Posted by: Hannah | 04/02/2013

blinking

I’ve just come off a four-day weekend. FOUR DAYS. Last year I had to work Easter Monday; all of my clients had to and it just seemed kind of shitty to leave them all in the lurch. I just assumed it would be the same situation this year… then on Thursday I started asking and hey! Pixie’s mom and Louis’ mom both had yesterday off. Arthur & Daisy’s mom told me firmly not to stay open just for them, that they’d make alternate arrangements – and poof! just like that I had a whole, unexpected day at home with my own kids and nothing really pressing that I needed to do.

On Friday morning the sun came out, and stayed that way until yesterday morning. Temperatures were mild. Everyone was healthy and feeling good.

Sometime on Sunday I looked around and realized I felt like me again.

It bowled me over.

It has been a long winter. I’ve been mired in negativity, feeling unhappy and unhealthy and exhausted and stuck. I’ve had a lack of patience with my family and work has been a grind.

And I’ve been complaining about it. A lot.

***

Yesterday it rained. But that’s OK! I had a nap first thing in the morning, on the couch, while everyone else had breakfast and thumped around. I did some laundry (putting it away, too, instead of just stacking all the full laundry baskets precariously on top of the dryer because folding & sorting seemed too hard). I washed the kitchen & dining room floors and put away the boxes of Christmas decorations that had been sitting in the corner of my living room.

The boys and I took Michael to lunch, since he had to work yesterday. Then I had another nap because why not? And I made dinner and cleaned the bathroom and baked muffins and did you catch the bit about having two naps??

I was worried about today, though. How to keep from descending into sadness and frustration. I need to be busy. Everything about my personality requires movement, and yet when winter hits I forget. I hibernate. I eat. I spend way too much time reading websites that will make me angrier and snarkier.

With the haze of exhaustion lifted, I could easily see how what I’d been doing to ‘survive’ March was once again all the wrong stuff, and how I was making the situation worse, not better.

So I picked a project that I could do with the dayhome kids here. One that I could easily drop and walk away from. One that needed to be done. I decided to clear out the ‘cold room’ at the back of the house.

It’s a little unheated space off the kitchen in the dayhome area. All winter, I’ve been chucking stuff in there while thinking “I’ll deal with that later”.

Last time I tried to walk through it, I actually couldn’t because there was too much junk piled up.

I tackled it today, with the doors thrown open to the fresh air and sunshine.

As I worked, it became painfully clear that the room was pretty much the physical embodiment of how I’ve felt all winter. There was nothing – NOTHING – in that room that should have been kept. It all should have been thrown out, right away. Scrap paper. Broken picture frames.  A pillow that someone threw up on and the smell lingered after I washed it. Broken toys. Not one but TWO broken coffeemakers.

A room full of broken shit and garbage, and for some reason I’d spent the whole winter picking my way through the piles instead of just throwing it out.

***

It’s cleared out now – there are still things in there that need to be donated or given away but at least I can see them now, and walk through easily.

I did some more laundry and took the kids for a walk.

It’ll be a process, to get all the way back. I haven’t felt this out of touch with myself since third year university, when I basically stopped functioning altogether and flunked four of five courses because I simply didn’t go to class or complete any of the assignments. That time I needed medication and therapy to get back on track. I haven’t ruled it out this time around either, although I’m going to see if winter ending is enough of a kick in the ass that I can help myself.

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Responses

  1. I’ve been worried about you this winter. Maybe medication and therapy are what you need; maybe not. Maybe just sunshine and spring and sleep. Whatever you need, I just hope you are on your way back to you.

    If it’s a project you need, may I suggest your idea of putting together a “How To” book – canning, etc., that you were thinking of before. I know I’m happier when I have a definite project in mind and can cross things – enjoyable, creative things – off my to-do list.

    In the meantime, remember you have lots of friends who are all cheering for you. xoxo

  2. Quite the metaphor in your cold room, there. So very happy for you that you got rest and naps and shit done. I love getting shit done.
    Maybe you need a sticker chart for yourself? #stickerchart

  3. I’m glad the sun is coming back into your life. I’ve been similarly enjoying the end of winter

  4. Oh, I hear you on this. I actually did a double take, because your description of YOUR winter is so eerily accurate to the description of MY winter (uh…minus the dayhome kids, plus three times the mess and clutter).

    Clearly, I have no advice to offer (and you definitely shouldn’t listen to it if I did!), but I am glad you’re starting to feel more like yourself.

  5. I’m glad you’re feeling better. My depression manifests itself a bit differently, but it’s similar in that I don’t realize right away how bad it’s gotten and how unhealthy my coping mechanisms are.

    Here’s to better days ahead!

  6. Winter kicked my ass this year, too. It was extra cold and we had more snow than usual. And the clutter in my “cold room” (and in my office/”man cave”) is out of control! Most of the snow has melted off now, and I’ve been chipping away at the clutter the past few days now and slowly getting back to “normal” (ahem). Hope you’re feeling better soon. You’re not alone!

  7. I have lots of junk in my house I really need to get rid off. I’m just lazy.


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