{An Ordinary Tuesday Afternoon: Depression, Social Media and Rooibos Tea}

Being faithful in the dailies is a test for me, summers especially.

Doing the dishes, again; picking up that little plastic army man, marbles, blanket, pillow, books, for the umpteenth time; kids needing to be fed three times a day!?!  Giving rides, so daily.

The highlight of my day is finding an open window upstairs, with the air still on.  The waste, a definite low! But it’s no wonder the upstairs is humid like an amazon jungle.  Mystery solved. How interesting.

Argh, it’s just all so boring!  And tedious.

I used to be able to avoid this feeling. I’d do almost anything to not feel bored!  Working when I still had a “job;” shopping was a favorite, compulsively, without needing anything, “just browsing” I’d tell myself.  These days it’s cooking or exercising.  My garden has grown wild from lack of attention but it used to distract me.  Once, I avoided this feeling with drinking.  All with the single purpose of not feeling this crazy feeling and not being left here with—this—moment—.  

Plain old life. 

For many years I thought I just wasn’t faithfulenough.  Surely If I was more devout, prayed better or at least more frequently, even fervently; or if I served with a restored attitude—this feeling might go away.  But that’s just another excuse.  Prayer, study, reading, serving are all ways to avoid this—feeling—.

I was irritated, as I was reading, quietly sipping my coffee and most importantly alone, when he kept chirping at me.  I just wanted to left alone in the quiet reading more of  the Prophets.

I was irritated that my stepdaughter didn’t come home last night, again and didn’t let me know.

I was irritated that my daughter slept on the couch for the third night in a row; left food out overnight; didn’t pick up after herself.  So when she asks me to make her breakfast toast I went off, like a tea kettle boiling then erupting. I will owe her an apology.

I was irritated that the boys make such a colossal mess in their room.

And irritated that the house decays so quickly.  That there are dishes in the sink, again.  That the dishwasher is broken, that the disposal is broken.  That the floor is degrading.

The house is falling in around me and I’m—furious!

I try to distract myself wondering what classic books I can start reading.  Wishing I could go on a vacation and resenting all the people that are on vacations or have taken them this summer.  Instagram and Facebook are constant reminders of others travelling to exotic locations.

I used to travel when I was young, before I met Tom; before we had kids and I quit my job; before we cut up our credit cards. This too is a part of the harsh reality of minding our Ps and Qs financially.  We don’t spend money we don’t have. Sometimes I hate being a grown up.

And so I yell at my daughter for asking me to make her toast, for asking for lunch money, for not picking up the comforter from her nights on the couch.

I slink around the house irritable, and then, anxiety come seeping in.  And I know from experience that if I don’t figure out what’s truly bothering me this will worsen.  This could get really bad, before it improves.

I pop on to Facebook, even though for the most part lately it makes me feel grumpy and alone.  Someone I don’t even know (in real life) posts an article.  I know he struggles with depression though I cannot remember how I know that about him, as he is a stranger to me.  Weird that I know this piece of information about this stranger but because of it I’m intrigued by the title: Depression, Gift, and Legacy.  Reading it, I meet a new poet (to me) the late Jane Kenyon by reading her poem “Having it Out With Melancholy.”  I make a new friend in this poet.  Here is a piece:

when we were alone, you lay down
on top of me, pressing 
the bile of desolation into every pore.

And for a second I have the energy to write this.  I know that for this day at least, it will pass even as I long for greater contentment and peace. But for today, for the moment it is enough to find a poet that understands me.  I this moment I do not feel so alone.  The wonders of social media.

Caroline Langston, the article’s author too becomes a friend today because I get her and what she wrote.  

It is like puzzle pieces clicking into place, deep inside of me.

“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a great battle,” said Philo of Alexandria. Oh how I love that quote.  I remind myself of that all the time. My own battles with depression have allowed me to see others more clearly, with more empathy and understanding.

And Caroline paraphrases Walker Percy saying: “The hardest thing in life is to get through an ordinary Tuesday afternoon. One is far happier to be facing an imminent hurricane.”

As I sit here petulantly bearing my boring day which weighs on me; heavy like the summer air outside, thick and impenetrable, ghastly.  But rather than avoid, I will sit here a moment  with my sweet and smoky Rooibos tea.  I will feel my irritation, my wishing, my longings, my fear, my resentments.

I will sit and be in this day.

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6 Comments Add yours

  1. Though I’ve never struggled “officially” if you will with depression, I have been in this ordinary Tuesday afternoon place. The tedium of housekeeping and motherhood. The boredom. The irritation sparked into rage by a request for toast that feels utterly LUDICROUS, so incredibly obnoxious and selfish… and it is just toast. Thank you for putting words to these feelings that I too often tend to discount as not worthy of words. Beautiful.

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    1. Thank you Ellen. For telling me, because it’s good to not feel alone and being at-home is so very lonely at times. Melody

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  2. IVIRGIN says:

    My long days since moving from WI and family and friends have been filled with a number of these type of days. Sometimes it is so all consuming that all I can do is pace my floors. Moving from the couch, to the couch, to the couch and then back again. No matter what I did or tried to think about I just felt crushed under the weight of being depressed, wanting to talk to someone but not wanting anyone to think that I don’t like the place we have chosen to move to or the decisions it took to get us here in Texas. No matter who I tried to call, and no one answered it just confirmed to me that I need a life outside of my home, I need friends, I need action and most importantly I need to deal with those things that I don’t want to deal with. It is/was like God was saying, I’m here and I can talk to you but I REALLY didn’t want nor do I now want to talk to him… you know how that goes, you love God one minute and despise him the next, hate him for everything he stands for, could stand for and wants to stand for…

    Anyways, Thanks for putting into words how I feel but couldn’t get out in my own words because to write about it would be to make it real…

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    1. Thanks I’m honored to be your words.

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Thanks so much for reading and sharing.

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