Category Archives: thoughts

One Day

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It’s amazing how quickly things can turn around. How, in the blink of an eye, hope can turn into despair. Things to do become things to be survived. I’m tired of being on this ride that always seems to end in tears.

I woke up this morning in fairly minimal pain. I enjoyed my coffee, and laughed, and thought about how much better I felt today than I had this past week.

One thing. One tiny, insignificant little thing. And now here I am, trying not to cry, trying not to curl up and hide under the covers, trying not to give up.

I can hear one part of me saying, “No, don’t do it. It’s okay. You’re okay. Just breathe. IT WILL BE FINE, GODDAMMIT, JUST STOP. Just. Stop.”

But there’s the other, louder part, chanting, “You fucked up. You ARE a fuck up. You are FUCKED up. You didn’t do this, you should’ve done that, why don’t you ever do ANYTHING right, why even try when you know it’s pointless, remember when this happened and this and this and this and this….”

It feels like there are two people inside of me, both fighting for supremacy. But the ugly part is stronger and it always claws its way to the top and laughs at the small, flickering, almost-blown-out flame of the other. Sometimes I think the part that hurts allows the part that hopes to exist, to creep into the sun, just so it can crush it over and over again.

I want to reach back in time and grab the smile I wore this morning and hold it tight so it can’t get away.

No, you know what? I’m not even asking to be happy. I just want to be okay. Can I have just this ONE DAY without the never-ending litany of pain on repeat in my head? JUST THIS ONE DAY.

Please. I just need this one day.


Sewing, like life, is hard.

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Was I ever whole?

I always feel like there are just frayed stitches barely holding me together, and one day the entire thing will completely fall apart.

I feel like I’ve wasted a lifetime in fruitless attempts to put myself in some kind of order, but my edges are still ragged and I’m covered in rips and tears and bits of glue.

Forever trying to gather the broken pieces of myself and reattach them in some semblance of a person, I sometimes think the messy repairs and faulty seams are all anyone can see.

I see a broken puppet, controlled by a broken puppeteer, trying to pretend that one day I will find the perfect pattern and, with clean, straight stitches, will sew myself up securely, and never be undone again.


I’m back and I’m…just like before.

I feel like an explanation is due, since I disappeared for like 500 years. (Sorry.) (HI!)

Well, some pretty awful things happened to some of the people I hold nearest and dearest, and I was very busy trying to be helpful while actually probably making things worse because that is just my nature, as you guys know. I’m pretty sure I have NEVER said the right thing at the right time. Good thing it’s the thought that counts, and that mind readers don’t exist.*

Then there’s this world we are living in and all the people in it who are just breaking my heart and then stomping on it and then maybe it gets picked back up but then it’s broken again and I just can’t understand all the HATE. It makes me feel sad and unfunny and like even trying to be funny is somehow sacrilegious.

Also, I started a new medication that turned me into a zombie, but not the flesh-eating kind. I was a much gentler and kind of a drooling zombie. It wasn’t until I quit taking it for other issues that I realized how much of myself I had lost and that was pretty scary. Especially when people were like, “Oh, but you seemed so much better, happier!” Uh, YEAH, cause LIGHTENING BUGS WERE ALL I COULD THINK ABOUT. Lightening bugs are cool, but no. Not worth it. I’d like to be a person, even if I am a seriously fucked-up one.

So, I think I said a while back that I would ease myself back into blogging by sharing some of my Facebook posts with you. That is obviously not true, because I’m about to do it again. BUT THERE’S ALWAYS HOPE, RIGHT? *waves imaginary pompoms* *wishes I had some actual pompoms*

 

July 20

My husband made dinner last night AND fixed my plate.

I’m sure it had nothing to do with seeing me holding the dish soap over the food, about to liberally douse it.

He’s just really sweet. And probably doesn’t want to eat soap.

 

July 17

I told my 14yo to do the dishes before he went to bed.

He’s been awake since 10 a.m. yesterday.

 

July 7

My 7yo finally found something to keep her busy and semi-quiet.

She’s making her Christmas list.

 

June 21

I’ve reached the point of summer vacation where I’m questioning all my reasons for not sending the kids to summer camp.

I was worried about so many of the horrible things you hear about, and I said no, no, no.

Right now, I’m considering sending them into the woods to live off the land and saying, “See you in August.”

