Tuesday, February 27, 2007

I've Got to Admit, It's Getting Better...

A little better, all the time...(can't get no worse)...to quote the Beatles. The medication has been tweaked, the depression has peaked and is subsiding. Patrick's doctor put him on Synthroid to "have his thyroid run a little hot." This is apparently a way to pull a person out of a depression. When a bipolar person is cycling rapidly and not responding to treatment, all seven different drugs, sometimes it means their thyroid is not quite up to snuff. So far, this idea seems to be genius. He's doing better. It's the answer to prayer. Thank you, God!

On another note, a silly note, we went to the grocery store together last night to buy the fixings for really good burgers. We got good fatty meat, colby cheddar, garlic half-sour pickles, and hydroponic tomatoes. When we got to the self-checkout aisle, we were laughing over the fact that each item is annouced as you scan it. Scan bananas, "Please put your bananas on the conveyer belt." Scan your sausages, "Savings of $.40, please bag your sausages." Scan tomato, "72 cents, please bag your malanga." WHA?? What the heck is a malanga? I must have inputed the wrong sku.

So today, as I was relaying this story to a co-worker, I realized I had not yet googled the "malanga" to see what the hey it is...I found this description amusing:

Malanga or yautia, also know as tannia, tannier, cocoyam (Xanthosoma Species).

These are names for a very confusing root vegetable (actually a corm, a compressed underground stem) resembling a yam. There are more than 40 species, they are very similar to the related taro or dasheen (Colocasia esculenta), and there are many common names that overlap the 2 vegetables and their various species.

(source: www.foodreference.com)

To be fair, we were in a giggly mood, but a malanga? Ahhhh well, it was really nice to be in a giggly mood...getting so much better all the time...

Sunday, February 25, 2007

In Case You're Wondering...

My husband is home again. This time for a while. He truncated his stay at St. Jude's by three days. He was in a deep depression. He was not responding to his medication. He was sinking deeper and deeper. I felt like I almost lost him. If he were drowning in a sea of black oil, had had sunk so deeply that only our fingers still clung to each other.

The good news: a lot of the confusion lately is probably due to this state coming on.

The bad news: we do not, by any stretch of the imagination, have his medication figured out.

Mental illness absolutely, positively sucks. And that's all I have to say about that.

Malaria...and Mosquito Nets

My mother runs the Sunday School program at St. Stephen's Episcopal Church in Ridgefield, CT. This weekend they are doing a collection for mosquito nets for the children of Africa. She had me help with the "marketing" pieces to be hung from a giant net in the church. I thought I would share them here, since I didn't know much about this problem, but now I do. More people in Africa die each year from Malaria than from any illness or disease. One of the most effective means of prevention is to sleep under a tent of insecticide-treated mosquito nets.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Lenten Research

I thought this was good and very enlightening...

Homecoming Weekend!

This weekend, my husband came home. He came home physically, which wasn't really a huge deal, although it was nice to have someone's toes next to mine in bed. He makes an awesome bed warmer. But, he also seems to have come home mentally.

He's been going through a program up at St. Jude Retreat House. It's a six week social-educational focused treatment program. He finished the first phase and moved on to the "Continuing Education" portion of the program. It's been hard for him. The focus is on self-assessment and self-image. It's on career and goal-setting. It's basically focused on all my hubby's weaknesses. He has struggled. He seems to be working through good things, but part of that work sends him into some depression, or, as the doctor put it, into a "psychotic depression." Oh joy!

So, I was worried about his homecoming. What would it be like? The last time he came home, he was distant and foreign to me. He seemed to struggle to even raise his arms to hug me. This time, was the complete and utter opposite. It reassures me that he is working so hard on both overcoming his illness and working through the program. He says it's stubborness...I say it's God's work. Both are probably true and not mutually exclusive.

Praise God for both of us reconnecting...
Praise Him for recommittment to our marriage...
Praise Him for beautiful, angelic children...for dates...for helpful in-laws...

Thank you for praying with me. I finally called out "uncle" to God last week. Maybe he heard me?

Thursday, February 15, 2007

The Prodigal Son

My mom says she's been thinking about this bible story in relation to my husband. She's trying to be as open as the wealthy landowner who welcomes his son back with the words, "For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found" (Luke 15:24). My husband has been lost for a good long while. He is still lost. He is mentally ill. He has bipolar mood disorder, bad periods of depression and, God only knows what else.

So, this week, he has returned to a state of mental darkness. He has been suffering from a deep, dark depression. This afternoon he cried to me, "This program I am in is about making smart choices and getting a chance to live a better life. How can I ever live a better life if I never get the choice because the depression always comes? How can I ever get better?"

I didn't have an answer for him then. I don't really have one now, except to say, that I am a believer in God. I believe He has a plan. I don't know what more to say except, I look forward to the day when I can say, "This husband of mine was lost and now he is found." I know that day will come, until then I dent my own hands from clasping so hard in prayer. Maybe others can pray too? Maybe this post will move others to pray? I don't know. Only God does.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

I Want to KNOW...

I wonder what God has in store for me long term? I just wish I could glimpse the future and KNOW that it will be ok. I used to feel this way all the time when I was single. If I could just KNOW I will find love and have kids...Now, I want to KNOW that that this love will last and that the kids will be ok. Am I never satisfied living in the moment?

