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18 July, 2013

This has been the pervading thought in my mind the last couple of days. Can I put my finger on the “why” though? I’m not sure I can but let me try and start…

It’s still school holidays and the kids get to sleep in, lounge around doing nothing if they want and I have to wake with my alarm and get up for work. “Too bad, so sad”, I hear you cry and you’d be right. “Harden up buttercup” I hear myself say to me!

My daughter texts me to ask me what can she do that’s “fun” and I respond with some options. This is where some of the problem starts.

She wants to make a cake but her older brother is at home and he likes interfering in whatever someone else does in the kitchen (because he knows better).

A short while later I get an email from the youngest boy. “Big brother” has struck and little sister has left her cake making to go to her room distraught. I call home and speak to them.

Daughter will not resume cake making, she knew she “should never have done it”, she’s “no good” and a myriad of other self recriminations to send her spirits into her socks.

I send a text home to the middlest and get no reply. He’s ignoring me when I ask him if he “had to interfere”. Of course there will be no apology and when we did get home later he half heartedly tried to repair things by encouraging her but the damage was done.

Has the middlest never been apologised to in his life? Is that why he seems incapable of doing it now? I feel like it’s all my fault but I’m sure I’ve apologised to him in the past.

Then there was an incident a couple of nights ago when my daughter who for some reason has a real aversion to the dark lately refused to go out to the shed. I tried to encourage her by saying the way was lit but she refused to go.

When hubby and middlest discovered it was down to her fear of the dark hubby didn’t protect her but seemed to make light of her plight. He did go out to get the bread but it was what he said about her fear that eroded a piece of her.

As a result she sees an obstacle and shirks from it. She buries herself into a cushion, her covers, anything she can shield herself with and withdraws and won’t even talk with me. I’m helpless.

So with her plummeting mood my mood also drops.

Yesterday was fine at work until I finished. I went across the road for a coffee while I waited for my lift and caught up on Facebook to see police memorial ribbons pop up on friends walls.

A colleague died yesterday after a long battle with cancer. I’ve seen both her and her hubby around the building, knew of her cancer fight but didn’t know either of them much better than that.

As I sat in the café though I had been thinking about how crap I felt, how low I was emotionally, how disconnected and thought of how this family were going when a real tragedy happened to them.

How pathetic am I?!

But as Thursday dawns and my mood is no better I have to wonder as to the cause. Is it because I feel that disconnect from hubby? He seems to be trying but he looks at me with puppy eyes and seems to want more than I can give in the way he wants it.

Is it because my daughter who had been so happy is withdrawn, unhappy in school, hating being a daughter of her Dad who seems to miss the mark on so many things a Dad should be to a daughter?

Is it because the middlest seems to push the family away from him with such ease, lack of consideration and disdain as he looks down on us lesser folk?

I rarely mention the youngest boy – the low maintenance kid who asked me to bring home “lolly disguises”, swiss roll and a melting moment over the last few days. He snuggles up alongside me in the evenings and doesn’t necessarily say anything, just absorbs the closeness.

Is it work? I’m doing menial data entry tasks while others get on with the “more important” work outside the office. I’m beginning to learn the ropes fully next week and I’m trying to not let the rot set in but struggling.

I look at myself in the mirror and I seem pale. The paleness makes the cold sores and spots stand out even more and I feel like I look haggard. I feel bloated and fat but I’m in my slimmest clothes for an age. My hair having been shampooed recently has got an overrun of grease as I struggle to rebalance the oils.

Where has my joy gone? How do I get it back? Is increasing medication really the only way? Change in the job will not be instant so why am I struggling in this “waiting period”?

I’ve felt like I have been in this holding pattern forever. I keep getting the inkling that sunrise is ahead but it’s been a long night. What has happened to cause this reliance on fickle feelings?

I never noticed before how my moods were related to what I was doing. I remember as a teen I would go off to scout camp for a weekend and the post-camp slump was horrific as I bumped back to reality of life with a disconnected busy family.

