Thursday, August 07, 2008

Down Day. Yeah. You Heard Me.

Warning: I'm going to talk about my ongoing battle with what is called Depression. No, I don't take meds for it. No, I don't have a therapist. No, my family isn't concerned. No, I a not a rotten mother, and no, I am not suicidal. If you would like to leave me a comment telling me what an idiot I am, feel free, but you're going to feel rather silly, now that I've already answered the basic questions.

First of all, I hate that I have to be all upfront with my warning and what-not. But I've had enough "counsel" given to me in the past (by those far removed from the situation), that I feel I need to be frank with those who are quick to --dare I say it? --judge. Yep. Judge. I mean, I'm all for good advice and encouraging words, but I don't like being told that I'm being stupid, especially when the one telling me I'm stupid doesn't know me. Harsh stuff, man. And that could be an entirely different post, you know: "Why you shouldn't ever make people feel stupid on their own personal blogs. Save it for the forums! Just kidding. Don't ever make people feel stupid, because it's not nice."

All righty, then. This is what's been going on lately:
I've spent the last few days engrossed in the world of Breaking Dawn (no surprise there!) and here's my short take on it (some Spoiling if you haven't read it!):
1. People love Stephenie Meyer because she has a great imaginary world a lot of people want to believe in. There's just something about fantasy that makes us imagine the possible in the impossible and takes us away --even just for a day --from the daily grind. Sure, her similes get old after a while, sure the relationship between Bella and Edward is a little too passionate/gooey/"I would die for you and oh, your pain is so much my pain!", but I think a lot of women put up with it (as we are reading) because in our deepest inner part, we remember the lust/passion/"die without you" phases in our lives. And hopefully, for some of us, there's a little bit of that still there. Maybe.
2. I was very happy that although there was quite an inordinate amount of sexual reference (not dirty or vulgar, just lots of references!), the recommendation for chastity was obvious. This is good.
3. I would never, ever, ever want my daughters to read these books until they have hit about...age....17 or so. At least until they are at the age when they realize that being a "horndog" (doh! Did I just use that word!?) isn't exactly a good thing, and that Bella's constant physical desire is obnoxious. As a married woman? Didn't really bother me. I got it. As a teen? Awk-Ward! And pretty inappropriate.
4. I thought it was a perfect ending to a good series. This book was just as good (or just as bad, depending on your PoV) as the rest of the books. I was satisfied.

Now that I'm done being immersed in the world of Vampires and Werewolves (and the total desire to become an awesome Vampire myself --what? To macabre?), I have turned my attention to my destroyed household. And I'm tired. Very, very, very tired. It isn't a "oh, I stayed up too late reading Breaking Dawn!" tired --because I was in bed before 11PM last night --it's a "Why do I have to do these stupid chores again!?" tired. It's the "I'm tired of cleaning up dried cereal and cheese; tired of laundry; tired of dirty toilets; tired of whining kids; tired of all the things that are breaking all around our house; tired of financial struggles; tired of dealing with people" kind of tired. The "I'm going to be doing this for 20 years. Every. Day. For 20 years" kind of tired. It's also the "I'll never be a writer" kind of tired and the "did I really gain 6 pounds this month?!" kind of tired and the "blogging just isn't very fun right now" kind of tired.

I'm tired.

And it's not so much that I don't want to do things --I know I need to get things done, and I'll get them done. Even now, as I type this, I'm on my second load of laundry, the dishes are finished, and the kids are dressed. The birthday party for #3 is already planned, and Brandon and I are even going out on a date tonight. See? I do things. I get things done. I always get it done. But I'm at a point where I'm wondering if I want to get things done anymore.
Wouldn't it be easier to just be a known deadbeat and watch my Soaps all day? Wouldn't it be easier to allow myself to drift inside and ignore the external? Wouldn't it be easier to just...just...stop caring?
But I doubt I'll find out. I'm too stubborn to quit or give up. I wouldn't be happy with that outcome, anymore than with the outcome I'm living. It's kind of a crappy place to be, you know --stuck inside some sadness, wanting to get out, but liking the familiarity too much to leave.
And then having random strangers to tell you to pop some pills already.
Ah, well. It's how it goes, you know. You do the best you can and you just keep goin'. What else is there to do? Besides trying? And going? Even if I was to take meds and spend years and years trying to find the right dose and type to "fix" me, I'd still have to keep going, you know. Keep trying. Keep fighting. Even if I was to find some superficial type of happiness (which could be better than none, I know, I know!), I'd still have hard times and trials and a never-ending supply of Humble Pie. So, I just gotta keep going. Keep doing. Keep moving. "Enduring to the end," if you will.
You know, someone once told me that "enduring to the end" was awful. What good is enduring if there's no happiness? I wasn't sure how to respond, because I didn't really understand what she was meaning. But now I think I know what she means. And I have to disagree. Because I know that I have happiness. It's out there --on the fringes. Every once in a while, it pops up and into my life (not quite unlike the poem I wrote here), and I try to remember those times. Good memories can last a long time. But I have to endure through the drudgery and down days and tough times to get those shards of happiness. Do I wish I had to find them this way? Tiny pieces of happiness, strewn along the way, only found every once in a while? Do I wish I could have constant happiness? Absolutely.
But some happiness is better than no happiness.
And I'm okay with that.
I hope.


