A Day in the Life

Homeschooling and Medieval Living

The Abyss

“And when you gaze long into an abyss the abyss also gazes into you.”

 – Friedrich Nietzsche

There is an abyss before me. It is full of darkness and all manner of scary things. I stand upon its precipice. I teeter and I am very afraid but there is nothing I can do. I am so full of sadness and despair.

This is a glimpse into the mind of depression. It is something that I live with. I try to ward it off with determination and good ol’ positive thinking. Most of the time it works. Sometimes it does not.  My husband’s grandmother passed away last Friday. The viewing is tonight and the funeral is tomorrow. My husband and I have been holding up rather well. Then something awful happened. He got his grant money from school. We had a good amount left after school was paid. Now this should have been a good – even a great  – thing, but it wasn’t. You see, I hate money. When we don’t have it, we desperately need it (for bills and food and such). When we get a small amount (like the grant money) we have to pay all our bills and it is gone in a heartbeat. “Where did it all go?” I wonder. Well, we spent it on bills that we haven’t been able to pay in months. We got caught up and that takes a lot of money. But we have internet now. We have a phone. We have food in our tummies and we have gas in the car. That is where it went. My husband thinks I am so silly for stressing over such things. He retreats into video games. I lose him for hours in the computer. I usually just go to bed. I sleep about 10 hours a day. I have all of the symptoms below. So many people want to sweep this under the rug. Some of my family members don’t even think I have a problem. They don’t see me on a daily basis. They certainly don’t see me at home with stress up to my eyeballs and tears all over my pillow. This is not a once-in-a-while thing. This is a daily occurrence. It has been going on for some time. So far, I have been able to function at work. But, lately, I have been arriving later and later. The bad thing is, I just don’t care. Nothing interests me. I just don’t want to do anything. It was even hard for me to write this blog and I normally LOVE writing.

Here are some facts about Depression, according to the National Alliance for Mental Illness (NAMI):

– Women experience twice the rate of depression as men, regardless of race or ethnic background.

– Nearly 18 million Americans—one in ten adults—experience depression each year, and about two-thirds don’t get the help they need.

– An estimated one in eight women will suffer from major depression in their lifetimes.

To meet the criteria for major depression, most of the following symptoms must be present for at least two weeks, or interfere with work or family life:
• Persistent sad, anxious, or “empty” mood.
• Loss of interest or pleasure in regular activities.
• Restlessness, irritability, or excessive crying.
• Feelings of hopelessness, helplessness, low self-esteem,
or guilt.
• Inability to concentrate, remember things, and make decisions.
• Changes in sleep and appetite (too much or too little).
• Loss of energy and feeling “slowed down.”

More on this issue can be found in the brochure at the NAMI website.

Do you know someone who has the above symptoms? Do they interfere with work or family life? Have they been present for two or more weeks? If so, there is hope. NAMI offers many resources on this problem. Once the person has been diagnosed, a treatment plan will be discussed. Need medication but cannot afford it? No problem. Pharmaceutical companies offer financial assistance programs. Pfizer even offers a Connection to Care Program (among many other resources).

About me? I have an appointment with my doctor. Through her, I will get the prescription I need and I can get the medicine through Pfizer for $4 a month. See, there is a happy ending.:)

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Missed the Train

– From the Daily Compass:

There’s nothing quite like the sinking feeling of realizing that the train is leaving the station just as you have arrived, that you have missed what you wanted by mere seconds. In that moment it’s natural to kick yourself for all the ways that you could have done something different to get there just a bit sooner. However, you could just as well turn toward someone near you on the platform and commiserate with them, gaining company as you wait.

How have you recently turned around an unpleasant situation?

My van broke down over the weekend. I had to put it in the shop. At first, I was upset because I will have to miss at least two days of work. But, I have turned my attitude around. I have had the best two days ever. I have watched movies with the family, cleaned on my house, read books, and played in the snow. It has been so wonderful, I wish I could do this all the time. It really does mean a lot when I actually get the spend time with my family. I miss them so much. It has made me realize just how much I miss being home. I hope my husband can find work soon so that I can stay home with my family.

I was also able to attend service with the CLF today. I really enjoyed it. This month’s theme is Salvation. What does salvation mean to us? This almost goes with the above question. I see salvation as a salve for healing.There is a friend of mine. I used to call her all the time. We spoke weekly for hours sometimes. She would save me from my problems and hurts. Now, I rarely hear from her. She is so busy that we talk maybe once a month or every other month. At first, I was very sad and disappointed. I even got angry at her. She never had time for me, it seemed. Then, I realized that she has a family just as I do. She has work and other commitments. So, I looked for someone/something else to help me when I am down. What heals me now is my family, my blog, my music and books. I spoke at length with my daughter and husband about it yesterday. My daughter said that music, books and games were her salvation. My husband said that RPG games were his. Then, I got to thinking about how they differ from me. They choose to find an escape in order to heal. I choose to grasp my problem head on and analyze it. I then write or talk about it until I either find a solution or until the problem doesn’t stress me anymore. I fix it or (if it can’t be fixed) I accept it. I need that catharsis I get through writing/talking. I have a good cry and get it all out. Then, I feel better and I can move on. It really helps.   Wow. “Missing the train” has really been a good thing for me. It has helped me in more ways than one.

