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Tag Archives: Depression

The Long Road to a New Beginning

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I know I haven’t been here in a while. I decided I could really only concentrate on one blog at a time. But occasionally, I’ll still need to spill my guts about things that might be too personal to share on a more professional blog. I talked a little bit about my new job in a post called Be Awesome: Make a Comeback. I hope you check it out and enjoy it.

But I needed to say more.

When I think about where my life was five years ago, compared to how things are now, especially compared to how they will hopefully be starting on Wednesday when I begin my new job, it’s hard to believe I am even the same person.

The past few months have been really stressful with our financial situation and the drama with the wedding. And I’ve struggled with bouts of depression about my professional life since moving to Hawaii and trying to figure out what I wanted to be when I grew up. It hasn’t been easy. But when I remember five years ago, well, this was only a small hill to climb.

In the summer of 2008, I was single and bitter and lost. My mother was dying. Cancer was eating her brain, and in a way I’d already lost her. She was still with us, but she wasn’t the same. I can’t imagine how frightening that must have been for her. I was also jobless. Maybe I should have taken that opportunity to get out of teaching, but I guess it just wasn’t time. The situation was bad, and I wasn’t handling it well.

I think I managed to make some people think I was doing fine. I forced myself to get up and put on clothes and act like a human most days. Other days, I hid. I cried, and I pulled at my hair. I didn’t know who I was or where I was going. I somehow stayed hopeful, ultimately, but I’m not entirely sure how I made it out alive.

I remember Emily used to try to do things to make me laugh. She has always been so sensitive.

The past five years have taken me down a crazy path. It led me to a man who I believe will always look after me. That has made all the difference. Still, I think there might have been some small bit that I can take credit for. Even for all the days back then when I didn’t leave my bedroom, there were a lot more days when I did, but I never wanted to. That has to count for something.

My name, Renee, means born again. I have transformed more times than I can count, and each time has been excruciating. But this incarnation feels the most beautiful. I have learned to become a wife and a mother in a new way. I have learned to reach for things that make me happy, and to accept that I deserve them. And I have found a way to serve my community in a job that I hope will bring me pride and satisfaction.

This job will mean so much for us financially. To have the stability of a steady paycheck, bigger than I’ve ever received, which, as a former teacher isn’t saying much, is such a relief. I’ll have health insurance again, and if you’ve ever been without it, you know what a relief that can be. It gives us a bit of peace.

But to have a job title that I’m not embarrassed about is the biggest relief of all. Look out, world. I’m about to become the queen of nonprofit development. I may not be able to save the whole world, but I think I’ve saved myself. That seems like a tremendous place to start.


A Departure

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On Wednesday, I posted something a bit unusual on Awesome on 20. I don’t know why I was so nervous about it. Almost nobody read it, and it got virtually no reaction whatsoever. But still, I agonized over posting something so personal and emotional on my blog that is supposed to be more “professional.”

I suppose I am still sometimes trapped in the adolescent mentality of thinking that other people might care what I do or say. The truth is, no one is paying attention to me. Just because other people can become successful, professional, full-time bloggers doesn’t mean that I can. Good things happen to some people. But not to everybody.

It’s fine, really. I said I would only write that blog because I loved it, and I still do. But envy has always been my biggest sin, and sometimes seeing all the free stuff and gushing praise showered on other well-known bloggers brings out the worst in me. I know, in my mind, that comparing myself to others is useless. I can’t seem to stop.

I am not a perfect person. I am often lazy, and even more often, distracted by envy. I tried to write something that might give a ray of hope to someone struggling with depression due to financial strain. Maybe it worked for one person. Does it matter?

Fall Away

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Geoff has Mondays off, but I have to work. The day just drags by when I know he’s home, and all I can think about is the fun stuff we could be doing. But I’m sitting at a desk, and it’s uncomfortable and cold and boring. Still, I’m grateful to have the job. I need the money. That doesn’t make it any less boring.

I like to hear that Geoff is using his day off to do something relaxing, so when he said he was playing video games, I couldn’t have been more pleased. At least he wasn’t doing something I like. I’m constantly wanting to take deep calming breaths on his behalf. But only he can slay his dragons. Only he can find his bliss. I just hope I’m included.

I made a Father’s Day recipe yesterday, so that’s Friday’s post cooked and shot. Now to write one for tomorrow. I feel like I’m the very last person on Earth who should be talking about being healthy as I really don’t care. Honestly, I’m thinking about doughnuts right now. Almost everything I eat has cheese on it, and I feel like exercise is a dirty word. But I want to fulfill readers’ requests. I’m doing it my way, though.

I have today off, and I’ve already done something weird. I wonder what other trouble I can get into.

Sunday Skip

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Sunday was a mixed bag. I nearly forgot to record it’s existence.

We started off with a win by actually managing to sleep in for once. When we finally woke up, it was after 9 am. It’s like I don’t even know us anymore.

Geoff suffered a defeat in the battle against the grill of doom and was consequently rather forlorn for most of the day. I had to drag him out of the house to keep him from continually enumerating all of the things we have to be stressed out about. He certainly has a right to feel stressed out. It can be bleak around here. But there’s no sense in wasting our only day off together moping. I happen to know from experience that getting through a moment of depression isn’t easy, but you can be distracted from it long enough to smile every now and then.

