The Bearded Iris

A Recalcitrant Wife and Mother Tells All

Something’s gotta give

Receiving a call from your child’s teacher at 7:30 a.m. is rarely a good thing.

And learning that your six-year-old son won’t stop crying is not the kind of news any parent ever wants to hear.

But realizing that the reason he’s crying is because of me? That, my friends, is a game changer.

Yesterday (Halloween) morning Bucket Head arrived at school, mistakenly believing that he was not going to be able to go Trick-or-Treating, and it was all my fault.

At my request, his teacher put him on the phone.

“Honey, what’s wrong? Why are you crying?”

Sniff, sniff, sob…

“Is it because of Halloween?”

Sniff, sniff, whimper…

“Are you worried that you don’t have a costume yet?”

Sniff, sniff, “Yes,” he whispered.

“Don’t you worry buddy; Mommy’s going to get to the store today and get you something awesome! And when you get home from school we’ll paint our pumpkins and decorate the house, okay?!”

“Okay.” Sniff, sniff, snort. 

Oh my heart! The heat traveled up my chest and neck, settling in my face. He put his teacher back on the phone.

“I’m so sorry, Mrs. Jones. I’m dreadfully behind this year and we haven’t settled on his costume yet. Let me know if he doesn’t pull it together and I’ll come get him.”

I was mortified. Bad parenting moments are hard enough without having witnesses!

He was that upset because of me… because of my inability to get my shit together and help him plan or pick a costume.

The kids had been asking me for weeks to get out the Halloween decorations, but I kept brushing them off, “Not today, Mommy’s working.” “Not now, Mommy’s packing for a business trip.” “I promise, as soon as this book signing party is behind us, we’ll get out the Halloween stuff.” “Let’s just get Bucket Head’s book report done first.” And then, “As soon as Mommy feels better, we’ll talk about Halloween, I promise.”

But that day never came.

The truth is, I’m in a depressive tailspin. It’s been building for a while… the cumulative product of burning my candle at both ends for far too long followed by a recent series of failures and disappointments.

I keep trying to write about it, and other things, but the words won’t come. The demons have set up camp in my head: “That’s stupid.” “OMG, you can’t say that out loud!” “That’s not funny.” “Nobody cares.” “Oh, boo-hoo for you. First world problems!” “Get over yourself.” “You should have listened to us.” “You reap what you sow, sister.” “Face it—you don’t have the right stuff.”

I haven’t been this low in a long time. Suddenly everything feels incredibly overwhelming to me. I can’t seem to make decisions, even the smallest ones. I look at a task and can’t determine the correct sequence of steps to complete it. I’m not sleeping or eating well. I’m crying a lot. I’m not exercising; I had to leave my yoga class a week ago because I couldn’t hold it together. Let me tell you something, nothing ruins the zen-like atmosphere of a good savasana like a crazy lady wracked with sobs on the next mat over.

So that’s why I haven’t been more present around these parts. I’m just trying to work through some stuff and wrastle my demons.

I know what I need to do to get better. It’s just going to take some time, and a shift in priorities.

But hearing my baby cry on the phone yesterday was just the wake-up call I needed to momentarily stop feeling so sorry for myself and focus on him instead.

I also came home from costume shopping to a very sweet gift on my front porch from a good friend. It was some homemade broth with a beautiful note that read,

“Hope you’re loving and honoring yourself while you’re searching for the meaning of life. Just thought I’d share some love and a reminder to do so—just in case you’re being too hard on yourself instead.”

She knows me well. It was exactly what the doctor ordered.

Well that, and probably some horse tranquilizers, but I’m having a hard time getting in touch with my dealer, so broth and friendship will have to do.

And then I set to work.

When Bucket Head got off the bus yesterday, there were cobwebs and skeletons as far as the eye could see. The kids didn’t get to carve pumpkins this year for the first time ever because there was not a single decent pumpkin to be found in all of North Georgia on October 31st, but we ate our weight in sugar and managed to have a good night anyhow.

saddest pumpkin ever

The last pumpkin at Target yesterday. Great.