 

June 14

WHOTHAFU–

–What I yelled at the cabinet upon realizing someone had switched a can of carrots with a can of green beans so you couldn’t even SEE the damn corn.

THE CANNED FOOD IN THIS HOUSE GOES IN THE APPROPRIATE ROW GODDAMMIT.

p.s. I know this was done on purpose, and I’ve narrowed my suspects to two.

 

June 10

Me: I can’t believe how stupid this medicine is making me.

Husband: You’re sharp as a tack.

Me:…

Husband: Okay, but you’re not stupid. I’d say… “muddled.”

Me: *laughs forever*

 

June 6

I just walked into the hall closet instead of the bathroom, but caught myself before I peed on the towels.

That means the new meds are working, right?

(I’m not sure if my friend E. meant for her comment to be funny, but I found it hilarious. She said, “We can only hope.” I feel like she was sighing and shaking her head, like omg, that girl. I love it. And her.)

 

May 31

You guys know that I’m a list-maker. I have all these lists of things that I want done, and the things never get done. (Possibly because I don’t do them. Just a guess.)

About once a week I make a NEW list, with all the things from the OLD list that didn’t happen.

Of course, the things like ‘dishes’ and ‘laundry’ are recurring and infuriating, but I usually also find rants and nonsense that I have no memory of writing.

Highlights from last week’s lists:

1. Call fucking insurance.
2. Call fucking insurance AGAIN.
3. Throw up.

(I really hate phone calls.)

4. Yard sale shit.
5. Camping shit.
6. Be calm.
7. Cry.
8. Fucking gnats.
9. Move shit.
10. *something scribbled out with the words “No, fuck that” written next to it.*

 

May 15

I accidentally grabbed a sports bra instead of underwear on my way to the bathroom.

Rather than walk the 10 steps back to get actual underwear, I stared at the bra from different angles, wondering if I could make it work.

It not only worked, but there is a handy strap left free that I’m sure could be utilized for something.

Patent pending.

 

May 6

This morning I caught my cat drinking my coffee. I pushed him off the table and said a not nice thing.

I debated going to get a new cup, but I am lazy and was tired so I decided to risk it.

Also I heard somewhere that a dog’s mouth is cleaner than a human’s. Dogs and cats are both pets. This makes perfect sense.

So I took a sip of the coffee. It tasted okay until I looked over at the cat, who was diligently licking his asshole while staring right at me.

I haven’t come up with a suitable revenge, mainly because I’m not very flexible and I would never lick my asshole, even to prove a point.

 

Guys, this is silly, but I have tears in my eyes. I just basically regurgitated my fb posts into a blog post, but IT FEELS SO GOOD TO BE HERE. Thanks for being here too. xoxox

*If you happen to be a mind reader: There’s nothing to see here. Move along.


No One Wants to Hear About Your Dreams

I know, I know, but the name of this blog came from a dream, so indulge me, just a little.

I’m not doing so great right now, and my dreams are like slaps in the face.

I guess if you look at them symbolically, then they have evolved from convoluted-dream-speak to STEPHANIE, QUIT BEING A FUCKING DUMBASS AND LITERALLY SMELL THE ROSES!

We took the two youngest kids on a short trip, an hour or so away to a touristy-town, just for swimming and playing and “getting away.” (Thanks to a certain Nana and Grandma for making this happen.)

Anyway, YES. I had fun. YES. I enjoyed being with my family. YES. I laughed, and ate, and swam, and sat in the hot tub, and had an entire fancy lobby all to myself with coffee already made when I woke up.

YES. I was hurting and needed SILENCE after just a short while. NO, I couldn’t carry any bags or take the stairs; shit, I had to LEAN ON A WALL just to wait for the elevator. (The only reason I didn’t sit in the floor is that my 13-year-old would’ve died from embarrassment and then who would’ve helped me up.)

YES. I freaked out a tiny bit at dinner. YES, I actually thought my server walked away while I was telling her my order. YES, I was surprised to find her still there. YES, unfortunately, I tried to explain my confusion to her and my family.

YES. It was hard, and I am paying for it now, and I’m so depressed today that I don’t even know if it was worth it. I keep thinking back…

How happy my son was in his new clothes, laughing and joking and BEING NICE TO HIS SISTER.

How happy my daughter was, laughing and joking and giddy with excitement.

How SELFLESS my husband was (and is) knowing that he would be the pool-toy, the bag carrier, the kid-chaser, the driver, and did all these things knowing he had to work the next day.

