Depression and Me – a jumbled rant I’m pretty sure doesn’t make sense…but oh well…

I love rainy days, now and then.  They totally agree with me, especially during the times when all I want to do is chill right out and not have to worry about catching a bus into town to sort out the seemingly never-ending tasks that need sorting out.  There’s no pressure to deal with copious amounts of washing, and when you look out the window and see its raining for the hundredth day in a row, you don’t feel so guilty that your lawns are starting to resemble a jungle fit for monkeys.  You let your baby take charge of the DVD, the house, and let her run rampant while you crank up the heater and snuggle under the blanket with a book and a plate of oreo’s.  Its beautiful.  Marvellous.  I love rainy days.  Now and then.

NOW AND THEN being the operative word.  Because, come on.  Even you gotta admit that being stuck indoors, day in and day out, and day in and day out, and day fucking in and out, is enough to drive you craaaaazy. (Which I already am, but that is well and truly BESIDES the point.)

Yesterday was the third rainy day in a row.  I woke as usual to baby slapping my head and yelling at me to get up.  After peeking out the curtain – and then holding back the urge to shout ‘FUCK’ – I force myself to the kitchen, have a coffee, give Her Majesty weetbix for breakfast, then dump her in front of the TV.  I then proceed to perform all housewife and motherly duties with about the same enthusiasm as a zombie.  I mope.  I drag my feet as I vacuum the house.  I don’t even bother yelling at baby when I snap her pulling the AV cords out of the TV, then inserting them back in the wrong holes.  I just stare at her and sigh. I feel bored out of my brain cells.  The mundaness of everyday life and having no job – as well as being stuck within the confines of four brick walls thanks to shitty weather – AS WELL as having no human interaction with anybody else besides my baby and two men who are too tired to entertain me when they get home from work – all of it is well and truly getting to me.

And then my cousin showed up, with the niece in tow.  I pounced upon them as if it had been a year since I had last seen a human.  When I saw them walking through the front door, I was all “Hiiiiiiiiiiiii,” and sounded as high pitched and as squeaky as a mouse.  Probably desperate too. I was so happy to see them.  Beyond happy.  I couldn’t have been happier if it was Beyonce that walked in.  But then, on second thoughts…that is actually a very outrageous lie. Haha.

So I spent a good hour yarning to my cuz over coffee and hundreds of smokes, and I am aware I am talking way too much and way too fast.  It strikes me that we are yarning about some very sensitive topics – but it also strikes me that I don’t care.  I was just glad to be talking to somebody.  I was glad that she had come over.  Glad to feel not so isolated from the world. My cousin, she is easy to talk to.  A beautiful person, inside and out.  She’s one of those girls you’d want as your best friends and if I wasn’t so into myself and up my own arse, she would probably be one of my best friends by now.

Anyway, when they left, I felt pretty good.  For about a good hour or so.  I was washing dishes and staring out at nothing but grey when I felt the blues coming on.  And I’m not talking about the rainy day blues either, but the other blues, the kind that use to chew me up and swallow me whole. Maybe it was my cousins visit that emphasised just how lonely I really was.  Maybe it was the fact that my baby was hanging off the edge of the couch, chocolate smeared all over her face and clothes.  Maybe it was the silence that engulfed me as I washed the dishes.  Either way, I didn’t see it coming.  I never do.  It creeps up on me silently, like a stealth cat, then pounces and grips my throat, squeezing tighter and tighter, until I can’t breathe.

This is…a thing that I go through now and then, especially on days I don’t feel so good. I don’t think its depression anymore.  More like low-level anxiety and a kind of ominous sadness.  Back in the day, I believe it was fully blown depression, and I was pretty good for letting it get the best of me.  Swimming around in a pool of self-pity and walking around with all these fucked up thoughts in my head, convinced that there was no-one on this earth that loved me, that was the norm for me.  I could spend days on end locked up in the room, crying, writing, hyperventilating, yearning for mum, hating the world, feeling sorry for myself and just basically wondering if I’d be better off dead.

