Sunday, February 28, 2010

February's End

The sky has an endless supply of snow. Sometimes it hurls the snow down angrily upon us, blinding us and spitting at us, telling us we are nothing and we aren't going anywhere! Sometimes it sprinkles us daintily like glitter on a christmas card, full of cheerful well wishes, and sometimes it pauses to take a breath, but it is only a breath. There is always more snow on its way. The sky is white and low. The sign for the pizza shop swings back and forth at night, squeaking as it swings. We can't see stars.

The ground is warm, though. The snow dumps down through the air, but melts when it finds the ground. I saw snowdrops blooming today, guarded by melting, old, dirty snowbanks. I had the opportunity this morning, before dawn, to stand in the middle of a 15 foot holly bush, busting with red berries, and listen to the sparrows flap and dart and whistle around me. I was helping out with the paper route. I was supposed to be in a rush, but I paused in awe of the tall collumn of life fluttering all around me. It was my best moment of the day.

I forgot to take my pill once, and it was a very miserable day. I don't know if the pill had anything to do with it, but now I am superstitious. I'm supposed to take the pill for six weeks before even hoping for an impact, but I felt the difference immediately. On the medication, I have more energy. I don't feel despair, but I am still lacking drive. Nothing interests me. I don't want to talk to anyone. I don't want to go anywhere. I feel safest in my bed. The only things I want to do are things for the kids. Other than that, it can all rot.

I miss my creativity. I miss my spirituality. I miss my sex drive. I miss wanting to go out and be with people. My best friend gave me a good talking to today, and she told me to go easy on myself. To allow myself to be, and to love myself no matter what my emotional state. I get frustrated because I know I am "being depressed" and I know the things that pull me out of "being depressed", but yet I keep falling into the "being depressed" behaviors. She told me to do one good thing for myself, so I walked the mile or so to the girls' friends house where they had a playdate, and we all walked home together. Today, just a walk was an achievement, and that is difficult to admit. A fucking WALK? Yet, walking releases endorphins. Walking is on the list of "THINGS TO PULL YOURSELF OUT OF IT", so walking is good. Gold Star for Mountain.

Yesterday, I did all of the necessary-to-survive work. I went to the bank, grocery store, the farmer's market, put gas in the car, did seven loads of laundry at the laundromat, drove out to the country to pick up the older one from a playdate, walked the in-laws dog, watched scary tv with the girls and my husband cooked us a nice family dinner. We had to sleep over at the inlaws because our furnace was broken. I put my head down and just plowed through the work it takes to maintain a household. A very cold household, with the furnace broken.

I did take time to eat raspberries at the farmer's market with my little one. They were so delicious they made my head explode. They made me wonder why I ever eat anything at all besides raspberries. They were the most supreme raspberries in the known universe. She had a pocket full of quarters and wanted to spend them all on the mechanical horse and honey sticks. We had lots of good talks about things.

The end of the winter plods on like an exhausted workhorse pulling in the direction of the barn. This depression will pass, but it has been an ass kicker.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Chicken Soup for My Black Heathen Soul

Hi Peeps/Homies.

It was springish here today. The sky was outdoing itself in the blue department, and the temperature was melty. I even heard birds singing. I am grateful today for my community. I was dropped into the this neighborhood kind of like Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz, and in the four years that have passed I have found a husband, a family and a supportive network of friends all in a five block radius.

Let me tell you about my neighbors. Feeling like death warmed over from this cold, I was hobbling into the apartment when The Pizza Guy stops me. He is the real thing, brooklyn accent and all.

"Hey! Come here! I gotta tell ya I woke up this morning and guess what ugly bastard's face I see? Your husband! Your husband's face right outside my fuckin' window! I didn't know your husband is my fuckin' paper boy! Small world, right?!"

"Uh, yeah. Small world."

"Yeah! Tell me about it! Tell him to keep it out of the snow next time, why don'tcha!? Have a good one now, have a good one!"

My phone rings and a friend of mine is on the line,"Your neighbor's kids are here already, so you might as well drop yours off."
"That's not too many?"
"Oh, no! It's fine!"
"Ok, well, I'll bring all the kids home, then, so their mom doesn't have to come out." At one o'clock, I lead the parade of little ones over the shrinking snow banks home again, my younger daughter clutching her Trouble game to her chest.

