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Thursday, September 6, 2012

Depression and the Missing Man

Don't you wish depression were something physical? A brain-seeking zombie you could shoot with a sawed off shot gun or a dragon you could slay with a sword?

I talked a little about my bouts of depression back in August. Change seems to be a big trigger for depression. I'm not sure this is normal, or if I'm reluctant to let things change because I see it as a failure, or if it's something else all together.

Whatever the reason, change is a trigger, and this coming week is full of change for me. My beloved husband, lover, and the keeper of my sanity is hopping across the pond to do some training work for his company. I'm expecting him to be gone the entire semester if not a little longer.

This scares me.

My husband is the one that gets things done around the house like folding laundry and packing school lunches. I handle the budget, the grocery shopping, and the doctor's appointments. He handles all the thankless cleaning tasks that I can't seem to figure out.

Did you know there was a clothes iron in my house? An actual thing for smoothing wrinkles out of clothes? I had no idea. My husband not only knew where it was, but how to use it. I haven't seen the thing since I quit quilting. I thought we left it in Texas! For those who are counting... Texas was three moves and two kids ago.

I'm beside myself with guilt, rage, fear, sorrow... a whole list of conflicting emotions. On one hand, this is good for his career and my budget. On the other hand, I'll be Single Momming it for months. I know exactly how hard single moms work. It's not a fun thing. I have the utmost respect for single parents who can, day in and day out, put everyone else's needs before their own and selflessly serve their families. I'm not tough enough to hang with that elite crowd.

Despite my protests, I don't get a choice. If my hubby wants a paycheck, a touring he will go. Well, not touring, but pond hopping at any rate. I think Ireland is his first stop...

I'm a wee bit jealous, but it's not practical to pack up the household, four kids, the giant dog, and country hop during the school year. Homeschooling and moving like that would put a serious dent in my writing time. It would mean taking my schedule loving kids away from their routine. It would mean trying to do speech and language therapy at home with two kids. The healthcare is a nightmare, to be honest, and not all the areas he's visiting will be friendly, American-loving cities. Hubby can take care of himself, but there'll be an international incident if you make my babies cry.

So, I'm staying here and holding down the fort while he travels. I'm already beyond stressed over this. Just trying to figure out what I'll need to do if I have to run someone to the ER in the middle of the night presents a problem. And if I get sick? The world will probably end.

At least my little corner of it.

And, after much consideration, I still haven't decided if a strategic withdrawal from social media and the internet will make this period of stress and depression easier. It's certainly very tempting to put up a bunch of blog posts and run away for a month. But at the same time, I'm well aware that leaving pleasurable activities is a sign of depression, and I know that I need some adult interaction during the day. My kids are cute, but I can't talk to them like I do my friends, most of whom are reachable only by internet.

What does this mean for you? Probably nothing. Hopefully I an pull off this Professional Author thing well enough that I don't become a raging basket case on the interwebz. If I do, I give you all permission to drag me away from the keyboard and force me to watch happy cheerful things (NOT My Little Pony or CareBears) until I'm sparkly and full of sunshine (no Twilight either).

If I vanish for a few days, no worries, it's not you. It's just a coping mechanism.

If you need me for something and were expecting an email or blog post or something next week, for the love of all that is good NUDGE ME!!! Tweet me, FB me, email me again and remind me that I owe you some attention next week because I am going to be too distracted to remember simple things like dates on the calendar.

Okay? Are we all on the same page now? Awesome. I'm going to get back to this Writing and Momming thing I do. You go, read a book or something.

*peers through internet*

What do you people do all day?


  1. I'm sorry to hear you're going to lose your hubby for awhile. :( If it helps you any to know, I do this all the time. Hubby is in play after play after play, goes to school, and works full-time. He's ... gone ... a lot. Sometimes it's literally days before we see each other outside of him stumbling into the bedroom to fall into bed. So I feel like a single mommy a lot of the time. After ten years of this, I'm pretty much used to it. You'll cope fine! You're strong and aware of the issues and can sort through things. I have faith in you!

    1. Last time he was gone for this long I only had two kids, and we lived in a neighborhood with good friends and lots of support. Here, we're much more isolated. There's no close friends within walking distance. It's a whole new level of stress (and bears).

  2. I've done the "single parent thing" once. My wife was pregnant and was very sick for the first trimester. I was working full time, taking care of a 2 year old, taking care of a very sick wife, and taking care of the house. I survived, but in hindsight, I should have taken time off work.

    What I'm saying is, it will be hard, you will survive.

    I hope you don't disappear completely from the interwebz. I agree adult conversations are import to keep you from going insane. Besides, we'll all worry about you and send you 8000 emails, FB pokes and Tweets until you scream and answer us. :D

    We're here if you need to vent.

    1. I'll try to tweet daily so you know the kids haven't taken over the house Lord of the Flies style.

  3. I know it's not quite the same thing, but I've been in your boat a few times over the years. (Hubs is in the military) It will be hard at first but you'll get into a routine and the time will fly by. He'll be back before you know it and you'll be frustrated for about a month while you have to readjust your schedule...............again. :)

    1. Thank you for being the supportive wife, and thank your husband for serving. We have military members in our family (every branch but Coastie at the moment I think), and I know how hard it can be to send a loved one into danger.

      I'm hoping DH doesn't get shot at. He promises me he's not going anywhere dangerous. But... politics and people. All you need is one crazy with a gun to turn a perfectly safe area into a blood bath. And I read too many books with killers. Maybe I'll switch to fluffy bunny books for a few months.

    2. If he's just jumping to the UK he'll be fine :) We've been stationed in England for the last two years and I've never been shot at. LOL. In fact, the only thing I have to be worried about attacking me is sheep b/c they out number us about 2-1 in my town ;)

  4. Separation is hard. I don't think I've been away from my wife for more than two weeks since we've been married.

  5. Fighting depression is hard. At least you know one of the triggers for your depression. Adding in all the other emotions is going a bit overboard though. Most single Moms feel just as helpless, frustrated, scared, and worried as you do and often don't think they are being Super-Moms. They've just been doing it longer than you have. So you will fit right in with them.

    However, you have a few advantages even with having four kids. The two oldest can help with chores and learn more about cooking. Also, they will be in school for part of the day so that will help. This is a great way for them to learn some of the skills they'll need to have for when they are grown and on their own.

    You'll get a routine going and find the time passes quickly. You'll also find that when DH comes back you'll be independent and proud of managing without him for a few months. Relieved to have him back but confident you can manage without him.