Thursday, October 29, 2009

An experiment

I have been in a funk for a couple weeks. I haven't been able to quite put my finger on it,so today I sat down and really thought about it. I have a hypothesis, but I'm not at all certain that it is correct. So an experiment is in order.
Here are the symptoms of my funk:
always in a daze
can't remember things
can't get much done
don't want to get much done
am having a hard time pinning down an actual thought
unable to make a decision
don't really care about much
don't want to engage socially
seems like the world is moving in a swirl around me
can't do a basic math problem in my head
when I read, I only skim and don't really absorb anything

It took me all morning to get a handle on that list. Now, depression is no stranger to me, but my depression, which started post-partum after Blue was born and never left once it made it found a warm comfy home with me, doesn't usually take these forms. My depression is based on social anxiety and a feeling of not being able to handle anything. Plus, I am on medication which has been working well for several years.

I started looking up these symptoms as side effects of the new allergy and asthma medications I am on, and the thing that kept coming up was not any of the medications I am on, but ADD. I don't have a history of ADD, and while that does not discount it completely, there was an article I ran across that was so profoundly close to my truth that I was stunned.

Could the internet be the source of my problems? Certainly, if you are one of my 2 followers (Hi Deb! Hi Marie!) you know that my problems do not stem from too much blogging. But my Google Reader has 254 unread items in it. Last night? It was down to 0. I can't keep up with the blogs. I really can't. I see so many things that I want to do and try, yet all the time I have is frittered away reading more, more, more. My house is a mess, dinner is rarely made, my children run around half naked, my rear end is growing roots into the couch. Okay, so I really am exaggerating, but at the same time, maybe not as much as I wish I was.

It does not negate the fact that I suffer from depression and anxiety, or that I am a creative type who lacks organization skills, or that I am essentially not a very good housewife (though I am a good mother and wife), but it just might have tipped the scales.

So here's what I am going to do. For one week, I am not going to look at my reader. I am not going to troll blogs. I am not going to follow links. I am not going to partake of the internet.


I'm not sure this will be easy. I used to think of blogs as my chill-time. At night, after a long day when the kids are in bed. Or at the witching hour when I'd had enough and I resorted to a princess movie for the kids and a glass of wine and some internet for me. Zone out time.

Then it was with a cup of coffee in the morning to read the news, since we don't get television. Then it was just for a few little breaks here and there because I am always running around and I just need a minute to myself. And so maybe I really am addicted to the internet? We shall see.

Now, there are exceptions, of course. What I really want to avoid is zoning out in other peoples creativity, not cut myself off from my own. I want to avoid my antisocial behavior, not distance myself from far away friends. So I will still read my e-mail, and I will still... blog. Yup. I must be the only person in blogland who thinks that I need to spend a little more time with my blog. But it doesn't have to be my blog. It could be a notebook or journal. It just has to be something I am making as opposed to watching what other people are making.

I didn't mean for this to happen, it just snow- balled. There is so much prettiness on the internet and I love it. I do. But I need a break. If this doesn't work, and my brain doesn't snap back to its normal self, then I'll  have to try something else.

And now, there is a little girl who is calling my name with some very fancy silky crayons in her hand. I think I'll go discover what she has to show me. I'll check in with you soon, though, and let you know how things are going.

Oh, and all these pictures are mine. Just random pictures I like.


  1. Hi Cricket! You really are a wise one. Don't be too hard on yourself though :) Have you seen the Flylady site? She's great. When my eldest two were little, she was my lifesaver (I'm beyond saving now!!) The principle of 15 minutes at a time restored my sanity. I don't know it might help. The thing about ADD is the key is motivation. So if you can feel inspired, you can do anything. Well that's what I find with my two eldest anyhow! Does that make sense??
    I'm a great example of course, I'm sitting here, unshowered in my pjs, while my kids have breakfast and it's 8am and time for me to move off my butt! lol
    Big hugs
    deb xxx

  2. Thanks, Deb. I haven't really looked at the Flylady site too much (though I have heard of her). But today I set the time-out timer for 15 minutes and several times today did actual cleaning. Or, actual picking up. I can walk through the living room again. We only have 900 square feet, and we have a dirth of closet space, so it seems like everything is always all over the place. And that article said some things that hit very close to home. Do we really need 12 pairs of kids scissors? Well, chances are I can only find one pair at any given moment, so we kind of do. At least until I get things straightened out. I know that for kids with autism, a tidy, serene environment is ideal. I never manage that. And I read something the other day (on someone's organizing blog, you know) about motivation being the real key to getting things done. Which seems obvious, but then when I say "Why can't I manage to get X, Y or Z done?" sometimes it really does come down to the strength of the motivation. It is only recently that I can't muster that motivation.

    But today I found Ivy's christmas stocking, half knit, and managed to find my place and get back to work on it, which is nothing short of a miracle. I think it's going well so far. After all, it has only been 5 hours or so.

    I think I'm also going to write down everything I accomplish in a day, instead of writing a list of things I need to accomplish. That might feel more rewarding at the end of the day.