Is this how everyone operates or is this just the overriding depression clouding all judgement? Do things seem worse than they really are when really I am going into work, getting work done, having coffee breaks, having lunch, finishing work, having time with family, having more coffee and seeming to sleep ok (albeit with medication).

Isn’t that how life is for other people? Don’t they do the same ol’ same ol’ of work every day, cook dinner and eat with family at the end of the day? Don’t they “hate Mondays” too? Don’t they love Fridays and the weekend?

What is it they do that is so different that places a smile on their faces? A boss stuck his head around my door today and as he smiled thanking me for helping out I smiled but when he goes the smile drops and I wonder what I’m really doing here and want to escape.

But the escape I yearn for isn’t for better and brighter things. It’s for bed, a book, voyeurism in Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. It’s for baggy pyjamas or comfy clothes, a fire and movies, coffee on demand and a flashing “Fuck off” sign on my head.

Even a dog walk is stressful as my lunatics run off after smells in their crazy enthusiasm. A bike ride has the potential for me failing to unclip my foot and crash landing (as happened the last time I went out). A motorbike ride has a similar potential as the bike is cumbersome at the stop with my short legs.

Exercise doesn’t flood me with happy endorphins. I just get hot, sweaty, red faced and feel clumsy and uncoordinated. Nor do I enjoy doing it alone. It seems like hard work and I’d rather laugh my way through the pain but again, that’s a memory in the distant past.

Hubby says he’ll go for a run at dinner time and I feel it’s down to me to cook. He says he’s “not hungry” but soon I know he’ll have a packet of chips, a bowl of noodles (made by a kid), a bowl of fries and a beer or soft drink (or both). All before bed.

If I don’t cook, it doesn’t happen. In my depression my kids are suffering from poor eating habits. The middlest cooked a pasta last night which smelt delicious but he cooked just for him. The convenience foods come out with the younger kids then. Steamed yum cha, meat pies, chips. All the brown foods, no veg.

And again I feel like a bad mother letting her family down. Hubby doesn’t pick up the slack, doesn’t try to and pleads incompetence in all things new. So there is more guilt heaped onto myself (rightly or wrongly).

This morning held a change in work though with me learning new tasks. This afternoon I’ll learn some more and try and get my head around what I have learned so I don’t miss out on steps.

With a radio on for background noise and someone else to chat to even briefly my mood has brightened. I’ve been out and got some coffee and lunch and walked the blocks to get them. Incidentally met a pregnant colleague on the way out and enjoyed talking food with her briefly.

Is all I seek really just some human interaction? If so why does depression drive people away from the very thing that they yearn for – away from people and their enforced isolation?

Years ago there is probably no way anyone would pick me as getting depression. I was bubbly, interactive, could talk to anyone about anything (except sport), I had a crazy sense of humour and just got stuck in with life.

On one hand I was very extrovert and thrived in company of others and then I would get overloaded and seek some solitary time. Somewhere along the way though the balance seemed to switch – maybe it was a permanent overload of people driving me to solitary or being in a work environment where I was autonomous but surrounded by others.

I thought that was a good way for me to work but after years of shift work, overtime, indoors work some good hormone in my brain seems to have switched off and stayed off.

Last Thursday night when I forgot my night meds, Largactil, I tried not to stress about getting to sleep but follow my usual pattern – milk before bed and relaxation breathing. It worked until mid morning when I woke in the dark and had very light sleep from there.

This made me wonder if I should reduce my Largactil at night again or stick it out but I went and renewed my script for it and now have a three month supply that I guess I should just continue taking.

Along with that is the wonder about when I might be able to come off my anti-depressants. Should I be stupid enough to even consider that when I’ve only been on them, Pristiq, for 4 months?

Tomorrow I get to catch up with my psych and she can tell me I’m just mad regardless and stick with the meds. They do help I suppose.

Fun, where have you gone?


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