Sunday, January 25, 2015

Here’s What PMDD is Like

I will probably regret posting this because by the end of the coming week, I won’t feel like this at all. Later this evening I’ll probably feel worse because it is worst at night though this morning and afternoon were bad as well. I might not even feel this way in an hour but in two hours I may feel the same or worse and I may feel great in the morning or like I don’t want to get out of bed. It’s a roller coaster for sure. 

If you don’t know, PMDD stands for “Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder” and it IS real and it sucks. It’s an extreme form of PMS and it basically makes me want to kill myself once a month. Not like to the point where I PLAN it out or research anything or PURCHASE anything to do it with, but where I don’t feel like I should be here on this Earth.

I FINALLY called my OBGYN Thursday since she and I had spoken about this at my annual in Sept. She prescribed me Prozac, in addition to my regular Pristiq for anxiety, to take for 2 weeks out of the month, at the onset of ovulation. So it will be 2 weeks on, 2 weeks off. But it takes about a month to kick in so I probably won’t notice any effects for at least two full cycles. 

Of course, during this time, you are supposed to exercise, eat well and avoid alcohol. At the same time, my body is craving alcohol, sugar, and I am too tired/depressed to get up the energy to exercise. I have started experimenting with Yoga and Pilates though. I have two beginner DVDs and they are OK; then I looked up some videos on YouTube. I found a Julian Michaels Yoga video for weight loss. I did it earlier this week and started it while Sophie was in the bath. When she came downstairs, I gave her a look and said “Julian Michaels is kicking my butt!” Relaxing yoga this was not. She checked out the video then turned back to me. “You’re not even half-way through!!” Yeah. But I will keep trying. Starting uh, tomorrow.

Anyway, I have a constant stream of negative thoughts going through my head on a normal day to day basis, but they are 8,000 times worse during PMS. The problem is I only have this one mean dude - I named him Carl today - constantly telling me horrible things about myself, and I don’t have the anti-Carl. There is no balancing; there are no inner thoughts to tell him to shut the fuck up and that he’s wrong; I believe him too easily. Sophie had been learning with her counselor how to recognize and push away negative thoughts that cause her anxiety (“what if” type thoughts - “what if a bad guy kidnaps me”; “what if the house burns down” etc.) and the counselor taught her to squash them like “ANTS.” It’s like a theory or something. I read the book she recommended for Sophie but obviously I have a LOT more work to do. Here’s what “Carl” sounds like (below). “Carl” has a nasty, nasty habit of twisting everyone’s words (one tiny comment) into horrible accusations (you disgust them; you are unworthy). I don’t take criticism well. For example, this morning, Jeff made a comment about my coffee mess, the way I took my vitamins, and me spilling my water. That set “Carl” into a tirade:
Obviously you can’t do anything right. Obviously he hates you. Why are you so messy? Why are you such a slob? You can’t even fucking DRINK WATER correctly I mean what the hell? Should we get you a sippy cup like a toddler? Thank God he didn’t say anything about your hair. Coming to breakfast with your hair half done, half up in a clip all frizzy. You look like hell. You know what I see when you look in the mirror? I see an old, worn out lady WAY past her prime. I see pimples and scars and wrinkles and yellow teeth. I mean, LOOK at how old your eyes look. You just look TIRED all the time; worn out. Washed out. 
Your car is always dirty. You are a slob. You don’t work out enough and that’s why you’re so fat. I mean, for Christ’s sake, you can’t even SIT DOWN in a pair of jeans without your stomach fat hanging out over the top - and these are high-rise jeans, not the low-rise shit those teeny boppers wear. 
You buy organic apples and organic spinach leaves and organic bananas but you still smoke. Do you know how ridiculous that is?
Also, have you SEEN your daughter lately? You’ve really fucked up her eating habits, haven’t you? Yeah it’s WAY past the point of no return now. You are a complete and total failure as a mother. 
Oh and the fact that your husband rarely wants to have sex with you? Have you LOOKED in the mirror, Fatty fat fat. You are now TWENTY POUNDS over weight. NO WONDER Jamie left you. You disgust me, you disgust everyone around you. You are weak, you are lazy, you are a slob, you are out of shape, you are old, you are tired, you are stupid, you can’t do anything right, you suck at your job, you suck at being a mother, you suck at being a wife; you can’t even DECORATE or COOK or KEEP A HOUSE CLEAN. 
You have no friends. Nobody wants to hang out with you. Your friends don’t call you back; they don’t care about you; they don’t even want to hang out with you. Who would?? You are a giant mess. You are a negative person. You don’t like hanging out with “Debbie Downer” and that’s who you are right now. They KNOW you’re crazy; Jeff is still figuring that out. He’ll learn soon enough and then he’ll get fed up and find someone better, just like Jamie. 

