Operation Brighten Up

Friday, May 31, 2013

I decided it was high time to lighten and brighten my surroundings. I have a few steps to this process but step one was the easiest:  just to add a few new pillows for the couch. I couldn't find anything local that satisfied my need for bold, high contrast patterns so I headed straight for the thrift shop, a brand new one in the area, and came back with a couple of stretchy tops. They're perfect for sewing a couple of pillow covers myself; made even better by the fact that they're stripes.

I had to hide them from Charley because she usually jacks my stash of clothes that I want to use for fabrics. I almost feel bad about not letting her see these. 

Last night I dreamt of my daughter; thoughts on depression

Thursday, May 16, 2013

We were standing on the edge of the shore with our feet sinking into the sand as the tide rushed over them. The sea's foamy surf left bubbles on our toes. In the distance were big, crashing waves and white caps. Its sight along with the sound let you know of the sea's massive power. We'd walk a little farther into the ocean and run back as the waves got closer and flattened, laughing as we beat them to the shore.
I remembered in the last part of my dream thinking that the waves would not overtake us. They may always be in the distance but they're not coming close enough to suffocate.

And then I awoke and I wondered how my daughter slept last night. I wondered what her dreams were. This is her 2nd stay in the hospital and is being treated for depression. Like a freak wave in the ocean, it came out of nowhere and tumbled her to the ground. We had to deliver the news yesterday that she would not be involved in her high school graduation ceremonies.  Three and a half years of hard work and diligent studying seemingly washed away, she felt. Now we know this isn't true but in a teenager's mind the excitement of that day is all they think of. Her response was expected but through her tears she said, "I have literally been dreaming of this day with my friends. I should have done more."

It angered me a bit. Not at her but that here she is, fighting to get healthy and clear her mind and body of debilitating sadness and anxiety and even she falls into the culture so pervasive with mental health which says somehow she can prevent this. That somehow just thinking happy thoughts can take this away and she could have done more when she absolutely couldn't. By no means is this a choice, just as you wouldn't choose to have any other disease.

While I was visiting her yesterday, I counted 23 children at dinner between the ages of 4 and 12 in the child unit. 23 not counting those that hadn't earned a trip to the cafeteria and were eating back in the unit. And all those kids are the ones that are lucky enough to have people in their lives who feel that therapy is important and seek help or have the funds or insurance to place them in a mental health facility. It's time to deal with it as aggressively as we do cancer and other diseases. It's time.

We have decided as a family to be open with our experiences in mental illness. We're not ones to bring on the attention so you won't hear me talk about it a lot or reference it in everyday conversations. That tires people out. But we are not embarrassed because there is nothing to be embarrassed about and are open to questions of every kind.

As with pretty much everything in life, you meet challenges head on or you don't and just hope something changes. So we're going head to head with this sucker.

Catching up

Monday, May 13, 2013

I'm still here. Life just has a way of giving you that 1, 2 punch. But those complexities in life can enhance who you are and the layers of experiences only help you relate to others. This 1, 2 punch is a lesson in life and I expect great things from it.

I'll be back soon for what I haven't blogged about, like:

Cramming into a photo booth with 3 friends and a baby,

Making the waiter take an anonymous vote for your dessert.

The mother-of-all thrift store scores for my kitchen and how I have to reconfigure it which is what I wanted anyway.

Prom and the dress alterations that made it a little
more modest. Call me old school but Prom dresses should be elegant but my kids also want to fit in and be stylish without having their dress scream, "Hey, can you direct me to the pioneer dance?" I can't discount how important that is.

And my thoughts on the power of friendship and motherhood and the ever-evolving role in it.

Have a great day!