growinghumans


Always tell me what you love.
March 29, 2015, 11:01 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

As I was bathing my Tiny Human this evening, she remarked on how she loved the toy holder that we have on the shower wall that is shaped like a frog. “That’s nice,” I replied.

“You know what else I love, mommy?”

“No. But please tell me.”

“Stamps. I really love stamps. I love the way they look on my arm. And tattoos.”

“I like tattoos, too.”

“Right.”

“What else do you love?”

“Dinosaurs. And rainbows. And unicorns.”

“What else?”

“My house. My family. Even the far, far away family.”

“Yes. I love them, too.”

“I love you, mommy. I love the way you wash my hair.”

“Then why do you cry when I do it?”

“I don’t love water in my eyes.”

“Okay. Fair enough. What else do you love?”

“Chips. Riding my bike. Elmo.”

All good things. All worthy of love.

 

 

Tiny Human Sunday night affirmations. I love those the most.



I tried guided meditation and it didn’t suck
March 19, 2015, 12:35 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

imagesSeveral people have recommended guided meditation to me to use as a coping mechanism–my therapist included as of today.

So,tonight, I gave it a shot. Nothing fancy; I just Youtubed “Guided Meditation” and clicked on the one with the most views and I have to admit, I’m a fan. I thought I would share what my experience was like.

This wasn’t an intense meditation where you are taken on a journey or asked questions; instead, it’s a calm, British guy telling you to relax with gongs and waves in the background. Guys, I totally relaxed. This guy could have told me to eat one of my Keds and I probably would have done it at the end.

What I saw in my mind once I became fully relaxed was myself on a beach. On the beach in Maine where we would vacation every summer. It was a small, private beach, full of tall rocks to climb and tide pools to explore. I was sitting on one of these tall rocks, looking out into the sea. I couldn’t have been more than 12. Certainly not yet 13.

I looked very similar to myself now in that I was pale, thin, with short fine hair and a worried expression on my face. This was about the time in my life that I felt the true depths of depression take a hold of me and I found it confusing; I recognized that. I wasn’t worried about boys, or what to wear, or anything trivial that probably other girls my age were concerned with (a fact that would continue to fuel bullies well into middle school).

Instead, I was worried about myself. I was trying to figure out what to do with myself. I was trying to align myself with something, anything. I remember being young, this young, and feeling like I didn’t belong in my own body. I felt older. Awkward. Sullen. I was serious about reading, I would put on my headphones and mostly disappear from planet earth, I would journal a lot. I loved hippie stores. I loved the smell of incense. I loved trying yoga. I even tried to be a vegetarian. At 12. I was grasping for something, I could see that now. I watched, from behind, as past I looked out over the cold, choppy Northern Atlantic and searched.

This is where it started, I thought to myself, as the waves and gongs washed into my ears. This is a moment to remember. Hold on to this moment and remember that you should still be searching; you know you are still out of place here.

Maybe I will always be searching, maybe that’s what my problem is. I stopped searching. I stopped sitting. I stopped gazing at the sea. I grew up. I gave up.

And then, just as she appeared before me, she was gone. I was gone. The bleached denim shorts, the baggy sweatshirt, the bare feet and slight overbite. They all vanished from my mind and I was brought back. The connection was made. That was enough.

Search, Carrie. Gaze. Feel.

I am so afraid to feel anything lately because it all feels like too much but I need to trust that I am strong enough for real feelings. If 12 year old me can handle the vastness of these emotions, 30 year old is certainly up to the task.

GUYS SERIOUSLY MEDITATION IS LEGIT.



Magic should always outweigh inconvenience, guys
March 16, 2015, 3:11 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

My Tiny Human clocked in her second Comic Convention this weekend and it got me thinking about how important it is to take your Tiny Human places with you.

I get that it can be a pain in the butt to deal with them and that it might change your experience; so before you say the word “ruin” make sure it isn’t just “change”. They aren’t going to ruin your experience at comic con, or the Renaissance Fair or game night at the local brewery. I promise. Unless, I mean, they do. In which case, sorry.

Example:william shatner

William Shatner was at this convention. I held up my Tiny Human like a sacrificial animal in hopes that he would catch a glimpse of her adorable face and Elsa costume and wave or hug her or something, which he didn’t and that’s fine because he is still amazing, but anyway I was holding her up and she asked who that man was. “A captain of a space ship.”

“A space ship??”

“Yes. A big one.”

“Does he save the world with it?”

“He saves all of the worlds. Or tries to.”

“….are we on the space ship right now???”

“No. Sorry.”

