In eighth grade, I was voted “Most Friendly” of our graduating class.
Sophomore year of college, I got my name on a plaque for the Susie Sunshine award.
Sometime in the mid 90s, my employer gave me the “Miss Congeniality” award. (Probably a reverse-psychology trick so I would stop bitching.)
For the past 10 years, moms have been avoided eye contact with me in fear that I would start babbling when they just want to be left alone.
See a pattern here?
I swear that I am not some freaking Pollyanna, but I am a pretty outgoing jackass with a self-deprecating sense of humor that mildly amuses others. (Or at least they pretend that it does.) Thus the creation of my blog. The goal has always been to laugh at the every day absurdities of parenting, marriage and being me. But over the past couple of weeks, I have really been struggling to post.
My husband’s friend asked if I was on strike.
In my defense, there was no time over the holidays. (And posting Christmas cards after the 25th would just be stupid. Enough already!) My family was glued to each other while my sister and her husband were in town from Ireland. It was a wonderful visit. We moved in wolf packs as we ate, drank and stayed up way past our bedtime cramming as much time together — not knowing when that next visit will be. Trying to make the most of our bonding time without killing each other. Trying to keep the happy face and plans on track.
In the meantime, two women who are very dear to me were spending their holidays in the hospital, undergoing major surgeries. One is a long-time colleague, the other a bestie since high school. Neither has ever met, but both are hilarious, feisty, courageous, caring moms who have been through hell and back in their lives —only to find themselves battling their own bodies. Both operations went well. I believe and pray with all of my heart that they will fight, conquer and win back their health. It’s just scary and overwhelming. And an incredibly helpless feeling.
Needless to say, I am in a funk.
The last time I suffered a really good old-fashioned depression was when my daughter was eight and continuously sick with sinus and ear infections. She finally got her tonsils and adenoids removed and was good as new. Three weeks later, she contracted mono and was out for the count for almost two months including two trips to the ER because she was in excruciating pain. We couldn’t have visitors because she was so contagious.
After weeks of being on lock-down in my dirty house, working from home and comforting my daughter, I started having a hard time breathing and sleeping. My doctor prescribed some happy meds and also drew blood to run some tests. Day two of popping pills, I felt like I was losing my mind. It was a combination of drinking too much Mountain Dew and being sleep-deprived with a newborn. I would walk into a room and have no idea how I got there or what I was doing. I’d find myself in the bathroom: “Am I here to pee? Brush my teeth? Pop a zit?” I was afraid of driving because I thought for sure I would get into an accident.
After day four, I called my doctor and said that I had to get this monkey off my back. She suggested that I move onto another anti-anxiety med and I said no thanks. Maybe I’ll try that diet and exercise thing. I thought the pill route would be a lot easier because I’ve seen how well it works for others I know. Turns out that the blood work showed that I had a Vitamin D deficiency so that helped trigger the depression in addition to all the other crap. Go figure, not being in sunlight for months on end takes its toll on you!
So here I am: a humor blog writer who is a friggin’ downer. That is depressing unto itself! I have plenty of asinine material to write about, but each time I tried to formulate a comedic tale, it didn’t feel authentic. I am forcing myself to be the Funny Girl, but all I’ve got going is the Barbra Streisand shnoz.
Yesterday, my girlfriend gave me an update on our friend’s latest surgery and some additional awfulness that is also taking place behind the scenes.
I sarcastically joked that maybe I just write about all of that insanity. “Kar, you really think people want to read that stuff on your blog?” Then she channeled her inner Bernadette Peters and started singing, “Send in the Clowns.”
I belly laughed for the first time in days.
If you have a chance, try to meet up with a friend this week.
It’s good for the soul.
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