Gone Coastal

Monday, September 01, 2008


Yes, I'm still alive out here. It's been kinda hard for me to get a post out, though there's been no shortage of blogworthy action around here. I'd like to have posted about the three-day road trip home with two kids and two dogs, and a tribute to our old Siamese cat who sadly passed away, and about the absolute insanity that was the replacement of our floors. And that's not to mention all the little tales of everyday life with two under two.
But it's been hard to find the time to put them out there. Harder still to form the chaotic thoughts into something coherent to post. There are at least three abandoned drafts of posts, things I just couldn't seem to wrap up before I forgot what I was trying to say.
And what I'm trying to say, before I get lost again, is that a lot of things have been hard lately. Harder than I actually realized in the midst of it all, until it got a little ugly. Those who know me well know that I kinda went through the ringer after Tweetie was born. So this time I was on the watch for signs of depression, as were at least a couple of my good friends. I'd had some rough days, but not the seemingly endless weepy days and crying myself to sleep that I went through the first time, so I figured I was doing okay.
Turns out I was looking in the wrong place, and anxiety snuck up behind me. Building up until it let loose in some pretty self destructive behaviour. Looking back, it was there all along. But I was mostly busy keeping my head above water, putting one foot in front of the other on autopilot without keeping an eye on the shore. A few gulps of salt chuck made me realize a life jacket might be in order.
So, I gave in and spoke to the doc a few short weeks back, and I'm now adjusting to medicated life, riding out the 'break-in' period for the second antidepressant prescription we've tried. The side effects of the first were horrid, and we had to try something else. So far, I'd call the effects of the second tolerable, though there are lots of ups and downs at this point.

Yesterday at church, Darin, our pastor, opened his message with a question, one he said he'd be curious to hear people's personal answers to. What do you fear? He threw out some examples like the dark, or spiders, and went on to talk about the association in Jewish and other cultures at the time of the early church of bodies of water with the abyss, the unknown, and various fearful things. In my mind, the answer to his question was not precise, but yet pretty clear. Fear of failure - in many possible forms - as a mother. Darin highlighted a number of events in scripture, from Jesus calming the storm and walking on water, to Jonah being tossed overboard to save the ship, where the very fear and trembling around the water and its power and nature was what made the Lord's power and sovereignty evident. God was totally in control of that which they feared most.
That was something I needed to hear in a fresh way.

I'm not a perfect mom. Not by any measure, nor can I be. I will inevitably fail on some fronts, and likely even make a few horrible messes. But through God's grace, my kids will still come through alright, and more than that, I'll get it right far more often than I don't. Motherhood is hard - harder than I ever could have imagined. If it didn't make me anxious at all, there'd be something much bigger to worry about. Maybe this season will last many years, maybe things will shift in a few months. It doesn't really matter. For right now I think the meds are doing what they ought to. They take the edge off the anxiety, keeping things mostly below the boiling point, leaving me able to keeping giving my imperfect best to my marriage and family.