Thursday, June 30, 2011

The End of an Era

It's the end of the era. Justin is working his last shift as a resident.

No more will he be a student (except in the way that all doctors are always learning--and practicing medicine).

I really can't believe it. I'm so used to him being a student. I know residency is technically a job, I think, or technically a job as a student... but tomorrow when he goes to work he's going to WORK. For money! I know residents get paid... but they get paid like, well, teachers. Tomorrow when he goes to work he's really a doctor.

So tonight I'll get up at 1 a.m. or 2, when he gets home, to toast to the future. To say goodbye to the past. To know that he made it and that I was there with him.

We're 37 (well, I am, if you round up--he was as of the 25th), and we are finally going to stop living like college students.

We are renting a house.

We have a baby.

We have known each other nearly a decade, and next month will be our 9-year wedding anniversary.

I've watched Justin graduate from college, medical school and residency. I teased him about going to yet another hooray-for-Justin event, but really I am SO proud of him. So proud.

And thankful. I am blessed to live in Seal Beach with a baby I get to stay home to raise.

We have gone through really hard times to get here, financially, emotionally, even physically (after all, Justin had surgery on his foot and almost died from osteomylitis (a blood infection) in the first month of our marriage). But here we are.

I wish I could just enjoy it all. I wish there weren't this feeling that keeps coming back, but it's there. Maybe it's fading, but it's there.

In the meantime, I had a friend from high school who now lives in Texas come over to visit today during her trip to see her family. She brought her daughter, who is two months younger than Ella. We were trying to keep them relatively apart, because of that way babies have of reaching for each other's faces and accidentally poking each other in the eye (there was one head-butting incident, but no tears). But we could see that Ella was very slowly and gently reaching out for Addison, so we just let it go. Ella gave her a hug and a kiss! Addison didn't seem to mind and then they returned to parallel play, but there was definitely some interaction, some interest in the other kid and what she was doing. I wish they lived closer to us.

Three more hours and 11 minutes until Justin's shift is officially over... technically. TV? Sleep? It shall be revealed....

(This blog was written yesterday, but blogger was down, so it's posted later. Justin is at real work now...)

Monday, June 27, 2011

That's What She Said

Today my therapist told me that one of her clients said the smartest thing she (the therapist) has ever told her was that it was OK to lie on the couch.

Someone recently asked me, "Doesn't she (the therapist) just tell you little things you can do [to manage your depression]?" She'd heard that's how it works now--that with mindfulness and cognitive behavioral therapy it wasn't "just talking" anymore.

So, the smartest "little thing" that the therapist told me today was that I should avoid conflict situations while I'm depressed.

She told me about recruitment--that sometimes when a person is depressed their depression recruits subjects on which to fixate. These subjects become The Problem That If Solved Would Make My Depression Go Away. Unfortunately, the depressed person is usually not in a good state of mind for problem solving, or dealing with other people's crap. So, it's a bad time to talk about the big things in life, especially with certain people.

This is not to say I would be opposed to a friend sharing a Big Thing In Their Life with me--it's just to say that Big Things In My Life need to be put in the freezer (not even just the back burner!) for a while. Until I get better. Which, my therapist says, will happen.

She reminded me of when I was so much worse, when I was in the Navy Medical Center, I think hoping that I would find it inspiring--I was SOOOOO in the pit and I climbed out of it. Funny thing is, when she mentioned the hospital I looked back fondly on those days. That's when you know things are off. When you think, "Ahhhhh, the hospital was such a calm and soothing place to be," instead of, "Ew, hospital food is gross, I'm glad I don't have to go back there again."

Clearly, I'm tired.

I didn't tell her that though, I just agreed that coming out of depression in the past can inspire hope that I will come out of depression again. It's true. I'm hopeful.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Justin's Birthday

Who cares what's in the bag--it's just so fun taking the paper out of the bag together.

Ella was super tired after a long day of fun--including time with Grandma while Daddy and Mommy went to dinner with Brandon and Oakley for the boys' birthdays. She missed us.

Friday, June 24, 2011

New York gets it right

Ella and I just watched the New York State Senate pass a same-sex marriage bill.

After the vote there was clapping throughout the chamber, so Ella started clapping, too. I laughed and started clapping, too.

"When you grow up, you'll be able to marry whoever you want," I told her.

My only question is should I have said whomever. I should have. So be it.

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Shoulder Smiles

Ella has this new way of smiling--it's the crinkle-nose smile combined with tilting her head to the side and scrunching up her shoulder to meet her ear. We have no idea where she learned it, but we are so so so in love.