But that was THEN.  Things are very different now. Sometimes, I still get accused of looking back too much.  One of my sisters, who shall remain nameless unless she decides to out herself, is constantly telling me to get over the past.  What she doesn’t know is that I was over it a long time ago.  ‘The past’ and ‘depression’ are two very different things.  And if you have never been through depression, then you can never understand what it is like.  It pisses me off when people say things like “you think too much” or “you dwell on the past too much” or “just get over it, Freda, its all in your head.”  I don’t dwell on the past, but I don’t deny it either.  To deny it will be to deny a big part of who I am, and that’s crazy.  Whats even more crazy is YOU telling people like ME that I need to get over myself, and that’s just not fair.  People with depression don’t need to hear that shit, man.  They already know what they need to do, and when some asshole is always on your case, trying to ‘snap you out of it’ that just makes things worse

I’m not perfect, and neither are you.  I don’t berate you for your shortcomings, so there’s no need for you to berate me for mine.

Arrrgh.  Time to STOP I think.  So anyway, where was I?  Oh yeah, things are very different now.  Very different.  I’m a bit more settled, and a hundred times more happier, and I have a family that needs me. But I’m aware that I have to be very careful of myself these days because my brain, its kind of set in its ways now.  So when I felt those ‘blues’ coming on this morning, I dealt with it on the spot.  To drive away the silence that can sometimes be as deafening as a trumpet in my ear, I went around turning all the TV’S on, plugged in my laptop and played my music on full blast.  So if you have ever come over to my house, and wondered why all the electronics are blaring – well now you know why.  Silence is golden, or say they say.  But to me, silence is an opportunity for those ‘blues’ to grow into a big fat avalanche.  Silence is a trap.  And one that I have no intention of falling into ever again.

Ever.

My writing, that helps too.  Aside from writing all sorts of ramblings on this blog, I am also writing a book, so that keeps my mind occupied.  But more than anything, its my baby that keeps me on the straight and narrow. Me and her, we did some Pilates together not long after my cousin left, and I had to chuckle to myself as I watched her struggle to perform the moves, seeking out my approval now and then with her big brown eyes.  After that, I chucked on her High Five, and sang and danced with her to the song Robot Number one, and we frolicked on the floor and I let her jump all over me, all twenty plus kg’s of her, and in no time at all I was laughing and happy again and the sadness that had engulfed me a couple of hours before just slipped away. And, you know, even though it was still ugly and grey outside, suddenly it wasn’t such a big deal anymore.  Because once you can find that light inside yourself – it doesn’t matter how dark it is on the outside.

And YOU can find it too.  YES YOU, reading this post.  If you have read up to HERE, then I’m either a fucking great writer, or you are possibly going through the same thing.  Either way, I’m going to end this post by leaving you with this – that you can overcome it, just like I continue to overcome it everyday.  That you can find answers too.  Not in the world.  Not in some six hundred page book written by some lady with a PhD.  Not even your shrink can give you what you’re looking for.  It’s all within yourself.  Thats where it all begins.  Have a look there.  You might be surprised what you find.

Dedicated to Dani

OUR LITTLE CHRISTMAS GIFT

You, two days old

Wow, how time flies.  It’s been nearly nine months since me and you jumped on the plane to come to Australia.  And what a journey it has been.  There’s been ups.  There’s been downs.  There’s been times when we are having an absolute ball.  Then there’s been times I just want to throw in the towel and hightail it back home.  Branching out and learning to live in an entirely new country has presented some major challenges.  But through it all, you are the one person that keeps mum from losing the plot. You keep my smile intact when normally I’d be walking around with a frown on my face and depressing thoughts on my mind.  Or more like, normally, I wouldn’t be walking around at all.

You are the one that keeps me going, my love.  If it weren’t for you, I would have given up a long time ago.