In the end, Bucket Head was pretty excited about the Captain America costume I scored at Target (on sale for only $8.00), and Mini-Me threw together some stuff from her closet to come up with a darling Rosie the Riveter. So what if nobody under the age of 70 knew who she was. She looked amazing. So proud of that girl and her ingenuity. “We can do it!” Oh yes we can… (probably)(maybe someday)(meh).

The Halloween that almost wasn't 2013 by The Bearded Iris

So that’s the dealio. I’m sorry I’ve been such a stranger. Depression sucks.

I’m not sure what the future holds, I just know what I’m doing right now isn’t working for me or my family. Something’s gotta give. I’ve got some decisions to make and/or horse tranquilizers to score. Wish me luck, would ya?

~Leslie

98 Comments

  1. Julie Darrington

    November 1, 2013 at 1:20 pm

    Depression sucks. It lies. It sabotages, hurts and tricks us into thinking the worst of ourselves … and it doesn’t have the common courtesy to go away after all the other Halloween demons are sated with candy and promised a sugar coma.
    Rest assured- you are not alone. NOT alone- got that? There are thousands upon thousands of us with you who know the disgusting allure of depression; how it sucks you in, throws you around for a while and makes you feel like it’s your fault.
    Major kudos to you on allowing your love for your kids (Bucket Head, specifically) to be the first step in kicking those demons to the curb where they belong. Best of luck to you (and a little extra “I deserve this” treats that get swiped from the kids’ stash)!
    *Hugs*

    • Thank you Julie. It does help to know I’m not alone, but it also worries me to know so many other women are struggling with the same demons. And don’t worry, I’ve been sneaking their treats when they’re not looking. Really, it’s to protect them from all that sugar. 😉

  2. Holy shitballs. I’ll try not to rant, but you have no idea how timely this is for me. No, I don’t have kids, but I do have very serious OCD/depression that’s been kicking my ass for the past few months–more than normal.

    I’ve tried to write about it, but nothing sounds right. My health-physical and mental-is as low as it’s been yet I still try and bring on the laughs and say everything’s fine. Each and every day is a struggle and pulling myself back up takes so much energy I just don’t have.

    This isn’t to compare situations, but rather to remind you that you’re not alone (as you know, and as I’m sure tons of people will comment.) Right now your kids need you there as their mom. Your husband needs you there as his wife. You need to be present for YOU and what brings you relief. If you write, you write. If you put up felt turkeys and never pick up a pen? That’s how things go. Hang in there, my friend. You’ll get through this shitstorm with class. That’s one thing that I DO know.

  3. Oh man, something must be in the water. The closest I can openly say right now is I feel you. And I’m sorry. And I think that if someone left a bowl of soup and a note on my front step I may have dissolved in a heap of tears. Well, I definitely would have, because just reading that someone did that for YOU, gave me a tear in my eye. What a kind friend you have… I’m sure you have many people who can relate, and I am just a drop in the bucket, but just know that you aren’t alone. Keep writing. It helps to have an outlet. <3

    • Seriously – it was the sweetest thing and I’ve been drinking that broth like a magic elixir knowing that it was made and given with such love. Such a gift. Sorry to hear about your similar struggles. It WILL get better. See you on the other side, my friend.

  4. I love you.

  5. Leslie, I adore you and now, I respect you even more than I already did.
    I have been in a tailspin for more than a year and I felt (feel) the same way.
    “I need to get my SHIT TOGETHER”.

    thank you for writing this, for letting us in to see it too, because I know it sucks , it hurts, it isn’t something we can talk about until we NEED to talk about it.

    You’re not alone in this, and while I’m in the pits with you, at least I’m in the pits with you..meaning we’ll get out.

    xo

  6. Goat hugs from AbbyGoat down to little Bernadette. I REALLY would have hitched up my goat cart and out and out TROTTED with my udders swinging.

    The publicist says she’s been there and it sucks. She says if you want her to start sending you photos of goats to make you smile a little she will. She knows it’s not the answer but smiles help. She also knows there is nothing worse than a lot of people hovering….

    • Oh Pricilla…the thought of your mighty udders swinging on my behalf certainly does make me smile. Thank you for that. And thank you for the daily goat photos. You are a gift.

