This morning it was cool. I love cool mornings in the middle of august. I got up with the girls and let them watch a video and eat strawberries while I sat on the couch by the open window, reading and drinking my coffee. Heav. en. ly. I got a chance to clean up some yesterday; the kids’ rooms cleaned and vacuumed, the kitchen and living room passable. It makes such a difference for me to wake up to a clean(ish) house.
I was talking to John late last night about the fact that I’m trying very hard to fight off this feeling like I’m about to slide into depression. I don’t have external reasons to be down, really. Things are getting easier for me: the kids mostly sleep through the night, school starts in a couple of weeks, Sophie will be in preschool two afternoons a week, money is getting less tight. I know that hormones play a big role for me, as I tend to get hormone-related migraines and depression and acne. But it’s not that this time. I can’t say what it is. It may be that I love having a baby and Willow is talking and running around with the big kids. It may be my upcoming birthday. Or not. I don’t know.
One thing that I did say to John, though, is that I think that something bothering me is the fact that I spend the bulk of my time thinking about the other people in this family: does everyone have clean clothes to wear? shoes that fit? something to do? the right things to eat? a ride to practice? clean sheets? You know. The list is endless. And, no one does that for me. Or not to the extent that I do for them. I know. As my brother says, "pity party for one." It isn’t so much that I want to or need to be taken care of. It’s that if someone is going to the trouble to see that I have what I need and want, that means that they really care about me. When the people I care for don’t go to the trouble to see to my needs, I let it make me feel unloved. It’s a little like rejection, and rejection, even from someone you dislike, stings. When you feel it from the people you love most, even when it isn’t really there to feel, it’s incredibly painful. And I wonder if this is part of why mothers feel depressed. Can you live a life of service and be happy if there are things you are longing to do but you must either postpone or not do them at all?
In my case it quickly becomes a slippery slope. I feel horrible and depressed and full of self-hatred. Then I think about how, really, I have no reason to complain. That gets added to the pile and I feel worse for feeling down in the first place when I really have it so good. When interpreted literally, it sounds something like, "I am depressed because I’m depressed and I don’t really have a reason to be depressed." And isn’t that silly?
But, after watching a few episodes of Six Feet Under with my honey last night, and waking up to a clean house, and having enough money to pay the bills and buy food and stuff this month, I do feel a little better. And, I will try to take care of my own needs more, so that I don’t have to resent anyone when I don’t get to do the things that are required for my health and sanity. Because I’m living the life I chose, and I see that it is good, though hard. I want to live it and be happy, to look back and remember joy. Time to stop; I sound like a fucking hallmark card.