Sunday, December 31, 2006

#36 The Christmas that Came and Went

I must confess that I have been avoiding writing this post from rank superstition - In the past many times I have uttered the words "he's doing better" only to have things fall into chaos the next day - so I refuse to say we are safely through the holiday season - there is still New Years and then at least two long winter months that are setting up to be particularly gray and damp. Instead I will simply describe the Christmas that came upon me as a shadow and went with a tear.
I begin my tale last Christmas when I threw myself into preparation and fairly reeked of positive Holiday spirit - of course it was in some ways a front - down deep I was worried and still carrying the grief of David's first attempt around - but I approached Christmas with hope that if I could make this one Christmas perfect it would in some way heal my family and wipe away the fear and despair that has plagued us in the previous months. Instead, as long time readers know - Christmas Eve found me in the ICU with David who had once again attempted to escape this world.
So this Christmas I approached on tippy toes - I quenched as much as possible any bubbling of holiday cheer - of course I prepared and baked and bought and wrapped - but all the while I whispered to myself "do not hope for too much - don't be surprised or disappointed if disaster strikes" and the days slipped by as they are wont to do and it was four days before Christmas. I drove to Columbus on edge to pick up David and his cat Jewel - soon I knew I had reason to worry - he called me two times on the way up - sounding manic and scared "It's happening again Mom, I just know I'll do the same thing as last year - I'm getting depressed" I thought if he was depressed it must be a mixed state - which is the most dangerous of all - I did my best to calm him and assured him that this year would be different. But did I believe it myself?
In a whirl I gathered up the cat, his things and my moody son and made it home - the two hours filled with ear splitting, depressing songs that he many times sang along with. The next day he seemed better, but by night he was again falling - he told me that he couldn't stay home for Christmas - he was afraid of what he might do and that he would rather be back in his apartment with his cat alone - tearfully I told him that I could not get through Christmas thinking of him alone so far away - was I thinking of only myself? Did I do the right thing my insisting he stay? To be cont.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Dailies #13

Harrah! One quarter behind us - with tons of encouragement, pleading, and worrying David finished his finals and has received his grades - not the grades he wanted - but a wonderful accomplishment none the less - My husband and I went up to visit him yesterday - I cleaned the apartment and stocked him up on food so I hope it will be a good start for this holiday season. David seemed better - he had mentioned becoming what he calls "pychotic" over Thanksgiving so I suggested he take at least 50mg of seroquel every night - he has been and has been sleeping better as well - now to get through Christmas - our next big hurtle - wish us well - I'll update you as the day approaches.

This news piece deals with some of the issues facing those of us with mentally ill kids leaving for college - an interesting read


Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Dailies #12

This last weekend has been mixed - I got David to the doctor Friday so he could get his medicine refilled - he only stayed home fifteen minutes - seemed tense and on edge the whole time - the next day I thought he had watched the Ohio/Michigan game with his uncle - but when I finally talked to him Sunday evening I found out he had stayed in his apartment instead alone - and he was slipping - sounded depressed - didn't seem to care about anything - said he wasn't coming home for thanksgiving because he didn't like turkey - I had my brother go over to check on him and try to talk him into walking over to his place - David would not leave his apartment. Trying not to panic I waited awhile then called back - he told me he was so good that he wasn't even going to mention either one of the movies he was supposed to be analyzing in the paper he was working on - I asked "but isn't that what the paper is about?" he just laughed. Now I started praying - he seemed so far away - I called my brother again - he said he would call him back. I forced myself to wait two hours before calling again - telling myself that there are some things you just can't control. David answered and immediately began to talk cheerily about an upcoming movie and what he wanted for Christmas. Though relieved I knew this mood could be a symptom of mania - I reminded him to take his medicine, told him I loved him, and bid him good night - then like many other nights I lay in bed praying that the good night would not turn into goodbye.

