Fine line…

Right. Here she goes again. Talking about things she knows very little about in round about ways and probably ending with a question.

It’s what she does. Although she doesn’t usually talk about herself in the third person. So that’s something different at least.

Here are my muddled musings for the day.

I’ve been thinking a bit lately about the whole “chin up and get on with it” notion as opposed to the “I’m sad and need help” idea.

Surely they’re both a little bit right.

One of my most bestest friends said to me when I had just been diagnosed (and hospitalised) with depression last year that “at least you’ve showered”. As if having a shower was a huge achievement. And for some people I guess it is. The getting out of bed and being in control enough to shower could be the hardest part of the day.

But not for me. I’ve said it before but I’ve never been cleaner. Very hot baths at night, long showers in the morning and maybe another shower in the afternoon.

So for me it’s not the shower part. My depression didn’t leave me helpless, just a bit hopeless. Or without hope.

I could shower, cook a healthy breakfast, get dressed and go to work. I could sing, dance, play, laugh and care for 25 children and be a friend to my colleagues as well.

I could organise the lives of my children, my husband and make some time to ensure that my mum knew that I loved her too.

But then I’d have nothing left. Maybe my depression was like a mining exploration. It kept drilling down trying to find a little bit more happy to put on my face and a little bit more time for others but then it ran out.

Maybe the louder and sillier you pretend to be the harder you fall? Or maybe shy and quiet people hide it better because they can slip their sadness under the radar?

Either way I hope that you are finding some joy and little moments of contentment and that you don’t let your responsibilities always over shadow you.

Has it always been this way or do we just think we’re entitled to a little bit of sunshine in our day too?

In the past men went to work and women stayed home. If things were hard you didn’t talk about it. You didn’t acknowledge it.

But now we do. Now we acknowledge everything and everything has a label and a cure.

There’s a fine line in there somewhere between talking about it too much *ahem talking to myself here* and pretending nothing’s wrong.

My fine line is my friends.

Friends that ask how I’m going and listen. Friends that share their lives with me because when things happen they want to tell me. Friends that don’t judge. Friends that talk about me behind my back in a good way.

Friends that love me.

How lucky am I?

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12 hours…

So today started with my alarm going off at 5:50 am and me DESPERATE to return to the best “sexy” dream I’ve even had.

Fast forward 12 hours to me putting 2 kids in the car and going out to get stuff to treat head lice.

Seriously people. 12 hours is all it takes sometimes.

I snoozed twice this morning. And it was worth it. I blushed all morning thinking about it. Which was wonderful.

I took my 2 tablets with my 2 espressos and got ready for work.

My kids listened and were awesome this morning. Had them both dropped off by 7:10.

Had a super cruisy day at work despite the builders nearly crashing down the toilet wall while I was in situ. (I’m not totally sure what in situ means but much like the term du jour I’m embracing it.)

I accidentally bought quick oats instead of rolled oats but it was okay. My porridge was totally edible.

I washed the paint brushes at 10:30 which is one of my favourite jobs at work because I love getting my hands covered in rainbow colours and watching them flow down the drain still mixing and changing.

I didn’t have lunch but that was okay. My boss came in and gave me a big hug and kiss because you know, she loves me.

I answered many emails, rang places, swiveled in the big office chair a bit and did some laminating.

Then I went to my sons school for his parent/teacher interview and that was all good too.

I had 20 minutes to kill so I volunteered to read a story to one of the prep classes so the teacher could finish up some other things she was working on.

We picked up son number 2.

I made pancakes. They didn’t stick to the pan and the first one was probably the best.

I made an early dinner for my gorgeous boys and was preparing my pumpkin and chickpea soup when I noticed the head scratching.

The head lice was annoying but we got to sit and talk while I shampooed his hair and that was nice.

And that’s 12 hours of my life for you right there. A truly splendid start to the day and an unexpected finish to it.

Hope your hours are interesting too.

Ready or not…

Some people were born ready.

Some just learn from their mistakes and fix them next tile around.

Last year when my husband started traveling a lot I fell apart. I wasn’t prepared. I was very lucky that I had some very special friends who kept me going and buoyed me up.

This year I’ll still need them but I’m also more organised.

The school lunch is packed the day before.

The food shopping is all done for the week.

I’ve started writing my Pre-School reports weeks earlier.

I am extremely tempted and cannot in all good conscience rule out dressing the kids and myself in the next days clothes at bed time just to cut out the getting dressed bit in the morning.

Likewise if I could eat a hearty breakfast before bed and still feel full half way through the morning I would.

My meals are planned for the week.

My clothes are picked out in my mind and ready to go.

My children on the other hand are somewhat more spontaneous.

They change their breakfast choices regularly.

The school snacks I buy especially in bulk are no longer acceptable.

They spill stuff on their clean clothes. Sometimes even before they put them on.

They change their mind on their “show and tell” item minutes before we leave the house.

They pretend they are asleep at bed time and then take stalling to a whole new level just after I’ve made my hot drink.

I am trying so hard to be organised. I’m even contemplating colour coded charts. Not of anything in particular but just to feel good.

But mostly I am being honest. I’ve told them that Dad will be away a lot and we will have to get up very early some mornings and that I will need their help.

I’ve also told them that they need to be nice to me. That I’m important too. I’m not their slave and when I say something I will mean it.

