A Black Cloud Week

The black cloud seemed to follow me everywhere this week. You know the one where every tiny thing you think is just one step takes one hundred? That was this week. The kids are normal teenagers, but every little thing they do not do seems like a gigantic war against you personally. One quick phone call ends up being three hours of holding, and elevator music to answer a question that they got wrong in the first place. The dog decides that you do not have quite enough on your plate, so he rolls in the mud, and covers your window in smeary dirt because you will not let him in the house. You know the kind of week.

It’s the week when the weather changes, and you step in gum in your favorite shoes. It just happens. My week has been full of these kind of moments and more. Isaac tweaked his bad knee again, Jessie, who is usually my sanity life line, had a couple of typical teenage reactions to me this week. She texted me “Yeah, Yeah” four times in one conversation, and ended it with “Whatever.” Christian, bless his heart, failed his permit test for the fourth time. Everybody I talked to had some sort of crisis big and small. Scotty was incredibly supportive, but I know he feels guilty he can not be here, and I feel bad complaining when he is sacrificing so much to help us remain in Bend. Lila was moody and well… you get the idea.

Some days are just so, I don’t know, daily. I have fought depression since I was a teenager. I take antidepressants and over the years have been learning the power of self-care. I have walked three times this week, taken my vitamins, tried to get enough sleep, and yet, still struggled to keep my head above the rising water. My tolerance level is pretty high, and I can juggle a whole lot but this was just one of those weeks.
You know the type where all those things you swore you would never do, or say like you parents did, and you find them coming out of your mouth. The times when you wonder which came first, kids or alcohol? There are weeks like that. I had one this week.

Tonight I met a friend for a drink, and we sat for three hours lamenting our busyness, the joy and despair of our kids, and parents, getting older. We shared our nightmare of a week with each other, and both listened in horror to what the other one had to go through. We laughed, cried and laughed some more. We tried to out do each other with the worst of stories. It is always good to know someone else struggles as much as you. They think you are amazing for all the things you manage, and you thank God you are not having to deal with what they are.

We left after those three hours in the same exact position we were before we met. We both still had too much to do, in too little time. I still have four teenagers, a dirty dog, and a schedule that looks like a subway station at rush hour. She still has to deal with all her craziness as well. These three hours did not change anything, they changed everything. The cloud has not gone away, but now instead of focusing on the darkness, I can once again see, that rain, is what makes the flowers grow.


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