Monday, September 21, 2009

Talk, Talk, Talk...

Have you noticed how the same things get talked about in your life over and over and over? And for the most part, this is just peach-keen, dandy, and fabuloso. We talk about our kids, our husbands, our jobs, our parents, our friends, pretty much all of our relationships, and then we move onto other things like shoes, movies, books, blogs, etc.
And when I say "we" I'm talking about most people in general.
So, we talk about these things. We go over these things, and although they change in scenario (relationships change, parental issues change, shoe styles change), they are kind of the same thing. Personally, I think it's kind of awesome. It's nice to have the same things to talk about, and when you can find a friend to talk about these same issues with over and over and over, it's even better. But sometimes, I feel sorry for my friends, because my topics are just constantly repeating themselves. And these aren't topics like I've mentioned above (because I can never get enough talking about blogs, TV shows, movies, books, although talking about shoes gets kind of old after a while, so it's probably a good thing I've never lingered on the topic of shoes for very long), these are the topics that include the yucky things about my life that I can't seem to solve.
Like Depression.
And Priorities.

These two things seem intertwined in my life. I'm not sure if it's because my inability to prioritize/de-stress is causing the Depression, or if it's a result of the Depression, but either way, I talk about both of them a lot. A lot-lot. It's one of those ad-nauseum things, like when people try to blog about politics or gay marriage or male circumcision and everyone "suddenly has something to say!" except in my case, the only person truly talking is me. Because these are my things --this is my deal I have to get through. I have to figure it out. Not necessarily alone, thank goodness, and as you know, dear reader, there are plenty of people who have something to say about Depression or Priorities or both --which is not necessarily a bad thing. But I think after a while, it becomes a not-so-good thing because they would rather not talk about those things anymore. It's kind of like when bad things happen, people react in different ways. Some console, some build-up, some serve, some feed, some run-away, some wait-until-it-blows-over, and others deny, deny, deny. We all react in certain ways to bad situations and to our friends' bad situations, as well we should. We're all different in how we react to anything in general, so why would we react differently to somebody's Depression/Inability To Prioritize?
I'm just sayin'.

But here's the problem with talking about something ad nauseum --it can turn into a personality trait. "She's the Depressed one, you know, and she can't talk about anything else." Of course, this becomes labeling, and I already wrote about that here. That doesn't mean labeling doesn't happen --just that it shouldn't. But regardless of whether it should or should not, my point is that sometimes it can be annoying. I find myself annoying at times. [And let me be clear: I'm talking about MYSELF. I do not find you, dear reader annoying, and if I did, I would tell you. Or at least avoid talking to you. But since I don't avoid anyone that I am aware of (on purpose), then we can safely assume that I am, once again, talking purely about myself, eh? My blog, my life, my selfish posts.] I can sense that I am annoying people, although sometimes I sense that I am actually, in fact, not. Annoying people, that is.
Which is good.

Where was I again? Oh, right. My two topics. So, here I am, facing my two topics which is the story of my life since....ummm...I had children? That doesn't seem very long, but 8 years (holy cow, she's 8 1/2!) can be a long time in a person's life, especially if they've been dealing with something for those 8 years, even if they didn't realize during those full 8 years that they were dealing with something. But so it goes! And my Depression and my Priority Problems are constantly plaguing me.

Do I try to solve it? Oh, sure! That's why I talk about them all the time. In fact, I have two posts in the draft folder talking about Re-Prioritizing my life (again), and they are all introspective and lovely and poetic and quite frankly, I hate them. Yeah, I could get rid of everything in my life at this moment that causes even the slightest bit of stress --and trust you me, I already have gotten rid of some big things --but what would be the point? I'm not only a Depressed, Constantly Prioritizing woman, but I'm also a Go-Getter. A Responsibility-Seeker. A Maybe-This-Won't-Help-Me-In-The-Way-I-Think-It-Will-But-It-Looks-Like-Fun-So-I'll-Do-It! I tend to fill my time up as soon as it's empty. I've tried to fill up empty space with nothing and it doesn't work. So, this is why the Prioritizing comes in; I can't give it all up, but I can re-organize it to work. Maybe I should call it "Organizing" instead of "Prioritizing"? Oh, who am I kidding. It's still a priority thing. I mean, what comes first? and then third? Where do I fit it all in?

