Archive for October, 2011

A public service announcement for Astra Owners

Alternative title: Why it is good to keep your cool when your car won’t start, even if it is just because you can’t be bothered to be angry about it.

Well maybe that’s a bit unfair, with the large number of reasonably serious events going on around here lately the car breaking down does register a ‘meh’ rather than a ‘FFS’ as it might have a few months ago.

I set off to pick up Terror from daycare yesterday, arrived, picked up. All good there. Hop back in the car, start it. It turns over, then, cough. Nothing. Great. I tried a few more times and checked the only things I am qualified to check – the fuel gauge and the oil. Both seem to be in working order. So I got a lift home and figured I’d get the garage to check it out (some time next week when I have the energy to do something about it). I made my peace with parting with a few (or many) hundred pesos and not having a car for a while. I figured it would be something disastrous requiring a full engine rebuild, or some-such. Logical.

Fast forward to this morning – a rather heated discussion with Mr Optimism about complex plans to borrow my mother’s car, or even if we need to. I can’t imagine I made much sense, things get lost in translation when there’s fog around.

Mr Optimism took charge of the situation, calling the RACV. Seems logical doesn’t it?

This next bit isn’t logical. The key broke when I turned the car off arriving at daycare yesterday, so I put it back together and didn’t think any more of it. Whatevs. But of course there is a vitally important tiny part inside that key, that fell onto the floor. Thus rendering the key and thus car useless, obviously. Why, oh, why? Mr RACV man spotted the problem immediately, and the car is back firing on most cylinders again.

So, hooray for a car doesn’t need fixing. And boo for getting worked up about things that turn out not to matter.

And take note fellow Astra owners, if one day your car just won’t start – check your key before booking in the mini-melt down and engine rebuild.

The fog descends again

One of the hardest things I’ve found about being undepressed (relatively), is that when I have a bad day I really feel it. Really. Despite having suffered depressive episodes since my early teens, I’ve only recently started on anti-depressants. I wish I had’ve much, much earlier because I have glimpses, 2 or 3 days at a time, where I feel fantastic. What normal must feel like. So BZ (Before Zoloft), there were bad days and worse days and to be honest, I was just so used to feeling shit that it didn’t matter so much how bad I was feeling. Now when I have a slightly off day, it’s debilitating. I so notice the loss of focus, the worthlessness, the lethargy, the racing thoughts and the mind fog just generally.

I was doing really well until I went out and got drunk last week basically. So I’m annoyed that I feel like I’ve really set myself back. I’m trying my old tricks to get myself back on track again, like exercising, but it’s hard. It’s so easy to feel that the good stuff I was feeling is all over now, the Zoloft has stopped working, and it’s back to the old ways for me. I don’t want that. I almost feel entitled to feel good, such a new feeling for me. So different to feeling like I deserve to feel like shit.

Rationally I know, this dip has happened because the stars have aligned…

  • Drinking too much
  • Not sleeping enough
  • Stressful family events
  • Not eating well
  • Not exercising

Perhaps any one of these things on their own would have been OK, but combined it’s just too much for me. Who knows. Everything on that list bar one item is within my control. I’ve stopped drinking (a post for another day), trying to eat and drink more water etc. The stressful family events I can’t do much about for now.

So each night I go to bed hoping that tomorrow I’ll feel better, one day closer back to the undepression I was almost getting used to. There I go being optimistic again.

The Baby Olympics

There’s a lot of chat about competitions in our house at the moment. Being his Mother’s/Father’s son (we blame each other), he’s a bit competitive. In fact, we have turned this competitive streak to our advantage, and use it to get him to do things he doesn’t want to do. “Who can get into the car first?”, “Who can get into bed first?”, “Who can make dinner and unpack the dishwasher first?”. We have found this to be a very effective manipulation technique parenting tool. Way cheaper than bribery, and healthier than chocolate.

