Working Through Depression

Hello bloggy friends. I haven’t been here in s while and Im going to share with you why and tell you about my “friend” PCOS and some life things that have happened.

First off, the Friday of my last post, my husband was hit by a Cadillac making an illegal left u-turn. My husband was riding his motorcycle to work that day. We rushed to the city as an ambulance took him to the ER. He was awake and moving, but he was thrown after the car hit him. Soon the adrenaline would wear off, of all of us.

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This is my DH’s favorite thing to do.

My husband was alive and didn’t have to stay in the hospital. But he was injured- two puncture wounds, tons of road rash (right through his jeans), fractured ribs, torn ligaments in his knee and a torqued back and more. He was a mess. But an alive and kind-of walking mess thankfully.

They tell you stories about caregivers and what they go through, but I have a monkey on my back. I have poly-cystic ovarian syndrome, PCOS for short. 1 in 5 women have it. It is a lifelong disease. It doesnt just affect your fertility. It affects your entire health. When your hormones don’t function normally, your body is sick, a lot. When you have a period severe bouts of depression can come along for the ride. I’ve been lucky to be able to advocate for my health to get medicine and to be healthier than a lot of others with this condition. I’ve also been unlucky in that it has paved the way for the severe suffering of rheumatoid arthritis, just one of the many common co-morbid conditions it brings along.

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Maddy cat in the studio windows. These are all curved sashes with curved glass in them. It’s wonderful when the shades are up. It’s like you are in s ship’s wheelhouse.

That Friday I also got my period. And with it came depression; one of the worst bouts I’d had in years. It lasted so long; probably because of the accident, how upset our lives were and our house renovations had tanked as well. Oh and did I mention I am starting a new job in the fall? And our contractor quit after jacking up our bathroom tile and then not showing up for weeks to work? When we got home from the hospital that day he had come to the house (he told me he would be working) and taken all his tools and left.

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The cat traps are working. At least our kitchen floor was useable. It’s still missing the baseboards, thresholds, and tile pieces under the toe-kicks of the cabinets. The colors look softer in real life.

It was bad. I’m normally that person who is on the move all the time bopping around, doing things, but for over a week I just waited on my husband and sat in front if the tv, my mind shut down.

I was not me. Thats the best explanation of depression there is. I dont know who I was, but everything that makes me me had gone away. I tried to care, but I didn’t.

Finally it got so bad I took a Zoloft. In desperation I remembered I had some. I had been on Zoloft to help treat depression before, but my new medicines fixed it when they leveled out everything. I still had 1 or 2 times a month where I was pretty down, but it wasn’t like this. I took one. It worked. It helped pull me out of the hole. The next day I felt so different. Now I know and I saw online that many women do this. I don’t want to take them all the time, but they do work fairly quickly. Quicker than I thought! So next month I’ll be ready…

And that’s good because the very next week after that my sweet DD fractured her leg! So yeah. Not a great summer. But it’s worse for her than me. Crutches.

So now for the good parts! Sorry we had to deal with all the bad stuff, but I believe God always turns bad into good. I’m watching him do it right now! Our new contractors are here and they are working to fix everything and they are fast! Im downstairs in the library working in case they need questions answered, materials, etc.

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Oh. Oh. Oh. I know it looks crazy, but to me it looks amazing and STRAIGHT! And I can tell when it’s finished it will look just like I wanted it to! (This was day 1.)

My husband is mending! And he is able to work from home. He is mobile and caring more for himself. There is still a long road ahead for him and possibly surgeries, but he’s a trooper and a wonderful father and help when he can be. So much so that I was able to pack up and move out of my school room last week and deposit all my boxes in my new room. And he is able to help care a little for our DD too.

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My husband and I are sharing the studio table. These guys are in there with us all day. It’s a hot fluffy mess in there!

I’m still working my way through the illustrations for my book. If you go to instagram you can see updates from my studio. Creativity was gone along with everything else when the depression got hold. Now I’m working the best I can and taking care of my family the best I can. Time delegation can be hard. I could literally spend HOURS painting and think minutes had passed. Interruptions are really, really hard. I get interrupted a lot. One day I went and worked in the car in the driveway so people would leave me alone!

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They’ll never find me here! Ha ha!

What works pretty well is to spend the morning in my studio, shut off from others. And then do whatever in the afternoons with my kids. I know they need me too and summer is just once a year.

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Sketch and notes for “Molly Mouse’s Garden” map.
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Working on final color illustrations for the book. (Note: colors are off here.)

It is so important  to me to mother my children. My family is the best thing on this earth and I love them so. When I clean a toilet, or wash clothes, or cook food, it’s not because I’m a culturally indentured servant to the idea of what my job in society is as a mother. It’s because I love them and because I love myself. Somebody once told me that housekeeping is love made visible. That is epic.

But it’s hard, that balance and keeping it. I could easily spend all day cooking, washing, waiting on injured people. But then I wouldn’t have anything left to give. How do you find that balance? I struggle. I’ll think I have it, then something always happens. Maybe the key is dusting yourself off and getting right back on the horse, knowing you’re going to fall off again in the future but having the wisdom to deal with it. (Hmmm… that sounds like my journey with healthy eating and daily workouts too!)

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With love and mothering from Kansas Street,

-Jaime

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