It was worth it.

That doesn’t mean I’m any less miserable today. I won’t detail my aches and pains; I will just say that as someone who basically did nothing harder than stand in an elevator as it went up and down two floors, I don’t feel like I should be in this kind of pain.

We got home late yesterday afternoon. My husband was still at work. I was SO TIRED. The 13-year-old and 7-year-old were somehow NOT tired. The 30-minute car nap that almost killed me revitalized them I guess.

So I told them I HAD to lay down and to wake me up if they needed me and I was so tired that I didn’t even go over my spiel that they usually say with me because they FREAKING KNOW, MOM!

I thought I would drowse a little, maybe just lay in bed and rest but not even sleep, or get a quick nap and be able to think again. WRONG.

The kids tried to talk to me at least 5 times in the 3 hours before their dad got home. Once (apparently) my daughter said she was hungry and I replied with, “WHAT? You want me to brush your car?” I know the kids came in my room, I know they tried to wake me up, and I know that I was NOT awake at any moment that I spoke to them.

It sounds funny when they tell me what I said, but to me it’s also terrifying. Is this some new thing that’s going to happen? Do I need to teach my daughter what to do if I won’t wake up, but spout gibberish instead?

I realize that my son is 13 and very capable of taking care of his sister for a few hours. Shit, SHE is capable of taking care of HIM for three hours.

I don’t know what that was yesterday afternoon, I don’t know why I didn’t wake up, I don’t know why I was saying weird shit, and I don’t know if it will ever happen again. I do know that I feel like a bit more of my Mom Badge was just ripped off, and that motherfucker was in tatters already.

This morning I woke up because of a combination of terrible pain and a dream. Yes, I’m going to tell you about a dream. I’m sorry. I’ll keep it short.

I saw all these HUGE, gorgeous flowers on the side of the road. So many different kinds, so many colors, growing wild even though the ground was snow covered. My arms were full of flowers and I was GLEEFUL. Then I turned to go and my heart sank because there was so much snow that my car was stuck. Back to reality.

(Y’all have NO IDEA how lucky you are that I’m not bustin’ out some Eminem right here.)

Then I had a rilllll shitty morning ending with my husband telling me “You don’t know how much that trip took out of you. Maybe your body was just so exhausted that it shut down. The kids are fine. Please take your medicine and lay down for a while.”

*He didn’t say that last sentence but I could see it on his face, so that’s what I did.*

So THEN…yes, another dream. Shut UP! The last one was super short!

This time I’m looking out my window and I see that the sun has just almost reached the perfect point where it covers the whole pool and the rock in the center where I like to lay. I am JOYFUL. I can’t wait to get down there. Then I get a text from a mom friend about our kids and I can’t reply because the buttons are weird and the letters are moving all around and then I’m frustrated and worried. Back to reality.

 I feel like my subconscious has literally “dumbed-down” my OWN DREAMS.

 

SORRY, SUBCONSCIOUS, I SEE WHAT YOU DID THERE.

 

I can’t remember ever feeling as happy as in those two dream-moments.

 

Maybe we never feel that way in real life.

 

Or maybe that’s what joy feels like to “normal” people.

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Broken today, still here tomorrow.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


These Dark Days.

This is not going to be a good post. A funny post. A nice post.

“Leave while you still can.” I feel like that’s from Indiana Jones or some shit.

I don’t know, I can’t even remember to put the taco seasoning in the taco soup.

That’s what broke me. I spent Thursday pretending to be okay. In vain, I suspect. No. No. You know what? I’m a goddamn professional when it comes to pretending. I probably looked like a stuck-up bitch, but I was there, and I wasn’t curled up on the floor crying.

My daughter’s Christmas party. I made it.

Then came home and was violently ill.

Friday. Sick. Panic attacks. More sick. More panic attacks. Migraine.

Saturday. Lightheaded. Headache. Everything hurt. Panic attack. I laid down, hoping to wake up and not be this fucking disaster, but I dreamed about being a bad person 20 fucking years ago. LET ME GO!

Anyway. I put a chair in the kitchen to try to make dinner. My husband and kids were having Family Game Night and I. Just. Couldn’t. Just fucking couldn’t.

So I sat in that chair and stirred, and it hurt, so I went and laid in bed until it should’ve been ready, and my son asked, all excited, “Is it done?” and I burst into tears because I remembered that I hadn’t put the seasoning in.

