depression sucks

I realized, as I felt myself sinking deeper in the last couple weeks, that I hadn’t felt this way in over 20 years. I haven’t been this deep in 27 years. It’s horrible, and I’d forgotten how it takes over everything: a downward pull that it’s difficult to avoid. All the upbeat songs and jokes in the world don’t make it better, for more than a moment.

I’m sunk.

My mom used to call these periods “funk.” I’m starting to think I want to call them “hell,” and it amazes me that I know folks who are living day by day through a never-ending funk. I don’t feel that strong anymore.

Yes, some of it stems from paranoia. I am a paranoid person. My dad always taught me to look for the bad, to be able to plan.

Two years ago, it was easy. The signs were there, and it was driving me mad. There were plans, and I was not included in them. Time to go.

When I started this job, it was a blessing. A new start. A new department. New, wonderful bosses. Flexible  timelines and the resources with which to get the work done. A boss who cared about her staff.

I love my boss, but the pressure she’s under is driving our whole department down. We’ve had multiple folks quit, and we’re short 3+ people. We can’t function like this. The pressure cracked the one last outstanding project manager we had, when she walked out of an 8am meeting at 8:10 with a “nope, I’m not doing this anymore. Consider this my 2 weeks.” (she left, permanently, 2 minutes later.)

Someone 3 (or more) levels up wants us gone, I’m certain of it. Not certain why.

I love the people I work with. I love(d) my boss, but she’s broken, too. Her new boss is under the same pressure, and scrutiny, even though he’s just been put in charge.

I feel certain I will be fired in the next week or so. Maybe even today. Despite my long hours, my weekend work, and my continued dedication to a broken system. Is it my paranoia, or is there really something there?

I hate this feeling. This is the feeling that makes me want to vomit. This is the dread that makes me hate everything and find escape any way possible. I want to run away.

This time, though, I don’t have a plan B. I am unhealthy. I am too stressed. I cannot focus. My plan B is to take it as it comes. I have 5 weeks of vacation that will be paid out if I’m terminated. That should hold me through January. I have 14+ years if I am RIFd, to get severance. That might keep me til March.

The thing is, I really wanted to switch jobs into another area. Different role, different structure. No more programming. But, because of this, I won’t even be considered for an interview.

I know, I’m extrapolating. It could be nothing.

I hope it’s nothing.

I’ve gotta get to work.

One week down… 35 more to go.

One week of school down. 8 more until report cards. 17 until the end of the semester. 35 until Freshman year is down.

I am 99% sure that the school that was out of bounds was Ridgeview, even though the architecture is nearly identical.

M asked if he could have his board back on Thursday and I agreed. Right now, I’m still riding the wave of pride that he recognized his wrongdoing and took the initiative to turn in his skateboard.

Orthodontist tonight – he hasn’t been good about wearing rubber bands, so it’ll probably be another month.

Second week of school

Oh man, it’s been an up and down week. We went shopping again Sunday, getting 2 pair of jeans and a pair of shoes for M to skate in. They are completely separate from his school clothes, and this has been a difficult concept, but he’s adjusting. We also went to the local skate shop, where he bought himself some grip tape with allowance (he’s now tapped out.)

We’ve been cautiously optimistic, and very skeptical, of his actions of late. Historically, every time things have been going well, he’s been breaking the rules or doing something he shouldn’t be. Suspicion was high when he suddenly decided to not buy his friend grip tape for his birthday, and instead spend the money on himself (even though he didn’t have “money” per se, but the right to buy his friend some grip tape after failing to do all of his chores and complaining that he needed to buy his friend some grip tape for his birthday.)

So, whatever. He did an OK job one week, and a better job the next. The grip tape was 160% of one week’s allowance. I wasn’t going to gripe too much.

And there was Friday’s incident where he hopped online and said “F school” on Fb and Twitter. From his first period class. We hadn’t given permission for him to be on the Internet, so we had to call and chat with the school. The school is now saying because the software for his class resides on their network, he MUST have Internet access to take the class. (I call BS.) I am reluctantly going to cave in and give him permission, since the teachers have reassured me that they will be checking on him more, now that they know he has some bad habits.