I seriously ponder this at times. I'm currently 18 pounds overweight [and yes, I know, I just had my fifth kid and so I'm supposed to be all satisfied by being 100 pounds overweight, and how could I possibly think about weight issues when I'm nursing a baby?! Don't I know that I'm being purely self-absorbed and please won't somebody think of the children??!] and so I think: "Hmmm...I don't want to gain another 20-30 like I did last time; I should start weight watchers again and start exercising every day." But when am I supposed to do this? I used to run 4 miles a day, but how can I do that now? I'm nursing on demand, and so early-morning runs are out; plus Brandon travels a lot. I could just jump on the elliptical machine (and I have), but to find a consistent time has eluded me. Of course, I also know I could just do Pilates, but my 2 years old won't let me be on the floor without jumping on my dough-bag, and the kid won't nap. Granted, I guess I could do it after the kiddos go to bed, but by then, I've hit zombie-status, and the idea of exercising makes me want to hit vomit-status.
See the conundrum?

And this is just the beginning. Because what I realize is that I need to figure out what is important and what is not. Is exercise important? Is it? If it is, then why don't I make it work? Hmmm? What is my problem? But then let's add in the fact that I need a therapist (and psychiatrist) desperately --but not just any therapist; I need one that insurance covers. This is a priority. Of course, it would help if I had time to sit down and actually find one, too. Then the thought of finding a babysitter (Brandon's gone a lot, remember?) in order to go to one, and my brain starts to fall apart. But that doesn't change the fact that I truly need therapy. I do. I want to go, and I have no doubt I'll figure it out and make it work.

Now then let's add to it the responsibilities I've heaped upon myself (Responsibility-Seeker, remember?). Sure, I've whittled my piano students down to 7, but what did I add? Bridal blogging, missionary editing, and a new baby. Add the two callings (another topic I seem to keep bringing up), and you have yourself a woman with stress. However, what do I look like without stress and responsibility? Depressed. Ooh, ooh! But what do I look like with the stress and responsibility? Depressed.
Thus the need for meds and the therapist.
Except I don't have time to find that therapist...

Get the picture? It's a cycle of abuse --abuse of self. I need to change it. I need to make it all work. I have to figure out. This is why I talk about it all the time. To the point of alienating people, including myself. Can you alienate yourself? Probably. It won't stop me from talking about this until I figure it out, though, so if annoys you, dear reader, I apologize. But not really, because I'm labeling myself this time: I'm the Talker.

Or maybe we could just move! That could solve it all...


Annette Lyon said...

Thinking of you. I can relate to a lot of this--including the part about needing a therapist but not getting around to it. I'll be absent from the internet for a bit as I try to meet some deadlines--just so ya know that I'm not ignoring you. :)

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry, I'm still stuck on "missionary editing".

Love you! :)

Michelle Walker said...

I think my favorite part of the post is that you capitalize, "Depression," as if it is The Great Depression (which it is!) I love you. Everyone is depressed. Some people are just better at hiding it than others, that's all. Everyone has their demons. Yay for you and everyone else who can own it. You can't fight the monster in the room if you keep telling yourself it isn't there. So if your only progress is the stark reality that you're depressed--half the battle is already won and your miles ahead of a lot of people who still struggle to maintain that they don't have a problem. You're a new mom and your body is freaking out and life is nuts and your husband is gone. Who would be happy about that? Why is depression always 'abnormal?' It seems to me that it's pretty normal to feel the way you're feeling. Cut yourself some slack and have a cookie (or a dark chocolate Reeses peanut butter cup). ;)

nweames said...

I can completely relate. I don't know if Steph told you but I have fought PPD with all 4 of my children. Yep, that would mean now, I just plan for 3 years of abnormality (1 of pregnancy 2 of crazy). Let's just say I am looking forward to being done for good! Some have been better than others, so far this one is okay. As for talking about it, DO! It is our silence that is our worst enemy. The more we are quiet the more it sends the message it is wrong, and it isn't, it is an illness just like any other, except it is your brain that is sick not your stomach or nose. Often I realize my thinking is not quite right (I personally start guilting myself quite unnecessarily) and I have decided to own it this time around -- only took me 4 times to figure it out -- and just accept that my brain doesn't work right and then I can figure out how to make it work.

Here is some advise my Dad gave me that has really helped. Leave the house everyday without your kids. I must admit I don't do this everyday, but I make a point to find reasons to do it frequently. Without your husband around this is definitely more difficult. But you could go for a walk around the house while the kids watch a movie and the babies are asleep. Exercise is also a good thing, but so hard to get to, I keep saying tomorrow I will start, for 6 weeks now. Oh, well, maybe tomorrow (probably not). Also, I have found when I am busy (but not too busy, I also have to take some time to breath) it is a little better, otherwise I tend to get caught in a cycle of how bad my life is and it just gets worse.

