Daily Archives: July 18, 2012

There is Peace in the Valley

When you are divorced with kids, there is typically that little thing included in the divorce decree that outlines a custody and visitation schedule for said kids. You quickly figure out that even though you aren’t married anymore, you still have a connection with this person that you divorced, that you will for many years … Continue reading

A Test of Will

Today, my husband wants us to take advantage of our free day to actually go out and yanno… do stuff all day. Nothing in particular, but just be out for a large swathe of the day. Outside. In the wider world. Suffices to say, my brain is already stropping and demanding I refuse to move from my comfy desk chair.

Of course, I’m planning to ignore my brain whines and go out. I don’t know what we’ll do with ourselves, but that’s not the point. The point is to do something different. And as it’s open-ended, it’s not like we’re going to burn out cramming as much into the afternoon as possible. But I’m also worried I’ll get bored and stress out over that, ’cause I’m twitchy and doing Stuff™® helps me channel that into some semblance of vaguely okay. But then, not having access to Things™® might mean that I get somewhere near that mythical idea of relaxation. Relaxation is good, and I really need to continue my work at trying to find a path to it.

For now though, I should rub my spoons together and try to get my ‘packing’ list sorted in my head. Iwill have a good time, and hopefully, it will inspire me to be more inclined to shift my butt out of my comfort zone. And maybe pigs will fly, but as you guys know — I will bludgeon myself with as much positivity as I can muster in that small reasonable space before it becomes maddening and saccharine. :)


The Lies Of Functional Depression

Lately I have felt like the walking dead. Just putting one foot in front of the other and stumbling along.

People see me out and about and I am dressed and taking care of my kid and errands and helping at the shop and the consensus is, “You’re all better.”

Never mind these people didn’t watch me spend three hours trying to force myself into the shower, nor prowling the house at 3 am because my brain won’t shut up and let me sleep, or how I have to take ten breaks between getting my kid fed and dressed then myself. They apparently don’t notice that the woman who usually wears six layers of eyeliner has barely been putting make up on and has a hairstyle best described as “I used a fucking hairbrush, what do you want from me?” Let’s not forget that she went out in public three times in two months with the ass end or inner crotch of her pants completely ripped out,totally unaware because she just felt so triumphant putting clothes on in the first place.

I’m ambling about like a zombie, I MUST be hunky dory.


I have NO support system in real life when it comes to my bipolar/depression;/anxiety. It was the reason I became so wrapped up in the internet and computers. On line has been the only place I have ever encountered others who understand and get it. Most people don’t want to hear about it because it harshes their mellow. It could be contagious.

They like to buy into the lies of functional depression like people buy into the lie of functional alcoholism. As long as the person shows up for work every day, pays their bills, and supports their kids, everything is hunky dory. Sure, they have a little drinking problem but they have it under control or they couldn’t do all that they do.

Of course, much like the functional depressive, functional alcoholics just coast through, trudging uphill, waiting for that moment when they can drink again and become numb. Depressives look forward to sleep or the next mood swing the same way.

No one knows that I grind my teeth so bad I actually have a hold in my gums. Like a sunken in raw indentation. The Celexa had seemed to help with that, but that was about all it helped with. Now that I am tapering off, the teeth gnashing has returned with a vengeance. I even take Ibuprofen because sometimes my mouth hurts so bad from the grinding.

That does NOT cross me as being hunky dory.

At the shop, R goes on about how he runs 18 hours a day, and his eldest daughter does the same thing. They have what I call the doctor,lawyer,Indian chief syndrome. They want to be one of everything, never mind the cost to themselves or those around them or what they have to do achieve their lofty “run myself into the ground then bitch about it” goal. I get so sick of hearing about it, because I do have a bit of an inferiority complex and here I am, struggling to put pants on every day, and these people are doing a hundred times more than I am doing. They’ve earned the right to be exhausted. Whereas I spend ten hours out of bed dealing with my kid, with other people, with daily stressors…and I’d sell a vital organ just to escape home to my safe zone and silence and regathering equilibrium.

I know I shouldn’t compare myself but I do. And I feel like a giant loser. I know that I am not, I am doing pretty well all things considered…But for me, other people have always been toxic. I have decent self esteem until I am around others who either directly or indirectly make me feel like an inept lazy whining brat.

