A few nights ago was a terribly sad night for me. I was thinking about my first Christmas alone. I am sad to be so far away from my family and that the boys were to be picked up at 9:00am. I will effectively have an ENTIRE DAY with little to no contact with anybody as I would never think to intrude on a family celebrating their holiday together. At first it looked like Battle Buddy and I may be without our kids on the same day but the ex-wife is now taking the kids on Christmas Eve instead of Christmas Day and my schedule is the opposite of that. We had talked about spending Christmas Day hiding out watching TV and eating junk food.
I texted him about being terribly sad and we talked for a little while about the crushing sadness we both at times face still in relation to our divorces and how we are left to not only pick up the pieces and dust ourselves off, but at the same time we are dusting off our kids, keeping them going, trying to help them find the answers they are looking for, and still trying to remember to put food on the table every night.
We also talked about my depression. It was the first in depth talk we had about my medication and what happens when I don’t take them. The conversation started innocently enough. I was telling him how much I love him Mom. She is cooky and he has an aunt that is all out NUTS. I said they remind me of my family and he replied that his family is FULL of nuts. I replied that mine is as well but I am the only one medicated enough to see it.
He said I wonder what you are like without your meds and I said, “Loud, irrational, temperamental, and sad. lol…worse than this!!”
I then sent him a follow up that said, “If you want the truth, I am suicidal without them. There is nothing harder than trying to tell your brain you should live when it is convincing you that not only would you be better off dead, your children would be better off if you were dead as well.”
As I expected, he thought that was pretty harsh. I explained that I see a huge difference in a chemical imbalance and a situational depression. I obviously have a chemical imbalance. I am also HUGELY vigilant about my own mental health state at all times. When my doctor wanted to add to my medication a few weeks ago because I was ‘going downhill’ I refused saying that I was sure it was only situational and just had to be dealt with and worked through so I could move forward and it would be OK once things stared to turn around. I think I’ve come out of it pretty well.
It’s an ugly truth to know just how sick you are…and I’m one of the lucky ones. I’m lucky because I do know. There are people out there as sick, or sicker than I, and they have no clue. Their reality is so skewed that to even think it is actually their brain making it so miserable for them to live is impossible.
Coming to terms with your body effectively trying to mutiny on a constant basis is difficult. My therapists always compare it to a diabetes diagnosis…bullshit. Yes, you live with diabetes for the rest of your life and if not managed properly has the power to kill you. I told her to go tell her friends/family/coworkers she was diagnosed with diabetes…then tell them she was diagnosed crazy…then she would see the difference.
I am lucky that I have a mouth as big as mine, I’m not afraid to speak my mind when it comes to mental illness. I would guess 99% of people with any mental health disorder do not have the assertive (borderline aggressive) personality traits to be as open.
I texted my daughter to get out of bed the other day. She sent one back asking if I was nuts. I said, “Well ya, but the meds seem to be helping.” That is the humorous side of this horrible illness. If it weren’t for that humor, I couldn’t do this. If you can’t laugh at yourself, there are always plenty of others to do it for you…but it’s less fun when you join them.
Christmas Day came and went. The boys and I spend two hours in the morning playing nearly every game they received as we enjoyed each others’ company. Dad showed up at 8:45 and they were off. I spend 90% of the day in bed. I texted with the Lunch Lady a few times how the day sucked and wondering why stores weren’t open so we could go shopping…we both live so far from our families, neither one of us was in the Christmas spirit.
Finally about 8:00pm I got up, cleaned up the mess from the gift opening, tuned B2’s guitar, found the receipt for B1’s scooter (he wants a different one so I said we could take it back) and took my second bubble bath of the day.
My brain struggled with making myself go on that day. I knew my boys would not want me moping without them. I know they expect my life to continue when they leave. It was just kind of a reality check for me…I hate not having them more than what I do; we all know that. But I have not been alone on Christmas EVER…not once have I spent Christmas alone. After the boys left in the morning I was all alone for the entire day. Lunch Lady invited me over but I stayed home. As much as I love her family and her kids, I just couldn’t risk putting a damper on the mood for the kids.
I know this post is all over the place…but I’m in a hurry today, sorry.
All is calm, all is bright…and I am smiling again.