So how are you? And other polite conversations …..

As is customary, most people start a conversation with how are you.

The problem is I battle to reply in the customary: “I am fine, how are you?”

I am not “fine” so tend to say: “I am okay, not great, but okay.  Better than I was a month or two ago….. but okay.”

And then the person looks awkward, and I shuffle my feet.  And then I drawl “Any the wayyyyy ….. ” to sort of act as an ice-breaker.

Never works.  But I repeat this action none the less.

I am still seeing my psychologist guy.  I am not making a great deal of progress. I start these things with such gusto, and then I realise that they are so much work, and then my shine reduces slightly.  And I slump on the couch a bit more.

At the moment I feel part of things, but not.  I do not seem to have the resources to take part whole heartedly in anything.  At the moment breathing; going to work, attempting to appear vaguely “normal” takes all my energy.

So I feel pretty much like the “third person” to my life at the moment.

Not ideal.  No, sadly not.

My medication is probably not “quite right” but I am also reluctant to mess around with them right now.  There is just too much going on, and I do not want to atttempt and adjustment right now.

My physical symtoms include:  a little shake (of my hands) that gets worse as the day progresses; I yawn so much that my jaw gets sore; I am not “lie on the bed and sleep” tired, but I just cannot stop yawning and feeling fatigued; I feel like I am over there, but the other me is over here, so it is a bit disorientating.

I take some stuff to make me go to sleep at night.  I take some stuff to keep me asleep at night.  Works well.

The problem is if our house got hit with a tornado, I would go quietly in my sleep.

Kennith has been less happy with the fact that if the kids wake up, I am so dead to the world, that he always has to deal with it.  I think he is also concerned that in the event of a fire, he will be carrying three children, and a semi-conscious wife out the door.

My appetite has gone for a bit of a ball. I am seriously just not that interested in food.

I do love food though.  I am even partial to a bit of McDonalds which is actually the perfect meal.  By the time my brain has clicked that I am eating, the meal is finished.

So pretty much it is over before my brain can tell me that it is does not want food.  Works well. Or doesn’t.

Any the wayyyyy (see how that works) …….. so it is not all great, but it is okay.  Kennith is presently winning awards for “the most patient and enduring spouse.”

The mania of extreme panic and anxiety has passed — to a large degree (and I use the term mania very loosely as I am not manic).

I am still a bit wired, so I find when I do something that requires concentration for any length of time, I walk away feeling very frazzled and more shaky.

The small things are not as overwhelming as they were.

I spend less time doubting myself, and in obsessive destructive behaviour or thought processes.

I spend a bunch less time on the internet.

I am still avoiding a lot of the forums and blogs I used to troll.  I don’t have the energy to take on other people’s issues, and also the “urge” to interact much.  So I have missed where everyone is and what everyone is doing.

I sleep at night.

Earlier this morning my friend Judith asked me: “Are you back in the saddle?”

I replied: “Well I am in the saddle, but the horse appears to have fled …. So I am sort of kicking my heels in the dust going giddy-up ….. fake it til you make it they say!”

And that is pretty much how it is with me.

So how are you?

Leave a comment


  1. Ai yes, there is no hard and fast faerie wand like method anywhere. I hope you improve a lot. I am sort of hanging on = had break downs two Saturdays in a row….

  2. Claire A

     /  October 9, 2011

    Why is it that if you ask a 4 year old that question an adult will listen to a 10 minute story of how he kicked his toe and there was loads of blood and it was really sore and……well you get the picture, but let an adult say more than / good / fine / cool / okay the one asking gets this glazed over look in their eyes and you just know you have lost them….

    Good to know you are working at helping yourself and that your man is on your side

  3. I’m really good! I wish I could pass that feeling on, I can’t pretend to know what depression is like, I have been down in my life but that’s not the same I know. I know it’s hard to cope with the smallest things right now, but do you think a big change is needed? I have two small children and the ‘plan’ was always for me to go back to work ASAP but …. the closer it got to returning to work time, the lower my mood got. It took a real good look at myself and our lives for me and my husband to realise that stuff the plan, what I really wanted was to be a Stay at Home Mum and care for the boys myself until they were able to start school. We considered everything, to make it work meant losing my income, a smaller house, less spending money. But do you know what? None of that mattered as much as the kids and my happiness. As soon as we had made the decision, all my anxieties went away. I was obviously lucky that I got to the bottom of my low mood and have a wonderful husband who was willing to support us. And now? Eldest is 4 and attending Preschool three mornings a week, youngest is 18 months and home with me and my husband and I now run our own business from home, meaning I can now do both – work and stay with the kids. We’re ‘lucky’ but again, it’s not the easy option to stay at home. We’ve struggled financially, but it’s been totally worthwhile. Sometimes you have to ignore the outside pressures of life and what we are supposed to be doing, the lifestyle we should aspire and work to live – and just live to make ourselves happy.

    • A day later, and I’m adding more comments 🙂 I just read back what I wrote and I’m sounding like one of those “just cheer up for f@*ks sake” kind of folk. Wanted to say sorry.

      I love your blog, as do many, for it’s honesty and …… ‘cos it’s written real nice 🙂

      Other than my occasional life anxieties, my husbands preference to just stay in bed somedays and my oldest and dearest friend and her many phobia’s (going out, other people, social situations, long journeys) I have little experience of depression – just a feeling I want to offer some words of comfort.

      I’ve just started blogging at 40 (weezafish.blogspot), mainly because of the many feelings and thoughts I have in my head that never get an outlet. The reason for that, and many a woman feeling the way you do is linked, I think. I just never get enough time for ‘ME”. And “ME” is very important, and if you don’t look after her then all those close to us suffer to. So often I’m so tied up in trying to be or trying to do for everybody else around me, that I forget the best thing I could do for everyone is something for myself for a change. And doing it without losing sleep too, it’s not okay to blog at 4 a.m. in the morning if you love blogging, there should be time during the day for it. And anything else that’s important to you.