This is an excellent article by a woman suffering from schizoaffective disorder - gives a perspective from the inside.
A mind taut with pain - Health - Times Online

Thursday, November 16, 2006

#35 Between Hope and Despair

The holidays are marching in with plans for get togethers, baking, shopping trips - in years past this time of year has been my favorite - Even last year I threw myself into the season - in an attempt to make it the best Christmas ever, a kind of celebration that David was still with us - In this I made a grave mistake and missed the important signs that were pointing to the fact that David was headed into depression and another attempt at suicide. This year I feel quite ambivalent - confused as to which way to turn - on one hand my usual excitement is building - I am beginning to make lists and plans - but in a way I hesitate to even think of the Holiday - I am becoming ultra vigilant watching David's every move - hoping that the season will not affect him as it did last year - and as I watch - I see odd signs that things might not be as well as I hoped - for instance I have been going up at least once a week to clean his apartment, take up his medicine, and bring back his laundry. This week I bought a cheap set of sheets so that I could bring his back to wash and he mentioned that he had only slept in his bed a few times - it then dawned on me that his bedroom looked unlived in - in fact it appeared that he spent most of his time on the futon in front of the TV watching SouthPark - all the seasons were spread out over the floor and every time I walked in the show was on - with the same episodes he has watched at least a hundred times each. I suggested that he come home the next day to stay a night since he is about out of medicine - still on the waiting list at the new psychiatrist - and our family doctor said if he came in he would write a couple months worth of his medicine - David mumbled some excuses and refused - and it was then that I knew he had built himself a tight routine in a tight space not doubt for reassurance - the familiar was comforting to him - and now that I think on it - he really hasn't been going anywhere except class, my brother's apartment, and the occasional dinner out with his grandma - he must feel safest there in his own spot with SouthPark playing over and over - I think of him as a child - always upset when his structure was threatened. He has said that he's coming home for Thanksgiving, but now I wonder how hard it will be to get him to leave his nest - and what is he pushing out by these self isolating actions - the Holidays - the same winter blues that snowballed into madness last year. Should I be concerned about this? Should I force him to come home for the holidays? I really don't know if he refuses if I could stand carrying on as usual thinking of him sitting alone on his futon, eating roman noodles and watching Kenny die for the billionth time - or am I not being realistic - I think sometimes I give into the illusion that this illness will someday just be gone - I must remind myself that my son is mentally ill and as long as he is content in the life he is living - why should I urge him to change?

Good Advice

This article seems relevant considering my current concerns.

Bipolar Disorder: Holiday Tips for Family & Friends

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Dailies #11

Good news for a change - things are going fairly well - David is getting to class - most of the time and seems to be settled into the routine of living on his own. I do go up to his apartment at least once a week to clean and take back his laundry to wash. I also take up only a week's worth of medicine at a time - though things seem to be OK - I've learned from harsh experience that his moods can take a downward turn quickly. The only issue that is nagging at my mind is his growing obsession with his grades - David will never come right out and say something is bothering him - but if I listen closely to his conversations I can usually pick up clues, and he has been speaking incessantly about what grades he thinks he may end the quarter with - A, B, C and a Pass on his survey class - I think that's great for a any first year freshman, neverless one struggling with the obstacles David does, but he seems to feel he should have done better - I assure his that those grades are fine and listen carefully for any hints that this new worry of his doesn't spur him into a depression.

This article I found to be tentatively hopeful - I know for me and many other parents and loved ones there is always this hidden, mostly unspoken fear that this illness will end in suicide. This study from Ireland adds buoyancy to our hopes.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Dailies #10