What a pleasure you have been in our lives thus far.  When mum recalls the day you were born, I still can picture it all in my mind as if it happened yesterday.  You were a planned baby.  And it took two long years before you were finally implanted in my womb (a long story for another day).  You were no trouble at all throughout my pregnancy, but you certainly made up for it the day you were born!

You began giving mum grief in the early hours of the 23 December 2010.  The contractions were about half an hour in between, and mum didn’t get any sleep that night.  Me and your daddy were living down Ohiwa Harbor Road, just around the corner from your nanny’s (grandmothers).  Dad stayed up most of the night rubbing my back and waiting on me, hand and foot.

By the morning, you began to show signs of being ready to come out.  The contractions were coming faster and stronger, and the pain was, when I recall, un-bloody-bearable!  I heard all the horror stories of contractions, but even then, I wasn’t prepared for it.  It’s like a thousand needles plunging into your stomach, and reaching all the way into your lower back.  I don’t think I’ll ever forget that pain as long as I live!

Seven thirty, your midwife, Jane Curley arrived, looked me over, and ordered me to get to the hospital.  There was no mucking around after that.  Dad grabbed our bags that had been prepared and sitting in your room for weeks, chucked them in the car, chucked me in the car, and we were off.

When we got to the hospital, surprisingly, the contractions began to slow.  It’s like you were backing out, and we began to wonder if you were going to come out after all.  Nevertheless, I was still poked and prodded and hooked up to machines to determine what was going on.  After a half an hour, Jane Curley came in and suggested we go for a walk down town to see if that would ‘hurry you along’.

So me and dad jumped back in the car again and off to town we went.  We parked up down The Strand, got out, and spent the next half an hour just walking up and down the strand holding hands and talking and marvelling that today you could possibly, finally be here.

And then mums contractions started up again, and this time, they were coming fast and hard.  Not only that, the pain was intense enough to make mum double over right in the middle of town!  So me and dad had to walk back to the car, and it must have looked so funny because, every five minutes, mum would stop, clutch her stomach and moan.  But I was very noticeably pregnant, so I think people walking passed would have understood anyway.

When we got back to the hospital, I got the biggest shock of my life.  I had only planned for the following to be at your birth. Your dad, your nanny and mums best friend, your Aunty Fran.  But as we pulled up to the hospital, it seemed clear that your birth was going to be gate crashed.  Mums two other sisters, your Aunty Bex and Aunty Jassy were there as well, along with Aunty Nicola, who is really mums niece, but we have been bought up as cousins (another story for another day),

The rest of the day is a blur of contractions, of hysterical screams, of gasping and clutching at the gas mask as if my life depended on it. I don’t think I’ve ever felt that much pain in my entire life!  I just about ripped off your Aunty Jassy’s hand, and I’m pretty sure your midwife Jane Curley wanted to slap me at one point because I was screaming the hospital down.  But finally, after a couple of crazy, intense, drama-packed hours, you entered the world.  It was 5.05 pm, the 23rd December 2010, two days before Christmas.  You weighed in at six pounds, five ounces.  The people in the room were: Dad, Aunty Jass, Aunty Bex, Aunty Fran, Aunty Nicola and your beloved Nanny Tangi.

You never screamed when you came out, nor did you wail.  You slid out without so much as a boo and, as you were cleaned, and as daddy cut your cord, you just stared, with wide eyes, at the new world around you.  For some reason, that amazed the midwife.  She said that it was very rare for a baby not to cry when they first come out of the darkness and into the light.  She said it was even more amazing that your eyes were so wide and alert, as most babies, when born, tend to scrunch up their eyes due to the brightness.

Taken the day you were born.

