When I have an anxiety spike, I buy tea.

The calendar doesn’t lie: Summer is almost over.

I am simultaneously relieved and disappointed.

I love sleeping in during the summer. Now that the kids are old enough to help each other get some cereal and find an appropriate tv channel, it was rare to see me out of bed before 8:30.

Days without structure and routine really appeal to the laid back, okay, lazy mom that I am. Being able to pile into the car at a moment’s notice to head to the river, meet friends for lunch, or even take a road trip is definitely my style, too.

But the Cabin Kids are all up in my business, all the time:

Which doesn’t suit the changes I am trying to make…

Captain and I have decided that I need a job. Though it’s less of a job decision and more of a housing decision. We’re finally buying property to build our forever home on and if we want to maintain our lifestyle, an extra income is mandatory. We’re keeping it modest, but the mortgage is still going to be a substantial increase from our relatively low rent.

Working from home with kids who are used to you being at their beck and call is a serious pain in the ass. Kudos, seriously, to those of you who have juggled that particular type of chaos, because I am failing at it. Miserably.

Once school starts, two of the Cabin Kids will be in school full time, one half time, and the only one left at home will be The Kraken, who still, blissfully, naps every afternoon. I plan on using those two hours of naptime in the afternoons to get some work done, then finish up what I need to in the few hours between when Captain gets home and we put the kids to bed.

As awesome as the plan sounds, I am feeling super anxious about the change. What if I fail? What if I just can’t juggle being a fully functioning work at home parent with my health and mental wellness goals? I am already counting on squeezy applesauce packets and GoGurts to make mealtimes for the kids easier. What if, for as many unnecessary things that I cast aside until I get my bearings, our life is total and utter chaos until our home is built and we’re settled in enough space with school bus service for the kids? Will I have the energy and desire to put the extra effort into my relationship with Captain that I need to?

Needless to say, my anxiety is spiking again.

And for some reason, when I find myself struggling to breathe without pressure in my chest, when there is a headache constantly lingering behind my ears, when the slightest thing makes me crumple into tears or explode in ridiculous rage, I go looking for a cup of tea.

But it can’t be any cup of tea. It has to be a new tea.

Suffice it to say, I’ve anxiety shopped for tea a few times in the past year…

cupboard of tea

I buy the tea thinking that it will be the catalyst for a new routine: Have a cup of tea while I blog in the morning. Finish a chore then curl up with a book and a cup of tea. You know, the romantic, cushy version of life that usually involves a hot, steaming beverage.

For a few days, it does help me stay grounded in my new goals…

cup of tea

For the most part though, it just takes up space in my cupboard.

I am my own worst critic.

I’m struggling.

I thought I was over it, but I’m not.

Is it because I’m a Gemini?  I truly feel like there are two parts of me.

My ‘bad’ twin is Elsa.  My ‘good’ twin is Anna.

Over and over in my brain I hear them singing in reprise:

Anna: It’s okay, you can just unfreeze it!

Elsa: No, I can’t.
I — I don’t know how!

Anna: Sure you can! I know you can!
`Cause for the first time in forever,
Elsa: Oh
I’m such a fool!
I can’t be free!

Anna: You don’t have to be afraid…
Elsa: No escape from the storm inside of me!

Anna: We can work this out together!
Elsa: I can’t control the curse!

Anna: We’ll reverse the storm you’ve made
Elsa: Anna, please, you’ll only make it worse!

Anna: Don’t panic!
Elsa: There’s so much fear!

Anna: We’ll make the sun shine bright!
Elsa: You’re not safe here!

Anna: We can face this thing together!
Elsa: No!

Anna: We can change this winter weather!

Anna: And everything will be all right…
Elsa: I CAN’T!

I can’t.

I’m pulled so many different ways by this storm.  This damn depression that has me feeling like every day is eternal winter.

In attempting to find help in the things I enjoy, writing and, recently, using oil pastels, I am left dissatisfied.

Nothing lives up to my expectations anymore.

I am my own biggest critic… I can’t control the curse…

I am struggling to hear the good twin’s voice… there’s so much fear

I am looking for ways to take the good in my life to heart… you’re not safe here…

And I’m failing… I can’t…

I feel like I need to put some of my goals on the back-burner, but that reeks of failure.

I don’t want to be okay.  I want to be great.  Instead of trying and failing at being great, I do nothing.

Yet, I’m stretched so thin with hopes and dreams that every minuscule detail is magnified, and I can not look past the parts that need fixing to see a whole.

But how to appreciate the whole, without ignoring the things that do need to be fixed..?

I’m working on it.

But not well enough.

We Become

Surround yourself with beauty.

Surround yourself with people who make you happy.

With people who build you up.

Surround yourself with positivity.

And you will become; Beautiful, happy, uplifting, positive.

But, those of us surrounded by the constant mayhem that comes with having children?

The ones who already live with the threat of depression ever on their minds?

When the simple act of going to the bathroom alone leaves room for the unmitigated destruction of the rest of the house?

When the people we care for do nothing but whine, bicker, and fight?

What do we become?

We embody that which surrounds us.





Like the poor who can’t make a long term financial plan, because an extra $10 saved won’t matter in the face of three overdue bills, we, the depressed, struggle to see the point in doing just one thing for ourselves.

Why should we?  We’ll only return to the same old environment.  Hear the same complaints.  Clean up the same messes.  Fight the same fights.

That 30 minute run is our $10 bill.  The toys thrown everywhere, the lack of well-fitting clothing, and the meal that will take too much energy to prepare are our delinquent power, utility, and phone bills.

Once those bills come in, that $10 won’t matter.  Because we’ll still be so overdrawn, so in debt, that the $10 becomes a drop in the ever growing bucket.  We can try to squeeze out every drop we can, but the bucket grows into a tub, the tub becomes a pool, the pool turns into a lake, and the lake suddenly morphs into an ocean.  webecome


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