I’ve been crying since then, which has not helped my headache at all, surprise, surprise.

I want to see all my doctors, in the same room, and DEMAND to know why I’m taking all this medicine AND I’M STILL FUCKING BROKEN?!

I know that’s not how it works. There is no magic pill to make me all better. I know I will have good days and bad days, but I am so tired.

I’m so tired of fighting to just be “okay.”

Not “great.”

Not “a productive member of society.”

Just “alive.”

Or “out of bed.”

I’ve lowered my fucking goals and expectations about as low as they can go, and I still can’t reach them.

I did these things yesterday to make myself feel better:

Listened to music. Took a bath. Read. Colored. Played games.

But even though I spent almost an entire fucking day doing what I’m supposed to do, “practicing my coping skills,” I still feel like screaming.

WHY? WHY DO I FEEL LIKE THIS? WHY NOW? WHY CAN’T I JUST…STOP? STOP BEING THIS FRAGILE, CRUMBLING, SHELL OF A PERSON?

Today, I hate myself. Again.

Maybe I will tomorrow too.

Either way, I’ll fucking be here to find out.

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My story isn’t over.

 

 


Depression Lies, Especially in September

This month they call September is fucking brutal. It’s Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, and that is so ironic to me that I can’t even stand it. September sneaks up on me. The memories sneak up on me. The pain comes at me and I feel trapped. Stuck in this mind that won’t forget, that won’t cooperate, that won’t just let me be.

So, I enjoyed the fleeting success that came with a recent post, and it really was lovely. But my anxiety was telling me that I did not deserve the compliments, the comments, the shares, the likes. My depression was telling me that I tricked everyone because I am a terrible mom. My anxiety was telling me that I needed to respond to every single sweet and wonderful person who reached out to me, but my depression was keeping me from all but the most necessary tasks.

I had an emergency session with my psychiatrist on Monday and I am feeling a little better. Talking to her made me remember that there is hope. I will not always feel like this. Yes, I will feel like this again, but when I do, I will wait this bitch out and I will laugh again and love again and still be here when the motherfucker comes back again.

I don’t know if you have heard of Project Semicolon, but I got myself a new tattoo to celebrate making it through the weekend.

My story isn't over.

My story isn’t over.

The following is part of a post I wrote shortly after Robin Williams passed, right before another September.

….I am not alone.

Out there, somewhere, is someone struggling as hard as I am struggling. Out there, somewhere, someone is giving up and someone is still fighting. Someone is feeling just as hopeless and empty as I feel. Someone is putting one foot in front of the other even though it hurts. Someone is hiding under the covers. Someone is crying. Someone is dying.

I understand.

I know the feeling and it is not just one of giving up, giving in, letting go of the pain. Depression is insidious and it lies. It will tell you that your family, your friends, everyone would be better off without you. That you are a useless weight around their necks and that ending your life would be a gift to them.

When you write it out like that it seems so stark, so cold, so untrue. But these are the thoughts that swirl when my head is buried under the pillow. These are the thoughts that I share with others who fight this monster every single day.

If you are reading this, I promise that I will keep putting one foot in front of the other. I promise that I will not listen to the lies, I will wait them out, I will drown them out, and I will keep going.

Come with me?

Here is a link to NAMI: National Alliance on Mental Illness, with numbers you can call if you are in crisis, and a lot of information regarding mental illness.


I Am Not That Mom

I am Not that Mom

I am not that mom who sits on the floor with you playing My Little Pony for hours. I am not the mom who builds entire towns on Minecraft. I have never learned to play Pokémon and I never (ever) will. I am well aware of my failure in this aspect of parenting.

I am thankful for my husband, who excels in watching cartoons and playing video games. I smile when I see him and the kids tossing a football in the yard. (In the yard. No Throwing Balls in the House. Jesus.) I laugh when they wrestle and tickle and play, play, play.

I’m just not that mom.

I was the young soon-to-be mom, scared to death but determined, so determined, to bring you into this world and love you like no other. I was the single mother of two who worked long hours and still held dance parties with just my two boys where we sang at the top of our lungs and the laughter rang as loud as the music. Before you were even born, I was the mom eating cherry cheesecake so I could see you dance. (And because cheesecake.)