  7. Sent you a private note. *hugs*

  8. Hugs to you, and I hope you are able to wrestle the depression into submission soon. Depression is insidious. I’m glad the kids were able to have a good Halloween and as the others have said, you are soooo not alone if that helps a teeny, tiny bit.

  9. Two days ago I was sobbing – I mean, straight up ugly crying – at my computer because I needed to write some things and the words just stubbornly refuse to come out, and my kids were waiting for me to go to the pumpkin patch because I hadn’t done any decorating or planning or anything either, and my husband offered to take the kids so I could work but the idea of missing the pumpkin patch (which was closed anyway, and we ended up at a store that looked exactly like your pumpkin selection at Target) only made me cry more. And that’s just one example. Thank you for writing this – I bet it wasn’t easy. It’s never easy for the funny ladies to admit they aren’t always feeling funny. Thanks for letting me know I’m not alone, and that even people I love and admire can have trouble holding their shit together and figuring out how to deal with it, too. Hugs to you (and your adorable kiddos, who look fantastic and very happy in their costumes). xoxo

    • Dude – true dat, double true. You don’t even want to see my drafts folder right now. The “funny” thing…it is like a monkey on my back sometimes. You too? That crushing weight of feeling like I always have to be funny or people will disappear. And then being hyper-critical about my funniness. “Is that funny?” “How about now?” “Why do people think I’m funny?” “OMG, they’ve been laughing AT me, not WITH me. Shit.” “WAAAAAAHHHHHH!”

      That damn pumpkin patch and all the related autumnal pressures can kiss my sorry ass this year. Thanks for being here. Hugs, sister.

  10. Bless you for sharing this! I’ve been having the exact same struggle. I have a wonderful husband and a beautiful toddler, and I feel like a wreck. I injured myself so I can’t exercise–ergo, I have nothing to offset my eating, and therefore: fat. I am super low energy by the time I get home from work. And so: unhealthy, processed dinners. Work is kicking my a$$, I can’t focus and I feel like I’ve officially worn out my second and third chances with some of my colleagues.

    So, yeah, as said above, it’s going around. I may not be strong enough for me, but I will do anyting I can for other sufferers. You shouldn’t have to deal with any of this alone. Take care of you and do all of the things that I keep telling myself I should! 🙂

    • So true – I can’t do what I need to do for myself, but hearing about other people suffering has me all fired up. Let me tell you one thing I know about this: making one small change can make a huge difference. Don’t try to change everything at once, just pick one thing. For instance, 18 months ago I gave up drinking because alcohol is a depressant and I knew it was just exacerbating my mood swings. Once I wasn’t burying my feelings in my wine glass every night, I had more energy for other things. I’m still not drinking, and that’s a good thing because I think my depression would be so much worse right now if I had a bottle to crawl into. So what I’m saying is: if you can’t exercise, maybe try to eat one extra healthy thing each day and see if that helps. Maybe that will be the beginning of the chain reaction that will lead to more healthy choices like more sleep, or finally getting to the doctor, or whatever.

      Thanks for being here Stephanie. It does help to know I’m not alone and I hope we both start feeling better soon! XO

  11. Does Bucket Head not realize his hot momma is now famous and must party like a rock star?

    You’re a good mom. No matter what you sometimes might think. You’re gooder than good actually.

    And yes…friends are great. And the really good ones are heaven.

    And those kids are pretty damn cute and look pretty damn loved to me. I bet you can hold off on those horse tranquilizers for a little while longer.

    You’re beyond fab. BEYOND.

    • Oh Carrie – you are such an awesome cheerleader. Will you please move in with me? We can watch bad TV together and giggle until our sides ache. I’ll share my Bucket Head with you. He loves to cuddle. How soon can you get here? I’ll put on some soup.

  12. Sweetie I don’t feel your pain, but I feel mine and I do understand. As we head into the dreary fall and winter days it only compounds the problem for me. I am trying to treat myself with the compassion and understanding I would a good friend but there are days….believe me there are those days.
    Mostly I try to remember to exercise (keeps the anxiety attacks at a minimum). To remember to eat healthy foods. Take my meds. But I also allow myself the time to WALLOW in it. I need to feel the feelings. And believe me, there are a lot of them as I am in the middle of a divorce, my grown children are leaving home (as they should!) and I am suddenly going to be living alone. Never have done that.
    But there is a time limit on the wallowing. And then I find it helps to get up and get something accomplished. Some days all I can accomplish is having a shower but I congratulate myself for actually doing it. Celebrate what you do and try not to beat yourself up for the things you may not be able to get done. You’re an imperfect, loving, lovable human being, as the rest of us who suffer are. Try to treat yourself with the love and respect you deserve.
    Hugs to you J.