One more lie of bipolar and functional depression. You CANNOT measure yourself by the same standards as people without the disorders. It’s like saying someone who is Diabetic has the same dietary needs as someone who is not. Whether we like it or not, whether we want to be different, the disorders take that choice out of our hands and we are left with the hand we are dealt. I’d love to be a doctor, lawyer, Indian Chieft, and have people think I am so amazing for being so energetic and giving and productive.

Truth is, I just spent an hour bullying myself into a shower, even though after a hundred degree day, I should have been leaping at the chance to scrub the sweat off myself;. And sadly, I even congratulated myself for taking that shower. Just like the nights I manage to get to sleep without taking my Trazadone. WOOHOOOOO! I’ve achieved something that comes naturally to others.

One more lie of depression is that you can “talk” yourself out of it. The positive attitude gurus have done such a disservice to mental illnesses, I suspect they might be responsible for more than one suicide. Sure, a little optimism is a good thing. But when you are stuck in a depression and someone is shoving it down your throat that you’d be all better if you just had a different attitude…Do a lineage search and I bet someone in their family tree used to perform lobotomies because it seemed like a good idea at the time.

The more I try to bully myself out of a depression, the worse I feel because inevitably, I fail. Which you’re bound to do when trying to use attitude to cure what is a serious medical condition. Telling people they can do this if they want it bad enough borders on malpractice.

Obviously, I have strong opinions on the matter. I’ve walked a long time in these shoes and feel entitled to those opinions from cold painful personal experience.

And the biggest lie of functional depression is…that you are alone.

I feel totally alone right now.

But, thanks to the comments and likes readers leave, I know I am not alone.

On that one, depression loses.

I call it functional rebellion.

Moving, moving, always moving

I’m moving house again.  Well, not really house, as one generally thinks of a house.  It’s a sheltered space, yes, and it even has a brand new deck overlooking a rushing river.  What it does not have is a bathroom, or a kitchen, or a bedroom, or a closet.

It is the shell of my father’s ceramics studio, that he is no longer capable of working in.  I have spent most of a year making it structurally sound: decontaminating it of poisonous chemicals (lead and other heavy metals, solvents), replacing sections of floor, painting, rewiring, fixing leaks, and more.  Now it’s time to give up the sweet little cabin I’ve been renting, and move myself into the studio.  The day after tomorrow.

Half of it is still full of Dad’s potter’s wheels and other stuff that we haven’t had the heart to sell yet.  I think that is coming to a close, though, as Dad’s condition continues to deteriorate and as I told my mother yesterday, if a miracle occurs and he wakes up one morning cured of his dementia, I will buy him a brand new wheel to celebrate.

But what this post is really about is moving.  I’m sick of it.  I have moved so many times I can’t even count them.  Three times in the past year and a half, eight times in the four years before that, fourteen times in the ten years before that, and that’s where I lose count.

Going the opposite direction, nineteen times by the time I was sixteen, and then I ran away from home and until I got married at age 28 I was constantly on the move.  Even after I got married we moved a lot, being students, and after we divorced I kept going. 

I don’t know whether the instability of moving is a symptom or a causative factor of my illness. Maybe both.   I don’t know what it would feel like to be secure in my sense of place.  I suspect it would have a stabilizing effect on me.

I had a sample of that feeling of stability in Israel, where after a furious spate of moving (house sold out from under me two months after moving in, house flooded from roof leak, series of temporary room rentals while searching), I finally hit upon my dream house right in the middle of the most wonderful neighborhood in Jerusalem.  I had an infinitely renewable long term lease.  Three years into it, my father got so sick that I felt compelled to return to

America to be near him.  I kept the house in Jerusalem, sublet, in hopes that I would be able to return.

The sublet didn’t work out, and I had to give up the house.  It was then that I realized how the house had symbolized a solid stability that I had tasted, and had snatched away from me.

Now, in two weeks, I’m going back to Israel for two and a half months.  My Beloved and I are going to live together for that time.  Our aim, aside from enjoying being together, is to determine, if we can, whether we can make a life together as husband and wife.

I tell you, dearest readers, that if we can make it together, I only want to move one more time:  into OUR house.  Wish us luck.

Copyright 2012 Laura P. Schulman all rights reserved