It goes on and on and on and on. 

And then my own thoughts come back. And they sound like this:
Carl is right. I am a total and complete failure at everything I attempt to do. I AM a bad wife; it IS no wonder Jamie left me; I can barely look in the mirror without wanting to place a paper bag over my head; I can’t motivate myself to get out of bed by 5:30 to do my workout; I’d rather sleep in until 6. My daughter has anxiety because of ME; I gave it to her. How can I teach her anything when I know nothing? No wonder Jeff doesn’t want to have sex with me; I’m disgusting. LOOK at me. I fake it at work; pretty soon they’ll find out I’m a fraud, a complete and total fraud. The only reason I am still on this Earth is because of Sophie; she is the only reason I’m staying; without her, I would have made my exit long ago. The world would be better if I wasn’t here. I might as well be invisible. I have nothing to offer anything or anyone; there is absolutely no point to my existence. No gain, no loss. Nothing gained by me being here on Earth; nothing lost if I leave it. 

And then I see Kylie and she kisses my face, and I am happy for a minute. And then Sophie comes home and I give her a big hug and smile and I am happy. And then Jeff stays in his room reading or watching a show because Sophie is in the living room watching *her* shows and then he wants to go to bed because he stayed out last night drinking in the three seasons room when I went to bed and of course he doesn’t want to hang out with me, why would he? I’m fat and my teeth are yellow and…
And it starts all over again. 

Listen. Logically, I know that nobody else is responsible for my own happiness. Many many times I am completely happy being alone and reading my book or reading my blog feed or checking the news and drinking my coffee - that’s also part of the reason why I get up so damn early even on the weekends - to have that quiet time alone, before anyone else is up. Many times Jeff will stay up and I will stay in bed reading and he doesn’t get all bent out of shape about it and whine that I don’t love him. Many times I *want* to be alone. It’s hard to explain all of this to him because all he sees is “crazy psycho wife” [he’s NEVER used those words; those are my/Carl’s words] and event though I *try* he just says “take a chill pill. Just chill out.” He’s not being dismissive on purpose. It’s just it’s so hard to understand if you’ve never been anxious or depressed. He’s asked what he can do to make me feel better.

So there you have it. That’s about the third week of every month for me. 

And I’m NOT writing this for people to chime in and tell me how great I am. Really, truly. This is not an attention grabber. This is something I’ve been struggling with for a very, very long time. This is just how it is. This is raw, and it is private and I don’t like it being “out there” but I can’t stop it either because I had to get this down. 

And it’s SO STUPID! I have a great husband, and great kids, and a great house, and a great job and the best friends in the world. Three weeks out of every month I feel that way and I recognize it and I embrace it. And then one week of every month I want to crawl into a big, giant black hole and never come out. *That’s* how I know - and my doctor agreed - that it’s PMDD rather than clinical depression. Hormones don’t agree with me. That’s why I was such a God-awful mess during pregnancy and well I guess when Menopause hits, Jeff will have to lock me up because HOLY SHIT.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Winter Blues

