Today was rougher than usual. Just trying to write that much, I misspelled and had to retype three words. Sigh.
Maybe it’s because I was up past 1:30 a.m. last night and I’m up regularly with my 2 year-old throughout the night. Maybe it’s the stress that comes with am unemployed spouse. Maybe it’s the usual food, self-image issues because I’m not in the shape I want to be in yet. And then there are the other things that weigh me down a little all the time, my Dad’s illness, living faraway from family, our financial debt from student loans, medical bills, etc., my daughter’s Oppositional Defiant Disorder & ADHD (which my other two might as well have since they follow her every lead) and the depression I’m always on guard against.
My goal was to have a fun, laid back movie night and sleepover in the living room with the kids. Maybe we would paint our nails and pop some popcorn too. Instead I was being the maniac, pick-up-toys-Nazi that wouldn’t join the pillow fight. My eyes burned. My tummy was full and unhappy from our pizza and ice cream. Is my grouchiness because I’m burned out or because I’ve finally grown up and turned into a boring, rather-go-to-bed-at-9-while-wearing-earplugs grownup? I did just turn 30…
But thankfully, there was a little bounce back. What I mean was there were some moments when I was low or “depressed.” But then, like when you depress the part of a trampoline you bounce down into, I bounced back up. I felt a little light. Other people helped me fly even higher. A call from my mom (though she may not know it because I vented and complained during most of the conversation) helped cheer me up. Talking to my hubby helped too. Hearing my daughter say “I love you” while she picked up some toys literally relaxed my shoulders at least an inch.
Of course in between each of these moments were other ups and downs too, but at least there were some ups between every couple downs. Talking to friends on Facebook also gave me a little extra bounce. And then I was “up” again, enjoying the loud laughter, craziness, requests for thirds on ice cream and the view of princess pillows and Batman blankets all over the living room.
I laughed out loud when my daughter told me she was going to wear the pink and purple beaded necklace we made today to college to she can remember me every day. And I grinned when I was asked to babysit her troll, during which the only item I was given to take care of it was a hairbrush. Then I grinned even more when my son eagerly offered to babysit the troll doll.
I had a counselor that called Depression a temporary state or in other words, “depressing.” He said just like “sometimes you’re running or eating or sleeping or sometimes you have really staticky hair (OK. He didn’t sat that last part. That was me, but with this picture I couldn’t resist.) And sometimes we are depressing. It’s temporary. We don’t need to get caught up in labels and think we will always be this way or that it’s part of what defines us.”
Hearing that gave me so much freedom. Before I always thought I was stuck in this depressed state unless I distracted myself from it. Now I feel the opposite. There are distractions in life that get us depressed and get us stuck in that spot. But we CAN bounce back. Just ask yourself “Who’s on my trampoline? What’s on my trampoline?” Surround yourself with happy, supportive people. Invite God and Jesus into your life. They want to be there and lift you up. Throw off the crap that’s getting in the way! Would YOU want crap on YOUR trampoline? Seriously?! No! It would bounce everywhere, hit everyone else, and you’d step in it.
Above all, be willing to fly back up again. The opposite of being depressed is being uplifted and that feeling is real and light and weightless. It’s like your burdens aren’t even there. And feeling this way sometimes, often enough to give our emotional muscles a break, is totally possible. I know because I have moments like this myself, without escaping through alcohol or any other substance.
It’s been a few hours since my Wild Things calmed down. One is asleep and The Care Bears movie is almost over so soon the other two will be out too (after the troll doll is tucked in and read to.) There are so many ups and downs everyday. The kids are so tired now they’ve hit the “weepy hours” and they are looking like I did a circa my evening meltdown. But what goes down, must come up.
‘Till Tomorrow! Luv, Eva
P.S. Since writing this, today’s manic wind has completely destroyed the net around our trampoline. Oh, the life metaphors for trampolines could go on and on…