Mothers Speak: Not-So-Happy New Year

“Well that’s the good thing about depression, you get your rest.”— Harry Burns, When Harry Met Sally

You may have noticed {or perhaps you didn’t and we can still be friends} that I went AWOL in the blogosphere over the holiday. Well, I can assure you this. It was for good reason…. and it had absolutely nothing to do with the usual holiday overwhelmed-ness {overwhelmed-ness? Is this a word? Perhaps Siri can tell me.} No, in fact, this holiday felt less holiday-ish {Siri, are you there?} than any other. I can count on one hand how many times in my life I’ve been in full-blown, bonafide, grade-A, industrial strength Depression, and this season dealt a blow so hard, I may have used up a few fingers on the other hand. I will spare you the dirty details, but you can rest assured that while I have been through worse, the cause for this latest episode ranked high in the top 3 kick-you-in-the-teeth-and-knock-the-wind-out-of-you incidents that merit quoting the wise sage, Heather B. Armstrong… “It sucked, and then I cried”. I’m quite confident I wasn’t alone in my tear-stained, shower-less, two-day old shirt, bum-grafted-to-the-couch existence… surely one or two of you have been there before, and like I said, for me, it most certainly wasn’t the first time. I’m also too much of a realist to think it could be my last. Allow me to maintain a bit of discretion by saying, the circumstances that drove me to the bottom of an Edy’s ice cream carton have nothing to do with my marriage, my health, or the health of my family members. Oh, and you can safely rule out death, financial ruin {for a welcomed change}, and missing household pets. Clark is fine. The kids and the house plants are fine. We’re all FINE, FOR CRYING OUT LOUD {says, the one who needs convincing}. No, this one involves a main course of disappointment with a heaping side order of broken promises. Wash that down with a course-altering misunderstanding with a pride-cherry on top, and we’ve got what I like to call a “Sad Sack Special”. Ordinarily, I can beat the blues long enough to blog, but no amount of humor, irony, or fabric rosette-making was going to cure this latest mood. {Although, I did manage to peel myself away from the EZ chair long enough to make a post-holiday Michael’s run, and I am proud to say I now know how to yo-yo. All you craft-ies out there know that I’m not talking about a plastic incentive at the bottom of a Cracker Jack box. The truth is that for two days, I nearly yo-yo’d myself into oblivion. Clark practically forced me into my running shoes to get out of the house for some fresh air and sunshine.} Anyway, where was I? Oh yes, Sad Sack Special. It happens. People change faces. They let you down. They come up short. They say one thing and do another. You never thinks it will happen to you, and then one day your number gets called and the next thing you know, you find yourself covered in fabric yo-yos. Now, I am all about crying it out, allowing time to grieve, getting in touch with your emotions, and using your most colorful “feeeel-ing” words, but there’s just one teensy little problem with that. What if you have little people who’s little “feeel-ers” aren’t quite emotionally matured enough to deal with what you’ve got to deal out? Little people who still need Mommy to tickle and laugh and throw the purple stuffed elephant around the living room. What happens when all you want to do is bury yourself so deep in fabric yo-yo’s and hope that no one ever find you, but wait, its snack-time, bath-time, suck-it-up-Mommy time and yo-yo’s-have-to-wait time? What happens then? I swear, for three days straight, Salem kept asking me, “Are you okay, Mommy?” “Are you hungry?” Just those two questions and in that exact order.  “Are you okay, Mommy?” “Are you hungry?”  The fact that he puts those two thoughts together in a sentence makes me think that he had witnessed my secret Edy’s episode. After about two dozen rounds of  “Are you okay, Mommy?” “Are you hungry?” I began to put two and two together and realize, my little guy knows that somehow everything is not okay and no amount of comfort sweets is going to bring back Happy, Centered, Showered, Smiling Mommy. By day three, I was able to pull myself up from my emotional boot straps. In the Mississippi peace and quiet, the kids and I romped the woods behind my in-laws house until the mud had lodged itself so deep in all the cracks of our fingers and toes and Mia had eaten her fill of tree bark and dried leaves. I only allowed myself “dwell-time” on my daily runs, before the kids woke up and after they went to bed each night. It wasn’t easy, but after a few days of consciously taking one breath after another and throwing myself heart and soul into their holiday happiness {again, way easier said than done}, I began to gain the clear perspective that only proper emotional prioritization can bring.

So, how do you do it? I’m not talking to all you emotionally stable, never-let-’em-see-you-sweat ladies who think that grown up fits are for “other people”. I would love to hear from all you women who have felt like a punching bag {figuratively speaking} as life has dealt you one bad blow after another after another and yet you know you have to resist the temptation to drown in your own sorrow in order to give life to those around you. Let’s hear it for all those ladies.

Fast forward two weeks.

It’s a new day of a new year and while I’m still yanking the ever-loving life out of those boot straps, I am grateful to note that the most important people and priorities are still in tact. Having explained all that, we will now return to our regularly scheduled programming of fun fonts and wine cork crafts.

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