I can’t figure out what to write about, right now. I have, literally, a dozen half-started posts. They are all dull, boring, and about negative things. They are about negative things because, last week, was a depression week. I’ve mentioned the darkness before; and how usually, when I’m in the dark spot, I don’t write. I don’t write, when I'm in the dark spot, because when I do, it’s blaaaaah. Now, I still write, but I generally don’t write anything to publish.
It’s important to talk about depression as part of chronic illness, even as part of life. But, for people who are sick, like me, it’s a genuine part of our illness. Someone touched my brain. Not to mention the fact that my life, thanks to this bitch called Chiari, is forever changed. So, when I get sad, or down, it’s not a matter of knocking it off, or cheering up. I have a chemical imbalance, that is genuinely difficult to overcome. It’s not something to be ashamed of, and it sucks.
It makes everyday life much more difficult to deal with, when it rears it's ugly head. It lies to me and tells me that I'm a bad mother, a bad wife, and bad person. It tells me that I'm fat, ugly and stupid. It tells me I'm worthless, and should just stay in bed, and to forget about bothering for the day, for the week, for the month. But, I do all the right things to try to combat it, when it rears up like a tidal wave: I continue therapy, even when I feel good; I exercise regularly; I eat right; I get dressed; I focus on my hobbies. In other words, I do.
So, last week, when the shit hit the fan, it felt a hundred times worse than it should have. It’s also why I didn’t publish a link, on my FB page, to the last post. See, what last night’s post was for an audience of one, so I didn’t bother. It was angry. I was angry. And, I know it reached it’s intended audience, because, in under 12 hours, it had been viewed almost 80 times. I’m a small-time blogger; I make no qualms, or have any disillusions about the size of my audience. If I have a post viewed 80 times between midnight and 8 am, it’s by one person, especially since I can track how many places it’s coming from. Those 80 views, were from less than 10 unique places. I know that if someone talked, directly about me, I’d be reading it a bunch of times too, getting more and more riled up.
The sad thing is, all of this can be fixed with a phone call, or a ring on the doorbell. It could’ve, been fixed much more easily a year ago; but now, it takes some doing. It sucks to be the one who’s wrong, really wrong, and know it. Hey, I’ve been there too; I was a real bitch to my sister a while back. I was wrong then. I openly admit it. I know what it’s like to be the wrong one, and not be able to admit it to myself, and then to have to, upon reflection.
It's a terrible feeling to wake up one day, and realize you've done something awful, and hurt someone. But that takes two steps: the ability and desire to reflect; and then the act of apologizing. I apologized then. It took a while for her to accept it, and me; but I’m glad she did.
I actually feel badly for people in this position, being forced to hold an indefensible position, when all you’ve got to stand on is, “but she said I was mean!” Imagine, for a moment, that it wasn't me that got sick, that it was a sister, a daughter, a best friend; would you have treated them the same? Even close? What would you have said about the person who had treated them that way?
Now, in this pitiful position, you have to dig your hole deeper and deeper and deeper, until you find peace in acceptance and self-reflection. You have to claim it’s light enough in there to see, and that you love it down there with the filth. The ladder that leads out is always there though; it’s always ready; it’s just that people refuse to see it sometimes.
It's an important part of being an adult; and more importantly, of being a woman, to be able to recognize when we've hurt one another, and then to be able to both apologize and forgive. Without these things we have lost the soft strength that makes us women, the thing that makes us unique from men, but also equal to them. If we don't keep, and hone, our ability to both know our weakness, but also care enough to forgive it in others, we are nothing more than war and anger. We must be better.
So, what do I want to write about now, to get the taste of that nastiness out of my mouth? Let’s see, how about a list of random things that happened to my family in the last week, that brought a smile to my face, despite being in a sucky, depressive state:
Remember how I’ve been having some bladder issues? My urologist gave me some meds to try. Now, I pee Windex. Well, at least it looks like Windex. The meds don’t work, and I’ve since stopped them, and it’s been several days since I took my last dose, but my pee still looks blue. And, when I say blue, I mean blue. I had to go to Urgent Care the other day, because like so many other times before, it seemed like my bladder issues were a UTI (they weren’t), and the nurse said, “Oh my gawd, you’re a Martian!” Apparently, Martians have blue pee. Good to know. If I’m ever suspicious of someone’s earthly origins, I’ll make him pee. Quick, make Trump pee!
Daphne the Great
At the time, this was not funny, and I guess it’s not hilarious in a “I could’ve been killed,” kind-of-way; but, it’s a little funny, really. Daphne hates small dogs. She used to be cool with all dogs; we even took her, as a puppy, to the AKC classes, and she has her little certificates for “Good Citizen,” and everything. She was the biggest puppy there. Hilarity ensued.
But, hundreds of trips to dog parks, and countless small dogs who act like big dogs later, and Daphne has learned that little dogs tend to treat her like a pin-cushion for their dagger teeth. So, she’s stopped laying back and taking it.
Our neighborhood doesn’t have fences; so, if you leave a dog outside, it has to be on a tie-out. Technically, the leases state that you can’t leave them out, unattended, which we follow to the letter, because we live on pretty highly-trafficked corner, for kids and walkers.
