Miscellaneous Rambling This Summer Morning

My day is sometimes beautiful when I wake up around 5:30 am, as I did this morning.  I got a necklace made, got some breakfast, took my meds, started laundry, and did some stretches all before the boys woke up.  Me-time not at the expense of my children is a great way to start the day!

I’ve been feeling relatively decent, if a bit manic, over the course of the last week.  I’ve spent way too much money on beading supplies and I know it.  My sleep schedule was off and I missed a couple of days’ worth of meds late last week.  I’m back on track but I always pay for it for a few days.  Those are the days when I really do need a babysitter (for myself) rather than being in charge of the kids.  No bizarre behavior other than the too much money spending this time, but I rarely can tell these days when my behavior will spin out of control until after the fact.  The good news is that I did have an easier time watching the boys over the weekend.  I took them out by myself yard-sale-ing Friday morning, took them out for pizza Saturday night, and kept them at home by myself Sunday night so J could go visit with friends.  Everything went well and all had a good time. 

I love this time of morning, too, because the boys always head straight to their train table in the bonus room when they wake up.  It’s comforting to me as a mom that they have a morning routine when left to their own devices.  They love their morning playtime and on days like this, I have a little time to write and then make their breakfast before the little pitter-patters of feet make their way downstairs. 

I’ve been silent on the blog lately because, aside from the missed meds/ manicky symptoms last week, the past couple of weeks have been very calm at our household.  This has been a happy time for us and I hope it lasts!  The boys and I are settling into a summer routine while J is at work.  It’s a short summer, though, because Be-Bop will start Kindergarten at the beginning of August.  So we just have a few precious weeks left together!  I’m really excited for both Be-Bop and Rock Steady; Be-Bop will enjoy school and Rock Steady will enjoy the individualized time with me. I hope that we will be able to get Rock Steady in a 3 year old preschool class at his daycare for two mornings a week.

Aside from the borderline-manicky symptoms (which I caught after-the-fact), I am starting be able to talk about the other symptoms that show my responsibility levels in other areas are kind of degrading.  There are times more and more often when I have more clarity in my self-awareness.  I don’t know if the degradation in my capabilities is permanent or not.  I hope not, of course, but I am preparing myself emotionally for the possbility that I will never function again the way I used to function.  I will gladly trade a more peaceable and much happier mood, though, for the volitile take-charge-at-all-costs person I use to be.

As an example for the kinds of responsibility I used to be able to handle but can no longer keep up, I used to be in charge of all household-business-related issues:  paying bills, etc.  Not only do I not have an interest in doing it anymore, I just totally neglect them.  I don’t even ask J anymore if it’s getting done.  I assume that it is.  I don’t this issue is something new.  Particularly since my last episode in 2010, I’ve had a hard time with responsibility with money.  I do generally listen to J when he says I need to watch my spending, thank goodness.  I hope that keeps us above water a little bit. 

We’ve always had a little bit of a messy house when I had a job, but I’ve had a hard time staying on top of housework since I’ve been part-time employed and unemployed, too.  I guess I’m realizing now exactly how bad the depression has been over the past few months.  When the depression is better, it’s much easier to take care of myself and the house.  It is getting better in spurts, but it usually takes the house becoming a complete disaster first.  Luckily, J keeps it such that the house is not a health hazard and he keeps us in clean laundry during these times.  J is a remarkable man!

I can watch the children for now in short spurts.  It’s best, though, when it’s only for a couple of hours.  Anything beyond that and I find myself putting them in front of the tv too much.  The tv is not a babysitter and I am completely embarrassed that they watch so much tv.  I console myself a little bit with the fact that they only ever watch public television but even child-friendly programming is too much in quantities.  I want them to be outside playing and exploring, doing arts and crafts and reading!  When I’m depressed, though, I can barely move myself off the couch to do things for them.  I was absolutely a proponent for staying at home with my children before I had them, but now that I have children, I have learned that my children are much better off in daycare than they are with me during the day.  They get socialization with other kids and the opportunity to play and learn and make things with fabulous teachers who show them care in a loving environment at their daycare.  I’m so thankful that we have such a really wonderful place for our children to go when we are unable to care for them at home.

The application for disability is moving forward.  I’ve got some paperwork I need to fill out and get to them about my functioning level and my job history.  My therapist asked me recently how I feel about disability and what I thought the loss would be if I am approved for it.  The only thing I am concerned about is the loss of potential income that might come if I were able to get a real job.  All I really want disability for is to be able to pay for daycare for the kids.  They are much better off in someone else’s care during the day and I am okay with that.  I still intend to volunteer in the community as I am able and to do my best to take care of myself on the days where I am too depressed to do anything.  As my therapist said, J isn’t worried about the loss of potential income so I shouldn’t worry about it either.  She said that if that’s all I’m worried about then I have a healthy outlook on this aspect of my situation.  My therapist seems to think that I have a good chance of getting approved eventually.  As she said, my record kind of speaks for itself.  I have the drive to work, my work ethic is excellent, but when the stress gets to be a certain level, a level that most people can easily tolerate, I quit just before a manic episode hits. And when I am in a job, my attendance and tardiness levels are subpar because of my chronic depression.   It’s been an exercise in humility to accept that this is really part of my illness and not just laziness.  But it happened at the museum.  It happened when I worked for the state.  It happened when I was a VISTA and it happened recently with my temporary job.  And since the state job, my functioning level just hasn’t been the same.  I’ve got the beading business but I have a hard time keeping up with the logistical end of that and it hasn’t provided any substantive income.  I am getting to the point that I am going to have to ask J for help with the business end of A Rainbow Tulip.

That’s all for now.

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