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Keeping Your Balance

From the Daily Compass:

Life always seems to feel like a tricky balancing act. Most of us carry on our heads the competing needs of our work and our family, our parents and our children, our communities and our own personal needs. The trickiest part of all is to come at the whole task with good humor and delight in the day.

How will you find a moment of joyful balance today?

It is very difficult sometimes for me to balance everything. The main problem is money. Everything takes money. It even takes money to work. I work a job where I drive 1000 miles a week and spend $1000 a month on gas. I am not reimbursed. Then, I have to spend gas money if I want to go anywhere – to see friends, participate in the SCA, or take my kids to see their friends. I homeschool, work, participate as an officer in a non-profit group, and take care of my family. My mom goes to doctors a lot. I need to be there for her. My husband is going to school and I need to be there for him. He seems like he just can’t do anything on his own. I am pulled in so many directions. I want to quit work so that I have more time to dedicate to my family, but I can’t. We need the money to survive. I am not joyful. I can’t be joyful when my life is so hard. I try to be. I spend time with my family as much as I can. They take my mind off of things. But, I am usually so tired from work that I fall asleep on the couch. I have no idea what I am going to do. I guess I will figure it out. Erin is trying to find work. Maybe something will come through. We will see.

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New Year’s Day

I have always loved journaling ever since high school. I will never forget Mrs. Romano, my Creative Writing teacher. Our homework in the class was to keep a daily journal. There were times when it was my best friend and others when I dreaded the assignment. I have tried many blogs and I have quit them all. I think there are two main things that keep me from staying up with it. First, I let life get in the way to often. Two, I am always afraid that someone will read it and judge me. I hate conflict and I really hate being judged. I should not care what others think, but I do. I wear my heart on my sleeve and I hurt easy. I have tried to toughen up but it is very difficult. This is my effort to toughen up. I am starting this journal on MS Word to begin with. If I can keep it up for more than a couple of weeks, then I will start yet another blog. It is very important for me to have a journal of some sort. I start one on paper then I lose the paper. I start it in a journal book and I lose it. Then I am afraid that my family will read it. So, here is my blog online so everyone can read it. It makes no sense. Oh well.

I have also started another new thing today. I visited the online community for the UUA at www.questformeaning.org. It really got me to thinking. I used to be a member of First Jefferson UU Church. I loved it. I really miss it. I wish I could attend but I live over an hour away from it now. I also do not have the gas to visit there. So, I am now looking into the online community. Through that community, I also found a site called the Daily Compass. It is great. It reminds me of the Baptist “My Daily Bread”. The Daily Compass is a daily blog with a passage and a question. It is designed to really get you thinking. I figured it would give me something to write about. It looks like I found something without using it. But, I like the question anyway. So, I will include it here.

New Year’s Day

The passage from one year into the next is really no different than the passage from one day to another, except in our minds. But in our minds is where all possibilities of change and growth begin.

What new thing do you imagine for yourself this year?

I would really love to spend more time doing the things that matter to me. Right now, I work outside the home. I work Monday through Friday. I leave the house at 10 am and I get home around six in the evening. Now this doesn’t seem so bad. But, there is a problem in this. I homeschool my children and I am an officer in the Society for Creative Anachronism. Both are a dear passion of mine. But I cannot indulge in those passions because my work takes way too much out of me. I am off today and I will spend the day doing all the things that have needed my attention way to long. I will clean house, catch up on email, write a report (for my SCA officer position), and get other SCA loose ends tidied. This will probably take the entire day. After which, I will be off to bed. As soon as I get home in the evening, I am tired from driving all day (did I mention that I am a courier who drives over 1000 miles a week?) and want nothing more than to eat and go to bed. I rarely spend time with my family. The good news is that I am allowed to take them with me. I only have room for one other person, so we rotate who goes with me. The kids loved it at first. Now, they really don’t like going. But, it is the only time I get to spend with them.

Anyway…I really want to solve this problem. I feel the best solution is for my husband to work and allow me to stay at home. Right now, he is going to college. He gets no support from my family in this. No one in my family (except me) ever attended college. My mom married two months after graduating high school. My dad always puts my husband down because he feels that he should be out there working. “College won’t get him anything but a stupid piece of paper and no job,” my dad says. And sometimes, he really convinces me. I see so many college graduates who are working at McDonald’s and Wal-Mart. I see people with a BS in Computer Science who become construction workers because there is no work in the CS field (or it is just so flooded with applicants). So, what do I tell my family? And it does not help that my husband doesn’t complete his work. He went from Phi Theta Kappa (honor society) to scholastic probation.

So this is a bit more than I really intended to write. I guess I really need journaling after all. There is so much I want to say that my blog entry seems very disjointed. I guess I will really have to work on that.

Well, this is where I must leave for now. I will be back tomorrow with another Daily Compass assignment.

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