What I Worry About

Depends On The Day

Waves III

Sometimes I worry about everything, sickness, plane crashes, terrorists, radiation, illness, dying, not dying but in pain, being in a coma, a loved one being in a coma, being in a coma alive but no one can hear me…….Other times, I try to talk myself out of worrying by realizing I can’t control, pretty much, anything. Accepting that life is random and that there is always change and whether you go up or down, you always have to hang on and continue to ride the waves until you can ride no longer.

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*I’m Talking Fruit Loops

Going Loopy

Image by terren in Virginia via Flickr

Earlier today I met my friend Sarah for lunch at our local coffee shop.  I nibbled on a small fresh (?) fruit salad and ate a few bites of an egg white omelette. I felt virtuous for about two hours, eating only healthy food and grazing. We talked about everything, our kids, our maladies and the current stomach bug that was circulating through town and through the high school.

Once home, couple of hours later, I felt faint and nauseous. Just hearing the stomach bug going around made me reach for the Saltines. Later that night, for dinner, I had some of my absolutely divine homemade chicken soup, a soft carrot or two floating around, a piece of a turnip and parsnip, ( I have no idea which is which), a couple of crackers crushed into the soup.  I’ve heard of so many people getting some virus or another, ’tis the season, I suspect. So, I decided I must have the stomach bug or I am ABOUT to get the bug because my appetite was teeny-tiny, no more than a red breasted robin would eat at one time.

Then I went upstairs and started listening and watching You Tube songs on my computer.  “In the Arms Of an Angel” by Sarah Mclaughlin, “Vincent,” by Don Mclean and a beautiful, touching song I had never heard before by Josh Groban called “To Where You Are.” I got fixated on this song I had never heard and I listened to it about 20 times, over and over again.  I started thinking about all the people who I have loved that passed away. Holidays do that to you, you know. My dad, a dear aunt, my friend Janine’s father and mother-in-law, all the people I have lost and people who my friends lost.  I started getting depressed.

It’s the ho-h0-ho of the holiday season and many of us just can’t rejoice like we used to. There are so many factors: the economy, high unemployment, the kids are older, loved ones have passed and the world can be a scary place. I decided I needed something, I needed comforting, I needed…..cereal.

In the last two days by children decided that they loved cereal, not having bothered with it for about 5 years. I saw cereal, thought of cereal, bought cereal and had cereal on my mind. I crept downstairs to have two bowls of cereal. The first was a mixture of Honey Nut Cheerios, Grape Nuts (or as I call them Gravel Nuts) and two or three pieces of Cinnamon Toast Crunch. It wasn’t enough. I then came upon an individual box ( and we know those don’t count) of utterly charming, amazingly beautiful sugary Fruit Loops. I didn’t bother with the Mini Shredded Wheat with Bran, or the Flax seed cereal, or the Multi-Grain Mix. Nope, no way. I went straight to the hard stuff. Nothing talks mood elevator like Fruit Loops! How can you be weary and sad after looking at those darling purple, red, yellow, green morsels of edible jewelery.

All of a sudden I felt happier and of course fully distracted from my depressing thoughts and sad memories.  The Fruit Loops were the delightful high of my evening and not only that, I was cured. I was cured physically and emotionally and I felt happier. Cure of all ills, thy name is sugar. Amen.

*This post is not approved by Weight Watchers

Listen to the Josh Groban song, you can see it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-uIQp9Dqcrw

because i can’t even speak

At the remembrance garden in Dublin

Image via Wikipedia

when someone you love is hurting you hurt double because you are sad and depressed and of no help and that makes it worse. so together you are alone.  pumpkin bread is baking in the oven but the smells of nutmeg, ginger and cinnamon don’t even reach my senses. i don’t know if i should allow myself a really good cry (why do they call it “good?”) or keep sucking in the stress like a dyson vacuum cleaner going over the carpet where my sweet, shaggy dog sleeps. even her warm brown dog eyes look sad.

i wish i didn’t cling to the last hope, the last ember in the fire amongst the dying coals. outwardly i am pessimistic but hidden deep inside me is a wisp of a wish, no stronger than a single blade of grass in a summer breeze. yet still i hope for a miracle and he does too, even though we say all hope is gone and it’s really, really bad. and it is.

i am numb and trembling, silent and screaming, shaking and still. my worried face is too obvious to the world; i wish i could hide my feelings and be like that mean francine who i hated but she could pull off  a fake happy face in half a second.  my feelings show on my face even if i try to fake it and then i crumple like a paper ball tossed into the trash. i don’t call my mother tonight even though i call her every day because i don’t want her to worry and i know that’s what mothers do. my silence, even for a day, signals my message to her.

i need to hold myself together so i don’t break down in front of my children; no matter how old they are they still don’t like to see their mama cry. and i wouldn’t just be crying, i would be sobbing and crumpling in the fetal position and rocking, rocking, rocking. if the situation in a situational depression continues and continues when does it just become depression. i may have crossed over into that, maybe he has too. i want to support him  but i don’t know how to do it anymore. i am failing the one i love the most because i can’t bear to see his flat, deflated face. he lacks affect and looks gray and defeated, worn, sad. we are mirror images of each other.

there’s certainly nothing to look forward to, not that there has been in a while. yes, i do count my blessings and yes i am grateful but i am feeling less lucky and more like a victim with a really long run.  we are not alone in our misery many people share this sadness but who would feel better because of that? it just makes things worse.

the beep beep beep of the timer goes off and i stick toothpicks in the pumpkin bread and burn my finger. the pain feels good, it feels like something, instead of this numb, internal despondency.  this is what depression looks like, it feels like everything and nothing, it lingers inside me, on and on like an unwelcome guest you can’t ask to leave.