This post will not follow a linear pattern. 
I haven’t written for a while because my life isn’t that exciting so I don’t feel like I have anything to say, or I’ve had waves of depression come and go and I know that how I feel in that moment won’t be how I feel in the morning or the next day so I don’t really want to write it down as I might regret it. 
This weekend was pleasant - the weather cooperated and it was unseasonably warm for January; the sun shone and that did boost my mood quite a bit. 
***
Today is a good day because one of my BFFs is having her baby boy (scheduled C-section due to health reasons)!!! I can’t wait to hear his name (she and hubby are still undecided) and see pics of him!
***
Recently my home desktop computer died. I wasn’t really surprised because it was a crappy Dell and I had it for 5 years and I could tell it was slowly dying as it started to run slower and slower, and it would turn off unexpectedly, etc. Problem was I can’t survive without a home computer and this was January and I was still paying off Christmas bills. Plus my backup didn’t work correctly so I had to take it into work and have one of our tech guys tear it apart but LUCKILY he was able to get my data back and now I owe him drinks! It pays to work with techies! So anyway, I bought a Mac. It was either that or a laptop with Windows 8 - barf. I’m totally happy with it now:)
***
Things I’m planning:
Potential trip to Chicago with the family this summer. Sophie would like to go to the American Girl Doll store - the big one - and I’m sure Ethan & Jeff would love to get tickets to a Cubs/Cards game. Mr. Moneybags insists on staying downtown and we need at least a kitchenette because Sophie doesn’t eat at restaurants. It’s EXTREMELY limiting and frustrating to take her anywhere away from home. I am also investigating 5 days in Florida on the beach because I have a feeling that it will end up costing the same as a long weekend in Chicago. I will let you know if my hypothesis is correct. In the meantime, any and all ideas for places to go or stay are more than welcome! In fact, my parents are in Florida (near Ft. Meyers) right now for two weeks with some cousins, aunts, uncles on my mom’s side (I wasn’t invited. Oh well.). 
***
I also have to plan Valentine’s-themed games for Sophie’s class party. Not my forte. I have to do some Googling on that. 
***
I gained 10 pounds over the holidays; I had been sick since after Christmas and couldn’t work out for two weeks, and I was 10 pounds too heavy to begin with so now I’m back to being 20 pounds overweight. I believe I have fallen into this pattern for a number of years now and I’m sure I’m not the only one. 
***
It’s interesting having two kids in the house because I didn’t grow up with siblings; I’m not really sure what is normal or not. I do know that Sophie and Ethan seem to be getting along less and less. Ethan rarely has any interest in playing with Sophie, even though she usually compromises and offers to play things he likes (ie not dolls). On the other hand, Ethan may just be craving quality time with his dad since he’s not here that often, and he is fantastic at getting Kylie all worn out! Other than that I guess they act like normal siblings: They are either arguing, playing together, or ignoring each other. I remember my cousin Kim and I fighting like siblings and Oh God we were SO mean to her younger twin sisters.
Ethan is obsessed with hanging out with the “popular” kids and that is due to his mom’s influence. It’s annoying because I feel this shouldn’t start until 6th grade, and he is only in 4th. 
***
I am looking for a “nanny” for the summer for Sophie. I crowd-sourced it on Facebook but didn’t get any response. I’m not sure what I’m going to do with her this summer. Marcy creates a complicated summer schedule for Ethan with various camps certain weeks, babysitters certain days, etc. It seems like it takes a lot more time and effort than I’m willing to put forth. I’d rather just send Sophie one place every day where they do activities and field trips, but she’d much rather be home with a babysitter. Jamie’s sister in law already called “dibs” on cousin Amy and the girl who watched Sophie last summer will be going off to college this year…
***
I feel lonely because I don’t have many friends here; they are busy because they don’t get built-in date nights or weekends like me and Jeff do, or they are divorced but have their kids on opposite weekends. Twice in a row we have had Ethan but I have not had Sophie for one night since Jamie and I split to cover his travel schedule and I have tried to basically ask everyone I know if they want to do something to no avail. And our neighbor friends that we typically hang out with all the time on our kid-free weekends are looking to move to Florida, where their daughter lives. 
***
I have other stuff going on in my head but that’s all I’m willing to put out here. Only 20 people read this anyway.

Monday, January 05, 2015

A Plague on Both Our Houses!