My phone rings again. Another neighbor-mom-friend.
"You don't need to come and help me with my computer anymore! I fixed it myself!"
"Croak,"was my response, but it was supposed to be,"really?"
"My god! You sound awful! Get back in bed right now!"
At six, she brought me homemade chicken soup. I almost cried. What did I ever do for anybody to possibly deserve homemade chicken soup? How did I get so lucky? I'm full-on grateful for all these crazy characters that have taken me under their wing.

The hyper/jittery thing is gone. I've heard that you have side effects that pass after the first couple weeks or so, so I guess that is what that was. I slept better last night, although I wanted to sleep all day so that I would heal from this cold. I couldn't do that, so I ate girlscout cookies and read that vampire book everyone's reading for most of the day. Not a bad way to pass a february sunday.

My man has been gone all weekend. He rented his wrestling ring to a show out of state and had to rent a truck and deliver it himself. He found out the hard way that trucks aren't allowed on the toll road, dork. He called me later, out of breath. I guess the promoter didn't want to pay the wrestlers. With a thousand people in the seats, the wrestlers shut down the show in the middle and refused to go on. The promoter got a forced walk to the atm in order to ensure that the wrestlers got paid. Yikes! Who would be stupid enough not to pay a wrestler? After all this, he still has to break down and drive the truck home. I don't know how my husband does it. I couldn't live with the stress of it all.

My throat still hurts.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Side Effects

Day 2 on drugs
I do NOT feel depressed. I feel pretty sharp. I can think clearly. I haven't cried. I do not feel tired. I don't feel that paralyzing heaviness that has kept me from functioning. Last night, I went on a date with my husband, and I dropped by my inlaws, and I picked up the cookies and the girls from girl scouts, and wrote in my blog. It was a sparkley, A + day. The fact that I could feel creative enought to write at all is a bonus, because even that has been a challenge in recent months.

I tried to go to sleep after my full and productive day, and whizzzzzzz bang! INSOMNIA ALL NIGHT LONG. When I got to doze, I woke up again. I was chatting away happily with my husband at 4 am. Me? ME? I could sleep through a head-on collision with a Mack truck full of pigs. INSOMNIA?! Frickin' awesome! What will I do with the extra hours in my day?! I hope not clean house. I'm pretty stoked about insomnia, just for a pleasant change of pace. Insomnia? Really??? Like Pavarotti putting out a death metal album, this is just plain out of character.

Then there is the bouncy leg. I've got a very bouncy leg. I guess you could say I'm jittery, but it is manageable. If the options are CHOOSE ONE:
A) soul splintering and paralyzing depression where even tying you shoes seems like a cruel punishment from a cruel world
B) insomnia and a bouncy leg
ya gotta go with b, right?

Tonight the girls played every single song by Taylor Swift on YouTube, and sang along with every single word. It was precious.

The sore throat is NOT better. I went to work just out of habit, and then bitched and moaned all day long about my pains and my suffering. When my voice got too croaky and painful, I wrote post it notes about my pains and my suffering, but I REFUSED TO GO HOME. My supervisors took pity on me and just let me wander around aimlessly for a while. See, corporate america ain't all bad.

(My leg? It is bouncing RIGHT NOW. But I'm not depressed about it.)

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Day One in My Life With Pharmaceuticals

Wow! Super comments! Thanks for the audience participation!

Let's talk about drugs. I'm on them. You?

So, I woke up this morning feeling like I should go to work. I had a doctor's note saying I didn't have to, but the doctor does not pay my bills. I walked around the apartment early this morning with my hands on my hips. Looked at the ceiling. Walked around in circles like a dog who wanted to lay down. Puffed out my cheeks and blew the air out noisily, then I said,"Yep. Going to work."

My not-strep throat still HURTS, but they gave me drugs for that too. I'm pretty sure you can take your zoloft and shove it, because codeine, as prescribed by A REAL WESTERN MEDICAL DOCTOR, has already cured all my ills. I was happy as a clam today at they office. Mr. Bluebird was on my shoulder. Yay, codeine!

So, remember how I gave a five minute talk about sustainability at the meeting thing? With the Chinese food? They want me to be "the sustainability person"...ohh, check this..."Sustainability and Corporate Social Responsibility Liaison"!!! I think that means that I go around and yell at people who don't recycle. It might involve making signs with glitter and markers that say,"Turn of the lights, dumb ass!" I'm not sure, but it was nice to be asked, and it will take me away from my other painfully mindless and repetitive duties, so I'm super-psyched.

