November 25, 2008

Tired much?

I hate it when I get like this. I'm tired and grumpy and short-tempered with the girls. It's only 11:30 in the morning with at least six hours more left before Kurt gets home and I'm desperately trying to think of something, anything, to keep them busy and stave off the cabin fever whining. At the exact same time, I'm completely disinterested in leaving the house or doing anything that doesn't involve a pillow and my bed. To say I'm torn doesn't quite cover it.

Silvia woke up at 2 A.M. last night and somehow ended up hogging our bed with her tiny little figure. She officially defied all the laws of physics with a simple horizontal stretch as Kurt and I balanced precariously on either side of the king-sized mattress. I've been fighting off a free-floating exhaustion for over a week now, struggling to keep my eyelids propped open most of the day (I'm about to resort to toothpicks). Add on top of that a miserable night and I'm. Not. Perky.

I don't want to be detached and snippy mommy. I don't want to stare longingly at the television, wrestling with the urge to drown the hours of the day in PBS Sprout. (I have so far managed to resist. Today.) I have good kids, and when I'm on my game they are better than good. They reflect my mood and behavior, though, so when I'm obnoxious, disconnected and lacking in volume control... so are they. Which helps tons with lifting my mood, don't ya know.

Now to try and convince my four-year-old to take a nap that she absolutely doesn't want and quite probably doesn't need. Am I in great form or what?

November 21, 2008

Naked

So this past week, I started writing a guest blog, one of several, for my friend's wonderful company. The hope is that it will be a feature that starts off in its own direction and draws new eyes to the very cool MA! Motherhood with Attitude philosophy.

I love writing, I do. But I have yet to confidently label myself a "real" writer. Having an online journal does not make me a writer- everyone has an online journal (e-column). Reading up on writing technique, style and mechanics, (which I do, lots... this is the best book!) does not make me a writer. I will concede that it does makes me sort of weird, though. I've been published all of once and that was years ago and unpaid. My point is that I feel very exposed now suddenly being a "writer" with a blog (e-column) in a pseudo-professional sense.

The MA! guest blog (e-column) feels so exposed, like I'm walking naked across a busy train depot once a week, waiting patiently for called-out critiques. I'm hopin' for a "nice ass!" but afraid there will be more than one, "jeez, lady, put a bra on and help us all out!". It's not like I'm all super restrained on this here site, keeping my goodies under wraps. But there is a distinct lack of comments on this blog (e-column) that cushions me with a certain sense of anonymity, like maybe no one's looking at the naked girl in the station.

Honestly, it's probably just stage fright. I will be playing to an audience of strangers and I am, for them, an unknown and untested commodity. Here, I have history; there, I'm still the very new girl. It's okay to hang out in the buff with your pals if you want, but at work? That might very well get you fired.

Or promoted, I guess. It depends on the job.

November 14, 2008

Operators are standing by

Okay, so to the eleventy-one people who read this outpouring, I just want to reassure you that we are back up and running again. All systems ... umm... normal. Sure thing, as long as "normal" means "completely screwy as usual".

And by the way, I've been giving this some thought in the middle of the night while the world sleeps: I hate the word blog. Hate it. It "hangs in the sky," as the inestimable Douglas Adams once described, "in much the same way that bricks don't." Which is to say, it's an ugly, heavy, clunky word. Perhaps some blogs fit that description, but I'd like to think that this shining gem does not.

So, in honor of my self-important midnight musings, let's just go and call this an e-column from now on. Doesn't that sound nicer? Sort of professional and whatnot.

Stay tuned for our regularly scheduled e-columning in the coming days. (Cuz that's not clunky sounding at all!)

November 10, 2008

Tightrope

It's been a wacky week.

Remember the "bi" part of bipolar II? That's right, friends and neighbors, she swings BOTH WAYS! (insert "har de har har" here). I know it seems like a little hypomania would be good times and it certainly starts out that way. A few days ago I woke up early, alert, motivated and giggling. I'd started a new medication, and while the first night was like drowning for eight hours, by day two I was a peppy puppy. I've spent the past few weeks trying to dig myself out of an every expanding hole. That burst of energy and purpose felt not so much like a breath of fresh air as like an all-expense paid trip to Bermuda.

There's a catch, though, isn't there always? It starts out deceptively and then creeps right up and bashes you on the head like some Roadrunner cartoon. Sure, it's great to be super-efficient and goal-oriented. Yeah, having a seemingly endless well of energy is "da bomb". And hey, lots of famous people are hypomanic when they are at their best, so I'm in good company.

But then the energy starts to turn into speediness. And the speediness edges it's way over to anxious and pressured. Activities become more frantic and less reasonable. All those warm fuzzy giggles start coming out as words... lots of words. Talking, talking and no filter in sight. That can just be downright embarrassing. Here, let me share some more.

I was having so much fun, you guys. The laundry was done, the kids were exhausted from play. Anna actually said to me the other night, "Mommy, that's enough tickling forever and I am so tired." I, 31 year old mom of two, wore out my daughter, 4 year old pinnacle of infinite vigor. I woke up at 5 A.M. yesterday so I went to the kitchen and planned out our dinners and groceries for the rest of the month. Itemized list. With coupons detailed and preferred brands noted.

Sounds too good to be true and dammit all to hell, it is. Today I just jittered away the hours until my kids fell asleep in the car at 5:30 P.M. and my husband gave me The Look and said I should call the doctor tomorrow. And I hate it that he said that. And I hate it that he's right. No matter how many times it happens, or perhaps because of how many times it happens, I despise being reminded of my "illness", my flaw. Of course, I'm even-handed in my reaction- whether it's too down or too up, I feel equally ashamed.

Now's when everyone pipes up, "It's not your fault, it's like having high blood pressure. You wouldn't feel ashamed if you needed to treat that, would you? This is the same thing, an illness with a treatment plan. End of story, don't be so hard on yourself!"

I saw a card from Storypeople.com while we were in Santa Fe that summed it up nicely. It said, "Most people she never tells about the tightrope because she doesn't want to listen to their helpful comments from the ground."

The official diagnosis is Bipolar II disorder with postpartum onset and it's NOT the same as high blood pressure. High blood pressure has a quantifiable set of test parameters and is treated according to those results. There is no such thing in my world. We guess. Try this, not that. Take this and that, but that other may not be right. Let's wait and see. What it means, for me and everyone who so kindly puts up with me, is that there is no solid ground to stand on. I am, in a word, unpredictable. And I don't want to be, uber-efficient housewife notwithstanding. I just want to be like all the other kids.

So, today, I jitter. Tomorrow, maybe I'll get all caught up on my two year backlog of scrapbooking while I entertain the children with my rhythmic dance mojo. Or maybe I'll crash and cry. The trick with my days is that they're only days. I don't have weeks or months. Years are figments of fancy.

Mostly, today was a good day. Whether or not tomorrow is different is for tomorrow to decide. I'll call the doctor and we'll try again.