When I first saw you, I knew that you would hold my heart forever. Two more times I met my new sweet babies, and two more times my heart grew to wrap around all of you. When you were a baby, I was that mom who couldn’t sleep for looking at you. I can still feel you, so tiny, snuggled on my chest. When I see you asleep now, I still picture you curled up in footie pajamas, all wispy hair and dark lashes against perfect skin.

I was that mom who rocked you all night, patting and bouncing and shh, shh, shhing when you cried. I was the mom who panicked over every bump and bruise. I was the mom who kissed boo boos. I was the mom who spent untold hours waiting on casts for broken bones or bandages for cut fingers. (Safety scissors, my ass.) I was the mom whose leg you were firmly wrapped around the day we toured preschools. I was the mom who went to school online in order to work from home because you needed me.

I am the mom who signs notes and checks homework and packs lunches. I’m the mom who makes the doctor’s visits and dentist appointments and parent teacher conferences. I’m the mom who hasn’t worn anything but thrift store clothes for years so that you can go to school wearing clothes that are apparently hand-sewn by the famous athletes of the world.

I’m the mom who makes stupid jokes and sings off-key and acts sillier than I am just to see you smile. I’m the mom who wouldn’t trade those smiles for the entire world.

I’m the mom who loves you so much more than I could ever explain. And the mom who tries so hard to show you that.

But most times I feel like I am also the mom who is failing.

I’m the mom with chronic recurring depression. I’m the mom with generalized anxiety disorder. I’m the mom with PTSD. I’m the mom who has chronic migraines. I’m the mom with chronic pain. I’m the mom who sees more doctors than hairstylists. (Hahahahaha, I don’t even remember the last time I went to a stylist. But you have an appointment tomorrow.)

I am the mom who struggles every single day to accomplish the things that have to be done so that you can have a “normal” life. I am the mom who does your laundry even when I have to sit down to sort it. I’m the mom who makes sure the water bill gets paid so that you can shower. I’m the mom who clips your fingernails and buys you toothpaste and nags you to wear deodorant.

I’m also the mom who forgets things. Not the big stuff, like birthdays or Christmas, although there have been a few notes from the Tooth Fairy instead of cash. But I forget things that you already told me. I forget that when you were playing a video game yesterday, you scored 58 touchdowns and a free throw, and spawned…maybe a chicken? I don’t know. I forget.

But I’m also the mom who can tell in a single glance when you are upset, and who listens to you when you are sad and angry and when you are happy and excited, even if I do tend to forget your ponies’ names and LeBron’s stats and how to catch ’em all.

I’m the mom who wants to slay all your dragons and breathe fire on anyone who dares to hurt you.

I’m also the mom who too often hurts too much to cook dinner. I’m the mom who lets you eat an unhealthy amount of macaroni and pizza rolls. I’m the mom who has piles of clean laundry on the couch because my arms ache so badly I can’t fold it. I’m the mom who gets overwhelmed too easily. I’m the mom who has to hide when things get to be too much. I’m that mom who cries in the bathroom when I’ve let you down.

I’m the mom who stays awake at night worrying about you. I’m the mom who wishes she could save all your hugs and all your “I love you’s” and get them back out on the days when there are no hugs, just slamming doors.

I’m the mom who loves you SO MUCH. You are the children who save my life every day. I’m the mom who is trying to be the parent you deserve, even when I’m not the one you might want.

 

*EDITED TO ADD: I am completely overwhelmed by the response this post has gotten. I love all you guys so much,  and even though everyone keeps saying that I’ve made them feel less alone, the truth is that YOU GUYS have made me feel less alone. Thank you all SO much for every like, comment, share, and kind thought. I’ve been trying to respond to all the comments, but as I guess y’all know, I’m sick a lot. But I have read every single one of them, and each one brings a smile to my face or a tear to my eye and sometimes both. I just wanted everyone to know how much your love and compassion for each other and your “me too” and your stories have affected me.

Love,

Steph


SMITH Anthology: Tears, laughter, and hope

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As many of you know, this past year has been particularly tough on me, even though I have been dealing with depression, anxiety, and PTSD since I was 14. I’ve been pretty candid about it here on the blog.

When I heard that Alyson Herzig and Jessica Azar were putting together an anthology designed to “Laugh Stigma Into Submission” I knew that I had to be a part of it.

The problem was, at the same time that I needed to write the piece and submit it, I was struggling, hard. I mean HARD. It was all I could do to make it through each day, one step at a time. At that point, I wasn’t even focused on making it through each day. It was each hour, each minute.

