Wednesday, February 19, 2014

On Wanting to Crawl into a Mitten and Hide

This past Monday morning, we drove to a play about winter in the dead of winter. Appropriate, no? It was very slow going and a bit nail-biting at times, but we made it there despite the blowing snow and slippery roads.

There were semis in the ditch.

Mitten II

We attended a ballet based on the book The Mitten. Have you read it? It's a family favorite.

Mitten I   I call this shot "Bare Stage and Bald Head." 

A mole crawls into an abandoned mitten and is eventually joined by a whole host of other animals.

Nicky and the Mole
A young lady from our homeschool co-op played the part of the mole. 
Her name is Bernadette and she did wonderfully! 

The mole doesn't want to let them in at first but eventually sighs, "I'll make room."

* * *

So I took some pictures at the play. 

Nicki and Nicky
I call this one "Nicki and Nicky." Huh. I wonder why. 

Correction: I tried to take some pictures at the play, having dressed my toddler in Jan Brett-ish gear. 

He refused to cooperate, and wore a decidedly woodland-creature-in-the-headlights expression in EVERY PICTURE THAT I TOOK. 
Mitten III
A white mitten knit for me, coincidentally, by my sweetie-pie friend, Ruth Ann

* * *

This past Monday afternoon, my no-more-iPad withdrawal was at an all-time high. It was the third day since it'd gotten broken, and isn't Day 3 supposed to be the hardest for an addict? I felt my mood descending like a car skidding downhill, and it wasn't long after that that my husband told me my attitude was “poisonous.”

He canceled his plans to go to Boy Scouts and made me stay in my bedroom until my mood improved.

He steered clear of his weepy, overwhelmed wife.

In an act of miserable desperation, I texted my sweetie-pie friend Ruth Ann. I chose this friend because, unlike me, she checks her texts fairly often, and unlike me, (at least, I hoped), would be in a cheerful frame of mind.

“Having a hard day,” I tapped on my phone. “Depression.”

Well, she didn't text me back. She called, within the minute.

* * *

Girlfriends understand, in a way husbands just can't, how it can be everything and nothing that's got us down. They don't judge; they don't try to make us “snap out of it.” They truly get that weepy, overwhelmed feeling.

They listen; they nod; they cluck their tongue sympathetically...

And then they invite us over to watch Downton Abbey! (I didn't go because it was getting late, but just being asked brought me out of my funk.)

I went from crying to laughing, which is what women do.

I made room for a friend in my overwhelmed mitten.

Nick and Will
My friend Ruth Ann's son and my would-be Scandinavian. Aren't they handsome? 

* * *

Epilogue: One of the hardest things to do when I'm sad is let someone outside the family know. It's a pride thing, I'm sure. I don't want them to know that I'm not coping.  At that point, the devil has his way with me. He sends me, and consequently my family, spiraling down down DOWN, and when I hit bottom he tries to keep me there. 

That's how ol' hairy legs operates but you know what? I'm onto him! 

Mind, I still want my iPad back. 

May I ask, what do you do when you have the blues? Do you phone a friend? Watch an old movie? Both? Any & all feedback is most appreciated, especially since it's winter.


  1. I go to Target and wander the aisles while the kids are at school. And then I treat myself to lunch at Jason't Deli. Their ranch dressing alone could lift me out of a depression.

    So glad your friend was able to lift you up!!

  2. Hi Margaret!

    It's been a bit since I last comment/emailed!

    I have a tendency to hide when I'm down; put on a straight face-smile and try to act as normal as possible when out in public, this would be me. Then, I cry and try to talk myself out of it by focusing on my blessings, breathing deeply and telling myself over and over, "This will pass, it will and Jesus is with me... I'm not alone in this." Time is my healer, Does that make sense?

    Your post caught me in this very state of mind/heart. We are struggling here in sunny California. Thus, I've been away from blogging, reading blogs, and keeping things very close and private. I thank God this very moment, that He somehow guided my fingers to type your name.

    I'm glad you had Ruth Ann to bring a laugh to your lovely face. I'm happy that you had the wisdom to write about it.

    God bless you!

  3. I have been known to read a light-hearted novel or two late into the night...yes, I know sleep is important, but late night is the only quiet time and there's no little 'nurser' wanting to cling to me even in his sleep. For me, it's hard to share because I start thinking that 'everyone has problems' and 'of what consequence are mine' yea, I get the going into yourself and not wanting to share. It could be pride for me too, but the last couple times I reached out, another person thought it was a contest of sorts and another told me a sad story about another family. Neither helped and needless to say, it's not an incentive to share more. I'm glad you have a friend who will listen and just knows what to say.

    BTW, our tablet was broken about two weeks ago. The first week was hard because we'd come to rely on it for school memorization and reading. Now, it's not so bad, and it was an eye-opener that I really need to do some of this WITH the kids at least once in a while.

    Jan Brett books are a winter fave here, too.