I realize this is long, but I so feel for you right now. It is so hard and I don't know how you are doing it without your husband. I often am barely holding it together with him. If you ever want to talk get my number from Stephanie. We can commiserate together. :)

FoxyJ said...

For some reason something that has helped me lately is the realization that life does not all have to be lived 'now'. I'm still trying to figure out how I got to this point, and if it's a cop-out because I mostly just read books and wash dishes, but after spending several years trying to do a ton of things I've just started letting stuff go. I honestly think that part of it is getting to know some fabulous older ladies in some of my other wards and realizing that 30 is young, the kids eventually grow up, and someday I will have more free time. I still worry every day that I'm just being lazy :) Obviously learning what to let go of is personal and I have no idea if this advice will help you or not. Another thing that has helped me is to give myself some time, rather than assuming I'm letting go of things 'forever'. For example, I have several projects I want to do that just aren't working out right now. So I've put them 'on the back shelf' until next spring after I have this baby. It makes it easier to let things go when I tell myself it's just for a few months or for a year. Then I can re-evaluate.

Anyways, not sure if this is helpful or not. I also hear you on the therapy thing--I need to find one too, but the thought of finding one and making arrangements to go is pretty overwhelming. Yuck.

Gio, Judi and Boys said...

I love Michelle's words of wisdom! Who of us isn't know you are and that is half the battle.
A very dear friend of mine was like you in the fact that she felt like she had to do it all, 3 kids, school, work (several small jobs), and volunteer work for the military (her hubby is a military man). She was always going....finally she decided that some things had to be put aside for a while and some forever. It was a hard choice for her, but she is happier now. She is still stressed, you can't put aside kids, and her masters has waited until she is 40 (and finally almost done), but the other stuff...she let it go. She now focus' on herself and family. She has one calling (YM) and does that when she can.
I guess what I'm saying is, you are trying to be Wonder Woman and Super Man is busy for now (for the greater good of your family). Maybe for now you need to put some things aside and focus on Cheryl. You are the most important one in this picture. You need to be healthy and happy!
I've been blessed...with my 2 boys I never had ppd or if I did I was to dumb to know it.
I'm praying for you.
If you need that alone time, I'm free in the afternoons or I can come when the kids are in bed for you to take that walk around the block!

blogging and bliss~ said...

So sorry for your stress. It all seems doable when you write it down. but when you really think about your cute bundle of joy you realize with a new baby all you really get to do most the time is nurse and sit and think.... Maybe that is why I was a bad nurser...HUGS.

Leslie said...

Hey there I haven't dropped off the planet...just life gets buys sometimes and you know that prioritizing thing you were talking about...yep, that's what I have had to do. Now, you seem to be mad at yourself for always talking about these things that are troubling/worrying/stressing you. I think the fact that you use a medium to express those feelings is very healthy. You don't need to beat yourself up about talking about these things - don't use that as another stick to beat yourself with. Don't can talk about what's bugging you. That's what your blog is for. It's your place, your medium, your venue. Talk away Cheryl. About whatever you want - maybe it's part of your therapy. I know sometimes when I write things down, that is the way I figure stuff out. This comment doesn't sound too suave...but I hope you know what I'm saying. Hang in there!

Stephanie said...

So I had this great comment about a book I read a few years ago, but then the computer deleted it and my children are conspiring against me rewriting it. So... Here's a link to a blurb on the book, and I gotta go feed #2

Cardalls said...

getting out of my house is key for my mental health. whether that means a walk around the block, taking the kids to the park, going to Target just to walk around. it doesn't have to be anything big for me, just something.

Also i agree with other advice givers who say to give some things up. if you had a physical illness you would be forced to slow down and allow yourself to heal. your mind needs you to slow down and let yourself heal and not feel guilty about it!

take care of yourself...find that therapist ASAP so you can take care of those 5 darling kiddos!

Alison Wonderland said...

I hear you, oh baby do I hear you!

So are you coming up Thursday or am I coming down?

flip flop mama said...

I know for me writing things down is very therapeutic and helps me sort thru things better. I'm not sure any of us will ever figure it all out. Isn't that what life IS about? Love ya!