Tomorrow Will Be a Good Day | Mothering the Depressed

It’s not everyday that you can say it has been a good day. There is no relative ground when it comes to the mood swings of someone who suffers with Depression or Bi-polar Disorder. Waking up on any given day could mean catastrophe and a simple statement like, “hello, how was your day” could open a whole can of worms that takes hours to recooperate from. That is why I have learned it is easier to take it moment by moment.

Recently I found myself in an utter panic when I came home to realize that my daughter wasn’t home. My brain turned chaotic as I ran around the tiny little apartment calling her name and re-checking all the rooms for a sign of her lifeless body. Then it dawned on me, she had called earlier that evening to tell me she was going for a walk. I sighed with relief. Then in a split second, utter frenzy entered my mind. I asked myself, “Why isn’t she home yet?” I immediately started pacing thinking the most awful things of her in the park all alone, and what could have happened to her. Within moments of our search we were reunited with a cheerful young lady who did not caution to impose her distain upon us for worrying so frantically. She said, “I always take hour long walks mom! Why didn’t you just look at the time I called you? You would’ve realized I was just still out walking! Geze!” And with a roll of her eyes she dismissed herself to her room. I was left in disbelief, shaking nervously and trying to regain the calm sense I had recently arrived home with. It was all my fault, this time.

Now, you may be wondering why in the world would you have first thought to look for a lifeless body? That seems a bit presumptious don’t you think? Being the mother of a person who suffers from Bi-Polar Disorder can put a lot of strain on the mind. It leaves room for the imagination to wander and the soul to feel despairity even when there is nothing to despair. The constant review of how your child is feeling can become a disheartening cycle. You learn so much about how you might be failing them, how incredibly lost they feel, how they have no desire to live and sometimes, how much they despise you. But what you need to learn about is, the “WHY”.

My daughter and I started life out on two opposite sides of the universe. Now, when I say we didn’t get along, I mean, we REALLY did not get along. There was very little bond between us due to her upbringing in a confused home with two parents who had two different ideas of discipline and child rearing. It unfortunately put me, the disciplanarian on the wrong side of her fence. After my divorce I made it a personal goal to find a way for her and I to bond. I wanted to create that special relationship between mother and daughter that I never had with my own mother. And most of all, I wanted her to know that I loved her more than anything in the whole world. I was willing to fight for her like no one had ever fought for her before.

When my daughter was young we experienced some very odd behaviors. Behaviors that eventually not only got the attention of loved ones and family, but even teachers, principals and finally the “system”. She was evaluated around five years old for mental behavioral issues. The news was not good. I was devasted and had no idea where to turn, so I turned to my husband and family. When their reaction was completely the opposite, we collectively decided that the diagnosis was irratic and unsubstantiated. And in that, we did nothing.

Continuing a life of family issues, social anxieties, bad grades and heartless speeches about “Life, and what’s normal”; my beautiful daughter’s struggle grew. It started to consume her personality, her diet, her activities and even started affecting family relationships because of the disagreements we would have on how to handle her wrong behavior. After the divorce she started using danger terms like, “I wish I was dead” and “What’s the point, none of it matters anyway.” I knew it was time for a change and I decided maybe again it was time to have my daughter evaluated.

Since then and for the past three years, my daughter and I have been on a road of healing. We have taken the steps to understand the “WHY” and what the ramifications are when it comes to mental health disorders. We have opened avenues of communication and delved deep into our psyche to figure out exactly what it is we can do to develop a better communication. We have found pains that we didn’t even know were there and learned ways to resolve conflicts in our personal lives as well as in our relationship with one another. The journey has been long, but it has been wonderful.

The reason why my mind goes to thinking she may have commited suicide so easily is due to the fact that I have finally admitted to myself that will always be a possibility. It is something that the doctors told me to take very seriously for so long. I dreaded it and it became a fear that I ended up ignoring due to my inability to understand the “WHY”. I now understand why she would want to do something so drastic as to take her life. Even when I heard her light cheerful voice just an hour before. Why she would give up on everything that is good around her. Why she has no motivation. I understand now that the “WHY” is not ME. It is not because I was a bad mom, or that I disciplined her too hard, or that she is trying to get back at me for something I did…. It is just because, She FEELS bad and she can’t make it go away. Her brain is telling her one thing and the world is telling her another. Have you ever had a song in your head that you couldn’t seem to stop hearing? Try replacing it with thoughts of death, mutilation, singulation, dread, anxiety, fear, sadness and remorse. You wouldn’t be the same person in just a small amount of time. The mind can play awful tricks on us. It is our job to understand WHEN and WHY it is doing it. Studying the mind can become a very long and timeless activity. But, when it brings you to a place of rest, it is well worth the time.

