Once Upon A Little Farm

A Glimpse Into Our Country Life

What I’m Feeling & How I Think I Got Here

Here’s a bit of what I’ve been feeling over the past year or more and recently things have blown out of control.  I referred to it as a depression of sorts in my last post and that apparently alarmed some folks:

~stress ~no patience ~yelling at my kids ~crying easily ~feeling it is just easier to not plan any activities and not socialize ~headaches ~ready to fall asleep at 8 PM, but I don’t, I keep going ~feeling trapped by clutter and messes everywhere I look ~feeling overwhelmed by even small tasks ~and most recently: no get up and go at all

How I feel I got this way:

It definitely did not happen over night, but has been culminating for the past 2 years or more.

Got off on the wrong foot, perhaps.  First off, making the transition to be a stay- at-home-mom in June 2010 was the toughest thing I have ever done.  I doubted that I would be a good full-time mom and that may have been the beginning of my downfall.  I had worked a job of some form since the age of 13 and placed a lot of my self-worth  in the fact that I earned a paycheck and was helping to support myself, and once married, helping to add to our income as a couple, and then as a family.

Socialization. Working outside of the home gave me social interaction.  The decision to resign from my job and stay at home ended most of my social contacts and that continued to decrease until recently when I started working 12 hours a week at our local preschool.   I really have no close friends that I hang out with or speak to on the phone.  Actually, I don’t think I have had a true conversation with a friend on the phone more than 3 times in the past 2 years!!!  I have not invited anyone over to our home in almost a year and would be mortified if anyone showed up unannounced.  I don’t let anyone over here due to the state of mass mess that the upstairs of the farmhouse, which is where we dwell, is usually in.  It’s so messy it is embarrassing.   Having an aversion to folks in your home sure puts a damper on socialization!  My socialization with my husband is even lacking according to some.  We go on dates about once every 6 months (which would mean we’re due since last we went was just after our anniversary in July, I think) and we have not had a night away without kids since….before we had kids!  We don’t see ourselves as “abnormal” because this is the way it has always been since the babies came along and we put them first.

Me time.  I have no hobby.  I’ve dibble dabbled in crafts, but usually devote about 2 hours total to a project before it gets set down, shoved aside and forgotten.  For the past 2 years, I’ve had the mindset that I cannot do anything for me (such as a hobby, or watching TV) unless I get the work done.  Turns out the work is never done.  There will always be laundry, dishes, cleaning, animals to care for, weeding, canning, planning for church school, work in church fundraisers, etc.  Therefore, I don’t allow myself a break or a hobby.  The kids get put to bed, I attempt to get more done because there aren’t enough hours in the day, and then I go to bed.  After a long time of that way of thinking, I’ve just turned off my hopes/ideas/plans for projects to do, books to read, and all things “me time”.  This has dampened my spirit.

Lack of routines and organization.  In plain English, I suck at organization.  It is one of my biggest downfalls.  I have never been any prized housekeeper, but when children came along and the amount of items in our house increased and my time decreased, well, our home has often looked like something that should perhaps be on one of those reality TV shows.  People are quick to say that I should not care about dishes or cleaning and I should care more about my kids.  Trust me folks, I care about my kids.  I regret already the time I have lost with them while trying to just keep this household afloat and 1 step away from filth.  I regret deeply the time I’ve lost with them while I’ve had my head in the clouds lately feeling sorry for myself and feeling trapped beneath the rubble.   I honestly don’t mind a few undone dishes.  I don’t mind clutter.  It is when the dishes are piled so high that they fall on the floor, when they’ve covered the only 3 feet of counter space I have and the entire stove top, too, that I start to get stressed. Or when the kitchen table is so cluttered the kids can’t do an activity at it, let alone eat dinner at it.  Or when there’s so much clutter it’s tough to walk.  Or when all 4 hampers overflow onto the floor.   When the tree is still up on January 18th, dropping needles everywhere.  I could go on, but you get the general idea.  I am embarrassed about it, but it’s my own fault.  I just want people to understand that it is not the messes themselves that are the problem ~ it is the stress that it creates within me when I have no room for things, spend extra time looking for things and still never find them, wake up each morning to see the same mess and have a repeat stressful day ~ it is the stress that is the issue.   The kids and I are lacking on routines which we desperately need to make our days together go more smoothly (sad that a teacher is lacking in the routines department, I know).