    • All good advice, Janine. Thank you. I know that the busy-ness of the last few weeks and not exercising has totally affected me in a bad way. And yes, the anxiety is worse because of it. Thank you for being here.

  13. Lots and lots of luck to you. You are an amazing woman- all around. I am so impressed with your love, humor, outlook, and general way you tackle it all. You will come around and do the best for you and your family. And horse tranquilizers are so hard to swallow.
    Lots of love to you!

  14. 1) Depression does suck
    2) That Rosie the Riveter is KICKASS. I know who she is, and I think it’s such a cool idea.
    3) Depression fucking sucks
    4) Captain America looks awesome
    5) I have had to choose. I can either write, work full time, and be a Mom, or I can have decorations. Yeah. We didn’t carve pumpkins for the first time ever this year, too, though we did make a pumpkin farm and the kids painted some. We had nary a purple nor an orange light. And since my mother in law is not coming until next spring, the Christmas tree is going to be really barren since, in addition to being lazy about decorating, I hate Christmas. Scott and the kids will do it without much help from me. When his Mom is here, nobody notices that I relegate myself to family photographer. This year, I may get caught.
    6) Depression really fucking sucks

    • Dang, JQ, that is so true: the whole “I have had to choose.” Me too, sister. Me too. Where I’m falling short is making my choice and being okay with the outcome. Damn mommy guilt! Christmas is another tough season for me too…all that pressure and then the eerily quiet aftermath. I really need to make a plan for this year so I don’t find myself crying in the bathtub like I did last year. 🙁

  15. P.S. Rosie the Riveter was a great costume- I loved it!

    • Thanks Jane! Me too. And I think my daughter is better off for being so self-sufficient. At least, that’s what I’m hoping is the outcome here. Then again, maybe she’ll add this to the list of things to discuss with her therapist someday. But I keep hoping she knows, relatively speaking, it could be worse.

  16. I take a prescription for anxiety that is also an anti-depressive. Sometimes when I have been down, I realize that my doseage might need to be changed. Don’t know if you take anything, but it does need to be increased sometimes. Hope you feel more “yourself” soon!

    • Thanks Mary. I’m not on any medication right now, but I’m seeing a doctor this week and am going to explore all my options. I’ve taken anti-depressants before and they really helped me get over the hump. XO

  17. Honey, my kid was Captain America and I bought his costume the first week of October. (The one and only time I have been early for anything. Ever.) In other words, you are doing just great. Be gentle with yourself. Sending good healing juju and love. Depression sux.

  18. Digging through brain shitstorms to find the quiet corner tucked in the recesses of your grey matter is hard. Really, really hard. Please know that I’m here, holding a flashlight for you, ready to do anything you need to help you along your way.

  19. You are awesome. The end. From one who totally gets what you’re going through. XO.

  20. Kellie L. Claflin

    November 1, 2013 at 4:24 pm

    Nothing more to say then….you have someone out here that you don’t know abd probably will never meet cheering for you.

  21. Oh, Leslie I feel for ya! I’m sorry to hear you’re down and having trouble. I thought the book launch was such an accomplishment for you etc. but I know sometimes we realize these things aren’t all they’re cracked up to be. As for bad parenting? We’ve all been there! I don’t know what it is about Halloween but some of those were my worst moments. The kids could never decide what they wanted to be and then when they did they hated their costumes. I can’t sew either so I couldn’t help them be creative.

    Your kids looked fantastic! Love the pic’s. Wishing you strength at this time. You’re awesome and we love ya.

    • Oh thank you Lisa! That whole “things aren’t all they’re cracked up to be” is such a kicker, isn’t it? I keep setting myself up for disappointment. Part of me feels like visualizing the best outcome (setting high expectations) is GOOD, but then when things don’t go like I dreamed they would, the fall is steep and painful. Hard to find the balance, isn’t it.

