Trips home to Michigan are always filled with rushes of memory, and different selves inside of me crash like waves on a beach I'll never see until my kids are grown. Sometimes I'm bitter that I haven't been able to have a proper vacation since before getting married and having kids in that magical all-for-one year of 2012. AFTER happily ever after often isn't very happy, at least while toddlers reign supreme.
Trips home cause me to meditate on home and what it means. My family is important to me, but there is a fracture in my family fibula, and I now have two families - the Diops and the Fardigs. What happens when the wants and needs of one directly compete with the wants and needs of the other? Where do my loyalties lie? I've said since I was 18 that I'm lucky to feel like I have home in 2 places but what happens when my tribes are warring and I am throwing up white flags with every breath?
I am severely depressed. This has not been diagnosed by anyone but how I feel in my life. I am functional, able to go to work, able to care for myself and my children, but I constantly feel overwhelmed, anxious and have to break most social plans because I just can't make myself leave the house. I don't talk about this, and I'm uninterested in medicating myself. What I'm interested in is advocating for myself and what I need, even if I'm seen as selfish. What I'm interested in is teaching young ladies at school that they CAN have a career, a family and a marriage AND not lose themselves in the process, but I'm struggling to model that.
Self-care is so elusive, is ludicrous and non-existent for moms. I try to creep in small moments of gentle, failed care. Painting my nails when one of them naps, and always smudging them because someone asks for a snack while they are still wet. A trip upstate to see a dear friend from college and her daughter, which results in tears, snot and our kids spitting and screaming at each other. Relaxing to be there, until the tantrums start. So many walls scrawled in crayons that I've removed a full layer of paint from scrubbing. Comet cleaner sprinkled all over my bathroom, again. I am chasing a clean home with two toddlers, fuck a manicure. I am chasing an afternoon without shrill screams. I am told to treasure every moment and I regularly lock myself in the bathroom to breathe.
Depression is not seeing your closest friends in almost a year. Depression is trying to take care of yourself and your home, and failing better every single week. Depression is remembering to shower on the weekend. Depression is fooling everyone at work. Depression is my husband asking me to get up and make the kids something to eat, for once. Depression is what I cover. Depression is being forever grateful for what I have, and still being sad. Depression is distance from my family. Depression is listening to the same song over and over again. Depression is "what's wrong, mommy?" Depression is yelling because you just want to be alone, and can't.
I will be fine. It is almost summer and I can find time to reflect and reckon and regain what I need. But I need to mark this moment. Dear diary with no audience, life is exhausting.