I wanted SO BADLY to be a part of this project, but I couldn’t write. I couldn’t even think about writing. It was tough enough to pull myself up off the floor and stop the flow of tears before my kids got home from school. Then I was a robot, just mechanically doing what I had to do to make it until bedtime. It’s a damn miracle that I could do that much. I talked to my kids during that time and tried to explain a little bit that I was fighting to get better, for myself and especially for them. This was not the first time that my children’s very existence saved my life.

I have always used humor as armor against pain. Even in therapy, I crack jokes and poke fun at myself. So it was much easier for me to write the humor piece for this anthology. When it came time to write the piece about my depression, I will admit that I kind of phoned it in. I just couldn’t talk about the pain I was in as I was in it. I think I was scared and ashamed to admit just how bad off I was.

So, my piece on depression ended up being cut, and I was disappointed until I read the book. Then I was floored. The raw honesty, the deeply moving, the unfiltered truth on these pages spoke to me like nothing I had ever read, let alone written. I was humbled, and felt more understood than I ever had in my life. It was like these authors reached into my soul and pulled out the jumbled pieces of my pain and laid them on the pages. I have never in my life been so proud to be a part of something as I am this book.

What makes this anthology different from any other is the way Jessica and Alyson wove humor into the stories of mental illness. Because our illnesses do not define who we are. Despite the darkness we fight off every day, there are precious moments of love, laughter, and joy.

My piece in this anthology is humorous. It is somewhat inappropriate, as is most of my writing. I like to think it is funny. I hope you enjoy it. I am honored that it was chosen to share space with the other pieces in this book.

Whether you suffer from a mental illness or you know someone who does, you should read this book and, if you can, leave a review on Amazon. It will help spread the word about this important project, and make me very happy.

It is available at the following places:

e-reader: Surviving Mental Illness Through Humor for Kindle

Paperback: Surviving Mental Illness Through Humor Paperback

Barnes and Noble: Surviving Mental Illness Through Humor for Nook

Barnes and Noble: Surviving Mental Illness Through Humor Paperback

iTunes: Surviving Mental Illness Through Humor iTunes

Or visit http://www.survivementalillness.com/

 

 


The Spoon Theory

my spoons

Warning: This is not a funny post. It is about chronic illness. I’d really like you to read it. I promise I’ll attempt to be funny next time. I’ve been dealing with a lot of health issues this past week and I’ve felt very helpless and misunderstood. I want you all to know that I am not asking you to feel sorry for me. I don’t want anyone to pity me. I just wish everyone could understand what life is like with chronic illness and the Spoon Theory, I think, is one of the better ways to describe it.

The Spoon Theory basically says that with chronic illness, you start the day with a certain number of spoons, when a healthy person would start each day with an unlimited amount.

Pretend you wake up and you have 12 spoons.

It costs you a spoon just to get out of bed because your entire body is one giant ache and you never feel like you got any sleep. Next you have to walk down the hallway and wake up the boys and get the daughter’s clothes for school. This costs a spoon because this early in the morning you have the most intense pain and sometimes can barely walk. You have to use one hand to uncurl the other hand because they don’t want to work yet. You can hardly lift the coffee pot to pour coffee. You think about asking your husband for help and then feel guilty because he is going to work and you are not. It costs you a spoon to get yourself mentally under control and continue getting the kids ready to go to school. If you made lunches the night before that’s good, but if you were too tired then you have to do it now and that will cost you a spoon because of all the bending and walking and you are still in a lot of pain.

The kids and husband leave for the day and you are left with 8 spoons. The house is a mess. Do you have to go anywhere today? If you do, you can’t do anything else because driving and running errands or just running around town will take all the rest of your spoons. All of them. You will be in so much pain and so exhausted by the time you get home that you will be unable to do anything else.

This day, let’s say you get to stay home. So you do the dishes and maybe start a load of laundry. Take away a spoon. You need to think about your depression and do something positive so you will color or write in your journal or meditate or do yoga. This costs at least one spoon, depending on what you decide to do.

Remember, you haven’t showered, gotten dressed, or even brushed your teeth yet. You get dressed and brush your teeth and you are tired, so tired. It costs a spoon.