Julie said...

Just keep swimming. Just keep swimming. Just keep swimming, swimming, swimming.

I love you.

Madsens said...

man i feel like you do all the time :) i get home from work and see dishes and sit on the couch and turn on dr. phil...hmmm! but, the dishes do eventually get done, the dusting gets done and all the good stuff - cause if you don't do it, you would get swallowed up in unhappiness that just sucks! I have to endure just to begin - the end will just have to be ready for me when i get there...ha ha!

I hope you feel better!! just so you know, i gained 7 lbs - so i am back to the rigor or waking up early to jog - and ohhhhh i hate it! oh well, i guess that goes along with just getting it done right??

Jolene said...

Amen. To all of it.
Amen to the book.
Amen to the chores.
Amen to your feelings.
You are not alone.

Lanette said...

Welcome to earth life!! Never Give Up!!

brenbot said...

I've been feeling like caca too. I also gained 6 pounds this month. I am having a hard time getting out of this be lazy, don't exercise and eat like crap state. I say lets karate chop the depression right in the face. Lets eat good-for-us foods, take our depression-combating vitamins (i.e. calcium, magnesium, omega oils, B vitamins, etc.), break a sweat exercising and we'll feel better. I hope.

Becky, I have a cat said...

I haven't been to the gym in, oh, nearly a month. And I feel it. And it makes me feel like a lazy lump even when I'm running errands and cleaning the fridge. But when I think about it, it's not about me physically or my health or how I look in shorts. It's about that time that is mine and mine alone. And I haven't taken time for me. Comprende?

I have a friend that swears up and down that hiring a housekeeper saved her sanity. She and her husband really had to budget and sacrifice a few of their family "luxury" items to get someone in twice a week to vacuum and dust what not, but she has gained all that time. Not just the time cleaning, but the time dreading doing it, and the time dinking around avoiding it, and the time spent feeling guilty for not doing every last bit of it. Maybe not right for you and B, but something to think about.


flip flop mama said...

I think that is how life is most of the time. Life is not always happy, in fact most of it is drudgery...its those fleeting moments of happiness that can get us through!

Mother of the Wild Boys said...

Cheryl...once again you were able to eloquently say what I haven't been able to put into words. I'm so glad that you can share with us, because it definitely helps me feel less alone. You are awesome. I really feel like Heavenly Father knew I needed a friend who could "get me", and so he sent me you.

All I can say is, there is no one right answer when it comes to depression. I've dealt with it my entire life, on and off of the drugs. I've had therapists, I've tried exercise, I do eat right, and I take my vitamins. And yet it remains. Apparently H. F. has a higher opinion of my coping abilities than I do. ;)

All I can say is keep holding on to those happy shards, and don't worry about those haters- do what works for you!

Anonymous said...

I don't think you're as unhappy as you think you are. How else could you manage to bring so much happiness to everyone around you?

Or maybe we're all just miserable. You know, the whole misery loves company thing.

Cardalls said...

Wow--we have more in common than our name! I totally get this, I struggle with it on a regular basis. Sometimes I tell my husband that I could hate my life(meaning the drudgery) if it weren't full of so much happiness and goodness! You are not alone and pills certainly don't fix everything!

tamrobot said...

Aw, I'm sorry you've been feeling down.

