Sinking?

I am a short way through the Pilot for the TV show, House M.D.

It doesn’t give anything away to tell you that there is a lady lying in a hospital bed, and she is sick and unresponsive, although she doesn’t appear to be in any pain.

For you, your instinctive first reaction might be sympathy. Or possibly empathy for her family. Or even plain curiosity about what is wrong with her.

It is telling that my first reaction was different. The patient isn’t in pain and I saw that she was (a) resting in bed; (b) being cared for by other people; and (c) in no hurry to be anywhere else. My first reaction was a surprise to me: envy.

Therefore I can deduce I may need some time off. But why?

My kids are with me every second week these days. Their mom has them the other weeks. She’s back in their lives (without a fair accounting of the cost to me and those around me for the time she was not). The girls aren’t the direct stressors in my life that they were two years ago.

When the girls are not with me, my To Do list is still so long that I don’t do it all. Sometimes I watch a movie or a TV show for a little downtime before going to sleep. Still, I have less time pressure than I had a couple of years ago.

My current consulting position isn’t particularly stressful at the moment. I remember when I had challenging problems to solve. I remember when I bounced into the building and headed for my office, full of enthusiasm and energy. I remember the excitement of being on a mission to get something before the day was over. Not anymore. It’s fair to apportion some blame on my Government boss. He is more apt to say no than yes, more apt to avoid change than embrace it, more apt to say he is building a plan than to actually build a plan. He’s not a horrible guy, he is just a drag on forward progress.

My relationship with Lillian hasn’t gone well this year. It’s been on and off. We have different ideas about why. She’s not able to defend herself in this forum, so I won’t criticize her. For all I know, we’re both right. This is definitely one cause of stress in my life, but it’s not enough to explain how I feel right now.

When I wake in the morning, it takes all my effort to get up and get moving. Not that staying in bed helps. I just can’t sleep properly anymore.

— ooOoo —

As I don’t know how to do an emoticon for “four days have passed”, the above will have to do.

I’ve finished watching the pilot episode of House. Again, it won’t really be a surprise when I tell you Doc House and his team figured out what was wrong with his very comfortable patient. She left the hospital with an alacrity that may be reserved for avoiding more sarcastic remarks from Doc House.

I don’t think there’s anything challenging about my diagnosis at the moment. I went to my doctor because I’ve been too tired to go to work. I showed him a short list of my symptoms on my iPad. Wait, my iPad, you ask? Don’t judge me; I sometimes make a list while I’m waiting to see the doctor. This means I don’t walk out and smack my forehead because I forgot to tell him something important. (For example, that I also have a headache as a symptom. One that’s much worse for having smacked my forehead.) He drew some blood to eliminate other possibilities, but his first guess is the obvious: I may be depressed.

Maybe the damage on my life, my reserves, and my relationships is cumulative…

The past few years have had some significant ups and down. The girls didn’t try to create problems for me, but their problems haven’t been easy to watch or solve. Lillian was incredibly supportive when other people would have walked. Other friends have been very supportive too. But sometimes it just all gets too much. And it’s time to lie down for a while.

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About Single Dad

I married young. Now, after more than 20 years of marriage, 3 wonderful daughters, and many ups and downs, my wife has decided the marriage is over. The "About Me" and "My Background" pages on my blog have more details.
This entry was posted in Family Life, Mental Health, Miscellaneous and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

25 Responses to Sinking?

  1. The ending of shorter relationships seem to go through a single path of the ending, the grief process, acceptance, then moving on. After a long marriage it is different because you can get to the state of acceptance for a while (maybe a year or two) and then sink again. The second sinking can be loss of identity, role, dreams, or purpose. It is as if in the first acceptance stage you get back to living your joint dream alone and you accept that aloneness. Then you begin to question whether those dreams are actually your own. A lot of people go through this (even widows and widowers)’ and the usual time is two or three years after the initial loss. The first step is understanding that is what it is. The next step is forming your new dreams.

    • Almost Spring,

      Thanks for your comments. I don’t know exactly where in Australia you live, but the view is generally familiar, even though it’s a long time since I lived there myself. It’s odd, but sometimes I miss the solitude of being somewhere remote, and other times I know that solitude doesn’t work for me. Being contrary is not a blessing.. πŸ™‚

      Your insight into the post-divorce ebbs and flows is welcome. I can see from your blog that you’ve had a brutal experience but it seems your introspection is deeper than most and is helping you navigate your way through.

      I think you’re right that there is a difference between the post-separation buoying and the longer-term acceptance, and that there may be a gulf between the two.

      • I live in Tasmania πŸ™‚
        Thanks for your thoughtful reply. I really appreciate it.
        I hope that you are feeling a bit better now.

