A weekend summary:
On Friday night, I came home from work, had an argument with Kendell about a medical bill (I have no patience or kindness or ability to put up with other people’s issues right now), left home in a huff and spent an hour wandering around Target. (The fact that I only spent $30 is a miracle I think.) Then Jake and I went to pick up food. We had the best conversation while we waited in line at the barbeque place. Nothing really earth-shattering or important, but somehow he helped me feel a little bit better. I’m so grateful he is back home and we are involved in his life again. I’m not complete without him.
This was Nathan’s first drill weekend after joining the National Guard. I got up early to make him protein pancakes both mornings. I can’t express what it felt like when he came home on Saturday night, wearing his uniform. I am proud of him. I am terrified that this experience will damage him in ways I can’t imagine (and ways that I can), that he will be out in the world doing dangerous stuff. But despite that fear, I am also excited for him. I think it will also change him in positive ways.
But I worried about him all weekend. He came home both days exhausted and sore.
I just want to throw this out into the universe: I hope he stays whole and himself. I hope he doesn’t lose his kindness and gentleness. I hope he does acts of service that help people. I hope he makes friends who support him for the rest of his life. I hope this experience makes him an even better person.
Saturday morning was awful for me. I know I sound whiny and miserable and lame, but damn. My depression right now is crippling. I am functioning in the sense of getting up and going to work. But otherwise I am just down here in the dark. Kendell said something that upset me (I don’t even remember now what it was) so we went back and forth for an hour, discussing some things, fighting about other things. He is trying. He doesn’t really know how to help me, but I am glad he is trying. I’m trying too, or at least, sort of. I went back on meds, I started talking to a therapist.
But I also know me. I’ve wrestled with depression since I was 16. It has been better and worse in the past three decades, but never really gone away. I have created coping mechanisms. (Sometimes I wonder…what would my life be like if I didn’t have to fill it with coping mechanisms? What if I could just live and be present and enjoy my experiences?) Right now, I don’t have access to any of those coping mechanisms. But what is affecting me most profoundly is not being able to run. I don’t think I will improve until I can run again.
(And if I can never run again? I don’t even know.)
But, there’s depression but there’s also life, and we needed groceries and we had to go to a funeral. So I took a shower and pretended I was OK and I did what I needed to.
I meant to do some yardwork on Saturday afternoon, but my knees were bothering me so instead, Kendell, Kaleb and I worked on cleaning out the storage room. I finally, after more than 13 years, was able to get rid of all of my books that I’d had in my classroom when I was a teacher. I’d kept boxes of them, with the fear that one day I would have to go back to teaching. But they were taking up so much space, and maybe it was my depression driving me (I’ve also been getting rid of a lot of my clothes, and scrapbook supplies, and running clothes), but I decided: enough. If I DO teach again, I will deal with it then. This felt like shedding some of the weight I have been carrying, which is crazy. I haven’t been in a classroom since Kaleb was born. And despite the fact that I loved many aspects of teaching, the idea of having to go back to teaching is a literal FEAR. It gives me nightmares, and not only because it was difficult, but because teaching was wrapped up in so many other things. My perspective on myself and my place in the world changed drastically during those years, and there were some soul-crushing experiences that happened. So letting go of all of my classroom books was perhaps a thing my psyche needed. Unnecessary weight.
On Sunday, I desperately wanted to go hiking. But my knees have been bothering me, so I decided not to. Kendell and Jake went, though (I was both miserable about not going and happy they could have some time to themselves), and Kaleb slept in late (Nathan was at his drill). So I just stayed in bed. I had a hot beverage and read my book (I’m reading Fledgling by Octavia Butler) and I didn’t do the laundry or clean the kitchen.
It was my Sunday to teach. My lesson came from Isaiah 50-53, and I focus on learning how to be empathetic from Jesus. I have such complicated feelings about my church and my faith right now. I’m not sure that the Kavanaugh confirmation, and every single Mormon senator supporting him, isn’t the turning point for me. I don’t know how to be in a congregation that is full of men who care more for power and wealth than for doing the right thing. Of course, none of those senators were at my class. I don’t know if I managed to convey this, but what I hope I communicated was this: almost all of the religious stuff we care about is just stuff that doesn’t matter. What matters is loving each other, and mourning for each other, and trying to take care of each other. If Jesus existed, that is what he wants from us, I am convinced. Everything else is dross.
After church, one of the best parts of the weekend: we had dinner with our friends. They live in South Carolina but they were here for Saturday’s funeral. We had some great conversations, our kids reconnected, and we laughed. I laughed. I am not laughing much these days so just that buoyed me. But one conversation in particular, which has too much back story for me to even start to explain it, left me…wow, it left me feeling peaceful, and like I had a little of my light back. It made me feel like I was heard even when I didn’t know anyone was listening. I need that, too.
How was your weekend?