Sorry it's been song long - parenting long distance and also keeping up with work, a son in football and another teen, is exhausting - but enough complaints - I should be giving thanks instead. David is doing well - he did have a rough week, missing two of his 7:30 classes - he said he couldn't sleep all night - I think he was manic - probably from skipping meds - he wanted to drop the class because, as I mentioned before, he is a perfectionist when it comes to school work. I explained to him that he couldn't - he would fall below full time status and injure his scholarship and grant status - so instead he e-mailed his instructor about his mental illness and then had his councilor at the Office of Disability send a letter about his problems. The result shows that David getting accepted into the Disability program was the most important step in attending college - he was able to make up the work and now is back on track - the other great thing about his Disability status is that he received one of the first windows of registration for winter quarter - I prompted him to pick his classes and then I went online and registered for him - next quarter he only has class four days a week instead of five and no class starts before 12:30.
He as usual still has what I would call "odd moments" - a couple of days ago he made his, at least daily phone call in the evening - he said "it was pretty cold today" - then he went on to say that between classes he had sat outside for two hours reading the Iliad - I asked why he didn't go into a coffee shop or library - he replied that he didn't have any money and that libraries were now obsolete - I pictured him sitting on the stairs somewhere on that huge campus, his long hair (he still refuses to have it cut) hanging in his face, reading Homer - I just wanted to give him a long hug - but since I am here and he is there - I settled for explaining that there are libraries at OSU - books haven't gone the way of the horse and buggy yet - promised to put money in his account the next day and told him that I loved him

Here is a story that demonstrates the importance of educating the general public about mental illness - I also thought it was interesting that the girl had a service dog - I had never read about one being used for such a role - but it makes sense

Wal-Mart turns away helper dog -- Page 1 -- Times Union - Albany NY

Monday, September 18, 2006

Dailies #9

David is in his new apartment and officially starts class on Wednesday - the first day he seemed do manage OK - my brother living so close helps, but tonight my mom stopped in to check and noticed that he had forgotten to take last night's meds and he couldn't figure out how to set his alarm - she thought him nervous and a bit manic - I know the upcoming trial of first day is working on him - I keep thinking positively and try not to worry constantly, but to say I am on edge would be an understatement - just thank the gods for my brother - he and my mom spent an hour organizing his apartment, took him out to dinner, and when my mom left my brother was busy printing out his schedule so he could drive him over and walk him through where his classes are tommorow - I will up date Wednesday -

Caregivers know from personal experience how much of a toll dealing with mental illness can be - this new study highlights some of these concerns

International Caregiver Survey Shows Treatment Disruption Has Serious Consequences for Families Living with Serious Mental Illness: Financial News - Yahoo! Finance

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Dailies #8

Things have been busy and chaotic lately as I try to juggle getting David in an apartment (that should be accomplished before the end of the week), preparing for a new school year of teaching and maintaining the rest of the household. so far things have been going well; David was anxious to get his textbooks early and has already started reading them - he does seem a bit down this last couple of days - probably the stress of dealing with this upcoming change - I hope we can make the transition without precipitating a crisis. Myself I worry, worry, worry - I worry that his anxiety will overcome him the first couple of days - I worry that he will become lonely and depressed away from home - I worry that he will fail to take his medication. My list is never ending - but I know that for David to have a life of his own I have to stand back and walk away - of course I will still no doubt call him constantly and drive up to check on him often - but in the end I am here and he will be there and if something happens he will be alone - I have never felt more afraid in this tossing sea - I see my son drifting off with the current - he could be headed towards of tropical paradise or a brewing hurricane - either way I know I must let him go.

Another note - the following report of schizophrenia and teens is sobering and informative - something for parents to keep in mind when they struggle to understand why their kids do what they do.