      I’m currently reading about womens socially expected roles through the years and their effects (affects? That’s my secret). Did you know (you probably do) that about 1 in 8 women develop depression at some point in life. Women are nearly twice as likely as are men to struggle with depression at some point. Depression can occur at any age, but it is most common in women between the ages of 25 and 44. About the age they ‘give up themselves’ to become wives and Mummys? When women’s roles in society started to improve in the 1960’s, the odds of depression decreased as well.

      At the risk of boring you intensely, I’m going to paste a chunk from a document I’m reading, mainly because this relevant piece is hidden amongst paragraphs of irrelevant stuff.

      “While genetics may play some role, women’s self-confidence and self-esteem are at the heart of depression, says Ronald C. Kessler, PhD, professor of health care policy at Harvard Medical School and author of several major depression studies.

      In the 1950s and 1960s, studies showed that women had three times the rate of clinical depression as men. Since then, that number has steadily decreased — today’s women have 1.7 times the rate of depression, he tells WebMD.

      “As gender roles in society have grown similar, we’ve seen the gap decrease,” says Kessler, who is heading a nationwide study of gender-related depression patterns in adolescents. “That’s not to say that 1.7 times risk isn’t genetic.”

      “The gender difference in depression tends to emerge in mid-puberty,” he says. “Many people think that it’s linked to the menstrual cycle. But there are a lot of things that happen at puberty, including body changes and girls getting attention from older boys.”

      One large nationwide study showed that girls’ rates of clinical depression increased when they graduated from elementary school to middle school or high school – regardless what their age was, says Kessler.

      “It had nothing to do with puberty or hormones. When young girls went to school with older boys, that’s when their self-esteem took a nosedive.”

      What do you think Reluctand Mom? Have you heard this theory?

      • reluctantmom

         /  October 10, 2011

        One large nationwide study showed that girls’ rates of clinical depression increased when they graduated from elementary school to middle school or high school – regardless what their age was, says Kessler.

        “It had nothing to do with puberty or hormones. When young girls went to school with older boys, that’s when their self-esteem took a nosedive.”

        That is somewhat concerning. I am not 100% sure I agree on this theory. I do think in my case it is part hereditary, part environment and part just the way I am. Sort of a bit of this, a bit of that. I think you expose two people to the exact same thing – and one will experience it differently, and may be more effected long term than the other.

        Part of this is because of the previous exposure, maybe some learned behaviour, and a few other factors thrown in.

        I do feel strongly that “the way we were brought up and what we were exposed to, and how stable and secure our childhoods were” contributes greatly to how we deal with situations as adults, and thus what triggers depressive states …. sort of.

  4. Tania

     /  October 7, 2011

    Sorry to throw a curve ball here, but, that’s me…. Have you had your thyroid tested ? Your symptoms, including the depression, all thyroid related symptoms. Thyroid disorder is more common than high blood pressure, yet, being a “womans” disease, it often goes unnoticed and unattended.

  5. Hilary

     /  October 7, 2011

    Im not too great at small talk either. Give me the anonymity behind a computer screen and I’m just great. Get me, dead sober, in a group of strangers? Not so much. Pass me a glass of bubbly – totally different story. Look, we can’t all be social butterflies

    Re the ‘how are you’ – I Really don’t think that person Really wants to know that I am in a bitch-crap mood cause I was up most of the night with my teething 8mnth old. So I lie and smile politely. Sigh.

  6. Understad completely!
    I hate the “how are you” question cos I never know whether the other person actually wants to hear how I’m really doing.

  7. Anne

     /  October 6, 2011

    “Yippy-kay-yay, mf’er…” (name that movie!)……I will hold that image in my head…what an apt description of how it can be……thanks, that helps some today….hope the horse comes back soon. take care.

  8. LoriF

     /  October 6, 2011

    So glad you are okay! Okay is great. I spent the bulk of my life being there…

  9. I am crap – worse than I was a few months ago :-/

    I actually made the appointment today with the shrink person. Thanks to the shoot out in my front yard a few weeks ago and my mother in law – I am now having these lovely full blown anxiety attacks, sleep is a dream I have – a wide awake dream though since I dont actually sleep long enough to dream!

    *sigh* its really rather a sad state of affairs!

    Any the wayyy….

  10. I get it – that honesty is inspiring though even though it’s uncomfortable for others.

    I have a problem (!) with honesty too – the other day someone asked “how are you, Marcia?” and I said, “well, right at THIS moment, I’m not doing well (I was VERY frazzled and severe back pain, etc) but in the grand scheme of things, I’m okay (meaning no one is dead – yes, I’m quite the morbid one when I need to be LOL)

    Kennith – husband of the year 🙂

  11. Sharon

     /  October 6, 2011

    Glad to hear you’re doing Ok! And yes, fake it till you make it!

  12. I admire your honest posts. And I feel like shouting at the computer : hey, me too, me too!!!

    I’m not going to offer you any cliches ( “hang in there”? )

    So what I’ll say is : I know, been there, keep sleeping well.

  13. Hey there. I would go for saying I am “ok”. But thats for other reasons entirely which I shall not (or maybe its denial), will not get into.
    I just want to say that I am proud of you and always will be. Taking things one day (or hour or minute or second) at a time is perfectly fine.
    Lots of strength and love.

  14. countesskaz

     /  October 6, 2011

    so frustrating to read this and know I can’t do anything to help! I really would love to help, somehow, somehow, somehow!


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