        • I love Tasmania! When I was about 20, I toured around on a motorbike. When I was older, I spent some weeks touring around with a girlfriend. I’ve been almost everywhere…but that’s not very hard for Tasmania!

  2. Take some downtime. Look after you. We all need a break now and again my friend xoxo

  3. Seeing this in my mailbox was like getting a letter from an old friend πŸ™‚

    Depression hit me fast and hard last year. I had to quit my job. All I can say is now that I have climbed out of the dark, the physical and emotional pain of depression was real.

    Be kind to yourself and forgive yourself when all the stuff doesn’t get done. This is your minds way of forcing you to take care of yourself.

    I hope you do.
    xxx

  4. It’s certainly nice to see your post in my inbox. I’m sorry to hear about what you’re going through. For what it’s worth, I have been feeling the seedlings of the same ailment. St. Johns Wort can help take the edge off as you are trying to work through and determine what is going on.

    Without knowing you formally, I just know you are a good dad, a good person. I am sure of it. You are the type that leaves the Earth a little better than it was before. Please take care of yourself, as you deserve happiness.

    • Thanks Brette! I think we only talked once, but I have fond memories of our chat.

      After reading about St. John’s Wort, I may try it. I may also sneak it into my kids’ food too.. πŸ™‚

      Are you enjoying our late Spring? After a tough winter here, I forget that you had a much colder and snowier winter than I did.

  5. Oh, my friend. Do not discount the pain of a broken heart. You are displaying one of the primary characteristics of depression: the depressed person’s belief that their problems are not sufficient to account for the depression.

    You have been through a lot. Be as gentle and kind to yourself as you would to me or your other friends. And don’t disregard any potential solution to your depression, including medication. I’m sorry that you don’t have anyone there to take care of you like the lady in “House,” but do your best to provide yourself with some TLC.

    I would also strongly suggest that you find a copy of the Desiderata. It is a soothing piece of prose that always help me.

    Good luck.

    • Hi TPG,

      Had I not started to recover so quickly, I’d have heeded your advice and visited my doctor. There’s patience, and foolish optimism. Not the same thing.

      I first saw the Desiderata outside what in Australia is called a newsagent (a shop that sells candy, minor office supplies, magazines…and newspapers) in the Brandon Park Shopping Center. It was about 1980. Soothing. Calming. The epitome of peaceful resistance to Life’s aggressions, written in the time of Gandhi.

      Thanks for your support.

  6. TikkTok says:

    Oh honey. I totally get this. Hunny has been gone again for another month and it looks like the earliest he can get home is in another. I haven’t watched tv since he left.

    I don’t sleep well without him. Lately it’s because of the crazy people, because they are, well, crazy. I don’t trust them not to do something to my animals. Haven’t seen but one horse this morning, so it’s time to head out and find them.

    I am so glad to hear from you. Although, I wish you felt better. I agree it sounds like depression, and I, too, have been there.

    Give yourself permission to have some down time. Rest. They may seem like little things, but little things can pile on top of each other and conglomerate into big things.

    And know you’re loved. Welcome back, my friend. I’ve missed you. It will get better. {{{{Hugs}}}}

    • Hi TT,

      Thanks for the kind sentiments.

      I didn’t know Mr TT was away so much… :((

      I read up when I can and I know that horses and chickens still play a large part in your life.. πŸ™‚ Some of my neighbors want to have chickens and I want to tell them about your blog except that it would also reveal my blog to them. So I can’t. Oh well. Also, I’m not convinced that chickens (hens) and suburban living are a good mix anyway.

      Doesn’t it seem like almost everyone has at some point come down with depression? As I’ve said in my next post, I feel sorry for the people for whom it’s far more serious and far harder to recover. Time, support, and my nature sprang me out of this. But not everyone is as lucky…

      I wrote a few posts in the past, but never published them. Soon I’ll add some more.

      Cheers, SD.. xx

      • TikkTok says:

        Ya, he didn’t used to be. This isca new job, on the opposite side of the country, literally. In the preceding 23 years, I think the longest we’d ever been apart was maybe a week. By the time I see him next, it will have been 2 months. It totally sucks and likely isn’t sustainable. And then all the bull crap going on (no, actual wild bulls and a heifer; the big bull having been loose for over a month now) has left me sleeping a few days. *sigh.* Too much stress and not a good way to off load it…..

  7. It’s all been eloquently said above and as I can’t say it any better, I will just say that I am sorry you’re feeling down. I am sure it is just temporary, but while it’s there, I know it must be overwhelming. Sending you good thoughts ……. xoxo

  8. Pingback: And…sunk | Four is a Family

  9. Caroline says:

    My practical advice is get yourself a Strategic Intervention Coach. I bet there’s a good one in your area. xxx

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