#magicalconversationthatwouldnothappenwithjustadults

We enjoy taking our Tiny Human with us to different (usually nerdy) events. We like to think that the more we take her, the more assimilated she will become to social situations and thus perpetuate her good (or acceptable for a child) behavior.

I know it’s easy to hire a babysitter and just not have to deal; believe me, I get it. You can drink more, walk around with both of your hands, not worry about nap times.

But you also miss out on legitimate magical moments where your Tiny Human can wear any costume they want, pick out souvenirs they have never seen before, and feel like a celebrity when people want to take their picture.

 

Oh, and see WILLIAM FREAKING SHATNER. With her eyeballs.

Parenting level–Epic: achieved.



The Middle of the Ocean
March 12, 2015, 2:22 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

People keep asking what they can do for me. I don’t know what to tell them.

When you are in the middle of a severe depressive episode, you don’t know what to ask for.

I feel like I have swum out into the middle of the ocean. I am very tired of swimming. I am a capable swimmer and I can keep swimming, but I am tired. Waves of emotions constantly try to drag me below the surface, and sometimes I find myself submerged too far and have to paddle vigorously to take a breath of fresh air. People are around me; some are also swimming, though they don’t appear to be as exhausted as me. Others are on boats, circling me from the safety of a dry, solid surface. They all extend hands but I don’t know which hands to take, if any. All seem slightly out of my reach. Relief is constantly out of reach, lately.

I was put on a new medication last week. It’s a sublingual tablet which is a fancy way of saying it’s a pill that dissolves under my tongue. It tastes like toilet cleaner and makes my mouth sting as it dissolves. It puts me to sleep almost immediately and I wake up in a near zombie state every morning. I have been on this new medication for a week now and have felt no change. But, as always, I am being told to be patient. These things take time, you see. It will get better.

My psychiatrist recommended a stay at a inpatient program to help get my medication routine under control and intensive therapy. I declined. Staying in a hospital for something like this is not something I am ready for.

Instead, I set up an appointment with an actual therapist, not just a doctor that changes my medication when sometime goes wrong. I have to wait two more weeks for this appointment. These things take time, you see. It will get better. Relief is coming. The hand is outstretched.

I would say that I have been severely depressed for about a month now, and to some of you who know me, you may not have even noticed. That’s because I’m strong. I’m damn strong. I go to work every single day and I smile and I do not falter in any of my responsibilities. But rest assured, I am a mess inside. The waters are getting choppy and I am paddling hard to keep my head above the waves. I am strong, but no one can be that strong for that long and I am hoping that the end of my strength does not come before my appointment. I am hoping I make it to the safety of the shore.

But what can I do?

What can anyone do when they just have to hold on a tiny bit longer but they feel their muscles giving out, when every movement is a struggle and the effort is taxing to stay above water.

I suppose the answer is simple; especially for me, especially for everyone who has a child and therefore has no choice. Even though it is a great effort to remember to feed her; to hug her tight; to bathe her. Even though I feel exhausted and that I cannot go on. Even though I feel that my mind has forged war fully against me, and is perhaps gaining too much ground. Even though I oscillate between feeling nothing and everything on an almost hourly basis.

There is only one answer.

Just

keep

swimming.

MCDFINE EC033



Worry Dolls
March 4, 2015, 4:12 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

I remember being younger and starting to struggle with my feelings.

I was a preteen. I was on the brink of puberty and my hormones were at war inside of my body.

I would creep into my local “holistic healing” store with my mother and buy all sorts of things that she thought would help with my attitude, because that’s what it was at the time. I had a severe attittude problem. I would lash out, scream, cry, say terrible things to my parents. When I got overly frustrated with myself, I would hit myself on the head, or hit my head against a wall. Over and over and over again.

My mother, as a mother will, saw this as normal teenage angst and bought me worry dolls, crystals, dream catchers. We placed all of these artifacts around my room, hoping to change the energy in the space and eventually the energy inside of my troubled soul.

I remember the worry dolls the most.

I never slept. worry dolls

I would lie awake and think of how mean people were at school, how I didn’t belong anywhere, how I didn’t feel the same as anyone around me. I felt too vast. I felt too much. Everyone else seemed to be in such control of their facilities and even at 11 or 12 I could feel myself spinning out in a different orbit that them.

I would take out two or three of the worry dolls, late at night. I would whisper my deepest thoughts to them; that I wanted to run away, that I wanted to hurt myself, that I wanted to die or sleep forever, that I wanted to feel like I belonged somewhere. I would burden these miniscule pieces of fabric and thread with problems that I could never say to anyone else. I would place them on my window sill and watch how the moonlight washed over them. I would lay my head on my pillow and eventually fall asleep, imagining the two dolls carrying my problems far far away. To the moon, maybe beyond that.