I've been in a funk lately too. I know what I need to do to feel better (for me, personally, getting up earlier, eating better, exercising, and setting certain goals significantly helps), but for some reason I keep on sabotaging myself and do the exact opposite of what I know I need to do.

I agree with Brenna, it's karate chop time. Time to take action.

Amber said...

Hello friend! :) What to say? I'm not sure. Everyday life is CHALLENGING!! I hear ya. Oh, do I. :P I'm working on it too. I hope that you can have your rough day and have a better day tomorrow. One of the things that is so annoying about these down days is how it makes EVERYTHING look so bleak. It's so hard to see the happiness. I know you didn't ask for advice but I'm going to give you an idea anyway- to take as you'd like. Try marking on your calendar- a dot on each BAD day. You define them as you'd like. I tried it once and it did help me gain a little perspective on my "everything is so horrible" days. :) Ah Cheryl, you will make it. You ARE strong and GOOD. You are happiness. You are. Read you some Sherri Dew. :) Lots of love comin' your way!!

Janelle said...

Didn't you just get back from vacation, Youth Conference and a wedding? Of course you gained weight! But wasn't it fun while it lasted?

I used to have a cleaning lady until my daughters said, "We'll just let the cleaning lady pick up our rooms." Done with that! My kids will see me work and hard. But while I was pregnant and had arthritis flare ups it was a life saver. But now, Flylady is still working for me.

Umm, make your exercising social again and it will be fun like that class you did with Lanette. Do you have an exercising buddy or walking buddy in UT yet?

Have you been reading your scriptures lately? Vacation can always make our good habits hard to restart.

I imagine you already feel better, but for sure you will after your date. Go to Chilis and have the Guiltless Chicken something or other and you'll feel good about your food choice for the evening and then whatever else you Do will be dessert.

Now I need to go and do all the things I suggested to you. I'm sure you'll have a great weekend!


Never A True Aggie said...

I am soooo with you. I look at my laundry pile and just say, "why bother?" But, somehow it gets done. I wish you could see my house right now. Frightening. You will feel better soon. I say, let the simple stuff go. Who cares if the dishes don't get done. That's why they make paper plates! I had the same "Ah-Hah or rather "Oh Crap" moment too when I looked around and thought, "I have to do this forever...this being taking care of the house that is constantly changing." I like Julie Petite's recent comment about the "show farm" and the "working farm." If you missed it, she was saying that the Farm at Thanksgiving point is immaculate. No cow poop, good smells, nice and clean. A real farm is worn, but working. A real farm has a little cow poop here and there, and that is fine. So, I have just started saying that my house is a working house, not a show house. At least it makes me feel better for the moment.

On the BD note. I totally agree with you. NO WAY is Maren reading those books until she is 16 for the first....17-18 for the rest. Way too much sexiness and horniness. Horn Dog is right. Makes me wonder about Ms. Meyers sex life...maybe I don't want to know. I am glad the series is over. Hooray for Ms. Meyers. I hope she makes lots of money and is very happy.

Leslie said...

Your turn...send me your in now...thank you.

Amanda D said...

I love Julie's response: Just keep swimming. Great advice.

I totally understand bad days. I get them regularly where I just can't believe that I am still doing laundry or picking up legos AGAIN.

Prayers coming your way!

Cheryl said...

I love you, too.

Ha! I love that: Enduring just to begin. I'll have to use that in the future. And it looks like we both need to get crackin' on the weight thing again. Good! We can check up on each other... ;)

Thank you. Sometimes I feel alone, so thank you.

Earth life. Ugh! But so, so true.

Karate Chop in the Face it is!

Becky, I have a cat-
Actually, that's an idea I've thrown around for quite a few years now. I had always thought of it as helping me get rid of a chore, but I never thought about it getting rid of the angst and frustration that go along with it. I think Brandon and I might have to re-think this again (sad thing is, he's not the one against it! He's been for it for a while).
Hugs right back at 'ya, too.

Flip flop-
Drudgery. Yep. But yes, fleeting moments can last a long time!

Mother of the Wild Boys-
You literally made me cry. Thank you so much. I didn't realize you struggled with this so intently (because I'm a bad friend that way), but when you said that Heavenly Father had a higher opinion of your coping abilities than you do, I felt so much better. It's true, isn't it? He knows us so much better than we know ourselves, and it should be an honor to know that I can conquer this. I can.

