Friday, 5 August 2011
D is for Depression
How hard can it be?
When we started our Alphabet Date Plan it was with the intention of making time for just me and my husband on a fairly regular basis.
I love our family time but I do think it is important to make time for us as well.
Our A and B date were both double dates with my eldest daughter and her other half (as it was all her idea in the first place) and our C date was hijacked by the little ones. Our D date was supposed to be just us. Nothing elaborate - maybe Dinner in the town where we live, conveniently called Drayton or even as simple as watching a DVD together with a Drink or two.
It has been over 2 months since our C date and still the longed for D date remains elusive.
It isn't that we can't get a babysitter for the little ones - my older daughters are all willing and very able. It's simply that life gets in the way and when there is lots going on, it is our time that gets bumped to the bottom of the priority list. It becomes so normal for our time to be the lowest priority that it starts to lose ground to such things as the fact that there was wet paint in the porch and a small amount of disruption thereabouts.
I'm not saying that if we had made time for ourselves then the following would definitely not have happened but I am almost certain that an opportunity for a little intimacy and a chance to reconnect would have put a different complexion on things.
Both my husband and I have been a somewhat frazzled of late although neither of us was particularly aware of how the other was feeling. As well as coping with the demands of a 1 year old and a 3 year old, my older girls have needed support with various things. We have been trying to organise days out for the family and undertake a fairly extensive vital repair and redecorate programme on the external woodwork of our house. It all takes time and energy.
I have been spending more time than I care to mention up a ladder painting window frames. It is not because I like being up a ladder painting window frames. It is because I am quicker and neater at painting than my husband and he (bless him) is afraid of heights. I am getting used to the ache in the soles of my feet from balancing on the rungs, the bruises on my legs (I'm not quite sure from what) and the unnerving sensation of the ladder wobbling, particularly when I over extend my reach or climb just one rung higher to reach that very top edge. And I am really pleased with the finished results. What doesn't please me and what I can't get used to is the way the whole house seems to get in a mess.
For a start, I'm not there to keep on top of my usual jobs like the laundry and general tidying up. Then there is the extra mess generated by the decorating itself. And as soon as the house falls into a small amount of disarray, it snowballs into chaos. I've had my three year old forget to use the toilet and pee on my beautiful cushion so that it went right the way through (poor cushion will never be the same again). I've had weetabix that has turned to cement on the highchair because it wasn't wiped off straight away. I've had White Puddles that you would not believe. It does all start to get me down.
I had been up my ladder painting, the baby boy had had his MMR injection and boosters (three jabs shared between two legs was hard for all involved), I had run around putting away muddles, vacuuming a seriously messed up carpet and a trail of footprints that I followed with the Dyson all the way up the stairs and beyond AND I had rehung a load of laundry that I had put on the line earlier and someone had kindly brought in when it rained (but left pegs scattered everywhere). Did I mention at the start that I was feeling frazzled?!?
My husband chose this moment to say that he felt he was the only person that ever cleared up around here.
In his defence, he was feeling frazzled too and his moan was relating to the fact that dinner plates from a meal he had prepared the previous day had not only failed to be washed up but hadn't even been stacked neatly by the sink in readiness.
When he made his statement, I was not in the mood to defend him. In fact I was ready to throw away an otherwise beautiful relationship because I felt so badly wounded by his unfair accusation. Other little things surfaced as he tried to substantiate how he was feeling and I fell deeply into a very dark place with no energy to pull myself out.
I hate how self destructive I can be. I hate how I managed to turn his expression of his own tiredness and frustration into evidence that I was actually not good enough. I was a worthless, useless individual. Next time I climbed up my ladder to paint I didn't even care how wobbly it was. Let it fall. I don't care.
The rational part of me sits on my shoulder, tutting and shaking her head that this is a stupid way to behave - GET OVER IT. The part of me that spirals deeper and deeper into darkness pays no heed.
During my first marriage, I spent an awful lot of time suffering from depression. Luckily for me, I now have a husband that understands this side of me, will do anything and everything he can to help me and feels devastated when he knows that some careless, insensitive comment that he has made has been a catalyst for my self destruction.
I still feel fragile...
...but my rational side is gaining dominance again.
Maybe if we'd made time for that D date, we could have prevented this. We could have taken stock and reminded ourselves about the things that are really important (and by important I don't mean whether or not we washed up ). D need not have stood for Dirty Dishes and Depression.
For now, I am Declaring the D Date "inDefinitely Delayed", but I am going to make sure, for the sake of our marriage and my sanity, that we have an E date... and soon!