You’ve got 5 spoons left and it isn’t even noon. The house is still a mess. If you really, really clean it, it will cost all of your spoons for today and probably some of tomorrow’s. You need to eat but you are so nauseous that you can’t, plus you hate to waste a spoon just to feed yourself. You decide to watch t.v. for a while and rest. You think about taking a nap, but you can’t because you are too anxious and feel like you can’t breathe. It costs a spoon to get your anxiety under control.

You have 4 spoons left. The house is still a mess. You still have to figure out something for dinner or maybe your husband will bring something home. You better have him bring something home, because you will have to use at least 3 spoons to check the kids’ backpacks, sign papers, help with homework, and generally be present as a mother when they get home. You won’t be able to make dinner, and since you’re still nauseous, won’t be able to eat it either. It is 7 pm and you’ve only got one spoon, but your daughter still needs a bath and you didn’t even shower today. You still have to pack lunches and make the coffee for in the morning and your husband hasn’t gotten any of your attention. You feel like a failure as a wife and a homemaker and a mother. You feel so sorry for your family because you don’t have enough spoons to do everything you want to do for them. The stress leads to a migraine. You are down for two days, crying and throwing up and maybe going to the emergency room. This takes all of the spoons for those two days, and possibly some from the third day because you are exhausted after such a bad migraine.

So that’s basically the spoon theory, and basically my life. I didn’t mention allergic reactions, and I think I actually spend more spoons on managing my health and depression, but you get the idea.

It takes all my spoons just to get through a day doing the bare minimum. If I want to take the kids somewhere fun, that’s all my spoons. If I want to go out to eat with a friend, I have to realize that I will not be able to do something else. If I have a doctor’s appointment in the afternoon, I better lay down all morning.

I have a really hard time dealing with my health. It makes me incredibly sad to not be able to do the things I want to do. I hate having to plan my day around what I feel physically and mentally capable of. I hate that I don’t have enough spoons. I hate that by looking at me, you can’t see how hard I fight every day. I hate thinking that people think I am hateful or lazy because I don’t do things and I cancel plans all the time. I hate that I have to budget my energy and my time.

The Spoon Theory was written by Christine Miserandino at www.butyoudontlooksick.com. You can check it out at http://www.butyoudontlooksick.com/articles/written-by-christine/the-spoon-theory/

Does The Spoon Theory apply to you? If so, what things do you do to stay positive, knowing that you’ll be counting spoons for the rest of your life? Do you find that you judge yourself more harshly than anyone else does? I know I do. Don’t you love my nail polish?

**EDITED TO ADD: I love each and every one of you. I swear I feel stronger with every kind comment and it really means so much to me that you take the time to send me your thoughts. I might cry, guys. You are all my favorite.


Things That Keep Me Up At Night

So, I guess we’ve established that I worry too much. I decided to start keeping track of the many things that cause me anxiety each day, because I found myself worrying — legit, worrying — over some super silly shit today.

The first random thing that caused my blood pressure to rise was a commercial for Grey’s Anatomy, probably. I don’t really know; it showed doctors dancing in the operating room.

source: greysanatomy.wikia.com

source: greysanatomy.wikia.com

That shit is not cool. This made me think of all the times I have put my life into a surgeon’s hands and how I don’t really know those people and what if they are having a shitty day? What if in the middle of surgery they decide to take a dance break for fuck’s sake? What if the doctor just found out that his wife is leaving him for their pool boy and he’s real torn up about it and he SLIPS? What if the doctor has a crush on the nurse and he’s making goo-goo eyes across my almost dead body and he accidently takes out my *sternum?

The weird thing is, I’m not having surgery, I have not HAD surgery, and I do not plan to HAVE surgery. So I guess I really don’t need to be stressing about this.

The next thing that really got me was brought on by who the hell knows what, because it’s only September and Jesus Christ tax time is well into my future. You guessed it. I spent probably 30 minutes of my life today trying to decide if I was capable of doing our taxes again myself or if I needed to hire someone to do them, but if I did, what if they messed up and we end up owing the IRS tons of money, or WORSE, what if I do them myself and I mess up and we end up owing the IRS tons of money and….right, it’s only September. I don’t need to even think about this again for at least four, possibly seven months.

Clearly, what I need to be worried about is my anti-anxiety medication because I don’t think that shit is working.

*Fancy medical term meaning chest bone.

Do you worry over the ridiculous? Am I the only one who obsesses over shit that probably will never happen but possibly, could maybe, in a million years, accidentally somehow affect my life?  


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