  4. I'm not prone to actual medical-condition depression (though my beloved is), so when I get the blues, I just recognize that I, and probably everybody else, needs a change of pace. So we take the day off, whether it's from work or school, and go do something fun. Maybe shopping, maybe bowling, maybe just lunch at the park. Doesn't matter, as long as it's not our everyday routine. (Monday, we drove an hour to visit the most delicious fabric store I have ever seen. I can live on that gorgeousness for quite a long time, but I'll probably take the kids bowling in a few weeks. :-) They don't enjoy fabric stores as much as I do. )

  5. Anonymous1:56 PM

    Hate to ask.....but, do you not have any other computer in your house at this time. Just wondering why the demise of your IPad should be such a crisis for you. Wishing you well!

  6. I cry, take a bath, read a book, or call/text friends. So glad your friend could be there for you in just the way you needed.

  7. Betsy M3:08 PM

    Margaret, oh goodness can I relate. First off, your little guy makes the cutest little Scandinavian ever. Next, when I am feeling down I read your blog. :) Really, I do. I also try to go for a walk by myself - but then the kids cry because something MUST be wrong with Mom if she doesn't have a kid with her. And lastly, my goodness, our husbands sound alike! Take care and I'll pray for some sunshine to come your way.

  8. I workout, go to adoration and then meet a bunch of girlfriends for a drink at our bar in town. I end up laughing and it helps me get out of my funk. You are not alone in feeling this way sometimes. It is amazing how one day we can feel like we have the world y the tail and the very next day it seems like the world is caving in.

  9. I stay close to the Sacraments. I am pretty sure I'm getting my period tomorrow, because today I'm craving homemade baked cookies (which I did not have time to make) and was on the verge of tears all morning, wept through my first in a long time alone bath, continued to let tears fall and even cried while trying to put on my make-up...then went to Mass. I feel a little better, but still want to run to Jesus. It's the only thing that consoles me.

    Praying for you Maggie.
    Your feelings are being masked by the lost i-pad, but the i-pad is good for keeping your mind busy, during these depressing times...You need to have a plan, (every day) you need to keep busy, you need to get out and you need Jesus.

  10. Oh, and put those darn Jan Brett books away!! I just took all our ton of winter books and put them away. It's time for fun cheery reading not involving snow!

  11. I try to "spoil" myself a bit. A good tea a bubble bath and I know it's sounds bad I'm not one of those people but I've been working so hard on exercise using DVDs at home I take the time to exercise. I try very hard to not use chocolate because the sugar crash just isn't worth it. And even things like getting my hair cut at a place that requires appointments versus the place next to Kroger can be so nice.

  12. As someone who has suffered depression for many years I am in total sympathy for you!!!!!! I always examine what set off the depression. I have discovered that depression for me is also a sign of spiritual attack and I find going to confession helps, it seems to put "you know who" on the run. Going into the adoration chapel when I am in wallowing in the blues helps. Also getting a good nights sleep is another help.

  13. I take a hot bath. I keep the water trickling so I feel like I have a quiet few minutes to myself and can't hear the kiddos and hubby. Dim the lights, plug in a Scentsy and read. All by myself with no interruptions. A cold drink and some chocolate. Hubby will get the kiddos to bed and I just take a few to just breathe. And be grateful I have what I have.

    Don't be afraid to reach out. Friendships are there to pull us up, help us out and to make us laugh.

  14. I do a combination of things when I'm down. As you know, winter is not well winter here but some days just get to be too much. Like Jamie^^^^ I get really, really down and weepy before my period so I try to knit. If I can't get out and go to my local knitting store for Happy hour then I light a candle and put on my audio book and just lint away. Something about using my hands and creating something special for someone is absolutely like a balm to my soul.

  15. I tend to eat. bad I know. I like all the suggestions from the other ladies. Lots of prayer. some chocolate. Keep busy. maybe some more chocolate. Kiss and love the baby. one more chocolate. Hugs to you!

  16. Ok, probably not what you want to hear but you have helped me figure out what I am giving up for Lent! My iPad! That would be a HUGE sacrifice. I have been trying to figure it out for weeks and thanks to you I know that will be big!

    Depression is a big deal in my family. I am very prone to it too. Certain medications can trigger it even, so I have had to be very careful and watch for the early signs. The only things that work for me is to get active. Exercise is huge but just going for a walk can be a huge head clearing move. The other 99.9% cure-all is helping someone else. Make some grand gesture, no matter how hard it is, for someone else who is in a worse place than yourself. Or do a ton of good little deeds a la Saint Therese. It is hard to dwell on our own pains when we are doing something for others.

    Those are things that work best for me. God bless and much love!

  17. Anonymous1:14 PM

    Fresh flowers usually brighten up a yucky winter day. Especially yellow flowers on the table.
    Seems to make everyone feel better. God bless,

  18. As an introvert, I perk up best by going off by myself to knit, read, exercise, and maybe a little tj maxx therapy...


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