Sliding Towards Happy

I suppose it’s natural that after selling one’s house and quitting one’s job and moving to another city away from one’s parents (one’s main source of support) that one would eventually come to a point where things feel somewhat less than hunky dory.

Or that’s my experience, anyway.

A few weeks ago a good friend asked how the transition was going and whether it had been at all hard. “Not at all,” I told him. “I don’t feel like I’ve even looked back.”

I’m one of those people who likes change. I love new places and new things and anything that gets me away from the stagnant ordinary. I get bored way too easily.

I’m also one of those people who doesn’t like to lose what’s overly familiar and who ticks along best with a routine.

These two ways of being are not mutually exclusive. They’re also not the perfect recipe for existential equilibrium.

Throw in stubborn and a dose of high standards and I’m pretty much screwed.

Things were going really well and I hadn’t at all questioned our decision to do this. However…I mentioned that I lowered my anti-depressant dose about three weeks ago. I did that for all sorts of reasons, and in large part because I don’t want to be dependent on this medication anymore. But I am.

I blame the ramping-up period of getting on to this medication for my breakdown earlier this year. Turns out coming off is no picnic either.

I knew within a week or so that coming off wasn’t a good idea. But once you’re in the crap, you kind of don’t want to lose the withdrawal days you’ve already invested, you know? So I kept going with the lower dose, praying that it would even out and I’d find myself again.

I didn’t.

I’m now at the end of week two of being sick with this horrible cold that’s going around. I missed a bunch of work last week and found myself very glad for the excuse of illness that allowed me to stay in bed a bit more than usual. Wanting to stay in bed is never a good sign for me. But it’s one that’s so easy to ignore. What is not easy to ignore, however, is having a record-breaking fight with your husband. In a restaurant. In front of your son.


For a minute it felt like we were right back to the horrible state we were in a couple of years ago, except this time we were in it after having made a major decision that left us in a totally new world. Totally stuck, in other words.

It was awful. This past weekend was awful.

But my husband, bless him, was able to ask me if having lowered my medication dose was perhaps not such a good idea, and I was able to rail and say No, it’s not and but I don’t want to be on it and I’m scared.

And then I upped the dose again.

It has been immediately, noticeably better. Which, frankly, pisses me off. I will resent this medication for the rest of my life, whether I ever come off it or not. (I know, not a constructive way to feel, but there you go.)

But I suppose better is good and good is better than wanting to run away into the mountains and hope nobody notices you’re gone.

So that’s where things stand. The whole lot of suck from earlier this week is gone—or temporarily beaten back, anyway—and I feel like I can cope again. And maybe when I get over being sick I’ll be able to look a little farther afield and find my happy again.


Rainy Days and Mondays

Well not so much rain as snow, or that’s what in the forecast anyway. Quite a lot of it apparently. We’ll see if that actually comes to pass. Given the weirdly mild winter we’ve had I don’t know whether to expect it or not.

We’ve certainly got our share of Mondays though. Things around here are full of a whole lot of suck right now, so all I ask is this:

Please stand by. I’ll be back.


Credit: Stuck in Customs on Flickr

Dear Had-Enough Girl

Last Wednesday was not a good day. In fact it was a bad day. A terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.*

By that point we had been in our new house for a week and a half. We had no furniture except the bed we’d bought when we got here and while hanging out in an empty house with no furniture sounds kind of fun, it’s only actually fun for about a day and a half.

The people who lived here before us had a cat. A big, hairy one. I like cats, but I’m horribly allergic to them so being in the vicinity of a cat (or the evidence of a cat) for a prolonged period makes me fairly cranky. And this cat left evidence. There was cat hair everywhere, which we attempted to resolve by vacuuming and steam cleaning the carpets. And washing the windows because there was cat hair stuck to them. But then we discovered that the washing machine and dryer here do a lovely job of pasting cat hair to our clothes, and that was really the last straw.

By last Wednesday I was beyond cranky. I was downright miserable, and making life downright miserable for the two boys and one dog who live with me.

I had been trying to stave off the rage by tromping through snow and chasing sunsets but on Wednesday it wasn’t working. I was sick of the cat hair. I was sick of not having enough cutlery and enough towels. I was sick of someone else’s washer and dryer and desperately wanted to get our new ones delivered already.

I’d had enough.

And then—as it is wont to do—the Universe intervened.

First, a bit of backstory: Several months ago I subscribed to Daily Truths from the Brave Girls Club. (They’re called “A little bird told me…” How perfect is that?) More frequently than I would have expected that daily truth hit on exactly the thing I was struggling with. But then for some reason I stopped getting them. I tried to resubscribe but no dice. With everything else going on I didn’t worry about it, especially since I caught some of them on Facebook.

