My mother asks if she needs to be worried, really worried about my moods.

A friend reads my blogs and asks if I am talking to anyone.

I am not at risk of suicide. I would never do that to my children, not even at my darkest moments or my most detached. We are going to live this life together, until they choose to live their own, and I become a bit part. For now though I am central, the one to snuggle, the one to show your funny pictures, the one to read to and be read to by. So no matter how much pain, or lack of pain I have I will be here. Even if sometimes I would rather not be.

The idea that many or even most of you exist each day knowing for sure that you would rather this life than no life at all seems so weird to me. Is that what you feel? Every day that you choose it?

At my best I have arranged circumstances that protect me from actually literally checking out. And even at my worst I never consider actually ending my life. Never.

But there are times, like the second half of yesterday, when I pass the corner of the wall and want to slam my head into it, so I can feel something other than what I am drowning in. I imagine this is what it feels like for teenagers who cut themselves. Trying to move the pain out bit by bit, from pyschic to physical so they can watch themselves heal. So there was the wall corner, and also the crying on the bathroom floor. I knew it was ending even as I lay on the floor, because I was worried about how I was making Steve feel.

In and amongst the crying and the injury contemplation there was pumpkin carving, and real conversations, full family dinner, and apologies and connection.

And today it is gone. It was leaving this morning when I got out of bed first. So I met friends for coffee (tea) and told them a bit about how the med switch is going (not terribly well) and we talked about other stuff too, bathroom remodels, special education teams, indoor/outdoor smores parties. And then I left to go running. I did the IRS audit work.

And later I am home and I am hanging orange Halloween lights and coming THIS CLOSE to unpacking from our trip, I mean I could almost tackle that. And one of the coffee (tea) friends stops by with these.

Flowers from a friend

Flowers from a friend

And I re-realize that Shelburbia has an excellent side. And that friends hear me. And that my moods, which are pathologically interesting to me are probably worrisome to those who are close to me. And I use all of this as a jumping off point. I head out into the 48 degree rain with scissors to add to the flowers which I have put into a pitcher instead of a vase. After a single loop around the house I have this.

Flowers from friend and yard

Flowers from friend and yard

What a great jumping off point. She heard me, she made this gesture, it got me out of myself and out of my house and there is absolutely no way at all to be depressed when you are making a bouquet. Its just a fact.

Thank you all for being there. I hope it helps to know you are not alone if you feel like me, and that you are not alone if you care for and about someone who feels like me. The worst is just the worst. Everything else is at least a little better.

Talking to a friend who deals daily with the health issues of her son (I wish there were ways to celebrate the amount of minor battles she fights every day with absolutely no guarantee of a win) we checked in about his latest neuro scans. “Better” she said. I asked if she knew what better meant and she just smiled and said. “Better is better.” Hard to argue that point. Not that I wanted to.

Better IS better.

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Anna Rosenblum Palmer is a freelance writer based in Denver, CO. She writes about sex, parenting, cat pee, bi-polar disorder and the NFL; all things inextricably intertwined with her mental health. In her free time she teaches her boys creative swear words, seeks the last missing puzzle piece and thinks deeply about how she is not exercising. Her writing can be found on Babble, Parent.co, Great Moments in Parenting, Ravishly, Good Men Project, Sammiches and Psych Meds, Playpen, Crazy Good Parent, and YourTango. She also does a fair amount of navel gazing on her own blog at annarosenblumpalmer.com.

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