glitches

I haven’t talked much about anxiety or depression lately.

From time to time people will ask me how it’s going, and I know they mean my Mental Issues. To be honest, I am usually caught off guard. Not that they would ask about that; in fact, I feel glad people feel comfortable enough with me to ask about that stuff. I’m usually thrown off because I’m not sure if they really want to know, or if they are looking for an “Ok” or a “Great!” type of answer.

Usually if people are asking me about how It is going, they read this blog and know about the Mental Issues already. Again, it’s touching that they care about me to want to keep up on These Things. It’s also means I am not sure how much they want me to go into it. Maybe it’s more comfortable for them to read about it rather than have me talk about it out loud.

But I haven’t said much here about it lately.

It’s not that I haven’t had any anxiety attacks or episodes, but by the time I get around to it, I have worked it out and it’s passed and I don’t have any need to write about it.

I get through each episode as it comes, which means when people ask me how it’s going I say, “really quite well.”

That is not to say that I don’t work at my Mental Issues daily.

Daily.

Still with the daily.

Every day I have to fight my urge to go to sleep all day.

Some days the urge is barely there.  I hear one of the boys wake up and my body eases out of bed fairly easily.  Coffee is poured, the day proceeds.

Other days the minute I hear a child I want to cry, and I have to fight with myself not to introvert on the spot and to interact meaningfully (and not just dutifully) with my kids.

I have to be conscious of everyone’s temperaments and know that when the natives get restless, we need a change of scenery…regardless if that is what actually want.  If I ignore the signs from Eddie and Charlie, the restlessness will turn into fighting which will turn into disobeying which will turn into screaming and crying.

And then I am triggered.

Even the days when I am tired and feel like I am just a hair away from a trigger and I just want to sit and drink my coffee and be all in my own head…I can’t. I can’t fall into that.

Every single day is still a challenge.

It’s not bad though.  Not like it sounds.

Well, some days are.

Some days are just hard.

Some days the ugly falls like a heavy fog on this house and I cannot see the good a joyful and beautiful even with my fog lights on.

But I have to keep going.

Sometimes I make bad choices that leave me feeling guilty and awful and mad because I feel like I should have been able to control that outburst. I shouldn’t have yelled at Eddie that way or redirected Charlie with such force.

Sometimes I sit in my bag chair in the garage staring at my phone while the boys play during that last 30 minutes before Cortney gets home because I can’t STAND to be the sole parent for one second longer and staring at my phone is all that is keeping my head from exploding.

Sometimes during Charlie’s afternoon nap, I take a nap on the couch even though Eddie doesn’t nap anymore. I just put in a movie for him and tell him that Mommy needs a rest.  I turn my back to him, face the back of the couch, and silently cry myself to sleep.

But in the grand scheme of things these moments are but glitches.

There are way more good moments that bad, and there are very few whole days that I would put in the trash pile.

I guess that is why I don’t really talk about it.

I don’t have any HUGE EPISODES that require me to “write it out”.

I’m aware that sometimes, things just suck because that is the way life is. I am also aware that sometimes things suck because that is just how my brain is.  It’s hard to tell the difference, but it doesn’t matter.

Every day I take my meds.  Every day I thank God for my family, my husband, modern medicine, and my faith.

Every day I start again.

living with depression

Did you see that my blog is now SIX YEARS OLD? I threw a party yesterday with giveaways for YOU!  Go enter!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
About Katie Sluiter

Just a small town girl...wait no. That is a Journey song. Katie Sluiter is a small town girl, but she is far from living in a lonely world. She is a high school English teacher, college adjunct instructor, freelance writer, mother, and wife. Life has thrown her a fair share of challenges, but her belief is that writing through them makes her stronger.

Comments

  1. Sweetie I think the things you described are pretty typical of nearly every mom I know. Even me. It does get overwhelming, it does get hard. I do get tired of being the sole parent because of GEne’s hours. But what is HUGE is the fact you are learning skills to deal with them much better. You are learning your breaking points and able to get yourself away from them. That is the HUGE for you..