      Love you too. Thank you for being such a loyal friend.

  22. Don’t make me come down there and snap you out of it!!!!

    Let me know if you need some expired generic prozac and a good talking to.

  23. Thank you. Thank you so, so much for having the lady-balls to say that to the entire Internet. Depression DOES suck. You go do whatever you’ve gotta do to kick its ass. We’ll be here when the time is right for you to come back.

  24. Big hugs to you. I had noticed you were missing around these parts. I wish we could all just have a broth-swilling group hug sing-a-long and uplift each other. Until then, at least we have the internet.

    Ellen

  25. Nicole Leigh Shaw

    November 1, 2013 at 6:21 pm

    If it doesn’t feed you with joy, purpose, or contentment, ditch it. You know, unless it’s, like, eating or picking oyur kids up at school. Don’t ditch that.

    What I mean is, yes, you’ll have things you do that feed you, some that feed the family, and some that feed your community. None of them should make you feel badly, even if they aren’t your favorite things. You dig? If any of the things you’ve currently involved in are making you feel less, unworthy, or straight up depressed, dump them.

    Now, that doesn’t mean give up on something that fulfills you (writing, for instance, trust me, the will to write will likely return, be patient) just because you sometimes have to say “no” in other areas. You don’t need to pick only one: you, family, or community. But you can pause any of them at anytime while you focus on the hungriest area of your life.

    Life’s not a zero-sum game, Leslie. Tell the voices in your head to fuck off. You’ve got people to feed.

  26. I feel every one of your words but the things I could say to you, I cannot say here. You had the guts to spill whereas I have been so afraid to come clean about certain things. If nothing else, you should know this: You are an inspiration, no matter how lousy you may feel inside. That’s not what others see. And you need to know that it’s Ok to feel this way–you are loved no matter what. XO I might PM you later……

  27. I love you. You are not alone. I am right there swimming in that deep end of the pool – diving to the bottom – at midnight. It’s dark and yes, something has to give, BUT, you are incredibly talented. You are incredibly wise. You are incredibly strong. You are incredibly resilient. You are incredibly loved. I am here if you need to sob. I’m a good listener. I am a good receiver of sobs.

  28. I honestly wondered where you were when I saw your email notification stating that you had written a post again.

    Depression is a very hard thing to deal with. I don’t have any solid advice on how to deal with it best. I still struggle with that battle all the time. Especially any time there any major changes in my life (like right now.) Do you have the hardest time dealing with it when you go through changes too?

    My heart goes out to you, and I’m glad that you were able to pull it together enough to go have Halloween festivities with your little man.

  29. Admitting your condition on your usually hilarious self depracating blog took real courage. Kudos. Your family needs you healthy. Stay positive & get the help you need.

  30. I don’t know what all is going on in the rest of your life, but the fact that you just published a book tells me all I need to know. Postpartum depression. I had it after my book was published and it was devastating. It’s incredibly common among published writers, but few talk about it. After all, we’re supposed to be so thankful we got published, etc etc etc. So to feel so empty, so awful, so why am I even here when people are congratulating you, seems–well, you put it as “first world problems”. I remember thinking when people congratulated me–“don’t you know the baby died….” Nothing happened to the book itself; but my investment in it, my raison d’etre, was now gone.

  31. Just take it one day at a time. This too shall pass.

    • It will. And that is excellent advice, Liz. I tell my kids, “This too shall pass” all the time…but never seem to remember to give myself the same pep talk. Thank you for being here.

  32. Hugs and get some rest this weekend. We all can understand. Sometimes it’s hard to believe that the world will keep spinning just fine if we just decide to hop off for a while. And it usually does. You’re a great mom so hug on those kids and if you find a supplier for those horse pills. You have my email.

  33. It hits us all sooner or later. Hits some of us harder than others. Praying for you and your family. Hang in there!

  34. Oh sweetie, please give yourself a break. In the meantime, know that a stranger in Wyoming said a prayer for you tonight.

  35. I have missed you here! Best of luck to you – I’m rooting for you big time. And I so appreciate your honest approach in writing this. It’s oddly comforting to know other people wrastle similar demons. Hang in there.