I think you may be pretty close to something. Sometimes I wonder if I would be so sad if I wasn't so happy.
Or we could all just be miserable. ;)

You're right. Pills don't fix everything; although I know they do work really well for some people.
Thank you for understanding!

Wha?? Maybe it's a family vibe thing, what with you, bren, and me being all funk-i-fied. You're right. Karate Chop!

Thank you, friend. :) You are right! One bad day every few days is not a big deal. It is about perspective. And you've given me a lot. This is good. :)

Ah, yes. I guess I gained weight because of the crazy schedule. But it still stinks. I do have a walking buddy, though. I think exercise has been kind of touch and go because of my crazy schedule. But it does help.
I keep feeling tempted to do FlyLady, but I guess I just haven't been ready to make the leap. Oh, and the scriptures are there; just not as frequent. Another good reminder!
Love you, Janelle. :)

Never a True Aggie-
I actually remember reading that post by Julie P. It was really good and I remember thinking, "yes! my house is a working house." Thank you for the reminder and reference. It's easy to forget that my home isn't meant to be shown to famous people or something. Just a place to live.
P.S BD sex stuff, though, although plentiful, was not graphic. I am grateful for that!

Done. :)

Amanda D-
Thank you for your prayers! Good luck with all the legos. Again. ;)

Sara said...

i'm feeling the same way today!


i wish i could be so open about my daily struggles -- i really admire you for that!!!

sandra said...

you are definately not the only one feeling that way, I think that it comes with the job. Some days are definately not great, but we just keep plugging away. And Janelle is right, amazingly enough reading the scriptures does help, I guess because it brings the spirit into our lives more and afterall he is there to comfort us and help us right. You're great.

Julie said...

Hey, you know I'm ALL for the cleaning lady. I feel like it's a huge stress relief and if you can make some way for it to happen, it will bless your life. At least it has mine. I, for one thing, totally appreciate the fact that at least once a week I HAVE to go through the house and get the clutter under control...otherwise, why bother paying someone to clean around it? My kids, like Janelle's, have made "Mrs. Bird'll get it" comments, but we've worked really hard to make them understand she comes to do things like toilets and dusting...we have to work to keep our home clean and orderly. It's working so far. Oh, and I was exactly like you-- Stanton was "for" a cleaning lady for a long time before I swallowed my pride and got on board. I needed to be ready and you do to. But it's been worth it for me.
I will say this for the FlyLady, too, she is amazing IF you do what she assigns every day. The one load of laundry every morning has been revolutionary for me. I totally feel like I can wash, dry, fold, and even put away one load a day. Sometimes I really get into a groove with it and do 2 or 3 all the way to completion. It helps because the piles stay so small so it isn't this gargantuan task that seems impossible.

And finally, we miss you at Scripture Sisters. I like the accountability of commenting there every day-- it helps to keep the scripture reading in its proper place -- you the top of the list.

L-O-N-G comment, I know. But I've really been thinking about you today.

Summer said...

Isn't it amazing how you never really know what's going on inside a persons head? Even if you just saw them say 3 days ago. :)

You're awesome, don't give up!

The Motherboard said...

How did you see into my head?? I have been visiting funky town too!

Amen! Amen! Amen! and Amen!

I hate this "trial" and hope some day I understand better the whys of why its mine. you know?

Some days are better than others, for the most part. But, then funky town comes to visit and its hard to shake it. Thank you for giving us a voice. Your courage may in time rub off on me and help me to voice my own battles with this yucky thing.

Thanks. Really.

FluffyChicky said...

That's all I've got, because I am totally in the same boat.

Dave and Kathryn Dodds said...

It's too hot to be motivated in August!

MBusse said...

I ran across an article late tonight and for an odd reason, it made me think of reading your post earlier today. I put up a new post dedicated to you.

Jeanette said...

I'm not a very insightful or smart person so I don't really have anything helpful to say that has not already been said but I just thought I'd tell you that I love reading your blog because you just seem to be so much fun and the type of friend any girl would love to have! I hope today is a little brighter.
If you are interested, I left something on my blog for you.

Michelle said...

I just found you from Segullah and I LOVE this. Love your honesty. I have felt this way many times and despite my happy upswing this summer I know I'll feel it again.

Cheryl said...

Thank you! And welcome to the crazy/happy part of blogger world. :) Actually, it's an honor to have you commenting here; I've loved your guest posts over at Segullah. You are a fabulous writer!