So, I am home alone with both of my children tonight. I really wish that this wasn’t such a humongous deal. But it is. And it is making me reflect…
Tonight I cooked my kids dinner, gave them a bath and put them both to bed. I think that this is the first time I’ve done this since May of this year. It was for sure the first time in months that I cooked them anything other than oatmeal or a hard egg. And it’s also the second time in months that I’ve put my own son to sleep. WTF?! And I wasn’t even really alone tonight- my mother in law was here (cleaning my floor) until the first kid was sleeping.
This all leaves me to wonder Where the hell the last 5 months went! Should I even be telling anyone this?
I feel like I’m in that science fiction movie where the alien takes over the woman’s body and keeps living her life for her and everybody thinks she’s a bit different but nobody really notices that she’s really not there. My life is exactly like that.
I hope that someone has been feeding my kids since May because I just realized that I haven’t. How have I managed to keep my job for this long?
I need some context. As I was putting Crosby to sleep, after enjoying him biting my lips while he fell asleep, I was trying to figure out a timeline to account for the last year.
Here’s what I came up with:
January: I was on maternity leave with both kids and spent lots of time eating cookies while they napped in the car. I barely washed my hair and I must have fed them but that’s all I remember.
February: I went back to work. It was nice to get out each day. I was too fat for my clothes so I’m not sure what I wore to work-probably yoga pants or torn leggings. I think I wore Converse at the office too.
March: I spent most of my time at work getting used to the idea that I was out in public and reminding myself that people could not read my thoughts.
April: I got laid off from work (big surprise!) and immediately applied and interviewed for my current job.
May: I must have been nursing Crosby a lot because I got mastitis and then shit hit the fan and I had a full on hypomanic episode. My sisters had to come babysit me (not the kids- just me) for two weeks. Good times.
June….I somehow started the really good job that I had gotten.
July... ??I think we had fun at the beach on the weekends…
August…I somehow packed up my home and moved us into a new condo…
September… I think I was sleeping (or as my psychiatrist said, “dopey” from the meds)…
Is it October already? Holy shit! Enough snoozing, it’s time to wake up and take my life back. I better write this down now because I could fall back into the fog at any moment.
So, here are some notes to future me. Lyla, please remember:
- mental illness is real.
- it’s really real.
- thank your mother-in-law for feeding and caring for you and your kids all day, every day, (even preparing food when she was out of town) for the last five months.
- never forget the debt that you owe to her for this love. pay it back to her and all of her children and her grandchildren with love and support always.
- your brain was broken. you were sick. it wasn’t your fault and nobody hates you for it. (I so didn’t believe this yesterday but I think I see it today…)
- anyone who is mad at you for being sick (ie, your mother), is an idiot and a bitch and deserves to be ignored always.
- medications work. you just have to find the right one. this doesn’t mean that you are weak, it means that you are sick, that’s what medicine is for. people who need medicine are sick, not stupid.
- you are still their mother. they love you. you can make up this time. you made sure they were well cared for when you couldn’t do it.
- life is a struggle, try to help others when you are stronger and others will help you when you need it.
- love. breath. don’t give up.