  36. I just found your blog site while looking for wonderful ways to use vinegar to clean my laundry. I thought I would see your most recent post and just wanted to tell you as a newbie I love you already 🙂 I appreciate your honesty -especially because you put words to feelings I have been through before- I hope today has been better for you and remember you aren’t alone—we ALL have been there.

  37. You are a good person.

  38. Listen Les….you are enough!! Say it with me “I am enough”. You do not have to “accomplish” great things in your life. You are fabulously funny, but you have plenty of time. Believe me grandkids will give you plenty of fodder. It is okay to be a wife and mother FIRST! I wish I had the opportunity to be a housewife and mother. My wake up call about my disorganization was finding a birthday party my youngest had been invited to and she missed because I lost the invitation. She was already socially awkward enough without me adding to it by her snubbing someone who wanted to be her friend. PS My oldest daughter who had the on line dating blog that was hard to read because she did not know how to make paragraphs is getting married in March in Hawaii to a fabulous midwest born and bred physician’s assistant. AND he is Catholic to boot. This my dear cyber friend proves that God does answer prayers! I will pray for you… (actually it may have been my two elderly aunts who were also praying for her!)

  39. Leslie, I’m so sorry that you’re feeling the blues. I wish there was something I could say or do that would help you feel better. I appreciate your honesty, I think it’s hard for women to admit when they’re feeling overwhelmed. Take care of you!

  40. Thank God for friends with chicken soup! I’ve been worried about you – glad to see you back online. Holiday season can be the worst – so many expectations, so much to do, so little sunlight! I like to start holiday traditions like “sit around in pajamas and watch movies all day while Mommy tries to motivate herself to do one thing from her huge list.” The kids love it. Hang in there!

  41. Is it your birth control?

    I’m serious.

  42. Take care and do what’s right for you and your family. I love your writing and would enjoy the occasional missive just as much. Wishing you strength and healing.

  43. Take all the time you need. Those of us who love you (and there are many) will read the phone book if you wrote it. We’ll wait for you.

  44. I wish I could come sit next to you and mumble funny things until your kegel exercises fail.

  45. Hang in there, my friend. You’re one tough cookie, and I know things are gonna get better for someone as sweet as you…:)

  46. I’ve been thinking about you – was glad to see your post pop up in my email! Sending out prayers and good thoughts right now.

  47. First, if you have trouble making the changes you need to make or figuring out what changes need to be made, see your doctor about an anti-depressant. What you describes sounds like chemical Depression to me. I’ve been there, and anti-depressants helped.

    Second, I can’t imagine what failures could have been so bad they would outweigh your successes: a successful, entertaining blog; getting a job as editor of a successful website; editing a book (just getting the job done and getting the book out there is a success).

    Third, I think your daughter knowing about Rosie the Riveter is probably a sign you’re a good mom.

    Fourth, I’ve missed your blog and will miss it if you decide it’s not a priority, but do what you have to do. But please let us know about what’s going on. After two or three years of following your blog, I feel invested.

  48. I’m with Jessica–maybe something in the water, or something about this crazy time of year. I’m fighting demons right now, too. But maybe it’s comforting to know that many of us have some wrastling to do, so that we remember we’re not alone. Not in our problems and not in the solutions. Hope some good things come your way!

  49. Kids know how to rake our butts over the coals, don’t they? My son’s teacher once called and asked if everything was okay because he told her that I’d gone “for real” crazy that morning. And I did…but do they have to tell other people that?! I’m another Leslie blogger in North Georgia! Come by and visit at http://semanticsister.blogspot.com. Leave me a comment so I know you came by to visit! Have a great one.

  50. *hugs* Take a deep breath. Go for a walk even you know you have a gazillion things to do, hug your kids, kiss your husband and remember you don’t have to do it all. You can’t do it all – and that’s okay. Tomorrow is a new day 🙂

  51. Just wanted to add my hugs to the many better and bigger ones here. It’s a tough gig being a mum sometimes, add depression to the mix and it’s no wonder something’s gotta give. Just make sure it isn’t your health or sanity. Love you missus.x

  52. Hi Leslie, I have enjoyed your blog for years. Just wanted to send you a hug and best wishes that you are feeling better soon. I was feeling this way as well and was encouraged to get my blood work done. I found out my iron was at 5 and is supposed to be between 80-300. After taking iron pills, I am feeling much better. Take care.

