Valentine’s Day

Functional Depression

We’ve had a winter snow and ice storm for the past few days. Not necessarily as severe as many other parts of our country and throughout the world…places where the residents ridicule and demean us for not being prepared and whining about a little bit of snow, which shut down our city, to the point where mass transit was cancelled and cab service was several hours late. Normally, this kind of thing would cause people to isolate and get cabin fever…but, pandemic. We were already there.

This also happened over Valentine’s Day weekend. Just another weekend for me. Except, as an essential worker in the mental health field, I still had to report for my graveyard shifts. Fortunately my supervisor has a 4WD SUV and transported me to and from for a couple of shifts. I went to work and fought against fatigue and sleepiness. I seldom sleep well during the days on my night shift weekends. I have an apartment full of people, including four littles six and under. Plus, insomnia. I’m usually awake within two to three hours after laying down.

I love my family, but, the relationship tensions of eight people, a dog, and a cat occupying a two bedroom, 1 bath apartment are inescapable. Between the pandemic and the exorbitant rise in housing costs, I have no idea when my adult daughter’s family of six will be able to get into their own space. It’s challenging to parent my 12 year old daughter with an autistic brain, in a small bedroom that we share, when she wants nothing to do with the nieces and nephew. Their sleep schedule is completely off center from ours. I can’t access the kitchen when I wake up early or get home from work because people are sleeping in the living room, right next to the kitchen. Additionally, my grandkids (and their parents, lol) are kind of like locusts. If they can see it, it’s fair game. So, it can be challenging keeping food for my youngest daughter and myself available when we need it.

So, I ordered a mini-fridge and microwave for my room. Basically I’m turning a small (miniscule) bedroom into a dorm room shared by me and my youngest. A couple of weeks ago, I spent 10-12 hours cleaning and organizing the room. Now, I need to do more in order to make room for the new appliances. I honestly don’t feel up to it, but, the appliances are supposed to be here in the next four or five days. Which means I don’t really have a choice.

Pandemic. Essential Worker. Underhoused. Family tension. Parenting struggles.

Even though I have the support of my faith community, I don’t feel connected to anyone particularly, though I know they would do whatever they could to help me out if I needed it.

I’m feeling isolated and alone in the midst of the chaos.

I’m battling my mental health issues. I’m struggling with physical health issues. My self-esteem is in the crapper…hating myself because of ingrained fatphobia.

Reading all the Valentine’s Day challenges – the love stories of the friends near and far on Facebook, is becoming more bitter than sweet.

My head feels like it’s going to explode. My chest is tight and it’s hard to breathe. My eyes won’t stop leaking and my sinuses are getting stuffed.

I don’t understand why I feel so isolated and unloveable. Listening to Justin Bieber croon how fucking lonely life is, just really resonates.

So, I’m in a pattern of self-sabotage with my health, which feeds into the self-esteem issues. I feel hopeless about making the changes I need to in my current circumstances…and I’ve basically given up trying. I shower and dress when I need to go to work. I eat bags of chips and drink soda for breakfast some days. Despite the type two diabetes, I can’t stop with the soda and carbs. I see the 150 extra lbs I’m carrying on my body and feel self-disgust and think, “of course no one is going to love you like this.” I want to hide and not be seen by people.

But, I still go to work. Sometimes I go to the grocery store. But, that’s all. That’s really where most people are at during the pandemic. The thing is, that was my life pre-pandemic, except for weekly excursions to church. The loneliness and isolation are exhausting. I have no energy left to love and care for myself.

I really need to get and stay on-track with my meds.

The best laid plans . . .

I got into an argument with Keith last night because he told me he’s coming home two days earlier than planned and instead of acting overjoyed and happy I went into problem solving mode, trying to figure out what plans can be shifted and adjusted.

My lack of favorable response triggered his feelings of being rejected. He needed to hear that I was happy to have him home. He needed to know that he’s wanted, welcomed, missed and desired. I get that. I understand my less than enthusiastic response may have made him feel unimportant, insignificant, unwelcome, and unappreciated – even if he didn’t likely have untreated BPD.

I know what he needed and what I should have done differently in order to not get into he argument. But it was like watching a car stall out on the tracks in front of an oncoming train with brakes that went out. There was nothing I could do in order to avoid the collision.

The fatigue, brain fog, and physical pain have me at my most vulnerable and least constructive the later it gets. The constant low-level depression and anxiety are at their lowest point before bedtime.

Anyway, he’ll be home later this morning and the laundry is in various piles and Luna’s toys aren’t where they need to be. Felix Unger is about to descend upon Oscar Madison’s pit of chaos.

I had planned to spend the next two days writing extra posts and scheduling them. I was also going to get all the laundry caught up and put away. I’m supposed to attend a parenting class and a socialization with other Head Start families. It may sound unreasonable that I will likely bail out on these things. But Keith has been gone for six weeks and only gets four days home. So, giving him undivided time and attention to focus on us and our family is what needs to happen.

Here’s something I created for him that will hopefully help him understand my love.

20130212-031356.jpg

I’ll try to post. I’m sure I will need to. However, if I don’t this is why. We’ll be fine and will work through this. Maybe I’ll even learn something from it, who knows.

In the meantime: P.E.A.C.E.