  2. Modern medicine is truly a miracle without which I know I couldn’t survive. I am glad you are doing better and more able to work through the hard stuff. I am sorry the hard stuff is still there.

    • Thank you. Yay for modern meds! And yeah, hard stuff is just part of life. For people with mental disorders the hard stuff feels harder. but ya know what? I just have to get through it! :)

  3. Me too. Me too. And I read posts like this with tears streaming down my face. I read them in private so Alexa doesn’t see me cry. It’s a very thin line and I cross it some days. I try to be better the next. Thank you for putting this into words and putting it out there.

    • thank YOU for reading. Yes…it’s a thin line. That is a great way to put it. Sometimes the line is so thin it’s hard to know if it’s mental stuff or just…regular STUFF, ya know? I look at it like this: I feel like it’s hard either way, so it doesn’t matter if I classify it or not. Either way I have to get through it. Of course that is easier to say right now than it is to practice it in the thick of things.

  4. I suffer also but recently figured out that walking 2 miles upon waking up and listening to Yo-yo Ma can put me in the right state of mind. I don’t take anything currently but think modern medicine is awesome. I read a study yesterday that confirms how exercise affects the brain by creating new brain cells more resistant to stress.

    • So funny that you said this…I started walking this summer too and it is doing remarkable things for my mood. My hubs takes over bedtime and I go out in the cool of the evening for 2-3 miles. It’s been great for clearing my mind and calming down before I shower and go to bed. I still need my meds, but I feel like the exercise really helps it work at its best.

  5. I’m glad to know that you’re okay.
    Thinking of you all the time. xo

  6. Katie, this was beautiful. Thank you for sharing and for being you. So many of us have these moments and reminders that we are not alone help us feel less weak. Help us find the strength.

    Thank you for that, my friend.

    • I just write my truth…I am just glad that it can help other people. It wasn’t my goal, but it’s a happy side effect of “writing it out”.

  7. I don’t have much to say, but I do like reading about other people’s anxiety. I’m sad that this is what you’re dealing with, but it’s nice to know I’m not alone. I only recently realized that a lot of my problems are stress and anxiety related. But knowing what triggers an episode and knowing how to avoid it must help a lot. I can definitely see how dealing is a daily thing.

    • I think it’s so important to know we are not alone in this. I don’t talk about it all the time, but I put it out there from time to time to remind people that A) I am someone with “mental disorders” and I am a totally normal (ha!) person and B) they are not alone in the world of stuff in their head.

      And I spent the better part of the past year tracking hormonal things and recording what was happening when I had anxiety attacks or became depressed. I found it’s all a pattern for me with some major triggers and some minor ones. It’s hard work, but it’s been worth it. Not just for me, but for my family!

  8. Thank you for writing this. So often on blogs, we read about “this magic moment” — I’m guilty of that myself — and we forget that people also struggle and cry. It’s a good reminder that we don’t all have to be cheerful all the time, that it’s impossible to be, even if at our core we are happy.

    • I know this: my postpartum depression was not there with Charlie as much. I know my postpartum anxiety was there about the same, but I knew what it was. I also know that I have depression and anxiety that are hormonal/stress/sleep-related and not postpartum. It’s always there. Even with the magic moment when I knew I would be Ok and I felt like I turned a corner…even around that corner? cracks and holes that can trip me up. But yes, my core? Is so happy. :)

  9. Yeah. Me too. I’m just thankful now that they are easier for me to notice.

  10. I get to the end of so many days wishing that I could do it over, and grateful that I can start it over the following day. Also, if it makes you feel any better, I used to nap when the baby napped even if the big boy didn’t. I’d do the same exact thing – put on a movie and lay on the couch, or even (GASP) retreat to my room.

