I'm a wuss and always picked truth, so here goes... I've been feeling pretty down lately, a combination of approximately a zillion things. The weather is gross and gray, I've been sick and then sicker, the house isn't selling, Eli's diarrhea seems never-ending (and the dirty clothes and sheets along with it.) I always feel let down after the holidays, I've been feeling depressed about my body lately, and to top it off, I've been having anxious thought patterns which are making me worry that the PPD anxiety which I experienced after Addy was born has sneaked up on me after all. I've basically been experiencing all of this, just a little late this time.
But I think it's turning a corner. First of all, I've been emailing Kara a lot, and I just wanted to thank her publicly for making it okay to talk about depression, anxiety, dark thoughts, and the private things which usually make us feel so ugly and ashamed. Just telling someone else and getting perspective can make it so much better.
Also, I talked to Jim about my mood (which has basically been despondent and detached, unfulfilled and fearful) and he made some good suggestions. One was that I stop thinking of keeping the house clean as my job, because, as he put it, "You don't stay home so that we don't have to pay a HOUSEKEEPER. You stay home so that you can be the one to take care of the KIDS." He has made this point multiple times, actually, and I think I should really take it to heart this time.
SO! I am on strike from housework. I am just going to get up in the morning and get to work HANGING OUT WITH THE KIDS, and do housework only as needed to keep us from sinking into filth. But I will not be cleaning windows or dusting baseboards. While I actually LIKE cleaning, trying to keep the house perfect makes me feel both anxious (I have to do THIS and THIS and THIS...) and also kind of like a hamster on a wheel. A RESENTFUL hamster. So NO MORE!
I also had a talk with my mom awhile ago about my body image (BAD) and she really helped me snap out of my obsessing. So at least my stretch marks aren't tormenting me multiple times a day anymore.
Perhaps the biggest change is that I am trying to incorporate my faith more in my daily life instead of just attending church and letting it go at that. When I forget the truths that I believe in and listen to the negative voices in my head instead, I can quickly spiral into feeling that my role in life is pretty pointless and that none of us really matter anyways, life is just a giant rat race ending in death, etc, etc. Cheerful. So I've been really concentrating on feeding myself a steady stream of healthy, positive messages that I know to be true (I am loved and needed, there is a purpose for my life beyond changing diapers) instead of anxious, fearful thoughts all day (I am a bad mom, I am fat, the sun is never going to shine EVER AGAIN, etc.)
To further cheer me up, today Addy leaned over to kiss Eli and out of the blue, for the first time ever, murmured, "I wuv you, Eli." If that can't make you feel better about your job...
AND my mom ran into my OB-GYN today and mentioned that she and I have been working out lately, and the doctor replied, "Well, that's good, but Sarah's in good shape already." Mwahh, KISSES!!!! And THEN he said that I'd had a pretty rough pregnancy but that I was a TROOPER! I heart him so much right now. It makes me want to schedule an extra Pap smear just so I can bring him a plate of cookies.