"Turn off the lights, dumb ass!" Hahaha! I crack myself up. I could put a picture of a butt with an arrow. With glitter.

Remember how I made a snap decision and signed the girls up for girls scouts like two weeks ago? It's only been two weeks and I already have 17 million girl scout cookies in my living room. There is a problem. The cookies HERE are different than the cookies I sold in New York. They are not the same cookies. The leader told me that is because they have a different supplier region by region. This is not okay with me. Girl scout cookies are universal, and you can't just go changing them. If this can be remedied in my newly appointed position of Sustainability and Corporate Social Responsibility Liaison, by golly, I am on it.

So, day one on drugs was good. I'm not supposed to feel anything for four to six weeks. Codeine, unfortunately, is only going to last like a week.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Big, Squishy Breasts

I thought I was so clever naming my last post Long, Hard 17.6 inches. It turns out, SOME people have this little gizmo when you leave a comment on their blog. After your name it SAYS THE TITLE OF YOUR LAST BLOG POST. For example, ahem,

Wow! That was a great entry!
-NotAMountain, long, hard 17.6 inches.

Now, if that ain't funny I don't know what is! :)

Today was a momentous historic day. Women, if you are sensitive, avert your eyes. I set foot in a regular western medicine doctor's office. I had this throat thing that felt like I had peeled all of the skin off of my gullet, and I thought,"Wow, penicillin might stop this excruciating pain!" Plus, you know, this little depression that I am going through isn't getting any easier, so I thought I could get it all done in one stop shopping! Like Target!

The doctor was so weird. He was not wearing a white coat. He was wearing a bright orange shirt and brown cargo pants. He looked like he was going hiking. He sat all curled in a corner like a cat, hunched over a laptop and just read off questions about my family history without ever looking at me or introducing himself. So I said,"Are you the doctor?"
"Yes,"he said, finally looking up.
"Oh, well, I thought the doctor would make eye contact and introduce himself."
And he said,"Well, I thought it was self explanatory. Who else would I be?" He didn't even crack a smile. I kind of loved him for that. My doctor is an unapologetic asshole.

Whatever. I got some codeine for my throat, a negative strep test, and some Zoloft. ZOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO-loft. You have to say it like Soultrain.

Me-so, Doc, I came here for the magic depression cure.

Doc(still talking to the laptop)-There is no magic pill. You have to be willing to take the journey into your soul, and a therapist can only be your guide.
Me-(laughing)"oh really? can you recommend a guide?
Doc-Insurance companies have destroyed any relationship we ever had with mental health providers. Here's a script for Zoloft. Have a nice day.

But, you see, that is not true! Because I hold the magic depression cure right here in my hands. This is a real paper written by my darling younger daughter, age 7 and 11/12s


1. Perserverance-to keep trying til we get there

2.Cooking-how to make little things for each other

3.Small deeds of kindness-to help somebody in some nice way

4.How to use the computer-to use technology to look facts up and have fun

5. To be confident-Be Bold! Take confidence and fight back!

Ohhhhhhhhh!!!!! Oh! I'm going to frame it. I HAVE made a positive impact. I AM useful. Go me!
P.S. I'm on drugs.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Long, hard 17.6 inches

This is what 17. 6 inches of lovely fresh snow looks like all over my house. LOVE IT! I feel like I am in my proper place in the universe when I am in a snowy landscape. No one I know loves snow as much as I do, except for only one person- my best friend in Vermont. I love the sparkliness! I love the muffledness. I love the not-having-to-go-to-workness. I love the crunching when one walks. I love rosy cheeks. I love the bundling up in I look fat? We all look fat! I love my four wheel drive truck. I love snow days. I love lying on my couch at night and watching the snow come down in front of the street light.

For a person who is in the middle of deepest darkest depression, that's a lot of LOVE! They say that being depressed has a lot to do with light. A snowstorm finally gives me that light that I am starving for. I've been feeling pretty good, even though I had to work today and it felt like no one on the planet was leaving their cozy abodes and going out into the world but me. Harrumph. I shoulda been sledding.

If you were familiar with my neighborhood, you would be astounded by this picture because that road is a main thoroughfare that is always jammed with cars. So, that was outside. This was inside.

Say hello to my leetle friends!