My six word story for today is:

Glimpsing the future, her heart swelled.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

"Six", she said, "Six Word Stories."

Thanks to Tess for sharing her new obsession with me. How fun to come up with short, pithy little gems. Each one is like a marble, filled with color and completely different, but interesting enough to turn around and around in your hand...Here are some I found online that I like:

Adam, apples are delicious!
Uh oh.

misteraitch September 27, 2006 04:29 AM

In Gore Vidal's book "The City & The Pillar" he writes in the opening chapter:
"He was home. He was lost."

Here are some of my attempts:
"I cannot," he whispered and left.
He would haunt her thoughts...forever.
If you love, set me free.
Be yourself? Love yourself? Bite me!

Monday, February 12, 2007

Olive Branch

I got this note from my husband yesterday...I think we might be coming through the worst of it. Maybe?

I picked up The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran. It's a book I had wanted to read
but never got around to - it was in the bookshelf so I gave it a try.
Here's what I found - the words jumped off the page at me:

Then Almitra spoke again and said,
And what of Marriage, master?
And he answered saying:
You were born together, and together you shall be forevermore.
You shall be together when the white wings of death scatter your days.
Aye, you shall be together even in the silent memory of God.
But let there be spaces in your togetherness,
And let the winds of the heavens dance between you.

Love one another, but make not a bond of love:
Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls.
Fill each other's cup but drink not from one cup.
Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf.
Sing and dance together and be joyous,
But let each one of you be alone,
Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same

Give your hearts, but not into each other's keeping.
For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts.
And stand together yet not too near together:
For the pillars of the temple stand apart,
And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other's shadow.

It is so fitting for our situation - perhaps it is time to be over the
fantasy of romantic love that is so celebrated on this holiday and
concentrate on a much stronger form of love.

I Love You........

Sunday, February 11, 2007

The Dirty Sock Funtime Band

My dad and I took Elena to see this band today. They were great. Crazy, but fun. Real music. I give it thumbs up. She was so adorable that, at one point, I cried watching her. Her face was all lit up and she was grinning from ear to ear. She looked around the room, taking in every detail and munching popcorn. She was enamorate with atmosphere. She comes by her love of concerts, music and theatrics naturally.

There were two sort of poignant moments for me aside from her initial reaction I described above. First, she had the same dance personality that I have. This band asked for a lot of audience participation. She so badly wanted to participate, but was so self-conscious about attempting. It was so cute, but painfully familiar, to watch. There were plenty of kids who gladly shrugged their parents and leapt out of their seats to dance wildly in the aisles. Most kids thrust their hands in the air, clapped, and sang along as directed...not so much my little girl. She took it all in thoughtfully. At one point, the band formed a conga line which half the audience jumped on and jaunted through the aisles. I could see how desperately Elena wanted to be a part of it and join it. She was so torn. I am not an insecure person, but she reminded me of me when it comes to anything physically participative. In this situation, she was just like her momma, and that meant something to me.

The second poignant moment came separately for both Elena and me. It was when we both realized that we did not have Daddy with us. For me, it was in the beginning of the show when I was sure P would have been loving the band and the instruments and the rock music. He would have loved seeing Elena's face light up at the live music. I just know it. It made me well up and cry. I looked around and there were daddies with every child, holding them, dancing with them, rocking out with them. At the end of the show, it hit Elena too. She said, "Us go see MY daddy now?" Um, not right now honey, not just yet.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

A Deep Sigh

Well, I am thinking seriously of an unconventional marriage. I am thinking of getting a divorce. I am thinking that we need it for both my husband and I to break out of destructive old patterns. I mean, it obviously works for neither of us right now the way it is. For me, it's too much responsibility for his well-being, finances and happiness. And for him, well, it's sort of the same thing. He can't stand the burden that comes with family. I can't stand the burden that he becomes when he is unhappy.

What do I do? Where do I go from here? For now, I am living each day as it comes. I am praying for me, my children and him. I am praying for a miracle. I have a lot of hope, but far less than I used to.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Pathetic Post

My life is in the shitter. You know how there is that quote about God not giving you more than you can handle? I am actually, for the first time in my life, doubting it. I have cried myself to sleep for a week. I don't know what will be and I am having trouble conjuring up my usual "Que Sera Sera" attitude.

By now, you are most likely wondering what could be wrong. As opposed to a long, drawn out, whiny post sharing all the details, I provide you with a list. See what you think:

1) I work full time and have two kids under the age of three
2) I have a two-year-old firmly ensconced in the terrible twos
3) I have moved back in with my parents so I can sell my house
4) I have separated from my husband who isn't sure he can handle our domestic life any longer
5) This weekend I have to pack up and move out of my house so I can list it on the market
6) Last weekend we had the stomach flu
7) This whole week we have had a bad cold with croup and fevers
8) Sleep has become a punctuated handful of hours EVERY night
9) The six month old still gets up every night for a bottle
10) Financially, we are almost out of all reserves

That's it...I think I feel better for having spilled it all out on the page like that. Thank you. Now, I will end with a prayer that I offer myself. A good friend sang this at our wedding:

Lord, make me an instrument of Thy peace;
where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
and where there is sadness, joy.

O Divine Master,
grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;
to be understood, as to understand;
to be loved, as to love;
for it is in giving that we receive,
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.


st. francis of assisi - 13th century