Thursday, February 02, 2006

Depression

Rice in a glass canister sits on the crumb-spread counter, waiting to be cooked. Raw chicken waits in the refrigerator. Tomatoes have been chopped and left on the cutting board. Night’s more than fallen. The television blasts kid shows – has been doing it all day from sunup to sundown. Bed sheets should be changed, the floors should be mopped, and the carpets should be vacuumed. Homework’s not quite done. Dishes fill the sink. The dishwasher is full of clean dishes. Clutter fills most corners, corners and tables and chairs, clutter that looks mountainous. Shoes, toys, cooking utensils, water bottles, paper, envelopes, a sweater, shirts, books, pillows, throw blankets, DVD’s, CD’s, a State Bar Identification card on my desk that says, “Inactive.” The children clash in the back bedroom. The husband’s just called, a mile away, returning from a doctor’s appointment. Yet another $175 spent to fix the oldest. The younger kids need baths. D will be aggravated when he comes home and finds me. Finds the mess.

The computer screen stares at me and I think that when the children finally get to sleep I will climb up on a stool and get the tequila down to drink. Maybe I’ll throw in the last Vicodin for that little extra boost.

I’m so sleepy, so tired, so bone tired, I can barely type the words out. The heavy weight of depression has hit me like it’s done before, knocking me on my ass. Keeping me flat on my back like a dissected frog – hands and legs and innards pinned and tagged.

“Useless.”

“Unwilling.”

“Empty.”

The stress of the kids’ challenges has finally gotten to me. Everything depends on me and D to keep it together. Every day. All I think is that tomorrow I have to turn in a test to be copied for the students for Monday. The test is on my laptop, incomplete. The test reminds me I also have to prepare for lectures next week. More steep mountains to navigate, drainage of the little energy I have. My shoulder is killing me. Nothing takes away the pain – I made another appointment with the orthopedic doctor.

I had lunch with my sister today for her birthday. I was late getting to her house to baby sit her littlest one – not a perfect child, unlike her other two. I secretly am happy. I swallow that horrible thought. Swallow back my tears. When we go to lunch, we’re slow at eating, and I can’t think of things to say, and I have to rush off, but forget it’s a birthday lunch and leave just enough money to pay for my portion of the bill. I feel like an idiot on the way home. A cheap idiot.

The music plays and D is angry at me. He wants help getting the kids to eat. I bypass the rice. I heat up frozen chicken wings and stick frozen veggies in the microwave. I don’t eat. D and J already ate fast-food. So bad for D. I don’t care at the moment. I don’t eat. I return to the computer. I play “mommy and honey” with M. She chats and feeds me plastic food. I laugh and talk nicely to her.

D is angry that I’m not helping the kids get to bed. I don’t care. The tequila will only make my stomach hurt and the Vicodin won’t do anything because I'd just be taking the one since I don’t have any more left. J slips in and bangs on his drums, making me jump and bitch at him, “Use your soft sticks!”

He switches and bangs away, playing rock songs for me. I tell him how great it is and it is. He slips back out. D is angry at him because he didn’t do his homework like he was asked.

I sigh. Maybe wine will be easier on my stomach. Blech, I never like wine no matter how much I drink. My sister calls and asks me to go to dinner tomorrow night but I’m too tired, too weighed down by the depression. Tomorrow I’m going to take M to school so I’ll have the whole day alone but it will go by and I won’t even notice. It will be an instant between taking A and M and J to school and picking them up. The time will slip past me unnoticed. I will wonder why so much quiet time means so little.

I sigh when I hear M screaming again. My shoulder is killing me.

Tonight’s quiet time will go by barely noticed. Midnight is going to come fast and I’m going to hang on to the late night with the most incredible regret of it in the morning when I wake with bags under my eyes and skin that won’t let the makeup stick.

The goddamn depression has come to me and I’m terrified that I’m my mother and that the children will grow to hate me. That my husband will grow to hate me. That I will grow to hate me. I shake away the thought as J plays with the soft sticks, as he tries to keep a beat. I’m going to get up now, get up and get the kids to bed. Forget the bath. They're playing a chasing game and the thought of catching them exhausts me.

I hear D - he's at the office door and is saying nothing.

I’ll lay down with M in her little pink bed and we’ll just lie quietly until she falls asleep. How sweet it will be, how restful. How nice to hide in the dark room waiting for quiet time.

8 comments:

Edge said...

lives of quiet desperation

Diana said...

Nothing to say except, "This is my life, too."

Seeking Clarity

Jennifer said...

This all rings so uncomfortably familiar, my heart aches for you.

No pithy words of wisdom here. Just a nod to tell you that you are not alone in it.

Jennifer
Open Book

nappy40 said...

Is having kids this hard? Is it supposed to be? Hang in there, Adriana. I'm hoping the depression is just another passing storm.

Take care.

Lori said...

Yeah...I hear ya, bud. But you're dealing with an awful lot of stuff right now. I was so glad when you called and said that things with J had at least improved somewhat...hopefully that takes some of the weight off your shoulders. :)

Richard Lawrence Cohen said...

The writing is still there for you, though, Adriana, and it's good writing. And "useless, unwilling, empty," are just the pleadings of a disease to gain a bigger foothold in your life. I know you've come through this before and have come out of it -- we all have, judging from the comments. Always remember that depression always lifts.

8763 Wonderland said...

Powerful stuff, Adriana. As a fellow depressive -- and one who writes about his depression as well -- I can only say that I relate. Today was the first day since mid-December that the blackness has not visited me. I hope that you, too, have a good day soon.

Adriana Bliss said...

Thank you everyone for such kind, helpful, hopeful words. I'd been meaning to write something about the depression, directly. I'd needed to do it - to see it for what it really looks like.

It does pass...it always passes. I know - but isn't it something that when you're in the thick of it, it seems as if it will always be there?

Nappy40 - is parenting always this hard? I'd venture to say, yes and no (I am a lawyer...never forget that! LOL) Yes, it can be an overwhelming task to anyone - making sure you are the best parent, making sure that through your work you help create successful people who contribute healthfully to society and who ultimately will be happy. No...I think parents of "easy" children have it easier. Parents of naturally motivated children, parents of children who don't have "special needs". I know my sister has it easier...on the other hand, the small things seem bigger to her. On the other, other hand...she doesn't deal with depression the way I do and truly, her kids are HIGHLY compliant and responsive to the smallest efforts at discipline.

Perhaps it's all relative.