On a walk, recently, we passed a house, where a small dog, let’s call her FiFi, was tied up, outside alone. FiFi’s tie-out, was too long, and she could reach the sidewalk. FiFi saw Daphne, and darted from the safety of her yard, to leap on Daphne's back. Picture that. Fifi, literally on Daphne's back.
Can you imagine doing such a thing, if you were a human? It’d be like, if I saw The Rock, and decided to leap on his face, clawing his eyes out. He’d pluck me off, and flick me, like a booger. Daphne did much the same thing, except FiFi, realizing her mistake, dashed back to the safety of her own yard, as if it were protected by a force field. Daphne ran after her, taking me with her; I was pulled underneath the thrashing dogs, and the ankle-biter bit me, in the ankle (shocking), in the melee.
I think that The AKC, when they see this, will come and rescind Daphne’s Good Citizen certificate, despite the fact that she was provoked. She should’ve used her words to resolve the conflict. Or, she should’ve listened, when I said, “heel.” Or, at the very least, she shouldn’t have tried to kill me too. She says she’s very sorry, indicated by deep sleep, and lots of sad-eye faces.
Boats that Go Nowhere
Collin fixates. Autism is like that. All kids are like that, really. Anyone with a kid knows what it’s like to watch the same movie over and over again. But, parents of kids on the spectrum really know what a fixation is. Last week, Collin started making boats out of pieces of sandstone. He glued two pieces together, a flat bottom, and a “sail” vertically on top, to make a make-shift sailboat structure. I think they are adorable. I think they are less adorable, when they are glued to the following places: my entryway floor, my patio table, and my patio. I wish I’d taken pictures of these voyages, before I scraped them up.
Collin was being punished last week, pretty harshly, as a means to adjust a piss-poor attitude. As part of his punishment, he had to scrub the patio furniture. The poor kid, I actually felt pretty badly for him, because it turned out that the spigot in the backyard didn’t fit the hose; so, he had to use bucket after bucket load of water, individually, for rinsing. Then, it got worse. As soon as water touched, and seeped around the post of our back patio, the one that holds up the support beam, cockroaches started pouring out of it, scattering and skittering everywhere.
Then, as water continued to fill the ground, on the patio, as he kept scrubbing, they began pouring out of the side of the house, and out of the other beams. They were, no joke, everywhere. So, that kid was out there, scrubbing patio furniture, and actually battling, cockroaches, as they ran around his feet. I kept hearing him yelping and making "hi-ya!" noises, but nothing that sounded dangerous; so, I left him alone. Every time I checked on him he was fine, just scrubbing.
He proudly showed me the carcasses, later. Talk about a punishment! Because he’s such a rule-follower, he knew that he wasn’t supposed to come in until the furniture was clean; so, he stayed out there, with the cockroaches!
I let him out of cleaning the inside of our storage box, mostly because there were at least three, that we could see, black widows in there. But, he did a decent job on the rest. We’ve called maintenance to come spray for the roaches. We’re pretty excited to figure out a place to go, for four hours, on Thursday, with the pets. Should be fun to keep the animals away from a hamster, in a car. I’m open to suggestions.
One of the things that has always been me, is exercise. I love it. I am a work-out-aholic. I could spend all day at the gym. So, getting sick, especially in a way that severely limits how much, and how I’m allowed to exercise, for the rest of my life, continues to be especially hard. I’m healed enough to allow things like the elliptical machine, walking, and aerobic exercise; but I’m still not allowed any weightlifting, and maybe never will be. So, I moved from the elliptical, to the Insanity series. Logical, right? Seems legit to skip twenty steps.
Let’s just say that after the first day, despite modifying for my condition, I could barely move. At all. It’s ironic how getting fit can make you hunch over, and shuffle like a ninety-year-old with arthritis. Bryon thought it was hilarious. During the video, Collin begged me to stop, and at one point, started crying, because he’d not seen me so sweaty in such a long time; he thought I was having some sort of heart-attack. I thought I looked pretty. I was merely glistening. I had to stop and remind him that sweat is normal, especially during a heatwave, and when the mean man on the video is trying to kill mommy.
However, I think I sweated for the next eight hours, straight. I was woefully unprepared to start the program. It reminded me that, while something like that would’ve been cake for me before, I am back to square one. The soreness has, since, abated, both because I’ve gotten a little stronger, and because I’ve lightened up, even more, on myself, finding that medium, of what I should be doing, at my level. It’s a tough road to travel without a real map. But, I know I’m not doing anything dangerous or risky, so that’s good.
We’ve done a few of them together now, as a family, which is a blast. Collin is a big fan of the “high five,” which means he only does any movement at all in order to arrange to meet up, in the middle, to receive, and give, a high-five. It’s pretty adorable.
I hope that, soon, I land on some new ideas. I hope that, soon, some new stuff hits, and I have some better stuff to write about. But, this is a palate cleanser to get that nasty business out of our hair. We’re done with bitchy crap, and we’re done with bitches. Let’s move forward and forget about it. I’m feeling the clouds clearing on my dark spot, and I’m ready to go out and be me again, and I’m ready to go forward without that nonsense too. Who cares about ugliness and ugly people?