The unfortunate side effect of this is that everything, everything is a competition now. Like eating dinner, splashing in the bath etc. As a childless friend recently pointed out, this is perhaps not the best strategy to employ. Funnily enough, he never did suggest an alternative… Every day we swear we won’t use competitiveness to bend him to our will anymore. Every day we do ;)

I’ve always been conscious that when it comes to kids, there’s a lot of competitiveness. The Baby Olympics. Whose child is tallest, walking first, toilet trained first (depends on your definition…), etc., and I wonder if it has always been this way? Maternal Health appointments don’t help, with the checklists and graphs and curves. The Baby Olympics can get you down sometimes, it’s worth remembering that by the time they are 15, most children will have reached their major milestones, including but not limited to…

  • Sleeping in their own beds
  • Being toilet trained
  • Being able to wipe their own bottom
  • Eating with cutlery in a socially acceptable manner
  • Is doing their own washing too much to hope for?

More than anything, I don’t know why we seem to be in such a hurry for our Terrors to grow up.

Good morning!

There’s a little bit of running late for work going on around here at the moment. There are two main culprits – morning cuddles and breakfast chats. Every morning, somewhere between 2am and 7am, we have a little visitor to our bed. He clambers up and over Mr Optimism and positions himself between us – usually in starfish formation. To be honest, it doesn’t really disturb my sleep and I don’t notice him climbing in. I look forward to our morning “everybody cuddles” (not so much the toenails in my back) and getting out of bed takes a little longer than it used to, what with hiding under the doona, kisses, cuddles and pretend snoring.

We are creatures of habit here at Casa Optimism. I have porridge, Mr Optimism bananas on bread and a muesli bar, and little Terror has his porridge and also everybody else’s breakfast. It’s a reasonably civilised affair, talking about “what we did today” (“Not so much Terror, I got out of bed 10 mins ago. Ask again in a few hours”), drinking tea, and generally catching up. I love breakfast chats. I wish breakfast chats could last for hours. Sometimes they do, but unfortunately we’re not getting out of bed any earlier to allow for this.

So, we’re perpetually running late – which would normally annoy the shit out of me. But the anxiety around Being On Time has melted away (for better or worse!), and I’m no longer skipping breakfast to keep to a schedule. I’m pretty certain I won’t get the sack (self employment win!) and Mr Optimism should be pretty safe (public sector win!), so let the cruisy mornings roll.

Out of the closet?

So, I have depression. Pretty bad depression. Recurrent, has always been with me and will probably always be with me depression.

After my son was born I, probably not very surprisingly, suffered PND. It seems almost OK to tell people I had PND, because it’s a one off – something you can have and then move on from. I don’t know why admitting I have this other kind feels so hard, so shameful.

Some days admitting it is a triumph. Zoloft has toned down my perfectionism, so it’s OK to admit there’s something wrong. Even better that I’m doing something to live with it. Other days, I still worry that people will think I’m crazy, that I’m a nut case. Worries I had when I was a teenager, worries that probably kept me from looking for a diagnosis for nearly 20 years.

If you happen by, and you know me, I’m not crazy. I’m not a nutcase. I’m not embarrassed about having this illness. It’s just that I’m not brave, like the lovely Eden, who lays her soul bare on her blog every day. And has her real name up in that header. Maybe one day I’ll be that brave too.

I’m more OK than I have been in years and years and hopefully one day soon I’ll be “well”. We’ll see.


Hello world!

I have a husband, a child, a business, a half renovated house, depression and already have two other blogs I don’t update on a regular basis. Clearly, I am bored. I have too much time on my hands. I know, I need another blog.

Why? Let’s call it externalised ruminating. I don’t imagine PR companies will be falling over themselves to send the neurotic Ms Optimism product samples for review. I don’t imagine I’ll retire on the AdWords proceeds.

My life is, well, complicated. I think life is complicated for everybody. Sometimes my life feels too complicated for me.

Ms Optimism seems like a fitting moniker for me. My inner sarcastic bitch feels I am Ms Optimism, a pessimist with a sense of irony. However, I can also see the silver lining almost suffering a nervous breakdown, because I found a wonderful GP and Zoloft. And despite being up to the eyeballs in debt, having a dysfunctional family and a husband with a chronic illness, life feels almost good. And it might get better. That’s Optimism isn’t it?