So Christmas was good; my parents spoiled all of us; blah blah blah. Then I got sick last week and I mean sicker than I have been in a long time. Last Thursday, I literally laid on the couch ALL day and night (caught up on “Weeds” – how does Mary-Louise Parker stay so skinny? Though I never see her eat on the show). This is highly unusual for me. Even when I’m just sitting around watching TV, I’m usually working on some kind of a project. But no. I was WIPED out. That was my worst day; I had been sick all the days leading up to Thursday of that week.

Whenever I get sick and I think of how a silly little cold or sinus infection completely and totally wipes me out, I think of Summar, whose body is fighting cancer on a never-ending daily basis.

Anyway, then Sutton got sick, then Ethan, then Jamie, and now Sophie. She is running a temp and staying home from school today. I am feeling better but did sleep until 1:30PM yesterday which hasn’t happened since college. And I’m still snotty. And Jeff woke with a headache today. OH WHEN WILL IT END???!

UGH WINTER – I AM OVER IT.

At least the sun is out today, thank goodness because it’s also been PMS time and I REALLY need to call my OBGYN for Prozac.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

The True Meaning of Christmas

A couple of weeks ago, Sophie and I had this conversation:
Sophie: How can I make sure that people understand the true meaning of Christmas – Jesus’s birth – when I am just one person?

So that’s why I was so surprised when she acted disappointed with her gifts on Christmas morning. Truth be told, she acted like a spoiled brat and she is usually so gracious.

So this year, I didn’t have Sophie on Christmas eve. She came to me Christmas Day at noon. The person who gets her Christmas Day (Jamie & I alternate years) always gets screwed. By that time, she’s kind of over the gifts and in all honesty, this would be her FOURTH Christmas just this week. She had Christmas last Sunday with TT’s family; Tuesday with Grandma and Papa; Christmas morning at her Dad’s; and then my house. Plus, we were going over to Jeff’s family’s later that night where I knew she would get even MORE gifts.

She literally came in and counted the presents. Plus, she was super tired since she had woken up at 5:42am to see what Santa had delivered to Dad’s house.

TT and I usually coordinate on gifts a bit but obviously we need to do a better job because we both ended up getting her the American Girl doll school set. I spent a lot of money for a few gifts because since she is older now, the gifts are more expensive and the American Girl doll stuff is just outrageous. Anyway, at her dad’s she got an American Girl doll horse; AG diner set; AG school set; remote controlled helicopter; bow and arrow; bike.

In the end I realized I didn’t have a “wow” gift.

She pouted in her room and I was PISSED.

Ethan got a sniper rifle (not real) that he wanted and my parents gave him/us a basketball hoop for the driveway and he got some other things but not much (the rifle was $$) and declared it the best Christmas ever.

Anyway, I was very disappointed in Sophie’s behavior. I thought I had raised her better than that. Jamie was like, “Uh, maybe you should you know, donate toys to needy families or have her give some toys away” I’m like, Duh, we do Adopt a Family every year and I make her give stuff away each year before Christmas. In fact, I had recently taken an entire trunk load of stuff to Goodwill.

I felt kind of like I let her down but I was also angry that she was being a brat. We all got over it and I took her shopping yesterday with her Michael’s gift card and Christmas money she received. And guess what? She wanted the same gifts over at my house that she got at dad’s: the bow and arrow and helicopter. And she was willing to spend her own money on them! They were all sold out (two stores, called a third) of what she wanted though but in the end we did find some things at Michael’s.

I guess I was kind of jealous that they are richer than me and spent more money than me and got her EVERYTHING she wanted where I did not, apparently. But I got over that too because their prerogative and also if you’ve ever seen my basement – it looks like a toy store.

But next year I will make sure to get a “wow” gift.

Do you have a limit on what you spend per kid? How many gifts do you typically provide, either from Santa or as parents?

God, I was so embarrassed to even write this post.

MOM: FAILING*

*not because I didn’t get the ‘right stuff’ but because even after all the years we’ve been shopping and wrapping together for adopt a family; after all the Goodwill trips, etc., my daughter missed the ‘true spirit of christmas’

Oh well. Moving on. I will succeed again as a mother, and I will fail again.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Sophie’s Letter to Santa

Ethan stopped believing in Santa last yearL But he plays along for Sophie, thank goodness. Sophie will probably believe until she’s 12. After all, she believes in leprechauns and fairies and imaginary friends, and that “Crispy” the elf on the shelf at her dad’s house just came to them, magically – Daddy & TT didn’t purchase him.