And yesterday’s incident, where I found out his profile picture was taken < 2 weeks ago (I can tell by the new clothes) at a school that is 3.7 miles away. I called him out on it, in a message, and he said it was a different school, also out of bounds for him. He acknowledged the mistake, and I signed offline, so we couldn’t argue. I wasn’t going to be home for a while, and had a meeting until 8. He showed up at home for dinner and handed over his skateboard to T, saying “I know I’m in trouble, so, here.” (T had no clue. I filled him in later.)

I am frustrated and proud in the same moment.

Another positive call from the school: M’s doing fine in his academic classes, and we have yet to hear about his electives. His main teacher says he’s even making friends in class (good friends). Next week is curriculum night, and the first PTA meeting. I think we’re going to try to get involved again.

First day of school

I wish I could silence T’s negative, depression-fueled rage-inducing commentary.

This morning went exceptionally well, up until the time (just before leaving) that I said I wanted to get a first day of school picture.

Sir Depression said “do you really think anybody cares?” grabbing his coffee and heading for the door, as I tried to ensure the lights were turned out and everyone had their bags.

“You don’t have to be an ass about it,” (yes, sometimes I need to keep my own mouth shut.)

T was practically running for the car, and dropped his coffee money. M was arguing about who he would ride with, and while distracted, I picked up the cash and  locked up the house without grabbing my own stuff. As I was locking the door, I started asking M why he was insisting that he wanted to ride with me and not T. (It had already been decided T was taking M to school.)

“Get in the fucking car,”  T yelled.

So, no picture, and now, because of this new urgency, I had to get out of his way. (I was parked behind them.)

I get halfway to work, and realize I’d forgotten my coffee, so I sped back home to get it, only to find window blinds open and lights still on. I closed up the house and turned off the lights, grabbed my coffee and jumped in the car. And then my coffee spilled all over me. Twice.

Happy first day of school. I hope yours (and M’s) goes smoother than mine.

Crazy stupid love.

I know things will not always be good. I know they haven’t been good. I know that some days, I think they will never be good again. Once I get in that black-cloud mood, it’s hard to get out of. Living with someone with severe depression is rough. I am very seldom in that deep, dark cavern. More often, it’s just dim. Right now, it’s not mid-day sunny, but it ain’t twilight, either.

Robin Williams just died. The media has been showing us all sorts of memorials, stories on depression and honestly, it hit me. We can’t fix it. We can’t say “suck it up.” Nothing may do any good. Each person is different. Depression is personal, and may be magnified by any number of things. Mental health is tricky. Just because someone is still depressed, in a deep dark place, doesn’t mean they aren’t trying to get out of it, or to survive another day.

I am not a “happy person,” but I know that dwelling on the bad gets us nowhere. It’s hard to remember sometimes.

I love the two men in my life: T, my partner, my best friend, and my “soul mate,” as much as I’ve ever had one. M, my son, my foil, and the most curious teen I’ve ever known. They both inspire me and drive me bat-shit crazy. We’ve talked a lot this week about Robin Williams, depression, suicide, and also (oddly) marriage, family, and growing up (M’s teacher is marrying her partner.)

“Are you guys going to get married?” M asked. T said, “No,” matter of factly. M asked, “Why not?” T replied, “I think that’s a conversation for when you’re a little older.”

“I want to be an architect,” says M, out of nowhere. “Do you know the School of the Art Institute of Chicago?”

Um. Yes, kiddo, and let me tell you about architecture, Chicago, and your first-cousins once removed. And your dad. I would be so proud.

I’m proud, anyway, that he’s starting to think.

School schedule fixed. No transportation.

Ok, I don’t have time to really make these thoughts whole, so I’ll have to leave it at that.

