No more mrs. Chipper

Posted on: 26 August 2008

This morning, I felt so bad. Again. At 07.30 my little boy refused his porridge breakfast angrily. Because of me? I tried putting him to bed, going for a walk. Thinking he may not be hungry, yet. O, he was hungry alright. He let me know in more and more bouts of angry crying on the way to the supermarket, inside, on the way to the drycleaners – picked up our wedding clothes, did not come out all clean unfortunately -, and on the way home. Was he furious by then. Alright, you are getting your bottle! It felt like caving. I don’t want to be having this power struggle with him. At all. But here we are. Gave him his bottle, fell asleep happily, slept till noon. Feel like I am letting the daycare centre people, who tell me just one bottle during the day, down.

I broke down in sobs on the purple beanbag when I had put him to bed. God, why do I have to feel so uncertain about such a small thing! Letting it get me down. After three to four good sobs, I calmed down somewhat. Gloomily, I lay there like a hopeless mess. So, this is the rolemother I have become. Unemployed, putting pressure on son for not eating, making everything about herself. Hating myself. Feeling bored, wanting to go to sleep but not being tired. Having nothing to do. Thinking: maybe I should seek treatment again, depression setting in, where to turn, I don’t want to go down that road again, why not take antidepressants this time like friends Y, X, Z.

Suddenly, something funny happened. It was something like getting a joke, without the following burst of laughter… but a shift in my perception occured. I realized, well, I am feeling pretty shitty right now. (afterwards “I feel shitty, o so shitty, I feel shitty and rotten and down” came singing in my head, to the melody of “I feel pretty” by Doris Day). But I also realized, “I am fighting the feeling”. Not allowing myself to be in a gloomy mood. To feel down. And I felt tension rising, and my state worsening because of this “roadblock”. I perceived the possibility to just feel bad, and not much ado about it. Why should I not be allowed to feel that way? Why should feeling that way make me not be able to go about my business? Whatever that business would be?

Immediately, I felt the tension ebbing away. I let my frown dissolve into droopy eyes. I felt the corners of my mouth sagging away into gloomy but relaxed state and I felt my whole body drop a couple of inches. It felt good in a strange way. I started to feel comfortable, even strong and secure, in my relaxed gloominess.

Before I knew it, I was getting up, not trying to feel any better, but determined not to lie wasting away just because my mood wasn’t sunny, bright and chipper. With a determinded calm I started going about my business – cleaning away the food mess on and around the table and taking on chores, albeit small ones, that had been awaiting my hands for some time. I even entered into some DYI home improvement, to decide within 5 minutes that the project needed a different approach and would have to be postponed. Which is good, because the project had been nagging my mind for months now. Making a decision like that made me feel more determined and calm. My mood was still somewhat gloomy – but it did not bother me then, as it does not now. Also, the calmness was a true blessing for a lost soul. My mind still starts to race off in a multitude of directions every so often, but the calmness gently reminds it: there is no need. You don’t have to race or do anything manic to make yourself look or feel chipper. The gloominess or anyway you may feel is quite alright and suitable. It is nothing for you to fix – you’d best let yourself be informed by it and use your powers to get things done at a gentle pace.

Little F. woke up two and a half hours later, giving me time not only to complete several chores but also to have a nice sit down. We gave the solids a new try. Him well rested, me in a different energy. Peanutbutter sandwich and grated carrot. He – mjam mjam – happily chewed away half in small bites. I think I did better at not focussing too hard on him. Eating my own lunch and letting my gaze drift gloomy but relaxed towards the balcony. Doing the occasional I’ll-play-with-you thing, without using it to coerce him into accepting something in his little mouth. Yeah, so what if he needed to drink a complete bottle at 13.30? I put him to bed again at a quarter to three, after changing his pooped up diaper and giving him a bath. I took a nap myself as well.

I think I am going to like this new relaxed mindset. I hope it will accompany me much.


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