will touch a dirty dish.
I sought My Man out in the office.
“Babe,” I said.
He turned his chair toward me.
“Thank you. I appreciate that I have a husband who will try to help with the dishes.” Yep. I said that. I didn’t really mean it. I still felt all tight and annoyed on the inside (especially in the chest and stomach area) but my strategy is to fake it ’til I feel it.
He was grateful. I think he bought it… Nope. He’s smart. He knows this is me white-knuckling it, but he accepted my thanks and hugged me and kissed me my cheeks.
I’m having really good days too. (Most of today has been good actually, there was just that wooden bowl submerged in water thing…) I have been on an organization kick. I’m going to make my life easier. One of the triggers that will ruin my day is when I can’t find something. When I lost Grandma’s empanada recipe…Whew! Bad day. When I can’t find car keys or lose a shirt, when my kids can’t find items that I know I just saw….it really upsets me. Everybody better help look or I feel like they don’t care that I’m missing this item. While the panic rises I know it’s irrational and I try to soothe myself with that thought but it only upsets me more. Sooo, I bought all kinds of things to clean up my room, my desk and the kids room.
(P.S. I found Grandma’s empanada recipe while getting organized. Also found a notebook where I wrote down Buddy and Bug’s prayers. “Lord Jesus, please help my friends to not get a color change, except Jordan because he’s the meanest kid in school.”)
I keep opening these newly organized drawers and closets and it makes me smile and I feel comforted to see everything in order!
Another “trigger” is my children. My beautiful funny boys that I just want to…..aaaaagh!…most of the time. Getting ready for school just about kills me and that’s how my everyday starts and then the day is capped with all the after school activities.
To make mornings smoother I bought a chore chart. I added things besides just getting ready for school, like taking out the trash and doing the dishes. I know that sounds so obvious and my siblings and I started doing chores at a very young age. We used to say that the only reason our parents had kids was so that we’d do all the house work. Serious.
The main reason my kids do so little chores is because they are so ever-loving slow, I can hardly stand it! They so slowly do the chores and, AND they are done poorly on top of it. I know they would improve the more they do it but….it just…eeee! So, I’m letting that go. It will only make things easier for me if I let them do them and get good at them. It will be something I have to breathe through…
I’m trying to be a better Mom. I’m trying to have more patience.
“The way you treat them now is how they’ll treat you in 40 years,” Man warned me.
“So they’ll put me away in a home where they don’t have to bother with me. I’m OK with that. I want to go to a fun one!”
“Have you ever been to a ‘fun’ old folks home? They smell like Ben-Gay and death is waiting everywhere.”
“Whatever! I’m going to the kind with lot’s of social activities like Bingo and Salsa classes. I hear STDs are rampant in senior homes now. Tell me that sounds like a place where fun isn’t happening.”
As this year dissolves, I feel like I’m having more and more Good Days. I’m ready to be rid of 2012. It sucked big, giant..
I have a lot to look forward to in 2013. Loads of travel to exotic locales, 3 weddings, and new shows to perform in. Friends having babies. I can’t WAIT to start rehearsing for Evening on Broadway. I’m excited to work with a new group of people and to stretch and be challenged in the performing arts. Maybe I’ll learn to skip in place…maybe.
The other night I dreamt that I was in a school or something. My arms were loaded with sculpting clay. They were big balls of vibrant colored clay. Fucia, purple, deep dark blue, bright royal blue. I loved the malleable, mushy feel of the clay. When I entered into another room the clay had turned to bolts of fabric. The fabric’s colors were muted though. A faded denim color with small white polka dots, a faded red (almost pink) with thin white stripes, pale green. I was not as happy with the fabric. I don’t know how to sew really and the colors were drab. I have some ideas of what the dream was about but the thing I most took from it was to be creative. Dive deep into it.
In 2013 I’m going to audition for lots of things! It’s always good practice, even if nothing comes of it. I’m also going to paint with bold, brash, bright colors and huge pieces of canvas! It’s going to be a great year. I’m determined for it to be.
(Note: I’m going off Facebook for a month or two. I’ll still blog (gotta write, gotta sing, gotta dance, gotta paint) but I won’t be posting links to my blog on Facebook. If you want to keep up with stories of rehearsals and of the silly antics of Buddy and Bug you will need to subscribe to my blog. It’s free. It’s simple.)