Which road?

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
~Robert Frost

When you’re out of commission as long as I’ve been, things tend to pile up.  All those little things you didn’t feel like doing before are now in front of you.  This is true for me even though I have had people help me so much.  For instance, the church went in to help fix our air conditioner. While they were there, they figured, holy crap these people can’t find their floor – or their cabinets – or likely their sanity. So they cleaned also.

If you know someone who is ill either mentally, physically, or both, and you’re wondering what to do – that’s it.  Clean.  If they are at all open to the idea, it is a huge help to them, and they likely aren’t going to ask for it because it’s embarrassing.  So that and cooking – both great ideas. They might even go to your church if you do it.

Anyway, in spite of this, I still find myself overwhelmed by the amount of stuff that I’ve gotten behind on.  Since we had so many clothes, enough to make a new carpet and then some, they bagged many of them up in leaf bags for us to sort through ourselves.  Which we will . . . eventually.  But right now, the idea of even starting this project makes me itch.

Itch like my head, because now was a perfect time to come up with the little buggers.  Sometimes I even wonder if I’m really better, but my husband assures me I am.  I want to go out again, I want to do things again, I smile again.  The problem is that there is so much left over from when I could do squat that I don’t even know where to begin.  I was told I could skip my Friday treatment.  So I did, and I went back on Thursday after getting home on Wednesday.  I can’t even drive yet, but I’m back at work.

Or I was, until Friday around 10 AM when I had to go home.  I just couldn’t figure out what to do with myself. Not like there weren’t things to do, but there were too many things both at work and at home that I was thinking about, and I had no idea how to prioritize them.  Of course I know now that the head itching, which was distracting itself, was not psychological for once.  So I can treat that.  But there isn’t a shampoo for prioritizing.

I just can’t figure out how so much got away from me.  I’ve been in treatment for 3.5 weeks, but even before the ECT, I wasn’t getting anything done because of the depression.  Its much easier to say “Yes I should do laundry, but that bed looks comfy” etc., etc.  So now I have so many decisions to make that at times I will skip an official meal because I would have to decide what I was going to eat.  Overwhelmation is taking its toll.

June is a big month.  My Things turned 13 and 17 – yes, you heard right.  I can believe 13 for Thing Two – she’s been thirteen for the last three years at least.  But 17 for Thing One?  You realize how old that makes me, right?  If you know me on Facebook, you already know – I turned 41 three days ago.  I can’t figure out how so much has happened.  Turns out that the world goes on even when you don’t.

In some ways, I needed this depression to understand how much things meant to me.  Things like, well, my things – my children and the other people who care for me.  I feel I’ve gotten much closer to several people through this, including my parents.  They love me more than I realized, and have even told me so.  I’ve seen how good so many people can be, and I’ve been inspired to be that way myself.

But where to begin?  I don’t know.  When you are driving to a big city 6 hours away on Sunday, then driving home Friday afternoon, only to repeat all of this again the following Sunday, your regular life takes a back seat.  Normal everyday things like getting housework done or even remembering to fill my pills regularly, take a back seat.  There just isn’t any time.  And I cannot begin to describe the homesickness.  A hotel away from it all sounds nice, but only for a certain amount of time.  You start to miss your own town, your own house, your own bed, your children, on certain weeks your husband, and your old routine.  And you want to smack the ceiling with a stick to shut up those people upstairs.

I haven’t been able to drive since beginning treatment.  While I was in Dallas, driving was scary anyway, and on weeks with my father you could forget going anywhere.  He’s 75 and much more nervous than he used to be on the road.  I’ve always been nervous, so there’s not a lot of change there.  Yet that meant more isolation on days I was with him.  I could go out with my husband at least, but that traffic was still unreal.  I don’t know how people live like that on a normal basis.  No wonder so many in Dallas are getting ECT.