Anyway, on Wednesday evening, as I was starting to wonder exactly how hard it would be to invent a fast forward button for the bits of life I really didn’t want to have to live through, I saw one of those daily truths on Facebook. I normally skip over those when I’m in a bad mood, but I clicked on that one.

Those who wish to sing always find a song.

Artist: Sally Rose

“Dear Had-Enough Girl,” it said, and I knew it was talking to me.

“First, just take a second and breathe, ok?…deep deep deeply breathe in and out. Close your eyes for a second and remember that it’s ok if you feel completely overwhelmed at the tasks that are ahead for you… It’s okay if you want to throw a fit some days and let someone else be in charge. 

So do it…throw a fit for a few minutes.”

I love unexpected messages that completely enable me.

And then kick me me in the pants.

“Now that you’ve got that out of your system…think for a minute about how you want the rest of the day…and tomorrow to go. How you really want to feel, what you really want to accomplish, where you really want to end up…and decide right this second that you are going to do ONE THING to take a step in that direction.”

All right, little bird. Message received. Time to take a deep breath and get my priorities straight.

Thursday was MUCH better.


*With thanks to Judith Viorst for such a perfect descriptor.

If  you like, you can read that daily truth in its entirety.

Do you have a source of daily inspiration? Does it ever hit the nail on the head?

Come and visit us at Just.Be.Enough. this week. We have a giveaway for a totally inspiring book!

Our stuff has arrived

Finally. We’re all one med dose away from an insane asylum.


Excuse me while I disappear for a bit to unpack. Further updates as events warrant.

10 Days of Mama

It’s been 10 days. 11, I guess. Today is the 11th day.

He had the flu about a week and a half ago – 11 days ago, I guess – and we did all the usual things through a day or so with a sick little boy. I wore my Mama Who Has Been Barfed On badge again with pride and enjoyed the cuddles – warm and soft and in the normal range of worrisome. Which is to say not terribly.

Then the abdominal pain started and by 4 am a week ago Sunday we were in the ER. No parents want to learn their child’s appendix has burst the hard way.

The ER was quiet that morning. No one else in the pediatric area but us. Waybuloo is only slightly less weird at four in the morning; those Brits were definitely on something.

No appendectomy required. A bit dehydrated, even though he drinks Pedialyte like it’s juice, and home we went.

That was only the second in a series of sleepless nights.

Tonight will be the 11th night. We have pushed through a brief road trip (if a very long drive – there and back in six days – can be considered brief), a house purchase, and a few quick visits.

We are home, but he is not better. He has been, off and on. Enough that we felt it was okay to make the trip. Enough that he played in the snow on Friday. Enough that he went to school yesterday.

But he is not better, and the morning at school was apparently weepy with repeated requests for Mama. When Grandma and Grandpa picked him up, he went home with them and slept. For more than an hour. (Very unusual.) Daddy had to go and pick him up.

Mama came home, and the pieces of velcro connected again. We have been this way – attached – for 10 days. Or 11 now, I guess. He wants me and stays close, his soft hair tickling my chin and his small fingers rubbing my wrist.

This is what I know:

His toddler tummy fits right in the palm of my hand.

It is warm and soft and it soothes me.

Rubbing his tummy only sometimes soothes him.

He has a spot – a specific place he likes to be. Between my chin and collarbone, shoulder tucked under my right arm as it wraps around him.

This has been his place for months now. It’s where he comes when he wants a cuddle. It’s where he sleeps when he’s sick. It’s where he fits.

Except he doesn’t. He’s getting tall, and his gangly limbs struggle to find a place to land. His head bumps against my chin as he looks for his spot, refusing to acknowledge that he doesn’t fit the same way as before.

He wants me to fix him, except I can’t. He’s blocked, I think, so nothing terribly worrisome now either except that my baby’s in pain. We’ve tried the usual remedies – applesauce, prune juice, warm baths. We’ve tried worse, and had it work, except not fully. And now, on the 11th day, he doesn’t want any of that.

He just wants Mama.

Tomorrow Daddy will take him to the doctor to see if she can help. Mama will go to work, again, and turn on the bright lights, again, in hopes they will keep her awake. She will take ibuprofen for her shoulder – the one that loves holding her boy but is tired, and is sending waves of stabbing pain running up and down her neck between her ears and her shoulder in protest.

Tomorrow is day 12. He might still want Mama, but hopefully, for everyone’s sake, he won’t need her quite so much.


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