Wednesday, September 29, 2010

When the mean reds come calling

Funny, I had to break down sobbing three times in the past week, one of them in broad daylight on a busy bridge across the river Saone in Lyon, to realize I might be a bit, um.... depressed.

How His Dark Lord manages to find me in the most unlikely of places at the most inopportune of times, I will never know.

I do know that simply knowing this is what is happening and knowing it's not forever is encouraging.

Otherwise I might worry I am destined to see life in constant, cold, flickering shades of gray rather than in the warm, rich, sometimes vibrant, sometimes muted, but always somehow lovely and promising colors it was meant to be dressed in.

And then there is this little angry, hyper-critical person inside me. The one who judges everybody and everything, including myself, including my kids, including my husband, and including the poor frazzled mother who was berating her tiny weeping daughter outside of ballet class this morning.

"Jeez!" I thought. "Harsh much? Perhaps, rather than force your kid into that tutu and into that ballet class, you might consider giving her a hug and a cuddle going home to bake something together, and start over."

Then the hypocrite police are on my case.  I have not only been in that mother's shoes, I feel like I have been inside her head. When no matter how much you know that some days your child's agenda will not yield to your own, and your child will simply not want to leave your side no matter how much you crave to feel her bravely let go of your hand so you can watch her dance with the other pink girls through the window, she will not let go. And instead of relenting, this stubborn, ego-fueled donkey inside of you insists you have to force boldness and independence rather than let it evolve. If only to save face in front of the other mothers.

Because you worry that her inability to let you go is your fault somehow. That it is proof that something is wrong with you as a mother. Why can't my child be like those other happy, dancing children in that room who couldn't care less where their mothers are? What am I doing wrong?

To hell with all that.
And to hell with the autumn blues. 

I'm going to have a cup of tea and a couple, or a dozen, chocolate cookies now. That is, of course, in lieu of a martini and a roll -your -own cigarette.

More enlightened self discovery can be found over at Momformation. 


Karin (an alien parisienne) said...

Maybe it is something with the seasonal change and shift, for this entire month I have felt the descent, too, and finally this past week, the depression sh*t seemed to hit the fan and I am Ms. Negativity Sourpuss-Cynical. With a middle name of Mopey. I have wanted to smoke cigarettes again, for crying out loud. I'm hollering, spitting mad some days, too.

I can relate.

I'm hoping that, like I wrote, perhaps it is being sensitive to nature's cycles, and changing barometric pressures -- that the moon and the equinox have all conspired to make the earth feel like it is a bad and nasty place to be. (Implication: hopes it will change as the season gets underway).

I'm even at that point, though, where thinking things like, "This too shall pass" make me want to scream "BAH! Humbug!!"

I can't eat cookies. So that has me depressed, too.

You know what small joy has been keeping me going in lieu of food, booze, and cigarettes? Hall's mentholated cough drops, hahaha. Paul's mom brought them from the States when she was here in April, and I just re-discovered them in the medicine cabinet when a cold flirted with me a week or so ago.

How pathetic is it that Hall's are my one joy right now. That, and Leader Price has started carrying Coke Zero, something I forswore a while back, but am now drinking in moderation. Or trying to. It's keeping me from freaking out some moments.

So, I won't say anything pithy like "this too shall pass," even if it shall, for I know I have no patience to hear something like that right now.

But. Maybe it will. In the meantime, I hope you find your equivalent to the Hall's drops, and just know I am here, nodding furiously at your feelings in a kind of depression camaraderie. :)

Betsy said...

You just made me want to add, "and a cigarette" to my last line. I know that craving well. Tobacco goes so well, adds a touch of drama, to feeling low. I like cherry Hall's best.

Anonymous said...


Oh, Betsy. I could have written this post! I'm sure you've realized by some of the posts that I've left (should I mention babycenter?) that I tend to react. Or is it overreact? I'm also guilty of being negative, especially during one week out of every month. It borders on depression. I really let certain things get to me even though I don't want to (not being able to move back east is one of those very things.). And I tend to be judgmental. No kidding, right?! Sometimes I wish that I had just kept my mouth (fingers) shut. Other times I want to tell some of those women to go screw themselves! Occasionally I do.

