Boy oh boy am I deep in the sads. Tears keep pouring down my face and my heart just aches. It feels bad. I think the thing my big kids say to me the most these days is "Mommy wake up!" because they find me lying in bed. Lying on the couch. Lying on the floor. Times are rough.
My Labor Day weekend was spent in the hospital. Just got out yesterday after a three night stay. I didn't harm myself or anything and I won't. I got dehydrated after a week-long colitis flare. The dehydration caused some acute kidney failure and then, of course, there was the colitis which they couldn't fix because there is no quick fix. Possibly no fix at all.
Last week my kids watched a lot of Elmo and we hung out at home as I told them "no" to the playground and "no" to picking them up into my too-tired arms.. They were troopers. I watched a lot of Friday Night Lights while they napped and rolled through the mental list of people who love me and want to help me. . .and didn't call any of them. It's not that I didn't want help or didn't think I needed it. The whole idea of calling someone to come to my messy house so they could try to peel my millions of kids off me was just. . .exhausting. I was weak and tired and sad and lonely and asking for help felt too damn hard.
I've written before about how parenthood is made for me, because I love to observe people and think about what makes them tick. In other ways it's the opposite. What I mean is that it can take my overactive, never shut-down, oh-good-God-in-Heaven-can-I-rip-my-head-off-and-smash-it-against the-wall-so-my-brain-stops-thinking-for-one-blessed-second to places it's hard to come back from. I was in it last week. Deep in the non-stop anxiety. The wanting to run away. The worry that I love some kids more than others. The feeling stuck in the suburbs. The being in constant relationship with five other people. The idea of adding more input to that--I just couldn't.
And I have wonderful friends. There are people I could call who, no questions asked, would hang out and not talk to me. Would play with my kids. Would hug me and not ask questions. And it was still too hard. In the end, I texted someone on my child-rearing team and asked her to come take my kids to her house. She happily complied and we all lived to see another day..though the next few were in the hospital for me.
I'm off Zoloft again. Is it the right decision? I don't know. Is it making for some tough times? Oh hell yes. The fear, the grief, the tears, the anger, the loneliness, the inadequacy--all of this is in me. I wish I could let it pour out and have it be gone but I don't think that's how I'm made--it might just keep coming.
This post is not a plea for help. Not because I'm stubborn (yes, I am very stubborn) but because that's just not what it is. It's about saying I'm sad. I have a lot of feelings about the fact that in the last few years I've:
-moved out of the city I love
-become a part of two other families, my new one and my husband's original family
-gone into emergency labor and delivered two beautiful, amazing children who spent many weeks in the NICU
-wondered if my son would live
-started learning how to be a parent
-started learning how to be a wife
-moved to a new town
-bought a house for the first time
-gave birth to two more babies who spent more weeks in the NICU
-lost my job at a company where I worked for most of my twenties and a good chunk of my thirties. 13 years
And for the past year most of those feelings have been muted by a drug. Now they're not and it's a lot. A lot, a lot. I am tired. I am overwhelmed. I think I've written most of that list in another post but I don't remember and who cares anyway. It bears repeating. My body is different. My memory hardly works. It's a lot. And on top of all that, I'm the type of mama who despite all efforts to the contrary worries about the day when they're all in school away from me and I'm lonesome for this time. It's all just effed, really.
So I reach out via text to a new friend and she gives me the image of riding a wave. This is not forever. And I remember that the night before I dreamed of not one but two tidal waves. I sit in the hammock and look up at the light streaming through the branches of ancient redwood trees. I read Anne Lamott and remind myself that I am not a freak. That this is what it feels like to be human.
None of that makes it any easier. But for a second I feel a millimeter of space in my heart that I can breathe some ease into. It's not enough but it's what there is. For now.