Distance from God & His word.  You wouldn’t think it possible for someone to go to church weekly, teach church school weekly, head-up church fundraisers, and STILL be far from God, right?  Well, it is possible and I’m realizing that’s me at this moment.  Do I often attempt to complete one more task at night instead of sitting down and reading the Bible like I should? Sure do! Do I often neglect to take every care and concern I have to the Lord? Sure do!  Do I act in ways that are displeasing to God (yelling at my kids, having a negative attitude, not being as grateful as I should be)? Sure do!  If I spent more time in God’s word and more time on my knees, I might not feel as trapped in the dark as I do right now.  The greatest thing about being a child of God, however, is truly knowing that how I’m feeling right now is truly only for a season and that joy surely will return.  Despite my shortcomings in reading the Bible as much as I should lately, or praying as much as I should, the darkness is not as dark as it could be because I do know Jesus and Jesus is the light of the world!

There you have it.  My theory on how I got to this point of nervous breakdown.   Don’t think I’m not working on how to fix it though, because I am.

Jesus looked at them and said to them, “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”  – Matthew 19:26

Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me, and know my anxieties; And see if there is any wicked way in me, And lead me in the way everlasting  – Psalm 139:23-24

Cause me to hear Your lovingkindness in the morning, For in You do I trust; Cause me to know the way in which I should walk, For I l.ift up my soul to You.  – Psalm 143:8

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths. – Proverbs 3:5-6

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Time to Face It

My blog started off strong and then trailed off into the dark.  That’s because I’ve trailed off into the dark.  After hitting my lowest low this past weekend, I decided that it is finally time for me to confront the fact that I am depressed.  Not major.  Perhaps more of a dysthymia.  Have I had this clinically diagnosed? No.  Awhile back I was at my doctor listing of a litany of symptoms, but more were to do with abdominal pains I had been having for awhile (which have since completely disappeared).  Enough of my list must have been related to my emotional and psychological well-being because my doctor said “If you think you are depressed you can have anti-depressants.”  No thanks.

My typical days are full of negative thoughts, little patience, yelling at my children, stressing over everything and anything. I see piles of laundry just getting higher, clutter everywhere, dishes not done for days, disgusting bathroom, kitchen table buried under rubble, and I do nothing about them. Just before this time last year I would have kicked it into high gear and cleaned up messes, had clutter, but cleared it sooner, and kept up better on dishes.  Not a lot better, but still, not 3 or 4 days worth of dishes undone.  Though I have been experiencing  most of this for awhile (afterall, I have flat out refused to invite anyone into our home for almost a year now), as of late, I just do not feel like tackling anything.  Every task seems too big and overwhelming.  Everything seems overwhelming.  Often now, my only accomplishment for the entire day (other than going to work 12 hours a week) is making supper.   I have some theories on how I got to be this way.  That’s for a later post.

So here I am, a self-diagnosed mama with the blues. Why did I not fess up this sooner? I’m not sure. Embarrassment maybe? Fear? Unwillingness to take anti-depressants and feeling that was my only option? Very few folks have really even noted my hum-drum-glum demeanor. I think I hide it well.  Some who did were not much of a help, but rather more of a harm, driving me further back into my shell with their “tough love” approach and “expert sounding advice”.  Some things they said to me have gone pretty deep and have actually caused one issue to worsen. My husband says I’m definitely not the happy-go-lucky-always-smiling girl he fell in love with, but that it has been so long since I’ve been her, this has become the new me and he is so used to it.  That by no means is a reason for me to stay this way.  I want the old me back.

Other than my hubby and my God I’ve confided in one dear friend who is with me every step of the way. I’ll update on my journey back into the light!

Please note:  this is not an invitation for advice.  

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