Friday, September 01, 2006

Dailies #7

I fear to even say this - I don't want to jinx myself, but things have taken a turn for the better - my husband is doing well - our relationship has been improving day by day - I have been taking him to his doctor's appointments and those have went well - The stomach doc says that he also has gatroparesis (a condition where the stomach doesn't empty fast enough) and has given him some further diet restrictions, but the time away and the diet seems to be healing not only his body, but his mind - he has gained a much more positive outlook and determination that we can get through these troubling times. And I am, as readers have suggested, going to have David, and the other children screened for Celiac. David also seems to be improving - no more comments about dreams blurring to reality or voices. We are going to get his apartment this coming week and he is very excited about that - I, of course am very nervous - but I'm sending his favorite cat, Jewel, with him and he will be living in the same apartment complex as his uncle - I am making a list of all the things we need to do to prepare - I know that for one I'm only going to give him three to four days of meds at a time - his uncle can hold the rest - and I am ordering his books for class early - he says he wants to start looking at them now - I think he is still having trouble concentrating so perhaps he can get a jump start on the reading which will help. It's raining here and gray today - remnants of Ernesto - but inside a beam of warmth and light has begun to shine - I feel happier and more confident that maybe things will work out OK - though don't get me wrong - I know with all our problems that many challenges await, but today, at least, I feel I have the strength to face them.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Dailies #6

The road is always paved with good intentions - I did hope and plan to write much more often, but life has once again thrown me into the bog and I have been trudging my way back onto calmer turf. As I mentioned last time my husband was diagnosed with Celiac Sprue; this diagnosis, coupled with the constant pain he has in his hips and back and the fact that he hasn't been able to work for over a year sent him into a tailspin. As his depression increased so did the arguments, not only between him and myself, but also between him and David - I won't go into the gory details of marital and family discord, but just note that the last month has been a kind of Hades - ending in a personal disaster - meanwhile David has begun to have more and more trouble distinguishing between reality and dreams - and last night I heard him tell someone (no one was there) to stop throwing things at him - he has been willing to take his Seroquel more often, but I believe that the stress associated with college approaching and his father's troubles is prompting these new problems. One brighter note is that my husband has realized the issue and is staying with our oldest daughter for a couple of weeks till we can get things smoothed over. - I am busy trying to get the mud of the bog off me and attempting once again to reevaluate and start again. Wish me luck and send me prayers!

Friday, August 04, 2006

Dailies #5

Been busy, busy this last two weeks - my husband has been officially diagnosed with Celiac Sprue so we have been adjusting to his gluten free diet - David had his orientation at OSU - we had to drive two hours to get there and by the time we did he had broken into a heavy sweat - "I don't know if I can do this," he said as we pulled into the parking lot - I coached him through the sign in process and then we drove to my brother's where David proceeded to have a full blown anxiety attack vomiting all day. I tell this story because I want to encourage persistence and a willingness to get help. If this is David's dream somehow we can make it happen - I called the Disability office at OSU and they arranged for David to come back up a couple of days later - and only for the advising session. We drove back up at the set time and this time David, knowing what to expect did great - he is now registered for Fall classes - one hurdle gone - however, I am trying to get him into a psychiatrist at OSU who can better manage his anxiety. Step by step we go - sometimes back, but always moving on.

Here is an interesting article which in a manner takes me to task for the previous passage - I do ask David if going to OSU is his dream and not mine - I hope he tells the truth when he says it is

Darien News - Teens Paying a Price for Privileged Lives

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Dailies #4

Back into madness - David is slipping this last few days, not depressed but rather manic - I have read that the summer months many times are the worst for those suffering from mania - so maybe that's it. He left early yesterday afternoon with one of his friends, saying he would be right back - I didn't see him again till six this morning when he bounced into my bedroom quite out of his mind - after a trying morning and afternoon he is fast asleep and I hope he remains so till tomorrow morning. And as when it rains it pours, my husband is now obsessing with the thought that he is going to die in this procedure Tuesday - he wants to make out a will. I keep telling him that he will be fine - but he has went on so long that he's managed to get me nervous about Tuesday as well.
On a different track - I just finished the best book I've read all year - Joan Didion's memoir - The Year of Magical Thinking - you can read more about it on resources.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Dailies #3

Today we are struggling - David was rather agitated and manic last night and this morning - wanting to start an argument about anything and everything - by morning he admitted he was manic and managed to get to sleep after he took his medicine. It might be the tension in the house bringing it on - my husband is having a scope and biopsy done the 18th to find out what has been causing malabsorption and consequently osteoporosis - he always has anxiety about medical procedures and this one is unfortunately scheduled on the second year anniversary of his brother's death - he has been telling the kids and me that he probably won't make it and if he doesn't what he wants us to know - I'm sure this is playing into David's agitation and I am having to deal with both of them - thank goodness for the new Lexapro!

