Tuesday, October 07, 2008
Jack turns 4
Today is Jack's 4th birthday. Shhh. We're not allowed to tell him. We are waiting to celebrate on a day Kain is out on pass, which won't be for a couple of weeks yet. I'm really bummed about it, it's just so weird to not even be able to tell him happy birthday. He has been so looking forward to his birthday ever since Maria's a month ago. But to him, a birthday equals cake and presents, he just wouldn't understand waiting for Kain. And since Jack doesn't know any better and Kain does, we've decided to wait on Kain. Kain is very upset when he finds out he's missed any kind of family ritual. These things are still pretty new to him and he takes them super seriously. He would be devastated to find out we celebrated without him. Still, it feels odd. Anyway, I'll post an official "all about Jack at 4" thing with pictures of his actual celebration.
We are doing ok here. I'm pretty sure I'm having some problems with depression, something that's rather new to me. I had some depression as a teenager, but that was pretty circumstantial. I'm exceedingly decisive, sometimes impulsively so, and when something is wrong in my life I want to FIX IT. Wallowing in despair is not exactly my style. So, imagine my surprise to find myself wallowing quite a bit lately. I know I have lots of people praying for me, and I'm feeling better actually. Now I'm just waiting to see if it lasts, but I definitely feel in a FIX IT mode right now. It came to me that I may have been granted this little depressive episode to give me more empathy for people that suffer with depression and other mental illnesses. I've not always been the most charitable person in the world with people in my real life that have mental illnesses (runs in the family, heavily. "In the South, we don't ask if there are crazy people in your family, we just ask which side they're on."). Even as a nurse, I had little patience for patients in the hospital on suicide watch or psychosomatic illnesses, feeling like they were taking my time away from those that were "really sick".
In the midst of a wallow yesterday, it hit me, that I was doing the same thing that I could never understand in these people. I prayed to my grandfather. He died three years ago, a devout Catholic and wonderful man who also happens to have been severely bipolar. I told him I got it, and that I was sorry. I've never understood how someone can be so depressed that they can't work up the motivation to do the smallest thing to make their situation better. Now I know, and I'm sorry for that. Immediately I felt better. The pain in my tense neck muscles was gone, the anxious nausea, the fog in my head...it was just...gone. So, I might sound crazy, but I really think that that was the purpose for my pain, to learn to feel some charity for people that fight this all the time, especially those in my own family. I was being hard hearted. Every Christian worth their salt knows that when you are hard hearted, you are just asking for God to break out the chisel.