  53. You take time for yourself and your darling family! Depression does suck, I don’t think I would be able to function without my anxiety/depression meds. Sometimes life gets crazy and the wheels seem to fall off. Never fear my bearded sister, you DO have the right stuff. Take a time out, re-set, and then hammer those wheels back on your wagon. You can dooooo eeeet.

  54. I feel I can do anything, but always forget I can’t do everything at once. I load myself up until I am balanced so precariously, the slightest breeze knocks me over and buries me under my own tremendous mess. I sort through the rubble, pick up only what I can easily carry and hobble along until I feel strong again. Pretty soon, like a dumb ass, I start thinking I can carry the whole world and go through the cycle all over again. And again. I am reborn from a self-induced misery on a regular basis. Knowing you experience anything similar, makes me feel brilliant by association. Heal and be replenished you beautiful, talented, adored woman. xoxo

  55. Big (((HUGS))) to you, lady, and thanks for sharing what’s going on with you. I think your friend is right– we are often SOOO hard on ourselves– it makes it easier somehow to know that other folks are feeling like they aren’t cutting it, either. Which sounds wrong– you feeling in any way “less than” doesn’t actually make me feel better, just less alone. And I think the internet makes things WORSE because people so often present only the best parts of their lives (maybe because they are second-guessing themselves thinking, “OMG, you can’t say that out loud!” “That’s not funny.” “Nobody cares.” ?), which makes us regular folks feel like we are doing an even worse job of making the grade. But you CAN say (write) it out loud– and I know that I, for one, DO care. I don’t think we expect you to be funny all the time– I like when people share the *real* stuff– even when it’s not funny…maybe especially when it’s not funny. It makes me feel less alone– and I’m hoping the responses you get here will make YOU feel less alone, too and maybe buoy your spirits a bit. <3

  56. I’m sending you a bunch of virtual hugs and nods of understanding.

  57. you are right. depression does suck. if it helps, please know that i’ve missed you! you are my fav blogger, and i just can’t find anyone else to substitute! 🙂

  58. Oh Leslie, I used to get down on myself looking at all those gorgeous handwork projects, recipes and room designs in Martha Stewart Living magazine and lamenting that my house will NEVER look that awesome, as hard as I try. And then it occurred to me: she has a staff, veritable MINIONS to do all of her scut work! Anyway, I cut myself some major slack. We just can not do it all, at least not on our own. It is simply violating the laws of physics.

    The only way out is through—so I hope that you get through this darkness soon and are back to knowing what a shining star that you truly are. Your wacky and wonderful sense of humor will prevail, I’m sure–it is a veritable force of nature.
    XOXOXO Lisa in Massachusetts
    P.S. Oh, I owe you a huge thank-you for introducing me to the Outlander book series. I have a serious crush on Jamie (what a dreamboat) and have already pre-ordered the final (sniff) volume.

  59. I’ve been thinking about you since I read this post. I wanted you to know that I sympathize, empathize, and wish I could give you big hugs in person. Tomorrow I see my new doc and I’ll let you know if he gives me some horse tranquilizers that I can share with you. xoxo

    • Thank you so much, JD. And thank you for thinking of me and checking on me via Facebook. I’m sorry I haven’t been more receptive or present. I’m isolating. It’s a bad habit and probably why I don’t have many friends, but when things get really bad, I just find it easier to not interact…like a wounded animal. I’m so grateful though for your care and concern. Thank you!

  60. My e-mail advice the other day just downright sucked donkey balls, and I’m setting it straight RIGHT NOW. You are a kick ass mo-fo ninja, even if you don’t feel like it. Yeah, you have moles and freckles and smelly parts like the rest of us, but DAMN, GIRL, look at everything you’ve done! For real. And yeah, we all drop the ball at home, whether we blog or practice law or teach or work part time at a large Ag corporation (ahem), so that’s not out of the ordinary, and frankly, thank God people talk about it now so we all know it isn’t that unusual. Clearly family is a priority for you, and not in a “My Pinterest Board has to be PERFECT!” way. If we didn’t know the lows, we wouldn’t know the highs, baby. You? Are a rock star. And not the heroin type. Or Britney Spears. Or Miley. Okay, you’re not a rock star. You’re you. Which I like better anyway.

