“Is That Just Your Depression Talking?”

I haven’t been writing, even though I know it’s good for my mental health. I haven’t been exercising, or eating healthy, or meditating, or drinking water, or doing any of the things I know are good for my mental health. Instead I’ve been keeping my mentals busy, busy looking for local problems to solve and terror scrolling the news. If I order enough cleaning supplies from Target, delivered via Shipt, and I tip really well, I can scrub my soul and save the economy all in one click of the button on my phone, right? Only it’s never just one click. My brain aches from staring into the tiny screen, my guys boil over from forgotten passwords, GPS failing, leaving me helpless and worthless, the internet not working, kids panicking when they can’t log in to their classes, or (much) worse, can’t stream their shows. They make that terrible whiny/blamey, “MOOOOOOOOMMMMM” sound, and I know, I KNOW I am failing everything. Everyone. Always.

Tonight, my computer was acting as TV babysitter for the kids again and Robb asked if he should rescue it so I could write, as I’d earlier said, in a moment of optimism, that I wanted to do. Instead, I wailed, “Why bother? Everything is doooooooomed,” or something equally reasonable, and he asked, “Is that just your depression talking?”

No!

Yes.

I don’t know.

In the back (and front and sides) of my mind I feel like a selfish terrible turd for having ANY complaints, daring to be depressed, because not only do we finally have a job with (big, California) money, but we have our health, we’re all together we made it through the worst of it (right???) AND now we’re in this paradise place. It’s all I wanted…but I’m just as sad and scared here as I was there.

Well, shit.

When we were debating making the move, people who love us lots, compulsively cautioned us that it was too: 1) Liberal, 2) Expensive, 3) Far away, 4) Wouldn’t solve all of our problems, dontcha know.

So now that I’m struggling, I feel like I somehow didn’t heed the warnings, like I WAS naive, and like I DID think this would be solution to all the woes and here I am finding out otherwise.

It feels like the postpartum phase…when I FINALLY had a newborn after infertility and miscarriages, and it….well, it super sucked, because newborns are terrible, and parenting is intense, uncomfortble, and exhausting…I felt like the worst kind of ingrate. I had what I wanted! What was wrong with me?? Had I been wrong to want that?

Was I wrong to want this??

I’m trying to apply the “yes, and” hot sauce to my current state. YES, I made this big move to have an adventure and sunshine, ocean, mountains, and artistic freedom, and that is all great! YES, AND…right now is terrible. Home schooling sucks, being untethered and uncertain sucks, transition sucks, insurrections suck, impending violence sucks, pandemics suck, parenting 24/7 sucks. It’s both. It’s all.

I guess it’s comfort that this beautiful, exotic place feels permanent and real and not just like a vacation. I never yell this much at my kids on vacation. Welcome home!

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So…finally I wrote. And I cuddled with my dog. And I drank some tea. Even if all I could do was drag my eyeballs off my phone fretting for a little while, to get these words down on a big girl keyboard, I did it. That’ll have to be my win today. (Also, I ordered $70 of vegan desserts from DoorDash. I’ll take that as another win. For me and the economy. You’re welcome).

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