We walked into Waikiki where I finally bought myself a second swimsuit, then we enjoyed happy hour at the Hula Grill. We shared pork belly bao and fish and chips, both of which were excellent, especially since I was so hungry.

We also escaped the heat by jumping in the ocean in front of the Kahala Mandarin. We saw three weddings.

The season 3 finale of Game of Thrones was thoroughly underwhelming. There was a certain death I was hoping to see, so I guess I just expected too much. They seem to like putting all the action in the second to last episode. I can’t believe it’s so long until the next season. I hope the 4th season is better than the 4th book.

I have a surprise day off tomorrow, so I guess I can tell you how miserable my Monday was in the morning. Or maybe I’ll think of something better by then.

Crisis and Accomplishments

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Some of you may have caught my husband’s blog post from today. All I can say is that my heart is breaking for him. Yes, it’s been stressful on both of us not having the income that we’ve depended on, but what worries me most is my husband’s emotional state. He’ll probably say I’m being girly talking about feelings, but there’s no denying that he’s depressed. Having struggled with depression and anxiety most of my life, I know how hard it can be to recover. And it doesn’t matter what anybody says to you most of the time, your heart can’t cope with what your brain knows to be true. And no, you can’t just “cheer up.” All I can think to do is tell him how much I love him and that my faith in him has not diminished in the slightest.

Who couldn't love this face?

Who couldn’t love this face?

I want him to be outrageously happy. I would give just about anything to make that happen. If anybody has any ideas, I’d love to hear them. I’m helpless.

We just spent the last hour helping our friend move out of her apartment. This could not be more exciting as I happen to know that this particular individual has been extremely unhappy with her living situation for about a year. Her sense of triumph at finally moving out is almost palpable. But since said individual is currently still in a walking cast, it takes a lot of help carrying her stuff out of her house. Isn’t helping you move the whole point of having friends. I couldn’t be happier to have participated in her escape.

It’s getting heavy, kids. Send encouragement. Reinforcement. Food? Or wine. Definitely wine.

Mood Swings

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I worked my butt off at Island Sole yesterday, helping to unload 15 to 20 boxes of slippers, each one in its own individual bag, each one needing to be priced, each one needing to be put on a peg on a wall, sometimes a very full peg.  My arms are all scratched up.  I look like I’ve been in a fight with a cat.

I came home to an empty house and became immediately sullen.  Geoff was at another party.  I was home alone, again.  That situation really drains me.  Why do I hate being left out so very much?  There must be something about my nature that makes me abhor this situation so much.  Not sure what yet.  Perhaps an epiphany will follow.

Just as I set off for a grumpy walk, not expecting my husband home for another hour, I walked around the corner, only to find my husband right in front of me.  He announced that my white chocolate cranberry macadamia nut cookies came in 3rd in the dessert contest that I didn’t know existed when I made those cookies the previous evening.  3rd?  3rd!?!  Those cookies were awesome.  Apparently, the desserts that came in ahead of me were store bought.  That’s totally cheating.  Plus, Geoff’s office mates had eaten half of them before they even got to the party.  It was fixed.  I swear, I deserved to win.  😉

Finally, I cracked up about three or four times at the same joke on Arrested Development.  I cracked up as it was happpening, and then each time I imagined Buster saying “You fed us cereal in an ashtray,” I’d burst out in inappropriate laughter yet again.  I absolutely love this show.  The ridiculousness is perfect.

I wish I had my own friends here.  We’re going out with Geoff’s work mates on Saturday night.  They’re meeting for dinner at 8:45, and even though he said he’d wait at home for me, I know that Geoff is extremely disappointed that he can’t go to dinner with them.  He has tons of friends.  I have zero.  I depend on him too much.  He will end up hating me for it.  I suck.

Explain Yourself

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Moving to a new city means meeting new people.  For most, this is an exciting prospect, but for an introvert like me, it can be slightly traumatic.  We all have a story to tell, and nobody is perfect.  This is one of my core beliefs.  Yet I feel that my story is particularly complicated and opens me up to negative judgments by people who are so inclined.  It’s hard for people who don’t really know me, who don’t know what it was like when I was barely able to pick myself up off the floor, to readily understand the choices that I made.  If they didn’t know me before, they can’t see how much happier I am now, that I am eternally changed for the better.    There’s no way for them to understand, no matter how carefully I try to explain.

None of the people that I’ve met here have judged me harshly, at least not to my face.  They have been graceful and understanding.  I’m sure it is only my self-centered paranoia of the Dursleys of the world that causes my unwarranted distress.  I’ve always been a bit different, unconventional if you will.  There are certainly people who abhor all things unconventional.  I am so pleased that I never really have to interact with those who have no love for different.  I pity those who have such a narrow view of the world that they never see the beauty that is all around them.

I am grateful for the life I have.  I am grateful for the one friend I have in my life every day, my husband.  Without him, I’d be a wreck.  He takes care of me all the time.  Sometimes it’s hard to believe a person can be so dedicated.  There’s only one thing I’d change.  I shouldn’t be afraid to share my story.  Mostly, people prove themselves to be much kinder than I expect.  Life is good, and people are beautiful.  Breathe in every moment.