We’re Allowed To Have A Horrible Day …..Or Two

dark and stormy

Image by lilli2de via Flickr

When I spoke to my friend on-line I told her I was thinking of writing a blog with the title “Losing Hope.”  I’ve learned to wait a little while and see how I feel later on. Granted, passion fruit sorbet and coconut sorbet helped a little. It was probably a combination of the sugar and the unique sorbet flavors that worked so well together.

The morning started with a phone call my husband made to a hiring manager. The good news? He is definitely the candidate that they want! The bad news? They don’t have the funding for the job.  This is the second time this has happened to my husband. He’s been unemployed for a year now. (Anyone know of a Software Engineer job?)  I see his sadness and as hard as I try to boost his spirits today I just sunk lower with him. I’ve been good and supportive but today was too much, so we acknowledged we were blue and then went out for an inexpensive Latin dinner (with a coupon) where he had tilapia (fish)with mole sauce and I had a quesadilla filled with spinach, mushrooms, cheese and horrors of all horrors, green peppers. After I finessed the green peppers to the side, I was happy.

We took our dog out for a short walk after dinner and as much as my joints hurt, and my knee locked, my fatigue overwhelming me, at least I did it. It was one of those perfect, beautiful, warm, dry evenings. It was also something my husband wanted to do and he does not ask for much. So, our 8-year-old mutt, Callie was in heaven, my husband was smiling and after giving myself a tiny push, I felt better too.

There were some “family” issues which bothered me but I got over it with helpful prompting from my husband as in “what do you expect? They always do that….”  Enough said. My mother warned me about not eating too much food on the free cruise and the chubby girl resurfaced and I felt my body inflate and swell.

It’s hard to be sensitive, I can be very empathic but also hurt easily. It doesn’t seem to be a lesson I’ve learned or accepted. I try to “not care as much” but it’s a skill I lack and don’t think I will learn it anytime soon. At least  I’ve learned to get over something quickly which in the past could have been long and drawn out.

I’m vulnerable, to diseases, to emotions, to temperature; we all are.  After trying to fight the knowledge of a cranky,  “snarky” day, I’ve learned (most of the time ) to just give in to it and ride the waves until everything calms down. You never know, maybe the next day will be filled with sunshine,  honey and bright blue skies; it’s possible. Allow yourself to have a bad day or more when you need it and don’t feel guilty about it; we deserve it.

*FML. No, Wait. Don’t.

I’m in a quiet mood tonight. The rain is dripping outside, the humidity is high, spirits are low but even. I am not happy in a joyful way yet not depressed in a hide- under -the- blanket- way either. I’m coping. Coping is a good thing I think, it beats hysteria by a mile and clinical depression by tens of thousands of kilometers.

There are times in our lives when coping has to do. This is that time for me and my family.  When life has piled an extraordinary amount of pressure and stress upon you all you can do is try to go with the flow or basically moan and groan and give up. Moaning and groaning is  not an option. Anymore. We all know the drill, sometimes up, then down, down, down and hopefully up again. You need to believe in the “up again” because EVENTUALLY things will be better someday. It’s just hard to see at the moment or the last two years. Believe me, I know.

A very long period of unemployment, a longer period of sickness, stress for the teenagers and from them, stress from the relatives, stress from our stressful selves. Take a deep breath. Now breathe. I feel like I should have a cup of Sleepy Time tea right next to me. With milk and honey added to it. And, perhaps an English biscuit or two.

I need to take a vacation in my mind. Where to go, what to do? Climate? Sunny, of course. I see the rolling green hills of Spring and red, yellow and pink tulips blossoming everywhere. Birds chirp happily singing their sweet songs. I listen, lying on my back, head on my crossed arms, feeling the soft grass as my cushion and the sunlight warming my eyelids. It’s 75 degrees and life is sweet.  At least in my mind and my lofty imagination that is.

I went to my Dr.’s office today and when he asked me how I was doing I said I was “coping.” But, after addressing what was happening, and describing the actual events I found myself going from “coping” to “miserable.” Literally, within one minute of each other, sitting in the same, plaid, uncomfortable bumpy chair my status changed to “miserable.”  I even asked for platitudes, I asked for rainbow idioms but I got nothing, no advice from him except his comment: “Try not to fall.”  Huh? Is that the best you can do? Couldn’t you even come up with there’s a silver lining in every thunderstorm, cloud formation or tsunami? Apparently not.

It gave me pause to think. If I am complaining and recounting all the bad stuff to myself or anyone else, what good does it do? It just seems to focus on the misery and the past and not leave room for the possibility of a better time, a different time, a good time.

So for the next few months, I will be focusing on the positive, wherever and whenever I find it. It started tonight with a Weight Watcher’s dessert that I added whipped cream and rainbow sprinkles to. It was in the People Magazine that I bought for myself  with a smiling Sandra Bullock and her beautiful baby on the cover. It was reading Confections Of A Closet Master Baker by Gesine Bullock Prado that had me smiling warmly with nostalgia: marzipan, chocolate treats, plum cake or as we called it “Kvetchekuchen.”

So, here’s to the Bullock sisters and to HOPE, to dreams and most importantly, here’s to positive energy. Energy that I have to control, and I will; I will definitely try.

*FML stands for F-ck My Life, thanks to the FML website.