On another note here is an easy to read discussion for those concerned with increased risk of suicide with antidepressant use. It is actually a brief course for mental health professional, but can be understood by a layperson.


Wednesday, July 12, 2006

News Brief

Magic mushrooms for depression? This article's a bit bizarre - but interesting - note I'm not suggesting we all dig out our tie die and go searching for the lost age of Aquarius - but still food for thought!

The Seattle Times: Nation & World: Mushrooms' active ingredient expands the mind, study finds

Dailies #2

Just a quick note - the doctor prescribed me a new antidepressant, lexapro, which I began to take yesterday - the only thing I can say for sure is that I had some trouble going to sleep yesterday and woke up at 5:30 this morning with a nervous energy - I'm sure I'll crash later, but it sure is nice to not be dragging myself out of bed.

Monday, July 10, 2006

#34 My Son

Pride - a monster if you let it control your thoughts and actions - this point was brought home to me the other night - I was pleasantly surprised that all three of the kids, yes including David, decided to go with me to see the midnight showing of Pirates of the Caribbean - It's a momentous occasion when teens submit to being seen in public with their mom. And so we packed up in the car and headed out - in the glow of this unexpected parental accomplishment I had failed to closely take into account how David was dressed - his clothes were wrinkled and somewhat stained, but I could have lived with that - but perched upon what appeared to be quite dirty hair - when was his last shower? - was a bandana and a hat with a large marijuana leaf on it - the other two kids must have noticed his strange appearance as well for they shot off in all directions when we arrived - the travesty of being seen with not only your mother - but your strangely dressed and dirty brother. And I must say that I myself fought a rising emotion - could it be shame? I noticed the stares and giggles - the whispers - I found myself wanting to bolt - shame on my mother's heart - he is my son! I pushed down those troubling thoughts and worked on enjoying the moment - it had been years since all the kids had went to a movie together and when we got into the showing - full - alas we all had to sit together despite the other two's efforts - and as I sat beside my son - my nose confirming that it had been a few days since his last shower I wanted nothing more than to reach over and give this son of mine a hug - I am proud of him - proud that he is here alive enjoying this movie - what should I care what people think - of course I don't give him a hug - that would no doubt embarrass him!

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Dailies #1

I have decided, have determined, have promised myself and you my readers that I will in the future post almost everyday and so I am posting this first daily thoughts - to be separated from the usual journal entries, where I will still deal with more serious, deeper issues. In this first edition, as it is, I want to share a small victory with David last night - a couple of his, what I would call good timing friends stopped by and he made up an excuse, not to go with them - now you may not see the victory in this - and afterall he did tell a fib - but to me it was a positive step, however small to see him choose to stay home and play video games with his brother rather than go out towards possible trouble.
Now a note about me - my MS doctor called today and said that the results of some recent testing showed that I had some slight attention and short term memory problems - I thought surprise, surprise - she feels the problem may be caused by stress and depression more than anything else - again surprise, surprise - she's going to change my medicine and suggests counseling - however I have lately been trying to get my stress level under control through walking - Yoga (haven't quite got to this one yet) and what I would call reading therapy - another term for pure escapism. Anyways I have felt better and hope that these changes will help - and by the way I forgot - surprise - to mention that I have posted some new resources, one heavy, depressing, though wonderful memoir, one light information text, and one for pure escape - happy reading!