    • You know, Eddie is SO good about my taking naps some days. He sits on the end of the couch by my feet and watches his movie. Sometimes he lays by me. He can be really sweet when he sees I’m tired.

  11. Yes. Yes. I’ve been napping lately in the afternoons when things feel hard- and the toddler is sleeping- and my 3 year old will walk in and hold my hand and sit there with me…and I feel like we can “do” the afternoon.

    • awww!! yeah, Eddie can be so sweet when I am in need of a nap. It makes me feel like I am doing something right when he is that sensitive :)

  12. Ever since I had postpartum anxiety, there is a fear in the front of my mind that it is always hovering; waiting to attack. It sticks with you, and you are fighting the good fight, Katie! I’m glad you are doing so well.

    • I am not sure about most people, but I had anxiety before having babies, so I am pretty sure that is what is “lingering” now. I just know more about it, so I see it coming…usually. And thank you. Most days I feel like I am just hanging in there, but there are others that are wonderful and I think, “what anxiety? I am a fricking NINJA!”

  13. Have you seen Wreck-It-Ralph? (I HAVE. 24325254646266 times since it was released. But that’s not the point). In it, one of the characters is considered a glitch. She fades in and out, like a computer program going bad. The minute I saw that movie, I said, damn, I’m a glitch. I go in and out and I can’t always control it. The more I try to control it the more out of control it will “sometimes” get. The sleep, oh, the sleep. I desire it. And yet, I curb it. I tell it I’ll see it later, making it promises I may/may not keep, but it is a daily task and I’m just glad to still be here, with you, continuing to keep it at bay.

    • Arnebya I have not seen Wreck it Ralph (I know, I know) but holy shit YES! This is it. I am a glitch. I fade in and out. I can’t always control it. THIS.

      And I also make sleep promises. When I wake up in the morning and I tell sleep, I will come back during morning nap. Then I don’t, but I tell it, I will come back during afternoon nap. Sometimes I do, sometimes I don’t. It depends how the day is going.

      Thank you for this. Thank you for understanding.

  14. I used to feel like a “bad” mom because I didn’t love spending every minute of the day with my kids. I couldn’t do it. I KNEW in ever fiber of my being that I would melt down, so I didn’t even try. I love my kids fiercely. But at that age, I did not enjoy being with them 24/7. I missed them desperately when I was away at work, but I was able to avoid (or at least extremely limit) the glitches. I’m in total awe of stay-at-home moms (and teachers).

    • Yes. This is it. Yesterday Cort had to help someone move a dresser and when he came home just after 8pm I was giving him crazy eye. It has been 14 nonstop hours with my children and I needed it to stop. I needed to not be needed. I miss them insanely when I am working, but oh dear, I am not cut out for the nonstop!

  15. It took me a long to time to realize that my “outbursts” were related to extended anxiety and even a bit of depression, I guess. I’m trying to combat it all with my own strong will but I still may need some help in that area. Thanks for letting me know it’s okay if I do… xoxo

    • it really is ok if you need help. But it’s possible that you can do it on your own too. It’s really a very personal thing. And know this…I’m here. :)

  16. I think you and I are a lot alike in that way. I haven’t been closed about telling people about my struggles but sometimes when someone asks me directly about how it’s going, in relation to my mental health, I am caught off guard. I don’t always know how to answer because I don’t really know the answer sometimes. Somedays I genuinely feel ok and then others, I feel very much on the other end of the spectrum. I can’t say I’ve really found my normal yet, and perhaps I never quite will.

    “ever day I start again.”

    I love that. You do start again. And you can use that to your advantage. Your strength will make each start that much more promising.

    XO

    • Thanks, Kiran. I think we are a lot alike too.

      And you get to start again every day too. Don’t forget that. There is strength in knowing it.

  17. Thanks you so much for sharing this. I’ve had many of these moments myself over the years but it has gotten easier as mine have gotten older.