I'm guilty of the same things that you mentioned in this post. Most of us probably are. I find that it bolsters my ego and eases my own insecurities to notice the woman who's loosing it when I'm not.

I ate two, yes two, small bags of peanut M&M's. I have to say that not only did I not feel the least bit guilty about it, but I'd do it again! And again, and again,..... You get the picture. Chocolate keeps us away from the harder, if not more relaxing, bad (or is it good?) stuff that we'd probably hit in these tough times if we had half (1/16?) the chance!

Brooke G. said...

Cookies always beat the blues! For me, anyway. Martini's do too - but ughhhh, the hangover! Yup, stick with cookies and tea...... and hang in there. We do the best we can and take it day by day!!

Anonymous said...

KiminAZ again!

Now I need to add a snippet about your comment about smoking. I have always been able to pick it up or drop it whenever I felt like it and have never gotten addicted. I have never smoked around my kids. They would be shocked if they thought that I even got NEAR smoke. My husband is a smoker, ONLY outside, and rolls his own. I talked him into rolling his own a couple of years ago because of all of the nasty stuff that they put into manufactured ones. Hey, if you're going to smoke, you should use pure tobacco, right? Anyway, after the kids are in bed my husband and I always have a tea (we've talked about this before.), and I admit that I smoke a few of his cigarettes. You know what? GOD IT FEELS GOOD! Not every night, but some nights I just want to. There, I said it. It's out there. GUILTY! But strangely, I don't really feel guilty! I feel like I deserve the joy of it. Isn't that horrible? So, now I'm going to take my M&M eating, smoking, guilty ass and fold some laundry!

Betsy said...

KiminAZ: Great minds smoke alike. Never been addicted, but definitely guilty of "social smoking for much of my pre-baby life. (despite being an athlete, go figure) Haven't succumbed in quite some time now but if and when I do, it's Drum for me all the way. I won't touch anything with a filter. Must be a Vermont purist thing. :)

andrea frazer/this old spouse said...

You really need to read Wayne Dyer's book, "Change Your Thoughts, Change Your Life". It is based on the Tao and talks so much about how we judge ourselves. It talks about balance and seeing things for what they are, not what we want them to be. It is logical and spiritual and you would really love it. I think. Lots of Momfo posts from it anyway!

Anonymous said...


You know, I somehow knew that about you! I'm also not surprised about the Drum. I agree about it being a Vermont purist thing. Funny, I always felt like a snob in some ways because I'm from back east! We've also tried Bali Shag, which is good but hard to get these days. Once, my husband did a combination of organic pipe tobacco grown by an Indian tribe back east (I can't remember the web site and can't find it anymore) and Drum together. It's sweeter and smells really good.

Not that I'm encouraging it, but it is what it is. I also never smoked while pregnant or while I was breastfeeding. The only time I ever do it is when the littlest is well out of the baby stage. Then sometimes when I'm relaxing with my husband at night and the kids are in bed I'll have one, or two....

Meowmie said...

Betsy, I hear you and I feel for you. I'm dealing with the black dog, too. Sigh. I'm over having this hypercritical person inside my head telling me how I can be a better mother, and the black dog of depression (soon to go, I hope) meaning that I'm not as good as I wish I could be. ::hugs::

And yes, I have been that mother outside the ballet class, but it was after the class when DD decided that after begging to go, she didn't actually do anything in the class but simply sat down.

Betsy said...

Andrea: I've had noticeable results from Eckhardt Tolle's, A New Earth,but I find that even with that kind of mental ammunition, knowing how much your thoughts dictate your reality, I am find myself waving the white flag this time of year. It's mostly just these transitional fall months. I love winter, as long as it is full on briskly cold with plenty of snow. Once the snow flies I'm good to go. One small problem around here is the snow doesn't fly so often. Excuses excuses.

Lorrie said...

Betsy, I have never read anyone else's words that so closely resembled my thoughts. It makes my heart skip a beat. I didn't know anyone else felt the same as me. Wish I had known you when you were in VT.

Betsy said...

Lorrie: Vermont will always be my home. I'm coming back. You can take the girl out of Vermont, but you can't take Vermont out of the girl. I'm happy to let you know you are not alone.