The absolute best thing about snow days when you are a kid is not only do you have a fully free unscheduled day, but so do ALL YOUR FRIENDS. These friends live only a few houses down the street. They are the best kids because I can have five kids in my little upstairs apartment, and it will be peaceful and even quiet! Its amazing. Supernatural even.

We do have a problem, though. The bunny cage started this thing with flies. I did not strike early and strike hard, and now our house is totally overtaken. How do you kill flies in winter? They don't fly out the window! So, we had a fly murdering festival. What? You don't have that at your house? They aren't speedy house flies. These are little and slow. Five kids went into attack mode.

Smack...giggle giggle...smack...(runrunrun)...smack...smack...(runrunrun)...smack....giggle giggle.

Good times, folks. If you want to have this much fun, you can have some of my flies for your house...for only fifty cents a fly. I'll even wave the tax.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

The Not A Mountain Tribe

My Man

My Rabbit
The Little One

Elder Sistah Fierce Beauty

The Boss, thank you very much.

*Nothing is wrong with this picture. I'm blurry in real life.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

List of Things That Did Not Suck

Today was a GOOD day, no qualifiers necessary, all the way to the bottom GOOD. Boy, did I need one! I am big time grateful for a day rated low on the suckage scale. *that's pronouced the french way...suck-ahhh-juh!

1. I wore the blue sweater that my daughter brought me from THE Paris, France.

2.I had a meeting where they gave us Chinese food AND cake.

3. I snuck my adorable, amazing coworker a plate of chinese food and cake because he wasn't allowed at the meeting. He was happy. How DARE they withhold chinese food?

4. I spoke at the meeting for like, not even five minutes. It was one of those ones where they send you off in a group to brainstorm, and then someone has to report your collective ideas. Corporate america LOVES these little "brainstorms". I just show up for the chinese food. This time the topic was sustainability and corporate social responsibility. All day long people said to me,"WOW! Mountain, that was such a great presentation!" like I'd done something *really* special when I said, "mygroupthoughtcarpoolingandtelecommutingwouldbegood.Wecouldhave a communitybulletinboardandhealthysnacks." Public speaking? I got that.

5. a surprise love letter in my truck. This is made even more awesome because we have been absolutely at each other's throats lately. Maybe good will prevail! Maybe there is hope for my love life after all!

6.Girls scouts. In another episode of Mountain Makes A Snap Decision, we joined girl scouts tonight. My older daughter has been feeling like an outsider in her classroom, and I could see her just open from the inside like a lotus flower when she realized this group was going to accept her. Oh! It makes my heart swell just thinking about it! She was SO happy!

7. A little girl scout with Downs Syndrome asked me to draw Hannah Montana on her valentine for "the shut ins", who ever they are. I drew her up a Hannah Montana, and felt useful. It was a special moment.

Going to bed grateful.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

My Musical Thoughts

Pleasant Expection

Blessed Imbolc. The winter is pregnant with summer. Today, if you look, you may be able to discover the promise of spring yet to come. Imbolc is a pleasant expectation. It is remarkable to me that even in my grey cubicled workplace, we notice our place in the natural world. The first day that my shift ended and there was still pink in the evening sky, my coworker and I gave hoots of joy."Light! Hooray! No more going home in the pitch dark!" While hiking on a frisbee golf course last weekend, I found crocus buds. At the city rose garden I found buds on a magnolia tree. Spring might really come, regardless of the working of a groundhog. My nature fix might be taken on frisbee golf courses, and walks in an office park, but still it finds me.

Right now it is snowing. but it is a bright and pleasant snow. So much is changed by the gift of more daylight. My commute is almost entirely grey, but I have pleasant expectation.

The pagan holidays make me feel like I am part of the whole, that I am natural and that I am in the right place. Spring will come. Take notice of the small shifts. I am a part of the natural order of things. In nature, I find Love. I find God. I get confused when people try to break the ideas into separate pieces.

I have found myself leaning away from wicca, but I still do enjoy marking the days. My relationship with God is like my relationship with Nature. I cannot separate myself entirely, but I always long to bring myself closer in order to form a stronger bond. Nature never turns her back on me, only I turn my back on Nature. God never turns her back on me, only I turn my back on God.

Ah! Before I go I want to express my deep gratitude for the most outstanding, big hearted comments I've received recently. Totally awesome. Thanks.