  18. Feel blessed people ask how you are doing. Nobody in my life gives a damn.

  19. That part where you wrote about staring at your phone for the last 30 minutes before Cort gets home because you can’t stand being a solo parent for another minute – me too. I do the same thing most days.

    Thanks for being so open about your feelings. I’m glad you’re doing so well. xoxo

  20. Is it normal for those moments to continue for years and years? I remember when my kids were little… and I accepted that the fatigue and intensity of parenting brought me to that point at times. But with a young grown son living at home (and doing essentially well… no major issues…working toward a career and moving out… saving up for a house) and a 14 year old (beautiful, smart, driven)… and I still fight the urge to give in and sleep EVERY DAY. But I do fight it, remembering that childhood goes so fast… I basically have NO time left…. so I work hard to rise to the occasion, to be mentally and emotionally present, not just physically there. I have always thought of myself as one who dealt with postpartum depression (first child…severe… voices and everything!) and who came out on the other side… but now I wonder if parts of it can persist. Depending on the week, I wrestle with (child focused) anxiety, guilt and sadness over the looming empty nest. Other times I manage to work and parent with minimal issues. Is anyone else still dealing with this at this point in the game?

    • I think it is, Jessie. I mean, I have had anxiety my whole life. I had it long before I had kids, and I suspect I will have it even when they are older and it doesn’t seem…right. Not that it seems right now, but people nod knowingly now because I have small children. But I am prepared for this to never go away. I don’t like it, but I think anxiety is part of me and how my brain works. I manage it better and better as I live with it, but that doesn’t mean it goes away. Does that make sense? I’m not saying “well I have anxiety and life is always going to be hard,” but I do think I’ll always be dealing with stress differently because I have anxiety.

  21. Katie,

    I would like to thank you for being as open as you are about post partum depression and shedding light on the every day joys and struggles of being a mother. I am a family therapist intern and I am applying for a position working with mothers that face the challenge of not only post partum depression, but poverty, marginalization, and intergenerational illnesses like abuse and substance abuse. Thank you again for shedding the light. I pray that all your prayers are met and know that you have made a difference on many fronts.

  22. Thank you for being you, for being honest and open and brave enough to share your glitches and your heart. xoxoxo

  23. Thank you for sharing this I am in the postpartum stage and I have Bipolar Disorder. I have a bad cocktail going on and I needed to read this right now because some days I feel so alone in this struggle to be a mother. It’s all I want, and dread at the same time. But I am glad to know I am not alone.

  24. Very touching post Kate! My wife found your blog and we can both relate. It’s great that you blog openly about your anxiety and depression. I also have severe anxiety and am bipolar and I blog about that also. It’s liberating to tell the world and your friends and family about your mental illness, but I know what you mean when people you know ask how you’re doing. It’s hard to tell if the are asking because they care or because they think you’re a charity case. I admire your honesty and great job on this post. Have an inspiring day :)

  25. I just had my second baby about 5 months ago. I had postpartum anxiety and it completely turned my life upside down. How could this happen to me? The me who has a great marriage and husband, a firstborn who was “perfect”, a prestigious profession, secure financial status, etc. I took all the help I can get through medicine, counseling and family. Counseling has helped me tremendously and it’s hard to believe that I am where I am today. However, the most life transforming element for me is the book “Power of Now” by Eckhart Tolle. It has given me an explanation for how postpartum anxiety came to be in my life and it is amazing how much inner peace I now have. When I read your blog, it resonated with those thoughts that were my enemy and now I realize that I am not my external form or accomplishments and most importantly, I am not my thoughts.
    I highly recommend finding out for yourself the power of now. I wish everyone a life of transformation.

Trackbacks

  1. [...] Glitches – Excellent post from Kate Sluiter about those moments down the road in recovery that aren’t monumentally bad but temporary glitches, and how every day she has the opportunity to start anew. [...]

Speak Your Mind

*

CommentLuv badge