Here is the letter Sophie wrote to Santa this weekend:
Dear Santa,
Hi! My name is Sophie (4th grade, age 10).
MERRY CHRISTMAS!
And yes, I do believe I am on the nice list, correct?
Thank you for delivering all those gifts last year! I loved everything I got!:) I do suppose you are wondering what I would like for Christmas (well if you flip you can see my list). But Santa, you deliver so many toys for kids what do you get for Christmas? (besides cookies and milk). Thank you for sending Crispy (the elf) to our house. He is very good. I do hope he will come next year! Is it really true that Rudolph has a red nose? Also, were you always Santa? How did you become Santa? Oh, I do have so many questions to ask you but I know you must have millions of kids writing you letters so have a JOLLY HOLLY CHRISTMAS and a HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!
J
Love,
Sophie

PS – Can you make it snow here? Please…

She even decorated it with multi-colored markers and stick-on jewelsJ

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

It’s Starting – Too Early for Me!

While Sophie still thinks boys are smelly and gross (YAY!), Ethan has his first true crush on a girl in his class named Ashley. Apparently, she is the “hottie” of the 4th grade because “Dad, *all* the girls like Ashley. And…you should see her mom!” Yes, he actually said that. He’s a mini Jeffrey. We are in trouble – Jeffrey used to be a ‘player.’

Anyway, last night Jeffrey asked Ethan for a hug. Then:
Jeff: Wait, what is that? Are you wearing cologne??
Ethan [blushing]: Nooo!
Jeff: Are you wearing your mother’s perfume?
Ethan: What? No, I…I’m just using gel to make it spikey [which is how I love his hairJ]
Jeff: Gel scented with your mother’s perfume? Is it all for Ashley?
They continued the rest of that convo in private, but I bet you can guess the answer.

While Sophie is more mature than Ethan in a disciplined way (ie does her homework straight after school, that type of thing) and because she is a girl (doesn’t make 8,000 fart jokes per day), Ethan is a great deal more aware of the ways of the world than she is. But sometimes I wish he was aware a bit less. Example: this exchange also happened last week:
I was sitting at the kitchen table helping Ethan with his homework.
Me: Where’s a pencil? I need a pencil please.
Jeff [mumbling as he cleans up the kitchen]: I have a pencil for you.
Me [rolls eyes and ignores]
Ethan [after a few seconds]: Oh, I get it! I have a pencil too.
Jeff [eyes wide]: What?! How do YOU know what I’m talking about?
Ethan: I don’t know, I just do.
Me: NO MORE RIDING THE BUS! [thinking it’s the older kids on the bus; plus I just wanted something to blame!]
As you can see, my 10 year old and my 47 year old are both on the same maturity level!

Here’s another conversation that went down recently, between Ethan and Sophie:
Ethan: Sophie, are you popular?
Sophie: I don’t know, that depends. Do you mean popular like everybody knows your name or popular like everybody likes you?
Ethan: I don’t know. Both I guess.
Sophie [matter of factly, shrugging]: Well then, no.
Ethan: I am.

“Popular” wasn’t even in my vocabulary until…okay first I was going to say ‘middle school’ (6th grade) but it probably started in 5th grade. Is my interpretation of this being too soon because I’m old and kids are growing up too fast these days, or is it because that’s when it *should* start and not before? All I know is that Marcy (Ethan’s mom) is obsessed with being popular and therefore is obsessed with Ethan being popular and has projected that obsession onto Ethan which is why he HAD to have Jack, THE MOST POPULAR KID IN THE 4TH GRADE [What? Why? Who cares? Says who? (Answr: THE TEACHER! WTF?)] spend the night the other weekend.

Ugh. I’m just not ready for this. IMO It will start within the next two years anyway, WHY push it to begin a single moment sooner?

Wise parents who have kids older than mine, PLEASE feel free to chime in here!!