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Smoke Signals from my Brain

Today, when my kids wake up, I will tell them I made  "extra crispy sausages" for breakfast.

They aren't stupid though. Half of the package are burned black on one side.

Here they are:

I know how this will play out:
"These look burnt"
"Extra crispy!" I will insist, but I am already imagining the raised eyebrows, sausage crumbling to charcoal on their plate when they stab it.
"Fine! Don't eat them then."
See, look.  Now I can actually skip the whole conversation because I have lived it out in my mind.  This is how depression works for me....I get a preview of my failure and then get a live show!  Two shots for the price of one.

Now you might be thinking, why not just imaging that the kids say, "Wow these are great crispy sausages".

The Bloggess - Jenny Lawson
Really?  False bullshit like that just makes the crushing reality of their scorn feel worse by a factor of ten.  If I berate myself before hand, it just hurts less when small children do it later.

Ok, so you are thinking, throw out the burned ones.  We all make mistakes.

When you are depressed, burned sausage is a visual reminder of your inability to get your shit together and for some reason, looking at it helps you justify your misery.

See, I am a screw up. Jenny Lawson says, "depression lies".

And she is right.  It whispers in my ear:
Come on now....really....if so many people make it successfully, no wait, brilliantly through the day, juggling family and work and home and self-care, as evident by their postcard perfect Facebook really really have no worth unless, at the very least, you can do some shit at home since you are off work you broken, weakling.  
So I water the lawn, have a coffee, put sausage in the frying pan well before anyone in the house is awake (because I have been up since 5 AM)  and then wander out to the yard to sit, and make a few sentences of the first book I have tried to read in months, actually stick in my head.

Then my stomach rumbles.  Something smells good.

OMG the damn sausages.

Which are now "EXTRA CRISPY! "

And it is one thing to have a slip up now and again.  We all do it.

But my mini gaps in memory have graduated to chasms and each one feels like a not too gentle reminder that I am fighting this depression/anxiety  and the sense of value I have superglued to my sense of self worth.

If I do, I am.
If I do it well, I have value.
I DO forget things and mess up a lot ...therefore I am a screw up and can't do anything right.


Yesterday I did some paining of our deck. For me, painting is very therapeutic or numbing---as it occupies my body and my mind allowing me to hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm out for a while.  Doesn't matter what I paint---wall, picture, works like meditation or yoga and I crave the peace it provides.

But at some point, I walked away from it and left everything out there. The brush might as well be a trowel now, and the pudding film layer on the can of open paint was testament to how long I was gone.  What happened?

I cleaned it up and continued---freaked out I had totally forgotten I was doing it.  New brush in hand I zoned out for another hour until the sun became too much.

My intention was to go inside, get a drink and then come back out to clean up.  But something distracted me---I don't even remember what---and  several hours later, I found myself staring at the pudding film/trowel combo again.

What the hell?????

Over the past week examples pop up everywhere ---conversations with Oldest I have no recollection of, driving home from the doctor's only to realize I was driving in the general direction of my house but had lost track of where I was exactly, not knowing if I had taken my morning OR evening medication because I can't trust if what I remember was from that day or another day....walking out of the house and leaving the back door open....driving to my son's baseball practice at a field he practiced at last year, being unable to make a phone call because I can't remember what buttons to push on my phone.

I think my brain so enjoys the hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm that unless I am specifically chanting something I need to do:

Put laundry in to dry, put laundry in to dry, put laundry in to dry...... defaults to the hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm in self defense of having to face whatever the hell is going on in there.

It's a bit like the "fingers in ears la-la-la-la-la-la-la-la I can't hear you" thing.


...and to top it all off...I got told on Wed of this week, that my insurance claim is closed and work will be expecting me to return on Monday, full-time.



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