For the record I’d rather be catching the NCIS I missed yesterday, but a promise is a promise.
If you didn’t read Part 1, it’s here.
So my “lightbulb moment” happened one evening at the conclusion of a small group BBQ and pool party (luckily NOT in front of my small group). I’m not even sure when exactly it was – maybe July?
When we arrived at the Reeve’s house Noah asked if he could bring his DS inside. My answer was a definite no. There was a pool, basketball and tennis and absolutely NO need to have our nose stuck in a video game. EVERYONE in the car heard me say it.
So we’d had a great time and when Mark and I agreed that it was time to go I said that I would round up the kids which is a monumental task. I mean you get one or two to the right spot and while you go off and find the third and fourth the first two get distracted by something else – it’s like herding cats! I was rounding up wet swimsuits, finding shoes, grabbing the casserole dish, etc.
Mark was playing basketball.
I was annoyed.
For the record at any other time this would not be a big deal. He went over to say goodbye to the guys and ended up playing for 5 minutes. But it was like turning on the burner under a pot of water that had been sitting on the stove for a really long time. (I love you honey and please don’t take it as me criticizing because I totally acknowledge that my reaction was unwarranted.)
I had one last kid to round up…Noah.
One of the kids mentioned that he was upstairs in the kids room so I traipsed up the stairs (telling the girls not to leave the spot where I had planted them). I found Noah crouched in the bedroom PLAYING HIS DS!!!!
Quite honestly, I don’t remember what my reaction was at that exact moment. I’m guessing I yelled at him pretty enthusiastically. Then I marched him downstairs, rounded up Luke and ordered them all to the van. I’m sure I tossed out a few polite “see you next week” remarks to our friends but inside I was starting to B-O-I-L.
As I’m throwing stuff in the back of the van I found out that apparently Luke had come out to the van, gotten his DS and taken it inside. You know, because if one kid does it then it must be okay, despite that fact that mom was very specific earlier.
At that point Mark got to the van, and I can only imagine what I must have looked like. The Tasmanian Devil? That girl from the Exorcist right before her head spins around?
He cautiously asked “What’s wrong?” and I boiled over.
I’m sure I said a lot of other things but the one comment I distinctly remember spitting out, in THE most sarcastic voice ever, was “Well, apparently everyone around here thinks it’s OPTIONAL to obey mom!”
And then I said a lot of other things.
And then I said a lot of other things inside my head.
They were not pretty things.
I have NEVER been so angry in all my life.
And THAT, was the issue.
On the tensely quiet ride home I stared out the passenger window, my mind swirling with all kinds of thoughts.
I could sense Mark looking over at me occasionally, too smart to say anything. (He’s a quick study!)
See that girl, the one who blew up over a disobedient child, was not ME.
I do not have an extreme temper. Yes, I can feel strongly about stuff, can argue a point with the best of them, and I won’t try to tell you that I never lose my cool or yell at my kids.
But the intensity of what I was feeling that night was enough for the light bulb to go off and for me to realize “This is not me!”
It was not just normal adjustment issues. It was not just being tired. It was not PMS.
The ugly beast had reared its head again.
In a way that realization was incredibly freeing, because all of a sudden I knew where I was. It was familiar and I knew where to go from there.
Depression has a laundry list of symptoms but what the last seven years has taught me is that MY most obvious sign of depression is my irritability and anger level. It’s why I had been going back and forth in my head for a couple of months, debating, praying, trying to figure out whether things were bad enough to go back on my meds.
I am not the “wallow in bed with the covers over my head” kind of gal. I am stubborn and I push myself and while that is good, it also allows me to hide from some of the other symptoms that really are there, just undercover.
So I went back on my anti-depressant (Wellbutrin seems to be the right one for me) and within just a few days it was like that scene from Song of the South with the “bluebirds on my shoulder”. Yes, I think I actually hummed “Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah” intermittently for a few days.
If you asked me “What were you depressed about?” I couldn’t tell you. With my first clinical depression I could list the triggers for you (four major stressful life events in a short span of time). But it’s not like I was sitting around bemoaning the “way things used to be” or dealing with major attachment issues with the kids. We were actually VERY fortunate with our kids and had a relatively easy transition. Yes, going from 2 kids to 4 was hard. Yes, there were challenges but nothing that seemed like that big of a deal.
But that’s the thing with depression, it doesn’t play nice and logical. Which, for someone who LOVES nice and logical, is really annoying.
Other than being therapeutic for me, I hope my story might help others struggling through the same issues. If you’re not sure if you have PAD, go talk to your doctor. Open up to the people closest to you about what your struggling with. Sometimes those around us see things we can’t see and it brings clarity to the issue.
Don’t wait until your boiling point.