This is her on the changing table. We used to call it the smiling table, then the laughing table. She's still good on it sometimes, but sometimes I call it the wrestling table. For her daddy she's typically good:

Sunday, June 05, 2011

How it Should Be

My husband is cleaning my shower.

My mom is babysitting my girl.

I went to a bridal shower tea and watched Bridesmaids yesterday.

Life is amazing.

It's more than I dare ask for. It's more than anyone deserves.

Yet my heart...

It's like when the grass at the park is beautiful and green and you just want to have a picnic and enjoy the sun, but the sprinklers go on. The grass is muddy. The picnic postponed.

My heart is heavy with mud.

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Efff June Gloom

THIS is not going to happen to me.

I am not going to miss June the way I feel like I missed May. (Mother's Day! Ella's first birthday!) OK, so I was sad for the former and present for the latter--though definitely feeling the anxiety creep in before the big shindig, but fighting it fighting it fighting it.

Trouble is, I don't always feel fierce. Yesterday I felt more lost than fierce. More down than up. More subdued than hued.

Still, Ella kissed me again yesterday. She makes a little "O" with her lips and then plants them on my face--this time somewhere below my nose and on my lip--and lingers for a moment. Justin was witness again. This time we kept our celebration subdued, so as not to frighten her out of repeating this new trick. He's just dying for his kiss, holding out his cheek and waiting. We have always kissed her constantly; it is no wonder she's picked it up in her repertoire of tricks.

When I was in San Diego, my psychiatrist asked me, "Are you able to feel joy with your daughter?"


"Are you lying?"

"I don't think so."

She looked away and thought out loud, "OK, you're more depressed..." she trailed off, but I finished with "than I thought" or "than anxious" in my head.

Now I've been watching myself, and I know. I feel joy sometimes. I LOVE it when she kisses me (twice in three days?), I am so grateful for her crinkle-nose smile, I adore the way she goes down so easily for a nap, or crawls to her crib when she's tired, or "walks" to her changing table when her diaper is full, or reaches for the bananas when she doesn't want the cereal. But that feeling I had when she nested the cups or stacked the blocks, it's not nearly as beautiful or full as it was a couple of weeks ago.

Maybe this is normal. Maybe parents aren't always enthralled with their child's every move. But I was SO happy a few weeks ago. I was so in love with the house and the beach and the air. And now I move through it all just wishing I felt joy in my heart, instead of weight and grayness.

It's kind of scary blogging about this. I don't want people to be afraid to be with me. I need the company of my friends--one of the best ways out of depression is to socialize instead of isolating oneself. So those comments on the blog, I appreciate them, and those plans we make, I look forward to them. But I also don't want people to contact me because they feel sorry for me. I don't need pity or pity-company.

In fact, let me tell you a little story. There once was this girl who called me every day and went out with me to eat or walk several times a week. I grew to believe we were great friends. She was, in fact, my best girl friend. She told me things about her own depression, her sister, her work.Then, she stopped calling when she had a baby, and I worried and did my best to be a good friend by calling her (She had fallen into postpartum depression. I didn't know she was depressed--she didn't talk to me at all; I just thought she was busy being a new mom with a husband whom she had told me was not very supportive or helpful.) and leaving her e-mails, and giving her a birthday gift. Then one day, we met with my therapist (whom I had mistakenly recommended to her--never ever have the same therapist as a friend) because I couldn't take the abandonment-without-reason anymore and she told me she never thought of me as a good friend. That she felt sorry for me and she felt like she had to spend time with me.We never spoke again.

What a bitch.

She wasn't a bitch for finally telling me how she really felt, she was a bitch for pretending for all those years that she cared.

So don't pretend or feel obligated to be my friend or support system.

I don't need you that much.

I have my husband and some friends I know are real. That's good enough.

I hate to end on that note.

So here's something funny. I'm not supposed to drink alcohol with my meds. Which is a real bummer because I LIKE the taste of good wine and good beer. I don't waste my time on cheap stuff, or big jugs of wine, or light beer; I don't drink it for the buzz. But I really enjoy savoring a glass or two at the end of the day, and now I can't. So I bought some Ben and Jerry's ice cream. As though I need to enjoy something vice-ish at the end of the day. There was half a pint left in my container (Justin got his own flavor) last night, and now it's gone. Yum!

I really should go for that walk today.

BTW, just because I can't drink doesn't mean I won't go out with someone who can. Just for the record. Having a baby to palm off on someone (grandma!?!?) is a bigger obstacle to happy hour than ordering a Diet Coke and an appetizer.

Also, I'm still fun to be around. If we hang out, I won't talk about being depressed unless you want to. I still laugh genuinely. I still smile. I'm still funny.