I now know what it is like to feel Depressed. I have lived it not only through my father, my mother, my husband and many friends, but now, through the eyes of my daughter. Someone who I wanted to feel excited about life had all but given up on it. Someone I wanted to smile all the time walked around with gloom in her eyes. I know what she felt, and I wanted her to know that it was ok. It was ok for her to feel hopeless, saddened, gloomy, and tired. I would take her any way I could as long as she was alive.

It had been a long time since I had acted on the fear of losing her like I did when I panicked the other night. But it made me realize that her illlness has completely changed me too. But what was even more eye opening and revealing was her reaction to my panic. Her somewhat normal teenage response made me realize how very far we have come since the first time she told me that she wanted to die. Last month my daughter came to me describing how excited she was to be growing up and that she looked forward to graduating and getting her very own house where she could have me and her step-dad come over for dinner. She said she would not allow me to see it until she had decorated it just right… then she would make a big dinner for everyone and we would all come to her house and be a family. I cried with delight hearing her talk about a future. Listening to her go on and on about something so normal gave me insurmountable joy. It surprised every fiber in me that she had finally come to a place where tomorrow didn’t look so bad. Tomorrow could maybe be fun and full of great things. And, that maybe, just maybe, tomorrow will be a good day.

Small Christmas Miracles

It is just amazing to see the Lord work small miracles in my life every day. When you take a moment to look for these miracles, you will see that they are happening around you all the time.

It is the Holiday Season, and with the Holiday Season comes stress, busier schedules, more work, less rest and more nonsense trips to and fro. Today, I was scheduled to work in Grass Valley all day as I am almost every Saturday. I was also scheduled to drive to Sacramento Airport late tonight. I was going to pick up my boy David around midnight as he is coming home for Christmas before he stationed over seas. I haven’t seen him since his graduation ceremony in South Carolina. I was looking forward to watching my first born, my only son, my soldier come down off that airport escalator and rushing to give him big hugs and kisses. My soldier, home for Christmas.

While sitting at work, I receive a phone call at high noon, it’s my young man, my soldier on the other end with an excitement in his voice, “Hi Mom! Well, we landed and we’re on the tarmac, we will be getting to the dock shortly.”

I reply with a chipper lilt in my voice, “Oh son, that’s great! Was it a good flight?”

“Sure, it was ok” he says.

“So, what town are you in? Where is your layover?” I ask.

“You didn’t listen to your voicemails yet today have you?” he says tauntingly. “I called you this morning but you didn’t answer.”

Sheepishly I reply… “Yes, son, I know… I was in the shower when I missed your call and then headed to work, I’ve been to busy to check them. Why? What’s up? What town are you in?”

“Mom! I caught an earlier flight and I’m in Sacramento!” He says with a punch that makes me whirl my body around and start pacing. It hits me that my soldier just arrived to an airport with no family, no friends, no body waiting to celebrate his arrival, no one to smother him with hugs and kisses, no one to ask him repeated questions that make his head spin with appreciation that he is home with loved ones. What was I to do? I couldn’t even pull off a big greeting for my soldier, I think to myself as to shame my motherhood.

Well, you can imagine my distraught reaction as at the time, I am sitting in Grass Valley at work, with no ability to leave until six pm tonight! I say, “Oh what?! Oh my god! Son! I’m at work! I can’t come get you right now! Oh boy, What am I going to do?”

He hushes me as to silence my worry and says to me – “Mom, don’t worry… There is a lady sitting next to me on the plane who is also in the service. She is traveling with her 2 year old… but she is heading to Auburn and said she could give me a ride up! Is that ok?”

Of course, at first I’m thinking to myself…. Who in the world would offer a ride from Sac Airport for FREE? She’s gotta be a nut right? I mean, Stranger Danger! What?

So, I ask to speak with this mystery woman, he hands the phone over and a light cheerful voice comes from the other line… it’s soft, motherly, angelic. Quickly my spirit calms and I almost hear a whisper in my head saying, “It’s ok, I’ve sent an angel, do not fear her”

Feeling as though we have an immediate connection and thinking she is probably right around my own age. the calming voice says, “hello?”

As I quickly gather my thoughts as to what to say to her, I become speechless and awkwardly stammer out, “Hi! Your offering to drive my son home? I don’t know what to say! I wasn’t expecting him till tonight at midnight and I am still at work in Grass Valley and….. ”

She comes back quaintly “Oh yea! It’s really not a problem, I do have my two-year old with me, if he doesn’t mind, but really! It’s not a problem at all.”

