The other day was a test. I experienced no cloud of fog that usually hovers over my head, making my eyelids feel heavy, and I accomplished so much in a day, then I have been able to accomplish in a month; but I had a feeling that that odd sense of ‘normalcy’ would be temporary, even though I had a glimmer of hope that maybe it could be permanent. But it was just a test; a test of my will to face another day of unpredictability, not knowing whether that familiar fog would return again or not. I woke up yesterday to face the familiar, and my will was challenged by disappointment.
I was disappointed that that awe inspiring newfound energy I had the day prior, was nothing more now than a wilted flower, gone too far down stream to a point where it was barely visible. I didn’t want to get out of bed, and although my responsibilities as a mother were the only thing that helped raise me up from dark solitude, it took every bit of what little energy I had, to fight through the all consuming exhaustion, until nap time. Those four hours of disney junior, alphabet flash cards, and being super mom under a mask of depression, were the longest four hours of my life. When time was but an afterthought just 12 hours earlier, and now a slow trickle of sand in a sand dial, to say I was disappointed is an understatement. The saving grace of a two hour nap time, only filled depression’s void, but not enough, and I woke up to the same exhaustion that had me craving for a nap time that seemed as though I never received.
I was disappointed.
As my children laughed and carried on as two loving doves dancing in the wind, I lay there feeling almost paralyzed and stuck between a rock and a hard place; I didn’t want to move, but I knew that I had to move to be a good mom, and though depression would have me think otherwise, I knew moving or doing something would help me feel better. So I had to make a decision, and a decision that would cause me to enter into a war path of thinking that I would have to fight off until every negative thought was dead.
Depression: “You’re so exhausted and you shouldn’t do anything.”
Me: “I have to do something, because sitting in the house all day with two active kids will only make me feel worse.”
Depression: “Even if you try and go somewhere or do something, you are only going to be disappointed because you didn’t really get to fully enjoy it, due to your mood not being ‘normal’.”
Me: “I’m not going to let myself get disappointed for trying my best to go out and do something. I should just enjoy how ever much or what little of whatever I do. My mood is my mood and I can’t change it. Just feel whatever you feel and don’t add anything to it or take anything away from it.”
This was my mental battle. But, before depression could have the last word, I immediately googled ‘things to do in Williamson county’, and we were dressed and out the door, 45 minutes away from one of the first few family friendly activities on the list; Leipers Fork. I’ve never heard of this place or cared that it was going on three pm in the afternoon, and we had less than two hours to enjoy what was left of the local business hours. On that day, disappointment was a decision, and I decided to defy disappointment. The sun was shining, the temperature was a scorching 96 degrees, and I was going to use what little energy I had to attempt to find some enjoyment out of what little time we had out there.
You see, as my therapist AM has told me, depression and disappointment are like two peas in a pod, finding comfort in a warm shell of negativity. Any little thing that may happen that is wrong, can take your mood from bad to the worse in seconds; like the time most recently when I wasn’t able to spend time with my husband, because he was entertaining visitors at the last minute. My whole world seemed to have shattered in that moment. Something that seemed so trivial and almost shameful to be so upset about, took me to a mental state of hopelessness and despair, disappointed in being let down by my expectations of a night filled with quality husband and wife time. I could have come home and played joyful hostess right along side my husband, but I didn’t feel like being social, and barely had the energy to just sit in silence alone with my husband.
This is the cascade of detrimental affects disappointment has on depression. My Leipers Fork experience was not going to be consumed by disappointment on that day. So, we arrived at 345 pm and only had about one hour and 15 minutes to explore the small rural town; I was ok with that. As I continued to denounce negative thoughts before they were even finished being completed, I commenced positive talk within myself and pat myself on the back for getting out of bed and making the 45 minute drive to a place I, nor my kids have ever been to (they may not remember it, but at least they can see pictures and say that mommy did her best). Going to Leipers Fork was the best decision I had made. Hurriedly searching for somewhere for us to go in so little time, left me with no concrete information about what we were getting ourselves into, but man did fate lead us to the right place.
A small little community with one block or so filled with a few art galleries and local shops, was the best experience I have had in a long time. The art galleries were superb, decorated exquisitely, and had so much southern charm inside and outside, that it brought a kind of joy inside that I have missed feeling in a long time. I love art, I love old sh**, and I love the simple way of life. So much land all around me for my daughter to run free on, and so many places to rest and enjoy the way the sun shone on each piece of greenery as my daughter basked in it’s beauty. I felt like I wanted to be alive.
I wanted to watch my daughter laugh with enjoyment again one day, as she frolicked up and down the hills of the property. I wanted to sit back peacefully on the beautiful chairs sitting on the grounds, to where I could watch my daughter play again one day. I wanted to bring my husband back to experience this same feeling of peace that I had found. I simply just wanted to be; something that I admit has not always been true.
As we rummaged quickly through one last antique store as the business hours dwindled down to an end, I started to sense disappointment trying to rear its ugly head again, but I defied it. I had taken a ‘leip’ of faith that day, conquered negative thoughts, and pushed myself beyond mental limits, to change the way disappointment affected my life; and I’ll be darned if disappointment was going to take away all that I had accomplished that day.
So I fought, and I won.