Back to School Blues, 2014

While M had really started to stress out about school over a week ago, I hadn’t. It’s just that thing that happens. We buy clothes, and shoes, and that’s the way it goes. Besides, this year we were looking at a very different school year! 10 kids per class, 2 teachers in the class, for all academic classes. Hooray!

That is, until last night, when we had freshman orientation at the school. M got his schedule. Wait, who’s that teacher? That’s not his teacher? Jesus, scheduling problems AGAIN? It’s so easy to jump to “everything sucks” mode when there’s been so much fighting with the schools. But, we talked to the assistant principal, and he said call the guidance counselor. Which I did.

The science class we think M was incorrectly placed in was a “co-teaching” class with a regular ed teacher, a special ed assistant, and a special ed teacher, but not M’s special ed teacher. With 25 kids. “Oh, but it works really well!” Dude, you don’t have my kid. My kid is an instigator/troublemaker. All attention must be on him at all times, to the detriment of everyone trying to teach. The reason we placed him here was the assurance that he’d be in a classroom with <= 10 students and 2 teachers for all academic classes. “Well, [M’s teacher] is teaching a different science class this year, and you’ll have to talk to him.”

I’m angry and beat down. Of course they lied. That’s what they do. The IEP coordinator is no longer the IEP coordinator, so we can’t even complain there.

“You know, he’s not going to last the year,” T said. I scowled. I refuse to be defeated before that time comes.

Transportation is way behind schedule in assigning buses. We *might* get a postcard by the end of the week. Right now, we’ve resolved ourselves to having to drop him at school on the way to work, to keep our sanity.

Four more school years. *sigh*

Summer wind-down (or up)

MB vacation was nice. Definitely could’ve used a few more days of peace and quiet, but that’s what happens when you join a party of 42 extended family for a week at the beach. And fry your cell phone on the first day. And promise your kid amusement park time, 3 hours away. And end up with a 2 hour detour through the mountains because the Interstate is closed.

The good: M got more bonding time with family. We got more family photos. We all got some sun and rest. I got 4 hours of good solid conversation with my son, alone, in the car to Carowinds.

Now we’re all back to work (aside from M) and trying, frantically, to get our lives back together before autumn. I’ve asked my parents again, if they’ll take M for a few days, so we can get some painting/reno done and catch up on “us” time. We’ve got almost everything ready for company Aug 30, but none of us are motivated for the annual cookout. T wants to forego it altogether. I want to have a chill experience and whatever will be, will be.

Retaining wall is picked. We’ll have to move/remove some plants, which we knew. We’ve got to pot those temporarily. Also, the weeds are out of control. OMG. So much to do!

I still need to get M to Kings Island, and we figure we’ll hit CP some weekend in Sept/Oct. However, I’m already booked 2 weekends in both.

My vacation for Sept/Oct and Aug 30 is already approved, so that’s lovely.

So much to do! And back to school shopping. UGH. Fights anticipated again – no you can’t wear your underwear on the outside.

And BROKE. Stupid parking pass jumped $400, plus $150 for the new cell, and $10 more/mo for the service.


We had a visit this weekend from my parents. I cherish the time we get to spend together, and that they get to spend with M.

The transformation M has when his grandfather comes to visit is just amazing. I wish I had that kind of relationship with M.  As soon as Gpa came through the door, they were chasing each other through the house and giggling. Suddenly it was like Gpa was 30 years younger, and chasing me around the farmhouse. Reminded me, too, of when the cousins would all get together and get the youngest in giggle-mode (which probably still isn’t that hard).

Good news: M’s friends with the 2 moms will be staying in the neighborhood. One mom (and the boys) will be about 6 houses down from us, and the other (and the girls) will stay in the old house, 2 blocks away. I am so glad they get to all stay near their friends and their schools. (AND I won’t lose the resources!)

Anyway – it was a great weekend. Even Saturday, which was muggy and filled with my being a +1 to an outdoor wedding reception (which, turned out, I knew the ladies who got married), followed by dinner with old alumni friends.