Tuesday, 24 January 2012

There are a lot of words.

Mostly they are coming out of my daughter's mouth. When I started this blog she was a squawking lump of refluxy, giggling fat. You could roll her across a room. Now, she has opinions. And good lord, don't we just know it. She will tell you, at length, what the other parent did that day that really pissed her off (although when she doesn't know a word, she replaces it with babble and outrage). She will delight in realising that she knows the word for something when we see it and that delight will lead to ten minutes of joyful crowing about the dog/cat/cake/bus/whatever. I can ask her a question and get a response. She can articulate her needs in more than just gestures and screeches. Words are amazing.

For the first time in her life I'm really enjoying being a mother. It's a good feeling.

However, everything else right now, it just feels bad. I'm so depressed most days that it chews at my edges. I cry every day about how bad a mother I feel I am, about my failings. Sometimes the crying is big, chest-shivering, full-body crying. Sometimes it's that silent, tearless, unsatisfying crying that happens when I'm so exhausted by a situation that my body can't even drum up the energy to cry properly.
I'm better now at recognising the signs of mania. The problem is that by taking pre-emptive action against mania, I trigger bouts of what I call 'riptide depression'. Little whirlpools of depression that arrive fast and fuck you up. The thought process goes thus: (real example from tonight)
While surfing the web: "Oooh, instructions on how to make herbal soap! That looks like so much fun, and I have some ice cube trays that would make perfect moulds! Maybe I should look into that."
While searching for a place to buy glycerin soap: "Wow, this could be a really fun project, maybe I could sell them? Or make loads of Christmas presents in preparation for Xmas '12! It would be SO organised, this is a great idea!"
After adding glycerin soap to my amazon basket, while looking for moulds: "What am I doing? I have 4 unmailed out orders, 6 orders waiting for me to start them, four unfinished personal projects, and a few dozen projects waiting to be put on Etsy. Why am I trying to give myself more to do? Why am I collecting a new hobby? OH. Because I'm manic. Right. Let's put a stake in this time-vampire right now."
Immediately, we hit the riptide: "Yeah, because I'm such a fucking idiot I can't even have a hobby, or buy soap. Why do I bother doing anything? I never finish. I'm an idiot. I'm a stupid, stupid, useless person. Why did I even think that was a good idea? Like anyone would want some shitty soap I made myself anyway. Like anyone wants to buy anything I make. They DON'T, that's why I don't make any money. And here I am, when we've just had a big fight about budgets, trying to waste more of his money buying materials for another fucking project that would only get forgotten about and half finished like every other fucking stupid thing in my stupid, pathetic life."

This happens at least three or four times I week. I'm swimming along, quite happily, then I over-reach, hit a riptide, and drown in self-loathing. Every time. I really desperately need my psychiatrist appointment to come through. I need someone to listen to me and help me. I'm trying to sort my life out but I feel like nothing I do makes a dent in the pile of shit it's turned into.
Some people on a forum belong to wanted to help me so much that they got together a lump sum of money and donated it to me, so I can hire a cleaner, because the place is such a mess I can't cope with it. I cried for days with gratitude. I looked up cleaners, and I sent one email out but never got a reply. After that I lost confidence for a few weeks, but finally the shame of the money sitting there made me move, and I sent out another email to a different company. But I mis-typed my phone number and so they sent me an email instead, but now I'm so embarrassed that I can't even type my own phone number right that I can't contact them. How stupid will they think I am? And when they see my flat....the shame of the state we live in....I can't cope with it. I can't accept help because my shame is so huge. It makes my fingers heavy and stops my hands moving and make my chest close in panic when I even try to move forward.
Shame.....my world involves so much shame. Shame over my mental health. Shame that I feel ashamed for being crazy. Shame for how I 'allow' my mental health to affect my family's lives. Shame for allowing my daughter to live in a dirty home. Shame for taking charity from my friends. Shame that even when people give me money to help me do something, I'm too pathetic to get it done. Shame that I can't even tell my friends about this because I worry they'll think I'm not grateful. Shame for being a bad businesswoman, and wife, and mother. Shame that everyone thinks I'm intelligent, and loving, and funny, and strong, and basically doing an ok job, when the reality is nobody really understand how very, very bad things are. Shame that I'm such a good liar that nobody even realises they're seeing a lie.

There are a lot of words, but 'shame' seems to be the only one I see right now.


  1. And breathe.

    Is it helping to write it out here? To see that it's all a symptom of the depression and not YOU?

    Love to you sweet. Make your other half call the cleaner and just don't be home when they're there.

    Eat chocolate. Love yourself a little (even if you have to start with your fingernails or something small.)


  2. V: It's helping to write it out, actually, because until I starting putting real words down in black and white I didn't realise half of what was happening, or how bad it was, or how often it was happening, or how damaging it was. I wasn't correlating the riptides with stopping manic actions but now I can see they're tangled up together.
    The cleaner thing....I can't *not* be here when they're here. I have a....thing....about the flat. I can't tolerate people in it at the best of times, it makes me vibrate with anxiety. The thought of someone actually moving around my flat touching things while I'm not here turns my stomach. My chest is clenching just talking about it. I'm a bit hoarder-ish. People touching my things makes me very unhappy. Everytime we move it's a serious problem because M's family help us out but I can't even describe the level of distress this provokes in me. The cleaner is going to be here for three or hour hours at least, there's no way I could have someone here for that long without me. I wouldn't be able to.

    *hyperventilates into a mug for five minutes*

    alright....lets bundle up that ball of crazy and put it aside for the minute!
    I'm eating donuts. It's good. I'm going to change my sheets today, which is an act of loving myself when I spend all my time in bed staring at the coffee stain from New Years....