Ok, guys. I am going to hit you with some real life today. Because, real life is hard all by itself. When you roll together all of the circumstances of YOUR real life and those situations and try to deal with them all at once, you may have hours, days or weeks like I am having. At the end of the day, whether you deal with it as it comes or you deal with it all at once, you’ll eventually HAVE to deal with it.
Well, guess who didn’t deal with it as it came?
That’s right! ME.
You know, in all fairness, I’m not sure thats always a possibility, anyway. I’m just one person, after all. And it may not even be my lack of processing ability to blame for my current status. Everything has just been… overwhelming. As soon as I came back from DC, I was right back to work. I pulled several LONG days trying to get a massive order out of the warehouse, photoshoots on photoshoots, and then immediately followed that with a wedding. <Creative exhaustion is real>
Until Sunday, I really didn’t have time to sit and think about where my irksome feelings were coming from. In the moment, I was just busy and had to remain focused on the task at hand. Everyone, and I mean EVERYONE, who offers me advice about coping with deployment always starts with, “Stay busy!”. When people ask how I am doing and I say, “Gosh, I am SOOOOO busy!” it is always followed up with, “well thats great!” or “better than the alternative!” constantly positively reinforcing that notion that busy is great and implying that means you won’t have time to think about the fact that at the end of the day you will go home to an empty house, an empty bed, an empty womb. Or how much you miss your significant other. Or how much personal care you are back-burnering because you are only putting out the fires that are in your direct line of sight. Sometimes being SO busy will compound all of the negative things out of sight until it becomes so big that it rolls over you from behind and you didn’t even see it coming.
I knew I was feeling off since I returned, but like I said, I just couldn’t pinpoint it. Could it be all the work I was behind on? Literally, I am so behind in my real job AND pretty much all my side gigs. Was it the weather? It’s been a rainy nasty mess here. Maybe it was a combination of all those things.
I sure know what set it off though!
After I got home from my wedding LATE on Saturday night, I tried to get caught up on necessary house work – i.e. hand washing dishes because you KNOW that blasted dishwasher isn’t fixed (yet, I hope). I was so, so, SO tired, all really wanted was to crawl up in bed. But I knew I would be so glad not to wake up to a sink full, so I pushed through. Finally, around 1:30am I got snuggled up in bed. I literally was just focusing on relaxing all of my muscles when I heard that sound that makes every pet owner spring into action. The heave. Except, I didn’t move a muscle. I knew I was powerless to stop it or get Rider out the door in time. I didn’t even turn my head to watch him almost completely miss the tile floor and instead douse the majority of the dog bed and then the brand new rug in the master bedroom. In that moment, all I could do was cry. The ONLY thing that motivated me to get up and do something about it was knowing that vomit always comes in pairs with Rider and the only thing worse than middle of the night puke is having to clean it up twice.
So, there I was, ugly crying in my PJ’s trying to clean up dog vomit before Daisy could completely eat it and failing miserably. At 1:30 in the morning. It really set the tone for the following day.
That whole experience just opened the flood gates of every single thing that has
gone wrong not gone my way in the last days – weeks – months. We are talking pity party of epic proportions. All while wondering if the moisture on my hands was Rider bile or tears.. or my own drool. At some point I must have fallen asleep. I didn’t wake up until almost 11am Sunday, which seems nice but was not part of the plan.
The lingering feelings of depression for the rest of Sunday to now all revolve around not being pregnant and time. Both of which I REALZE I cannot control (so please don’t point that out to me since, I believe the fact that I can’t control at least one of those things that many women can, makes the powerlessness fueling this depression worse).
The logical, rational portion of me KNEW I would not come back from DC pregnant. I mean, I knew what I was going to do and it wasn’t the big thing this time. Still, the less logical part of me feels like I lost ground, even though I didn’t in reality, because I didn’t advance to the point of picking out nursery colors. In the grand scheme of things, it is TIME. Waiting and waiting and waiting coupled with no more paper work to fill out, appointments to appear for, or phone calls to make is truly, wholly depressing. Every time my phone rings and it is not that 240 area code, I can’t even bring myself to answer. Nothing else matters. I mean, obviously, other things matter and my clients are important and I have to go to work, but depression is a strange animal. I spent hours over the past days watching youtube videos of Jimmy Kimmel’s Mean Tweets and FailArmy and adorable doggos because sleeping, eating and caring for myself are insurmountable tasks right now. And when it isn’t the wee hours of the night, I am so busy that I am approaching breakdown.
The solution seems simple, right? Slow down! Say no! If only… Don’t forget that we have to pay for IVF and a 3+ week stay in DC.
It. Is. So. Overwhelming.
And this week, I am depressed. That big ball of things I haven’t dealt with – emotionally, physically, in my business and personally – it has rolled over on me and parked. I know the nature of round things in general is to continue to roll eventually, but for now, it’s parked and I am feeling pretty debilitated.
So, if you have called and I haven’t answered, texted and I haven’t responded – I am sorry, I literally can’t. Someone told me once that I was always a ball of sunshine. While I know that isn’t true (please see the 1168 words above) I do know that I project that a lot. I want to be happy all the time and especially to friends, family, and clients (or whatever fun mix of those things you are to me). So, when I am not that way, it is hard for me to communicate with you because I am a BAD faker. And if you give me an inch, I will take six more miles and involuntarily emotionally dump on you (like I did to Tammy on the phone last night, sorry Tammy). And I also know the amazing, caring folks I know will want to help me. They will offer their help and I will flounder because I literally do not know what to tell you. I know I have a broken dishwasher, a broken ice maker, a drawer of unpaired socks, a sink full of dishes and laundry I can’t seem to get from one <working – omg!> machine to the other.
If I haven’t edited your pictures yet, know that it is physically painful for me to be that laser focused on you and your beautiful, precious, amazing children right now. As selfish as that is, it is the truth and one that has always been incredibly hard for me to admit because it is so nasty. I love children. I love your children. I love photographing kids. I am HAPPY that you have them, that you are pregnant, that you are birthing or that you are also proud of your newborn. At the SAME TIME I am immeasurably sad for me RIGHT NOW. It will pass, and I will get everything done I PROMISE.
Even typing this, the guilt I feel is overwhelming. I know that September is right around the corner and just KNOWING WHEN we will get started with our actual IVF cycle will relieve so much tension and that is my small glimmer of hope. Thats not even a good analogy.
I am staring at white noise on a tube TV. I have already adjusted the antenna 1,000 times. I have switched channels, I have turned all the knobs. I even broke out the aluminum foil and I’ve made a mess all around me trying to get a clear picture. Right now, I have succumbed to the helplessness that comes with knowing that my only options is to wait for the world to turn, something so huge and daunting but also inevitable. Every now and then, though, the white noice breaks for a millisecond and I can see I Love Lucy plain as day and I know that right now she is starting to get a little loopy from her overdosage of Vitameatavegimine. Those breaks in the white noise are keeping me mildly sane and are my literal blips of hope. But soon, the world will turn, the satellites will align, the whole picture will be clear, and maybe that episode won’t be over yet.