  61. And? It does suck to get a call like that. And I’m sorry it happened to you and Bucket Head. But he ended on a smile, no?

  62. forgiveness and TLC… things will ease out… you’ll find your way…

    there is a lot of intensity right now, I think.

    remember those so true words:

    there is a crack in everything… that’s how the light gets in.

    • Wow, Cynthia – that’s beautiful, and made me get a little teary this morning, but in a good way. Thank you for being here. I’m ready for some light!

      • For me, things really shift when I cease trying to undo what’s already starting – and instead start to see that whatever has started will itself change. That’s the crazy, maddening thing about life – it never stops changing! So the lovely parts – like my boobs, lol – they change. And the hard parts – they change, too. Being at peace with the nature of life works a kind of magic… where I suddenly realize I have the strength to do what I need to do to shift things where I want them to go. Or maybe… have the strength to accept what I thought I couldn’t accept. I think there is… for all of us… a kind of scrambling… where we’ll do anything but look at the truth… fearing the truth is going to be some horrific truth about ourselves… we are horrible or we are inadequate to deal with horror… when in fact… the deepest truth is we are okay…. we are part of some larger process… we are not in control of everything and yet we can affect things… and there is great strength and beauty in life, of which we are a part. I think Autumn is particularly tricky for this kind of stuff… because everything is dying all around us… and we are moving into Holiday season… with all that is and isn’t in our Holidays. I think your unique sensibility… you ability to see the humour in things others turn away from… this indicates to me that you are onto this… you are a miner of this… you are just stuck in a hard spot… mining a particularly difficult vein… but it is a vein of gold, all the same. Hang in there, Leslie. If I were to give you any advice (and clearly you can see through my own bullshit and see that I am an advice giver, be in sneakily or not… lol… ) it would be to turn toward what refreshes your spirit… dip yourself in that cool water… let yourself be the very dipper, itself… fill yourself… knowing that you when you are filled, you fill others. Namaste, Cynthia

  63. It’s this fucking time change! I hate it! I’ve been missing you and thinking about you, Beardo. Feel better! Big ol’ sloppy hugs and ass grabs from Texas. xo

  64. Oh, Leslie, I’m just seeing this now. Depression sucks. It lies to you. And it sneaks up on you so stealthily that you don’t recognize it until something like this happens. Which makes you feel more depressed, but also acts as a catalyst. I hope you’re finding the answers you need. Wishing you much luck and sending much love.

  65. Best of luck while you sort this all out. Everyone’s priorities get out of whack sometimes. Sounds like your teaching your kids how to bounce back! Be kind to yourself. Love.

  66. I know I’m super late in reading this, but I’m sorry you are going through a tough time. I can’t imagine the stress of juggling all that you do. I’m glad you know what you need to do to get better. We’re all behind you.

  67. I’m so sorry you dealt with this, Leslie. Love and warm thoughts to you. Hope the last couple of weeks have been better for you. xoxo

  68. Don’t fall off the wagon, Leslie. Can’t tell you how many of us feel like this. At one point when I was in college, I was working this horrid job that I hated that sucked all my energy. I began emailing my teachers that I was sick when I really wasn’t, skipping class all the time, skipping work on a daily basis (luckily it was work study, so it wasn’t as bad as it could have been, but resigning after not showing up for weeks, and not emailing my supervisor to tell her what was going on; man, that was a hard conversation). I love when bloggers blog about their depression and anxiety because I don’t feel so alone, especially when their experience matches mine so closely. Now that I’m an adult with a “real job,” I can’t just not show up, or hell, call in sick whenever I want, because girl, I’m the breadwinner in my household and I’ve got bills to pay. So keep on going, and forget the pressure to be funny because even when you aren’t funny, you’re still inspiring someone else to keep going.

  69. This post made me cry, because I empathize so much. I am in that same place and it feels awful. You are one of the reasons I started to blog in the first place because your posts resonate so much with me. I’m sorry that you’ve been hurting and I hope you continue to find your way. Much love to you!!

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