My eyes grow as I listen to her speak as though I had heard your voice a thousand times. I profusely thank her for her offer and remind her that he is coming all the way up to Auburn and again questioning her to try and hear a glimmer of doubt as it is quite a drive from the Sacramento Airport. I wanted to provide a way out if she wanted one.

She again replies softly with cool ease, “Really, it’s not a bother. I can’t imagine how your feeling with everything you are going through right now, it’s really ok.”

I ponder the words, as I thank her from the bottom of my heart. “How I am feeling with everything I’m going through right now?” I wonder, how would she know what I have been going through? My son doesn’t even know what I have been going through. What an odd thing to say to someone you’ve only just met.

Fact is, I AM going through a lot right now. My body has been in a decaying place for over three years. Shortly after the divorce it came to my attention I was suffering from Adrenal Shutdown. My body couldn’t continue working through the stress I was putting it through and began to break down. As I have made some effort in the year before to relieve my stress load, it seems it has only tripled. I feel this past year may have been too much for me again. Suffering five inner ear infections, a chronic case of sinusitis and chronic pain and fatigue in the past 12 months, my health has been fading quickly. And so, with the thought of driving to Sacramento at midnight after a full day’s work after being in bed sick for the last 48 hours was a tremendous task to take on. The fact was, I had been feeling completely overwhelmed at the thought of it.

So who are we to make plans for ourselves. Setting a pace that not even we can keep up with. Setting ideals that we strive to maintain and find ourselves failing when all we want to do is achieve. Who are we to say that we have it all figured out.

Honestly, I think I would rather give it up and let God. It seems every time he works something out for me, it is so much more grand than I could have ever imagined for myself. I don’t think like he does, but I like the way he thinks! It is only in our moments of complete and utter failure that we might catch a glimpse of the constant and consistent work he is doing in our lives. Only because this is the only time we search our spirit for hope, for reason, for purpose. It is so very important to witness that these good works are happening everyday, all around us. We just need to stop and take a moment to recognize them. As the world would say, “stop and smell the roses… ”

I heard a voice distinctly say, “Don’t worry, I sent an angel” and peace rushed through me and doubt was thrown from my mind.

I see small Christmas miracles everyday.

PS. After talking with my son, he told me before he left the car upon his arrival in Auburn, the woman handed him $200 in cash and a $50 Gift Card for Target saying the reason was because he was the most wonderful young man she had ever met. She felt that he had a wonderful and sincere heart and that he was a very good person and thanked him for his service. He called me and said I have one thing to say mom, “God sent me an Angel today”

Black Friday | Business Greed

The Portrait of America

Sitting in my car on my way to work this morning I listened as the DJ’s discussed the intensity of anger that some of the employees who have to work on Thanksgiving. They are working because store’s have decided to not only open for Black Friday at Midnight… they now will be open with steals and deals on Thanksgiving causing folks to miss out on the turkey holiday family feast we like to call an American tradition. The discussion became so heated as they pointed out their views on the topic, they argued on whether or not the act of Shopping on Thanksgiving and Black Friday has become “America’s Tradition”. I was disgusted!

What in the world! The only day where we celebrate humanity, family and the things in this world that aren’t about money has been transformed into a National Day of moronic shopping sprees and the last chance to afford some item of stature to give to someone so you can show them you care!! Ridiculous! Thanksgiving is supposed to the day we celebrate what we are thankful for… not celebrate our greed by running down isles, knocking people over and trampling souls for the last “Giggle Me Elmo” on the shelf.

Come On America! Wake up! We complain about corporate identities taking from the ‘mom and pops’; we cringe at the soul-less politicians pumping up the media with lies and scrutiny… yet all the while beg from the hand that strikes us. Make up your minds! America’s people cry that they are broke and can’t afford the constant rising of costs to live in this country… yet they spend their monies on needless things. Instead of buying a new TV, go grocery shopping. Instead of Decorating a Tree with a ton of crap, pay the power bill. Help the economy out by supporting yourselves and your families where it really counts.

Just because Christmas is coming doesn’t mean it is time to spend your hard earned cash on a bunch of things just to remind your family members and friends that you love them. Remind them by spending time with them. Treating them fairly. Showing by example how to save a buck or two. Teach your kids who are tomorrow’s future how to support a household. Caring for them so they know what it is really like to care for someone else. Show them what the Holidays should really be about in America. Family, Gratefulness, Peace, Hope, Dreams and Faith that the world around us can be beautiful place.


Death and Life, to a lost friend.

Had a friend commit suicide last night… what to think is my question.

I have never condoned such an act. I think suicide is the worst way to go simply for what folks are left with. The questions, the anger… this cannot be what you want people to remember of your life.

