If You Have to Be Mentally Ill to Blog Then I’m In (1952-1965)


Have you ever noticed that some of the funniest writers are crazy mentally ill? At least my favorite ones are. Their struggles with anxiety and depression are not foreign to me. My first foray into blogging was a private blog devoted to pictures and stories about my kids. Then Apple decided they didn’t feel like hosting webpages anymore (thanks Apple, thanks a lot) so I canned the family blog and ended up here, posting pictures of my crotch.

I came across this post when I was doing a little computer housekeeping and it still resonates with me.

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I turned 36 this week. On the one hand I am happy to have two lovely boys but on the other hand I’m not in the best of mental states. I have a persistent eye-twitch which, while merely irritating, is a constant reminder that something is amiss. The last time I had a twitch like this my marriage on the brink of destruction, this time I really have no idea what is bugging me unless it is the crushing monotony that comes with raising kids.

When I’m in bed, either at the end of the day or just at the beginning, I contemplate the meals that must be prepared (and then swept off the floor), the endless on and off of shoes, socks, jackets, etc., the naps prepared for, timed and executed just so in hopes that I might snatch ten minutes of rest for myself, the baths, the diapering of a writhing and protesting infant, the constant picking up, the thousandth brain-numbing reading of I’m a Mighty Truck Crane, the frantic search for the right stuffed animals before bed, and I have to admit that I yearn for oblivion.

No, not in that way.

What I mean is that sometimes I just want off this damn treadmill, or maybe the ability to just push the pause button. I don’t feel this way when I look at my boys. I feel lots of things when I look at them, but I never wish leave it all behind or yearn for a life without them, but I do sometimes wish I could have a break, a real break, where I could somehow fill myself back up and recharge. Have I said this before? Surely I have.

Anyway, that’s where my head is at right now. I don’t mean to sound ungrateful for my life, I am all too aware of my great fortune, but to be chipper all the time would be like lying in my diary and what would be the point of that?

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I had a complete breakdown shortly after I wrote this. I was diagnosed with delayed post-partum depression. It was horrible. I forced myself to buck up and get through the days even though all I wanted was to hide in bed. I went on Prozac and stayed on it for several years, I remember the great relief I felt after it kicked in. Doing laundry didn’t feel like a soul destroying activity, it was just laundry. I must admit that I have never been the same since then. I’ve never been through anything like that before, not even during the worst of it with my divorce and the fire. I got through it but every now and then I feel a touch of it. Those were hard days.

I miss Prozac, despite my eagerness to go au natural. I often think I am a better parent when I’m medicated. It gave me a few more inches on my fuse which I can always use.

Okaaay, that was a not-so-fun trip down memory lane. It was a trying time but I’m glad I survived it. To the parents of young children out there who are at your wit’s end, this too shall pass.

If only my struggle with persistent clutter would pass.

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Sorry about the crappity pictures. I could use another three hours each day just to keep up with this project. It got late and the light is for shit. Anywho, this is what I found crammed underneath the spiral stairs leading to the basement.

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These are Valentine’s cards for Scrote’s class. I got way more than I needed so I called up another mom and offloaded them onto her. Hurray!

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This is some kind of kiddy tent thing. I have no idea if all the tent poles are there. You can take your chances with it. FREE.

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This is a green fleecy fabric. At one point I thought it would make a really cool coat or something. It was a nightmare to work with (fuzz everywhere and I even set up shop outside). In the end, I realized I would look like a giant toilet set cover. TRASH.

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This was a fleece cover I made for the boys’ changing table pad. TRASH.

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WTF? It’s an old garment that is missing an arm. Why do we have this? What the hell?

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Creepy old dolls. The eyes open and close. I’ve always thought that way freaky.

And speaking of creepy, Zeb told me to watch out when rooting around in the basement because there are spiders down there. To prove his point he made me watch this crazy footage of a town in Brazil that has been taken over by spiders! My best friend is terrified of spiders so of course I sent it to her immediately. It was just a tiny bit evil. She responded instantly that she had the heebie jeebies. Then she wrote back two minutes later that now her office had the heebies. God, I miss her.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2013/02/11/meanwhile-in-brazil-spiders-have-taken-over-an-entire-town/

Maybe this is his way of keeping me out of the basement. It worked.

3 thoughts on “If You Have to Be Mentally Ill to Blog Then I’m In (1952-1965)

  1. Thank you. I found this quite moving, very honest and it certainly resonated with where I’m at right now. I have a friend who believed that all writers suffered some sort of mental illness. At the risk of offending someone, I reckon he’s right. We’re an odd breed.

    • No offense taken here. I think it takes a “special” kind of person to write. Speaking for myself, I spend a lot of time in my head. I see something interesting and I work on it until it is ready to go on paper. That kind of introspection can be crazy-making if it is overdone, and with your personal life, you know? Thanks so much for reading.

  2. Pingback: Litter Kwitter: Amber Alert! | Vivienne's Process of Elimination

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