Sunday, March 27, 2011

On a more interesting note

I've been on my happy pills for almost two weeks now, which is just long enough to feel their effects. Turns out I'm on the good stuff, I really do feel remarkably better. Better enough, in fact, to rethink drudging through my archives and boring you with how crap it is to be miserable and a mom and a wife and... blah. Enough bloggers doing that schtick methinks.

This week my sister-in-law decided to visit for a couple of nights, and so did my mom. Gawd. My mom (Barbs) is a bit of an awkward guest in our house at the moment. I'm not sure why, but recently she seems to be deathly afraid of irritating Shane and goes to extreme lengths to avoid doing so. Which irritates the living bejeesus out of me, particularly since my darling husband is the most innocuous son-in-law that anyone could ask for.

On Thursday morning, Barbs got up at the crack of dawn to drive two of our staff to a farm 200kms away, where they would spend the day digging up the balance of our newly purchased iris stock. It was an enormous relief that I didn't have to go myself, the last two trips were a nightmare of extreme sleepiness on the road, and I was starting to think I was being reckless with other people's lives. So, when my alarm went off at 5:45am I should have woken up feeling grateful that all I had to do was help pack the car and see them off. Instead, my gentle cellphone alarm was overridden by a loud, incoming phonecall from my mother which first confused, and then panicked, me.

As I answered her call she hung up, so I leapt out of bed, charged out of our room and ran down the passage to investigate what could only have been an emergency to warrant such an early morning call. I found Barbs standing in the kitchen, staring serenely out of the window at the dawn while her tea was brewing. I asked if she had phoned me intentionally, she said yes, she wanted to get the front door keys but she didn't want to wake Shane by knocking on our bedroom door. I don't know what her idea of knocking on a door is, but apparently it's a damnsight louder than any ringtone I possess and twice as intrusive. Wisely, she left at speed.

A few hours later, the sister-in-law (SIL) decided to get out of bed. Having completed her degree last year, she is now trapped in a sort of limbo, willing to work but unable to commit to any job while she waits for news of her boyfriend who is off fighting someone else's war in Afghanistan, and who has promised her happily ever after when his tour of duty is completed at the end of April. The SIL is something of a mystery to me. When there is fun to be had she is the life of the party. But when things slow down she is either an extreme hypochondriac or the most unhealthy person I know. My beliefs tend towards the former.

Her ailment du jour is tension headaches, aggravated, naturally, by sub- and not-so-sub- conscious stressing over the war and the possibility of a not-alive-anymore boyfriend. Mmmm. A bit of a stretch to my mind, but I will give her the benefit of doubt and assume she is extremely sensitive. Since The Headache is apparently the cause of crippling pain, a preventative treatment plan has been mapped out which includes thrice weekly visits to a physio, a course of treatments with a body stress release practicioner and any number of appointments with her GP to keep the muscle relaxants flowing. This will be continued until The Headache surrenders, or until a new ailment takes precedent, or until there is a party going on.

After breakfast and a brief cuddle with Ezra, SIL announces that The Headache is starting to niggle and retreats to her room for a dose of pain relief, followed by a three hour 'nap'. She surfaces again to shower, another cuddle, a spot of lunch. Three words into our first actual conversation and I am interrupted by the lurking of The Headache, which must, of course, be remedied before it becomes Serious. Another handful of pills, another 'nap'. Late afternoon, SIL surfaces once again, bemoaning the strange jelly-like feeling in her legs. Must be her Low Blood Pressure, of course, no chance if could be the excessive muscle relaxants drifting around in her blood stream. Dinner, a bit of chit chat, and then, to bed with another dose of whatever-the-hell tablets, just in case The Headache tries to ambush her in her sleep. Thank heavens it didn't, because if this is prevention protocol, I don't think I want to be around for an actual attack. Miraculously, upon accepting an invitation to breakfast with an old friend the next morning, all traces of The Headache have disappeared. A lucky thing, indeed.



Friday, March 18, 2011

Drum roll, please

My friend Bird remarked the other day that my 2011 blog archives and the film The Highlander shared the same tagline - 'there can be only one'. Point taken, and thanks for a much needed giggle.

Yesterday morning I had what can only be described as a complete meltdown over something so trivial it makes me cringe. I've been feeling lacklustre of late, detached and disengaged from the people I love, and finding it hard to see the lighter side of anything. So I scuttled off to my GP, expecting a prescription for a magic multivitamin and a dose of pull-yourself-together-ness. I left with a diagnosis of clinical depression and six month's supply of happy pills. Phwoar.

I don't like to admit that things are not okay. I don't like to be sick. But more than that, I don't like to be trudging through life searching for a catalyst to make me happy again. So I'm going to take those pills and I'm going to give myself a break. At the beginning of this year a friend asked if I had made any resolutions, and I replied that my only plan for this year was to be kinder to myself. Less angry at the things I don't necessarily enjoy about who I am. I'm hoping that this is the start of that.

You're going to be seeing a bit of retrospective blogging going on here for the next couple of weeks while I clear out my drafts folder of all the little thoughts I wanted to share but didn't. Maybe you'll see the pattern that got me to where I am now - apparently I missed it. A hundred brownie points to the person who can pinpoint the start of my downhill slide. Prizes cannot be exchanged for cash.