I’ve never believed in love at first sight.  To me, that was an unrealistic cliché for fools and only existed in movies.  I didn’t even fall in love with your dad on first sight, that was a love that developed over the years.  But from the moment I laid eyes on you my baby, that assumption was turned on its head, for I fell in love with you hard.  I remember being in total awe when you were first placed in my arms.  Despite all the jabbering going on all round me, I don’t remember hearing much.  I don’t remember seeing much.  All I saw was you.

When night time fell, and everybody left, it was just me and you.  We were in a hospital ward, and the light was dim as I watched you sleep soundly, completely overwhelmed at the amount of love that rushed through my body and left me feeling tingly all over.  It was then I made the promise to you my darling.  That, come hell or high water, I was going to bestow on you all the love that was missing from my life when I was a child, and make damn sure that you grow into a strong, confident girl who will stand up for herself and knows what she wants.  I will never make you feel worthless, unloved or neglected.  I will surround myself with positive people, and not people who are going to belittle you because mum knows, firsthand, just how destructive that can be.  I will fight for you and protect you and go all out to keep you out of harms way.  And when you get older and begin experiencing all that comes with being a teen, I hope to be the one you turn to and confide in.    Although that is going to be a clinch.  I’m not putting my hopes on that one.

Your daddy was the happiest man alive when you came into this world

And most importantly, I promise to give you opportunities galore.  Which is why we are here, in Australia.  Mum has struggled to keep her head above water here because I miss home so much. It’s growing up with a small-town mentality that has done this to me, and this is something I DO NOT want for you.  It’s you that keeps us here my darling. We stay here because we know that there is so much more you can achieve here than in our beloved – yet hopeless hometown Opotiki.  As much as we miss it, and as much as we miss your nanny, going back is not an option.  There is no future there.  There is family and there is beauty – but there is no chance in hell of getting ahead in life if we go back.  Dreams are but wisps of smoke that stay dreams and never become a reality.

And you are getting more than that.  I want to make sure I give you options.  Options to achieve and become whatever you want!

You have a better chance than I ever did my love.  You have a mum and a dad that are always going to put you above everything and anything else.  I’m not saying we are perfect parents, because that is far from true.  Like every other parent out there, we have our days where you seemingly push us to the limit and beyond.  But our intentions when it comes to you – they are the intentions of parents who hope to never let you down in any major way.  I’m so proud of you my love, so very proud that you are my daughter.  I hope, one day, to hear from your very lips – that you are just as proud to have me as your mother.

“I gave you LIFE but you give me a reason to live…”

Love you my baby girl.  Forever and always.

xxx

JUST A LITTLE ABOUT YOU…

Your interests and hobbies

* You love watching High Five Musicals

* You love watching Play School

* Your favourite thing to do, when home, is pull AV cords in and out of the TV

* You also love turning TV off and on…and off and on…and off and on…

* Almost everyday you tend to drag your chair over to the light and switching light off and on…and off and on…and off and on

* Almost every day you also like to drag your chair over to the sink and ‘wash the dishes’ (and the floor, I should say).

* You enjoy daily walks to the park

Your all time favourite show

* You go to Swan View Child Care Centre twice a week

* You love your arts and crafts, especially with letters and numbers

* You love to sing, and can hold a better tune than mummy

Watching TV…smile for mum

your little personality  

* Very grumpy, like your dad

* Sweet and loving when you want to be

* Loves to share with other kids, but gets grumpy and snarky when they don’t share back

* Gets annoyed when hungry

* Gets annoyed when tired

* As long as your tummy is full and your nice and clean, your a pretty happy-go-lucky, content little girl

words/sentences your saying

(you are a vibrant little chatterbox, but here are some of the things you say on a regular basis)

The entire A-Z alphabet

Numbers from `1-10

love u Mummy

love u daddy

thankyou

ice cream

chippies

orange

play TV?

play school

high five

titty

can i have…?

go for walk…?

go on the swing….?

kai kais…?

baba black sheep (your favourite song)

twinkle twinkle little star

eye spy (high five song)

And that’s the monthly update for now…until next month my girl…