The Bitch is Back


Or, by another name, we can call her Depression. Or a “frenemy” — if that makes you more comfortable.

We go way back, the bitch and I.

Despite medication, she drops back into town every few years. Sometimes, I’m able to tell her to go to hell. Sometimes, well, I fall victim to her cutting words and machinations.

I’ve taken anti-depressents for years. The first time was in college, when I couldn’t even bother to crawl out of bed for exams.

In 2007/2008, I came down with mono, followed by post-viral syndrome. And there she was again, whispering in my ear, tagging at my heels, telling me I couldn’t beat the illness, couldn’t overcome my body’s … er … over-zealous immune response to a stupid virus.

I lost a  year to my frenemy.

But come August 2008, I fought back. And  yeah, I won. Ha.

The next several years were MINE. Not hers.

And now she’s back again, intent on reclaiming what she thinks is hers.

I know the signs — the inability to get moving in the morning, the reluctance to do anything with my kids on the weekends, the sense that I just can’t handle whatever life throws my way, no matter how small or silly. This desire to just stay in bed or on the couch, where the most difficult decision is choosing between HGTV and A&E.

I know her — and her ability to take over my life — to pull me down to the absolute depths of despair, when nothing means anything.

Today, I finally admitted — to my pastor — that she’s back in town. Hell, she’s not just back in town. She’s moved into my house.

My husband, of course, has known. He always knows. He’s the guy who pulls me up, pushes me onward, makes me remember why I matter.

So I’ll call my doctor. I’ll slog onward, toward spring, when sunlight and warmer weather will  yank me out of this despair. I’ll remember that one, small — relatively speaking — physical impediment isn’t the predictor of my future. It isn’t indicative of what or who I am.

Those of you who are intimately acquainted with my frenemy — you know.

You know that she’s relentless and tireless and just plain mean.

And you’ll also understand how frustrating it is to feel that just one teensy  glitch in your life is enough to draw her back into town.

But we’ll get through this. And in the next few weeks, I hope, the bitch will flee my life. Because there is NO room for her here.


A storm gathering over Big Bend National Park.

A storm gathering over Big Bend National Park.


Birthday party at the Humane Society

This year, Tootie decided that she wanted:

A.) To have her birthday party at the Humane Society of Pulaski County, and

B.) To invite her Girl Scout troop, along with a few non-Scout friends.

We had an awesome time! Puppy cuddles. Kitten snuggling. Frolicking with dogs in the dog park. Crafts. Cake.

Instead of presents, guests brought donations for the Humane Society.

The party was a lot of fun, and as you’ll see below, both the girls and the animals had a good time.


Playing with the kittens & cats.

Playing with the kittens & cats.


Dog park time!

Dog park time!


Getting ready to play with puppies.

Getting ready to play with puppies.


Meet Ollie. Tootie didn't want to let him go.

Meet Ollie. Tootie didn’t want to let him go.


Another party guest falls victim to instant love.

Another party guest falls victim to instant love.


Crafts & cake

Crafts & cake

Collaborative effort for the cake: lettering by Hubs, borders by one of Tootie's friends and puppy paw/La-la Loopsy dolls by mama.

Collaborative effort for the cake: lettering by Hubs, borders by one of Tootie’s friends and puppy paw/La-la Loopsy dolls by mama. The puppy paw is made out of a Peppermint Patty and Junior Mints.


Learning how to groom...

Learning how to groom…


Thank you PCHS for hosting us!



Thank you PCHS for hosting us!






Life: One should enjoy it, not just try to survive it

So the first time I had this epiphany was back in 2007, when I came down with mono at age 37. Following that lovely 6-week illness was post-viral syndrome. (My body, unaware that the mono virus was gone, continued to fight it. Which made me feel even worse than the mono ever did.) That lasted nearly a year.

When I finally felt good again, I bounced into 2008, vowing to catch up and do everything I’d missed out on. I started going to Zumba classes. Hubs and I tackled more challenging hikes at Big Bend National Park. My friends and I started Little Rock Mamas. I wrote a weekly column for the newspaper.

In 2010, I decided to become a Girl Scout troop leader.

In 2011, I joined the Girl Scouts North Hills Service Unit, which plans events for 30-plus troops in our area. In that role, I also ventured into public relations.

And I’ve had a blast!

Then, in December, I injured my shoulder. In January, I had surgery, a Bankart repair. And life has now come to a standstill.

I can’t go to Zumba. Instead, I go to physical therapy. It takes me forever to get ready in the morning. I can’t use my left arm much at all and still have to wear a sling. I’m left-handed by the way.

And so in recent weeks, I’ve found myself parked on the couch, even on the weekends.

Normally, I’m a really fun weekend mom. I take the kids all over the place. Now I’ve been declared, “Boring Mama.”

But my stress level? Wow. It’s dropped. Even though February is usually a crazy month for me due to the kids birthdays and Girl Scout Cookie Season.

The problem is, it’s dropped so much that I find myself bored and depressed.

Somewhere, there’s a happy medium. And now that I’ve spent time on both sides of that fine line, I’m even more unsure as to how to find that balance exactly. My husband works a weird schedule that changes each month. Much of the time, he’s working on weekends.

I’m happy when I’m busy. At the same time, it’s been so nice to just … let go … this past 3 1/2 weeks.

I’m interested in hearing how other working moms juggle everything. And by that, I mean not just getting everything done, but how to savor and enjoy life at the same time.

Dancing. I need to do more of that.

Dancing. I need to do more of that.