Good manners will be rewarded and bad manners will not be given multiple chances. They are not allowed to hit me, kick me or call me names no matter how tired they are.

I am aiming to be consistent with them and organised.

And that is why the nearly 5 year old will NOT be having any treats tomorrow. He’s not going to like that but I’m not backing down.

I’m the adult and I’m special too. I’m also organised enough to have several different types of chocolate available for when they are finally in bed.

Parenting. The gift that sometimes just keeps on taking.

Music is the language of us all…

I was reading a book today and came across the line “music is the language of memory”.

It’s true isn’t it? Music takes you back and makes you remember things.

Music can fix things for a while.

Now I don’t profess to be a music expert at all. I tend to find songs and bands I like and listen to them on repeat for years.

I remember listening to Night Swimming when I was 17 and in love. It summed up all of my feelings and I listened to it on my discman for hours.

I remember going to a concert in Denmark on my own. I’d walked around all day and was exhausted and embarrassed at being on my own so I slid down the wall and listened to Sanne Salomonsen singing her songs. The songs were in English, the dialogue that had everyone else laughing and whooping was not.

I’ve not been to see lots of live music. I would like to. I feel a bit old now. And there’s the small fact that strobe lights can see me leaving venues in ambulance which isn’t fun.

I had a very special friend in my car the other day and we listened to “You have a friend in me” sung in Spanish for half an hour as we drove home. It was the right song at the right time.

Last year when everything was at it’s most stuffed I couldn’t find a song that I wanted to listen to.

Every shuffle was bad.

All the radio stations were wrong.

The music was speaking to me but I wasn’t listening.

Today I randomly chose a radio station on the iTunes thingy and I liked every song. I danced and sang along and added them all to my wish list.

I like all my favourite songs again and I’m ready to like more.

So hit me up (that’s how the cool kids talk) with some suggestions.

And here are some of my favourites if you want to dance along with me:
– Zbigniew Preisner: Secret Garden
-Tori Amos: Winter
-Emma Louise: Jungle
-Joni Mitchell: A Case of You (I also love the James Blake version)
-REM: Night Swimming

Friend sitting…

I am truly blessed to have a few wonderful friends that I can just sit with.

Someone that I can sit next to on a couch and just be with. No talking required. Actually the less talking the better.

A friend who you can just be yourself with. Quiet if you’re sad or happy.

A friend to hug and hold onto with a fierceness that only they understand.

A friend to sit next to on a bench seat overlooking the ocean.

A friend to sit next to on the concrete in front of a long since decommissioned tram.

A friend who knows all that you need to say without saying it.

Someone you don’t need to pretend with. Who doesn’t take “fine thanks” as your final answer even if you’re pretending that you are.

A friend to lean against and support you.

I have a few of these friends and they’re precious and worth fighting for. No matter how much I annoy them.

There’s a peaceful and timeless luxury that comes from not being rushed when you need someone else’s time.

So come and sit with me and say all the things that you don’t know how to say without speaking.

Because I’m always here. x

Row your boat ashore…

All the air that goes in and out of me is the same air you use. We’re all in this together.

But I’m sensitive.

I’m scared of offending.

I can’t tolerate talk back radio and loud voices. I don’t really like differences in opinions which is silly and I know that not everyone likes the same things as me.

I would like to be passionate about things but I don’t want you to argue with me.

I care about refugees and feel terribly proud that long ago my Granny was passionate about people being people.

We have enough room.

We have enough food.

We used to have enough love.

Or maybe we didn’t. Maybe we’ve always been scared of change.

Maybe like toddlers we don’t want to share.

I work with Muslim ladies and teach Muslim children. The majority of my class eat only Halal food. There is a beautiful big white mosque at the end of the road.

You know. Like the ones people visit overseas and find interesting when they’re sight seeing but they don’t want in their own back yard.

What are we all so scared of?

People are people. Or they used to be. Or they should be. They aren’t numbers on the news or numbers denied and discounted at press conferences.

Live a little. Learn a little. Love a lot.

And yeah… I know it’s not that easy and it’s not that simple but in an ideal world it could be.

Middle ground…

I just cried for the first time in about 8 months.

And by cried I mean bawled my poor little eyes out in a movie. There may have been some sobbing involved and a very hasty exit from the cinema before the lights came up.

This was the first real cry I’ve had since I started taking antidepressants.

And no. Let’s try not to make this yet another post about how hard it is to be me.

Because the meds are working. When my husband asks me if I’m better I say sometimes. Sometimes I’m better and I’m loving everything and I’m in control but sometimes not.

The medications help me to stay calm though. Help me cope. Help me say no to people when they ask me things that I don’t need to say yes to.

They stop the bad internal dialogue that kept telling me that it would be better if I died.

What a load of crap that silly little voice spouts. Who needs it anyway?

Most of this head stuff seems so fake to me. We all struggle. We all find ourselves looking at the ceiling wondering where it all went wrong or where it could have gone more righter.

But the meds are working for me. They help me listen to music again. And light candles just to enjoy the flickering aroma.

I don’t think they take away the highs I think they just help me to cope.

But the crying felt good tonight. It was nice to have wet cheeks and let my eyes overflow with emotion and empathy.

Nice to feel the feelings.