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

#33 The Saddest of Truths

David is doing ok these last two weeks, but he has been continuing some habits I wish he wouldn't - spending money recklessly - spending his time aimlessly - I want to change him - to make him quit drinking and buying skoal - to force him to save money - to get him to start his day before two in the afternoon - but alas I cannot - and that hits hard at the main illusion of motherhood - we our not our children - although our blood may run through their veins - their soul and mind are separate and inpenetrable - they are their own persons and we can give advice, scold, cry, and threaten, but in the end all of us - each human on this spinning planet can only truly control themselves and that is the saddest of truths - since we can't control the ones they love they will do things we don't approve of - they will do things that will hurt us - they may even commit the ultimate betrayal and die. To watch a love one die is the ultimate lesson in our lack of control - a couple of months ago I lost my grandmother and I was impressed as I sat on her bedside watching for every tortuous breath, dreading the moment when there would be no more, that we are indeed alone in this world - in the beginning and in the end - and to love - oh! to love is to bring heartbreak upon yourself - but to not? To not love is to miss those exquisite moments when our barriers break down and we can truly connect to another being - to not have loved is to not have lived - and so I wait for those moments when with a smile David turns to me and we converse - not fight - when we agree on a movie, or a book. Those rare moments are what make this difficult road worth walking.

Friday, June 16, 2006

#32 Raging River

Sorry it has been so long since I posted, but life in the last month has seemed to me a flood swelled raging river and I have been swept along, attempting to grab at passing branches to slow down to no avail. This month has been long and hard - my nerves are about shot - my husband who has been having increasing health problems found out that he has Celiac Disease, a disorder of the small intestine that causes malabsorption - but his problem has paled in face of the struggles we have gone through with David. Though he would not say, the approaching graduation at his former highschool, where so many times he declared he would be valedictorian - tormented him day and night. He began acting wildly, became manic, staying up for nights on end - he woke me at all hours of the night to sit on the bed and talk non stop - one morning he woke me to say he had just fallen off the house roof - but not to worry - he was all right. I began to feel trapped - I was afraid to leave him alone - so my life revolved around him - I tried to send him up to my brother's, but he walked out, with only the comment, "see you later" - as you can imagine this upset my brother greatly - after searching for almost an hour he did find him wandering around the streets - needless to say David soon came home. All I could do was batten down the hatches in preparation for the coming storm - with the enlistment of every family member we managed to survive the fated day and I must say things have improved since - perhaps David now can start anew - putting those lost dreams and failures behind him - and looking towards the future - we had a graduation reception for him a couple of weeks later - since he is receiving a diploma from his online highschool. The evening went well and I was happy to find that many of his old friends - the ones he had stopped hanging out with when things went down hill, showed up. All in all the storm clouds have been receding and I hope for at least a bit calm seas - the rest would do us all a bit of good.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

#31 The Long Road

Some days, even though I'm only thirty eight, I feel at least a century old - and oh! the long, long road ahead - I think one of the most daunting things about having a child with a chronic disease is that there is no end - the road stretches out past the horizon and though good spells may give one a sense of hope - they don't last. Inevetibly the bad times recur and we pick back up our burden and trudge on down that endless road. The hope I feel for David is still there - but dimmed - he has been going through a tough time lately - some weeks not wanting to take showers or change clothes and falling back into some of his more self destructive habits - On one hand I feel irritated - the whole world is before him - although he has a mental illness - he still has his brilliant mind, and a charming, witty personality - he can succeed - the only problem is that I know this - but most of the time, he doesn't - and as he sees the friends that he went to school with go to the senior prom, take senior skip day and prepare for graduation, the chasm between their existence and his must seem to grow to an uncrossable obstacle - I pick up my pack - it will take all my energy, strength, and love to get him through this trial and emerge on the other side of this coming summer - I have been makeing all the last arrangement with the university - scheduling orientation and an appointment with disability services - I have to come up with things to keep him busy, occupied, and prevent him from dwelling on the past. To be Cont.

Monday, March 27, 2006

#30 Hope?

