I owe a large part of my recent bout with sanity to Bryan. It was during our recent trip to Portland when I realized how much influence he has had on my level of peace during the last few months.
I think the biggest thing for me was his taking over the bulk of the finances. I lack the time and discipline to stay on top of everything, so now the only thing I maintain is updating the bank downloads and paying the regular bills. He takes care of all the budgeting and organizing, and just tells me what to do so I don’t have to think about anything.
Bad things happened when I controlled the finances. I have a tendency to avoid anything that cannot be done quickly or easily, but lacked the organization to make sure it didn’t slip through the cracks altogether. On more than one occasion a big ball was dropped, and instead of owning up to it to Bryan, I covered up the evidence CSI style and pretended nothing happened. Yeah, I really just said that out loud. Feel better, now, about all your fuck-ups?
That was a dark time in our marriage. Most of our fighting was over financial issues – how things should be done, how things were NOT getting done, expectations that were not being met, feeling that expectations were too high, etc. I think this has changed. For the better. For both of us. I’m learning more about what makes me hide things from the people I love. He’s learning how to be a safe person to confess fuck-ups to.
I also think he’s beginning to understand the overwhelming nature of my life: the constant interruptions whenever I do anything; the chaos of chatter and the disciplining of toddlers; the unpredictable arrival of depressive days that render me useless; the difficulty of catching up whenever I lose one step. He seems more compassionate, more patient, and takes more initiative to help out when he sees me falling behind. This alone makes me cry (the good kind) because I do enough to beat myself up for being a failure. When he shows his patience and compassion when I can’t seem to Get It Done, I feel loved and supported.
I, like many people, avoid the stuff of life that is not fun. If I have a choice between paying bills and reading my rss feeds? You guessed it, I would rather read your blog (but who wouldn’t? It’s so entertaining!). The challenge for me is sorting out the times when I am dropping into a black hole of depression or when I am just being lazy. I expect a lot of grace to be given me in the first scenario, but if I’m just being lazy that is not cool. The last thing I want to do is take advantage of Bryan’s generosity in helping out more at home, so I continue to work on being diligent when I have the mental faculties to do so.
It may be too early to really assess the effects of my new vitamin regimen as it relates to my depression, but I know I’m feeling more energy and focus all throughout the day, and I last longer into the evening. Because of this, I can let up on my schedule during the day and spend more time just Being with Ruthie and get my stuff done after she goes to bed. Just last night I caught up on a pile ‘o’ crap that needed to be filed while Bryan dismantled his labyrinth of computer equipment and moved it to its temporary location.
Despite this being a busy week of celebrating Ruthie’s birthday, preparing our basement for remodeling, and getting Bryan ready for his new position (more on that later), I have not been irritable with the kids nor have I felt overwhelmed. Bryan and I have even worked through disagreements quickly and rationally.
All this to say, I think the general state of Zugland is improving. I am continually being reminded that when dark circumstances overwhelm our lives – whether self-inflicted or thrust upon us – somewhere there is Hope to be found.