I too have been at the end of my rope, and whether out of fear or strength, I passed on the idea of committing suicide. I won’t say I haven’t thought of it, haven’t we all? But where does one truly have to be to actually call the death switch on their own existence. I imagine it has to be a pretty sore place.

For my friend, I would never have guessed in a million years he would pull this stunt. He came off as a proud, confident and almost invincible human being. He leaves behind a large beautiful family and many friends. I wish I would have had a chance to tell him before he left.

Find solace in yourself. There are more answers than you could ever come to realize. And there is always more than one way to pull a trigger. Though we face difficult times, let us now feel alone or withered. God still stands by our side. Keep your face to the wind and your dreams alive. One day, we will rise.

Coming up from within

A movement has started, and not in the world… but in me.

As I watch, my son is growing right out of the nest. He gained his first job yesterday and has joined the Marines. With only a semester to go he will graduate early and be on his way into the Great Wide Open.

I find myself feeling younger these days as I chase my dreams and still can’t believe I mother such a fine young man. My daughter is no less to speak of. With golden hair and a smile that shines from her deepest spirit, she lightens my step and gives me hope for the future. Her smarts inspire me and I never know when she will surprise me.

I am finding that I am truly at a new area in my walk. Learning that not everything has something to do with anything… but that maybe it just is. As I am. In the past, the cloud that has hung over my head from my rearing has been despondent and a constant reminder of my anguish. I have tried so many times to move past the ugliness I was subjected to. I have now found that I have embraced it with all the energies of a great God who has shown me, that they just were. But through time and experiences we learn what we are made of and what we are for.

I am now implementing so many practical sides of myself in my works. Enjoying what I do and why I do them. The purpose of life isn’t necessarily to get somewhere, its to be happy where you are. I can honestly say, I am surely getting there.

Coasting in Lag Time

I recently posted my frustrations of the waiting game, and decided I was tired of it… so gear up! Its time to move on! The lag time has given me time to think and offer some new thought to my otherwise dead inspirations. As an artist, I go through times of desperado trying to find new ideas, inspiration, or even lyrical madness; pushing for some kind of creative euphoria. The times have been bleak for such emotion when searching for excitement. But changing my perspective may have been the one thing I was missing out on.

Recently I have decided to move in a different direction. Letting things come to me rather than chasing them down… and although they have been slow times, I’ve have had quite a few wonderful new experiences. It has shown me exactly where I stand in the industry we so fondly refer to as the “Indie” Industry… Building a Reputation isn’t as hard as people daunt it to be.

The rumors have spread and I find myself sought after by a small but eclectic crowd… which feels nice. Realizing that folks are “missing” your performances and your talent makes you wonder why they think you have gone away in the first place. You think to yourself, “Where did I go?” and then you realize… you had given up hope. The New Economy has put me in such a state of mind that I have learned too, as well as most of the folks around me, there is no major hope for ever becoming financially stable. But in this thought, this cannot mean that we stop our endeavors though, does it?

So, with a new “realistic” sense, I am driving forward into the unknown of my own destiny and search everyday for guidance from above and from within to simply seek what I can control and enjoy all at the same time. I guess its not for me to say whether or not I will be financially successful… as long as I have enjoyed my journey I will reap a benefit.

Who hit the Pause Button Again!

So, its been a good week of spreading the word on several different levels. The hopes to find a new project, open a new window or spark new idea has somehow been squashed by the constant loss of peoples interest. It seems though the whole world has hit the pause button on life.

There are many reasons why folks take their time in making decisions. Sometimes it’s to take and meditate on the change, other times it’s resource availability and then there is budget. Is it just me or am I not the only one who is terribly struggling financially! There are still dreamers in the world…. Though they are so stifled by the works of our created everyday lives that they find themselves unable to find a penny to put towards their ulterior motives! This economy has become so ridiculous!

Through time I have noticed that it seems people have accepted this notion so much that they are even okay with the basic fact that they can talk of future plans and make goals to reach them, but in the end they are perfectly okay with letting them go knowing they weren’t able to reach their highest potentials due to financial stability. And that even of the thought of creating an idea knowing damn well it will fail due to no financial support doesn’t bother them in the least bit.

I don’t understand the mentality of this conversion from the very beginning. I realize it is one thing to talk of an idea, but to make grandiose plans, schedule appointments, slave at rehearsals and even push the go button only to completely drop out only shows an individuals integrity to the core. I never believed in starting something you weren’t willing to finish.

So, for future reference… don’t bring the cards to the table unless you plan on shuffling them, dealing them and sticking around to see who wins. If you can’t play the whole game… then what’s the point of sitting down at all? You are the only one who can know your ability, see your potential and go for it! No one can make your dreams happen but you… Others can only support you in the journey, and usually this does not include financial support.