On the up and up

I peer into the mirror and realize I have both washed my face and brushed my teeth twice in the last 10 hours. This is really good.

On the way down into my depression pit I am fighting against it, clawing at the wall for a handhold. Raging at the slide. This effort seems to fuel my descent. And I enevitably end in the darkness. Alone down here.

As long as I don’t fight it it is fine. A thin line between enlightenment and clinical depression. I am unattached. In the world of real humans attachments are dangerous, and also what keeps you moving forward, to protect the people and things that you have gathered to make your world you must participate in that world.

But is forward better? I don’t think Buddha would say so. So I might as well stay down here with the mystics. Somewhere beneath the base of the maslow’s Pyramid of needs. It is dark, and dirty, and quiet and none of those things are good or bad. How funny it seems to judge them that way. It is not a choice. I will stay down here.

On the outside I might either be in my bed, or living a close proximity of my life. But inside I am beneath it all.

This might be copywrited so I included all labels.
This might be copywrited so I included all labels.

In retrospect I have been operating in the bottom two levels of the pyramid, not actually in its basement or I wouldn’t be alive. But I don’t feel alive. I feel like the mummy excavated playing the role of me. And everyone knows that mummies aren’t good at belonging. Let alone Esteem and self actual ization.

So the mummy mama has been picking the kids up and having some vague knowledge about whether or not they have eaten. We are alive, almost comically over sheltered with our four homes. Luck, my husband, and pyramid top planning has left us secure. I can just rest down here.

Between my hormones, my new drugs, and just the depressive cycle it is time to rise up. Unwittingly I begin my ascent. This is important for you non depressives out there. This is not a choice. I shed my bandages and come on up to claim that second level without any gumption or bravery at all. I mean, as far as I can tell it is incredibly courageous just to be alive, and unlike I many of you I do consider that a choice. So call me brave for breathing, but not for cheering up. What a joke. Cheering up. It is much closer to going from undead to awake.

But regardless of the why and the how it is happening. And now, when I am already on the rise I can choose.

Yesterday, having returned to bed on a Sunday, Oliver bounced into the room. Hey mama, want to play with me? Play? I turn the word over on my tongue like it is a amuse bouche at a fancy restaurant. Play. In a huge wash I understand that I am at choice here. There is bed and mummy clothes and there is my kid and “fun.”

I can do this. But what comes out of my mouth is. “I’m not feeling very playful.” And he is not not injured by this. He flicks his blond fringe away from his blue eyeballs and I see them twinkle. I notice myself noticing the twinkle. I add the twinkle of his eyes to my weapons in the fight against the undead.

“You seem just as playful as usual mama.”

And I take it for the taunt that it is. The intimate teasing of belonging. And I can see step three.

What? Did you think I would play with him?

I was IN BED. But tickled him until he was giggling and gasping. Squirming in delightful agony and through his laughs he said. “This is like playing, mama.”

So I am on the up and up. But like many things it is not steady and linear. I am composing this post in my head while I head downstairs for breakfast. Something down there isn’t right with me and I feel the rage, the propulsive force of the depression, volunteering to join our breakfast.

I am not a mummy.

I am a mama.

I am Anna.

Just as I am remembering that it is fucking HARD to talk yourself out of depression and maybe entirely FUTILE. I see this.

I am happy as a huomin

Leo’s drawing. I imagine the assignment. I am happy as a: clam, bear, sunrise. Who knows what magic his first grade teacher expected. He has given me the words I need.

I am happy as a huomin.

I mean, I’m working on the happy part, but I am decidedly huomin. Today I have brushed my teeth and washed my face, I am sipping tea and writing while in my clothes to exercise. These are solid step two and three things. Huomin things.

Happy will show up in its own.


For a little boost you can try Climbing Maslow’s Pyramid. Hard work but helpful.

Published by

Anna Palmer

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.

12 thoughts on “On the up and up”

  1. Word press is not allowing me to edit this post. Usually I leave typos in there and I will in this as well…but it is supposed to say, unwittingly I begin my ascent. Not descent. And I am trying to to read into that Freudian/sirian switch.

  2. I’d love to give you a hug right now, but knowing how you feel about hugs, that would make me feel better and not you.

  3. (Here were a series of written and erased inadequate words that don’t say how much this post is making me shake, and how beautifully, sadly, darkly written this is.)

    1. This is odd to me. I mean the part is great that it moved you. That is odd too but goodly odd. It is the “dark” part that is odd. I this this is a disconnect between me and the rest of the world because I have gotten quite a few alarmed emails and “call me” text commands from the PEOPLE WHO LOVE ME. I felt this was a positive post. It referenced dark, because, duh. But it was called up and up. And I am up already. From this morning to now I have fully emerged and I did things like go to the bank, go to the accountant, take a RUN (I mean it was more like a shuffle, but it was run proximate) was this dark? It is just so…half my life is like that…

    1. It isn’t a choice until I am already on the way up. When I am really really down it is just a survival thing. If you mean life overall? I made the choice to live as long as I could once I had children. Its just another example of how my life is not my own. Because my boys cant have a mom who didn’t want to live, I am someone who does want to live. If that makes sense.

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