Pink & Blue Mummyland

Pink and blue parenting through pink and blue moods….

Gone are the Words

I’m having a hard time writing. Depression makes my brain feel like fudge. CableGuy’s response to this was “yummy.” Me – not so much. It feels like everything is moving slower than it should. Unless it is a word or sentence that I want – then is slips away into the shadows, impossible to trace through the dense sludge.

I really wish that I could take my depression and describe it in writing. In my head it’s a piece that is, in turns, heart-breaking and heart-warming, with a trace of cynicism and a soupçon of humour at my own expense. But it seems impossible at the moment, and – even worse – like it will never be possible again. And somewhere under the lack of motivation resides a fear, that I might never be able to write again, and therefore lose a part of myself that I might never get back.

One of my biggest vices is jealousy of other writers. I spend most days wishing I had written things by other writers who say things better than me. Or (an even less attractive trait) have more readers than me. Glennon Doyle Melton of Momastery fame has a good rule of thumb – if I’m jealous of another person’s writing, take a moment to feel it, but then share it. Because jealousy is just love in disguise. Jealousy is loving but then wanting. Generosity is than loving and then giving.

So, I now share part of one of Glennon’s descriptions of depression and how it affects her life and her writing. I chose it partly because her experience is so like my own, but mainly because she said it better and I am jealous. She writes about it in exactly the way I would like to be able to. So rather than loving and wanting it, I’ve decided to love it and share it. Here is a small section of her masterpiece, but please do read the entire essay here.

About depression…

“Every once in awhile – something scary happens to me. A black, heavy, murky fog sets in over my heart and my head. When this happens, I do not alternate between super high and super low. During these awful times I alternate between super low and super numb. The fog is so thick that even when I get still and try to find my way home to myself – I can’t. During these times, none of my usual tricks….quiet time, sunshine, exercise, friends, prayer . . .none of them help me find my way through the fog. I can go through the motions of the day . . . I remember what to do – pack the lunches, smile at the kids, sweep the floor, hug my husband….repeat. I just can’t remember why any of these things matter. The love, the life that usually infuses each of these tasks with meaning is gone. I become like a robot. I have completely lost myself. All I want is to disappear into a dark room. Gone is the joy, the drama, even the suffering that makes me, me. This state of mind has nothing to do with my dramatic personality. It is more like a complete loss of my personality. I’ve suffered this loss three times in my life. Once when I was much younger and suffering from bulimia and alcoholism. Once after my second child was born, and again about a month ago. I have come to believe that this loss of myself is what is commonly accepted as depression.”

About writing…

“I’m hesitant to medicate away my depression because I worry that my depression fuels my writing. What medicine does for me is help me to relax into life a bit. Craig’s perspective is that when I’m on it, I am the same Glennon, I just “struggle a little less.” I agree. I struggle a little less. And I also lose the feeling that if I don’t write I will die. This is how I feel when I’m depressed. Since I lose my joy and meaning, I come to the blank page to create meaning and joy, to get it back. Because I become desperate to make sense of things. And that desperation, I’m afraid, is what makes my writing good. So it scares me, I guess, not to be depressed. A lot of really good writers are depressed. But, as Craig says – “Honey, don’t a lot of good writers also kill themselves?”

The fact that Glennon can take the meds and still write like this gives me hope. Please, please, do visit Momastery. And please do read the whole of Home To Myself – much of what she writes about earlier in the article describes bipolar life to a tee.

Even though she doesn’t have it. Sickening.

I won’t be jealous, I won’t be jealous, I won’t be jealous….. Loving and sharing, not loving and wanting.

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Back in the world….

So, I disappeared.

Not so much disappeared, as fell into an enormous hole that was so dark I couldn’t see the footholds to get out.

October started off so well. I actually thought I was doing okay, and took my eye off the ball, and once I stopped thinking about bipolar, even for a moment, symptoms crept up and caught me by surprise.

Even reading my last post on this blog, I can see how much I was kidding myself at the time. For me, a week of hypomania felt great in so many ways, but looking back – and talking it over with those around me – I was not as fun to be with as I thought I was. I was childish, petulant, and thoroughly teenager-ish when told I wasn’t allowed to go out in my car and find a bar at 5pm on a Saturday evening. I apparently sulked. So it seems that the high wasn’t all high.

For a week or so, I thought I’d got away with it, that there would be no repurcussions, but then the depression set in, and literally sucked the life out of everything. I cried for Britain, slept for Europe, and became blind to the sparkle in my children’s eyes. A season of numbness came in with the cold, sad weather, and lifting my fingers to type was as impossible as lifting my feet to walk or my mind to hope.

So, I disappeared.

But I’m back! And hopefully to stay – not hypomanically overdoing it with eighty four posts a day as I find my fingers and start to craft sentences again, but as my normal self, as I start to find out again what that is. I’ve taken up again the things I lost in the fog – like singing, guitar playing, socialising, knitting – and am starting to enjoy life again.

I’m also heading back into work. My main job, which I was never able to give up, and was probably the one thing that kept me from giving up, is parenting MiniMe and MicroBob. They are as awesome as ever, surprising me every day with something new they do. All of a sudden, MiniMe can read. And MicroBob is doing sums like they’re going out of fashion. They are amazing – despite their mother and her crazy moods.

My other work is all writing and book related. I have a new book coming out this month, which I will be saying more about as the days go on. The launch of my new website was supposed to coincide with the book release, but depression stole so many weeks that I fear the website work will fall behind. Still, I am writing copy whenever I can, and The Cable Guy will be doing the restyling as we go along. Adullam Ministries has always had a place in my heart, but has been let go of over the past few years of having children. Hopefully, MicroBob starting nursery will give me more time to work on this area of my calling, and give me the opportunity to bring Adullam up to date with all that social media can do to further the cause of raising awareness of self-harm.

I’ve also been given the special opportunity of being part of the launch team for a new book by Shelia Walsh. The Storm Inside: Trade the Chaos of How You Feel for the Truth of Who You Are acknowledges and speaks against the wrong things we believe about ourselves – and our life experiences – with the irrefutable Word of God. I’m so excited to be part of the team, and looking forward to sharing some of the life lessons as I read – giving a sneaky peek into what the final copy will contain! This is what Shelia says about her latest offering:

It’s clear that as women we all face storms so I’ve poured the last two years of my life into asking the question-how do we handle these storms and navigate the tough seasons in life? If we rely on our emotions alone we are in danger of serious shipwreck but I know that God’s Word is like a lighthouse on the darkest night that will guide us safely to shore. So that’s my prayer for each one of you.

So, exciting times! I pray for everyone reading that this coming year will be one of blessing and truth, that you will know God and see his unique plans for and that your mental and physical health would be stable and less burdensome than before.

I’m so thankful to be back in the world.

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