If you had to choose between depression and anxiety, which would you choose?
I feel like that's the choice I'm facing, although not at a clinical level. I'm pretty even-keeled, mostly. But that gets tested during major upheavals like, oh, say . . . buying a new home and moving to a new stake, school, city, blah blah blah, in a month.
I shouldn't feel stressed OR anxious. Our time frame to move is flexible but I have a lot of self-imposed deadlines set that I'm struggling to meet. Deadlines are how I get things done, but at the same time, they're making me nuts. I keep starting and tackling different projects and little to nothing is happening. This makes me feel depressed. To be sure, it's not the dark twisty kind of depression that other people suffer with. I'm more on the blues/funk end of things. But I don't like it because it takes me out of my happy orbit.
The solution is to get things done. That's hard with a toddler and a nursing newborn. Oh, and one dental emergency after another (whole different blog post). My current strategy is to tackle things I know I can finish, even if they're not the most important things. This is why I shop Craigslist exhaustively while nursing (just scored a $100 upright 20 cu. ft freezer for the garage today--woot!) but the dishes go undone. I can't keep up with the volume for one thing, and for another, I can't do them one handed. And when the baby does let me put her down, I usually choose to do something else for those blessed ten minutes.
Don't ask me what. I have no idea. I just know it's not dishes.
I haven't been able to edit for days and I really want my manuscript cleaned up by June 1, but . . . I'm using free time (HA!) to do things like buy paint samples for our new walls and exercise because . . .
Uh, my pants don't fit. And I sometimes don't have time to shave my legs which makes a full conversion to skirts kind of tricky.
Anyway, I was saying (and mind you, the tangents here are pretty much a road map for how my days go: start cleaning my bedroom, get distracted by changing a dirty diaper, end up trying to locate a tax number for something because I found a paper I forgot about by the diapers, etc. and so forth, GAH!), the solution is to get stuff done.
And I do know how to do that. Make a list, prioritize, and execute. And I know how to prioritize. I can, when I choose, order things in a way that makes sense. If I do the things that will make my family happier and more comfortable, this will ultimately stress me out less than shutting everything out and revising, which is what I desperately want to do. If I chose to revise all day, I'd feel good about doing that in the same way I would feel good about getting a pedicure, but I'd feel guilty that dinner wasn't cooked and that Grant never got out of his pajamas (you know, because changing his clothes each morning is a half hour project due to his extreme emotional attachment to whatever he fell asleep in).
If I play Mussolini and get all my trains running on time, I CAN do it all. Clean, cook, exercise, play with kids, revise, do errands, and even blog.
But it's at a price.
All will be well and everyone will be happy AS LONG AS THE UNIVERSE COOPERATES FULLY AND NOTHING DEVIATES FROM SCHEDULE EVER, EVER, EVER.
Because if I regiment the day, and things don't go as planned, my anxiety skyrockets and I LOSE IT when things don't go right. We're talking wig-flipping crazy. We're talking flinging myself on my bed to sob angrily if James takes too long with his homework or Grant spills something that I didn't schedule for.
If things go right, we're all genuinely happy. But I have to gamble that they'll go right and the universe will, for the next thirty days, cease its endless mockery of all my "plans."
Do I stay in my funk, leaving my family mildly dissatisfied with the condition of everything but more or less all right? OR. Do I embrace my control freak tendencies, plan religiously, and have my family swing between deep contentment and well-being and hide-under-the-bed wariness when something goes awry?
Depression and anxiety, meet rock and a hard place.