I would imagine my terrible nightmares being tangled up in the dream catchers; their intricate patterns and beads holding my demons at bay.

The thought of it all was lovely, it is still lovely.

Sometimes I go into one of those same sorts of stores and run my fingers over the dream catchers and remember a time when I thought that would be enough; when I hoped it would be enough. I always think about buying one and maybe I will. Maybe I need a relic or two to help remind me of my childhood. I wonder if I could even find worry dolls; maybe my Tiny Human needs to learn the fine art of passing on your worries to something outside of your body. She’s only four, but I wish someone had trained me earlier. I wish even at 30 that I was better at passing on my issue to other people. When I whispered my dark secrets to those tiny dolls, there was no sense of judgement or impatience. They simply existed to hear my sorrow. With humans, with flesh and blood, it is always different. Sitting there, across from me, as I heave a sob and try to grasp at words to describe how I feel, I can’t help but feel I am wasting their time, everyone’s time. Even your time.

But that’s silly, isn’t it?

It’s the flesh and blood that matters the most; that is real.



The importance of banner-men
March 3, 2015, 3:43 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Here is the thing about writing personal things about yourself publicly on the internet:

Sometimes you will push that “publish” button and feel a sense of sickness and dread.

Sometimes you will hear awkward crickets chirp as you realize people are reading it but not saying anything.

Sometimes you will feel embarrassed as you realize people are reading it and saying things but not quite the right things.

And sometimes, not often, but sometimes, you will be filled with a sense of encouragement that makes you feel like the world is covering you in a warm blanket and tucking in the edges around you.

The internet can sometimes be a blanket burrito, guys. And it was for me yesterday.

As the messages came pouring in from friends and even people I don’t talk to that often, I couldn’t help but picture myself, in the trenches; I no longer stood there alone in battle. I imagined myself at the center of an army. Of loved ones and people who knew my struggles. In the center of people who came running at my clarion call; who decided to stand with me and hold my banner.

The feeling was overwhelming.

Until I realized I could picture myself like Daenerys from Game of Thrones, and then I felt pretty badass. Daenerys

                                                                                    Dracarys, depression.

I think, when you are struggling with a disorder like I am, the trick is to not surround yourself with friends who will always want to talk to you about what is wrong and say the same things over and over again. You want to surround yourself with fighters; people who will understand what you are going through and are angry about it. People who will hold the same banner as you and charge into battle.

I can close my eyes and see who would hold my banners. I can see you all, faces hardened and ready to fight depression and anxiety and eating disorders. I am glad to have you all at my side.



In the trenches
March 2, 2015, 3:47 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

I had planned on writing this incredibly introspective entry on depression once I got through this severe case of it; however, the bastard of depression still has its cold, mean hands wrapped around my neck, dear readers. I thought I should probably write anyway.

Things have been very dark the last few weeks for me, despite my usual attempts to distract myself from my problems. My brain is under some other control beyond myself.

I am covered in a strange sort of hives. My hair is falling out. I have no appetite and have lost weight.

Each day I feel myself go through the motions of my life; I smile and laugh when Carrie would. I do my job. I take care of my child. I kiss my husband on the cheek.

But when I get into my bed and curl up into a little ball, as if that will protect me from myself, I am left with nothing but the thoughts in my own head. I am unreachable once I get into the bed. I cry. I heave. I become unresponsive to the world around me.

Yesterday I thought about how funny it is to see yourself letting yourself go, physically. It starts simple; a skipped shower here and there, not bothering to wear makeup to work anymore. Then the slippery slope of not wanting to get dressed or wearing the same hoodie three days in a row happens and soon you look in the mirror and you see a woman who needs help. You see the shell of a girl who is being consumed by something from the inside. You realize you haven’t eaten a square meal in two days. You realize it is time for help.

I go to the psychiatrist on Wednesday. I will be fine.

But to write about this sort of entropy while still experiencing felt like something I should do; there is always a rush when I let myself become this vulnerable to whoever is even reading this.

Because sometimes, not often, I will get messages or texts from people who know what I am talking about. They take courage from not feeling alone. They offer me the same courage in return.

So, my sisters and brothers who are soldiers against their own mind; I am here to tell you that I am down here in the trenches. I am fighting the battle and I am wounded and tired. But the cavalry will be here shortly; just two days away.

I just have to keep calm and carry on.