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?