Driving represents a certain amount of freedom for me, and I never realized how I took it, like so many things, for granted.  Or how much I used the word “thing” to describe everything. Sorry about that.  I don’t have great memory loss, but I do get flustered easily.  So here I am, discovering how much I’ve missed, and wanting for once to catch up, but getting confused easily and wanting to go hide under my covers at times.  Getting a few zaps doesn’t fix things right away.  Recovery takes more time, and as usual, I have no patience.  Life doesn’t have much patience for you either.  Get on the train or get off, it seems.

I don’t know if I’m ready for work, or even if this is the job I should stay with forever.  I like my coworkers, especially my immediate boss.  I get decent pay and really good insurance and retirement.  It involves History and English, which are two subjects I’m good at.  I’m proud of my job, and worked hard to get it.  My daughter will be in college in a couple of years, and it would be nice to be around there.  However, it doesn’t have an exact job description, which sometimes leaves you floundering around, wondering what you’re supposed to be doing exactly.  I feel guilty when I’m not working hard enough, which seems to be most of the time.  Not only that, I have a hard time concentrating on job tasks I often find boring when so many other tasks need doing elsewhere.  That work / life balance idea is rather laughable.  Yet I’m not sure what else to do.  If I quit, then I need another job, but what?  I’m not sure I could bring myself to decide.  I can’t even figure out what clothes to keep.

So keep in mind how I really do want to get it in gear, which means catching up on both my own blog and the blogs of others. This used to be a big part of my life, and I think it would help me to make it so again.  But I am struggling right now to get my life put back together, to figure out what is most important and what should be first.  I’m not sure how to do that.  Old Bob Frost said “Two roads diverged in a wood, and I, I took the one less traveled by.  And that has made all the difference.”

I like that poem, but I have a question.  Which road is less traveled by, and how do you figure that out?

 

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10 responses

  1. The downside to a road that's less travelled is that you won't have any companions when you might need one.

    As for not knowing where to start, I can so relate to that. I'm pleased that people have come and helped you. Maybe the thing to do with, for example, the bags of clothes, is to shove them all in a cupboard, except one bag. Sort just that one bag of clothes. Do not think about the other bags of clothes until that one bag is completely sorted and the clothes you want to donate have been donated, and the clothes you want to keep are back in closets/drawers/on a teenager's bedroom floor (for the purpose of this exercise, you and your hubby are also teenagers). Then, and only then are you allowed to consider getting out another bag.

    That method can also apply to sorting out other things. Like housework. Break everything up into smaller, more manageable chunks. And suggest to the Things that they do stuff like dusting and cleaning the loo and vacuuming. They'll have to do it for themselves sooner or later anyway. (This is where you tell me they already do loads of housework stuffs…)

    I'll keep on praying, 'cos that's about the only thing I can do that's of use from this side of the pond.

    ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤

    1. I keep hearing of breaking things down smaller, and I know that’s the thing to do. But even taking time to make the list freaks me out – lol. And the kids got my housework gene – or lack there of. But that can change – I hope. I know my house won’t stay perfect but I at least need enough done to keep my sanity.

      Also I forgot to get a calendar at Wal-Mart last night to keep track of stuff. Figures.

      1. Don’t make a list then. Just do a bit here and a bit there. After all, you can only eat an elephant a spoonful at a time. Do you have a guest room where you can shove everything that needs sorting? So day one, the task is to move stuff into a place where it is not under foot. Day two, vacuum. Day three, clean the bathroom. Etc. No list needed, not straight away.

        You could just print off a table from a word document made with enough rows and columns to be the month you know. But then that would mean wrestling with the computer….

  2. “Turns out that the world goes on even when you don’t.”
    Yep, so damned true.
    You know I think that you started work too quickly, but that’s just my opinion. Yet I’m not surprised at all, because you’re so much tougher than you give yourself credit for.

    1. Aw, thanks. So are you, WT. So are you.

  3. Hugs to you, Alice. I don’t know how to answer your question. You are in my thoughts.

    1. I’m probably the only one who can really answer anyway. But thanks – I need all the good thoughts I can get.

  4. I think, in your case, both roads are less travelled-by. And I’m sure you could manage either one.

    1. Thanks X. I appreciate it.

      I need to see what hell you’ve given to this administration lately. Please say you have. They need it.

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