Some good news for a change - David got his SSI - and the same week he got a chance to fly to Florida with his uncle. The day of their flight I was paralyzed with fear - not of tragedy, but of hope. Isn't it funny how in life we can become acclimated to almost anything - I was accustomed to bad news, to trouble, to struggle - my mind could not wrap itself around the fact that something good was happening - and so my mind made up its own bad news - I was certain that this was some cruel twist in fate - tempting us into some ultimate disaster - the jet would crash - the jet would be hijacked - David would lose control from paranoia and be shot dead by the marshals like that man with bipolar disorder in the news a couple of months back. I tried, but I just could not make myself just be grateful for my son's good fortune - it was pouring that night and as I sat at my desk grading listening to the pounding rain - I thought back to how this had started after David's first attempt and how it rained for days - I couldn't help but think that if this was literature it would end the same - the rain - the floods - the phone call that the plane had went down. I had to shake myself and find something to distract me - I called my cousin to tell her the good news - but I just couldn't help but mention that it felt scary to have things go right. Then my husband called out from the mudroom in the back of the house - we have been patching our old roof for a couple of years and it wasn't unusual for a new leak to spring up, but this one was massive - a steady stream ran from the ceiling and the sheetrock had begun to bow - just as my husband turned to grab a bucket, a four foot wide section of the ceiling came crashing down - I laughed - perhaps an inappropriate reaction - but now I felt sure that the plane would land smoothly (which it did) - things had been going too well - but the hole in the ceiling begged normalcy - at least in our lives - the rain pouring into my house yelled hope!

Friday, March 03, 2006

#29 The Regrets

I am being hounded by entities from Hell. Not the terrible trio called the Furies, but rather a group I have named, the Regrets. They come upon me at times such as these when I am contemplating mistakes I have made in the week – in this case forgetting my mother’s birthday until she mentioned it, realizing that my composition class hasn’t understood half of my forty minute lecture, evidenced by their uncomprehending, blank stares, and noting that David has become somewhat manic and has been awake for thirty six hours straight. It is now that the Regrets arrive, well dressed, with perfect hair and nails, as always beaming happiness – the perfect daughter, who never forgets her mother’s birthday and always has enough money to buy her a memorable gift; the perfect instructor, always organized, witty, and easily understood; the perfect mother, watching as her son stands to the podium as valedictorian at his high school graduation. All the women I thought I might be, that I thought I could be. They torture me with their excellence in stark contrast to my reality. But wait, slightly behind and to the side stands one that one that cannot be one of the regrets. She is unkempt; her hair needs a cut and has been pushed back awkwardly – her clothes don’t quite match, are rumpled, and has cat hair and chalk dust on them. In her eyes there is not happiness, but neither is there despair. Instead there is a passion, a determination that vibrates through her being – she is far from perfect, but she has a weapon, a glittering pen that she uses to disperse the smiling regrets – as the being gets closer I realize – She is Me!

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

#28 Murky Depths

Sorry to everyone that it has been so long since I posted - I have had a mental block of sorts and have been fighting my own battle with a bit of depression (my doc has given me 40mg of prozac a day) it is helping - I guess I needed a while to focus on my own needs - I have been very low - just swimming around the depths - no energy to struggle to the storm tossed surface - but enough is enough - I know if I am to survive - if David is to survive I must pull myself up - so I think for a while I'm going to try to use this blog as a type of therapy - I'll try to journal as much as possible and continue to share our story - I might just whine a bit more - I have not shared with my readers another problem that I have - perhaps it is time - I have been struggling with my own illness for the last few years - the doctors have diagnosed me with possible MS - and surprise - surprise, stress is really bad for my symptoms - so this last month or so has been tough, not only mentally, but also physically - but I like to remember that God will not give you anything you are not strong enough to handle - he must feel I'm pretty strong - so I plan to live up to his expectations - out of the murky depth into the wind tossed storm