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Stream of Consciousness

by Katie Reed

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I haven’t updated in what seems like forever, and I’m finding it hard to care. But I know that writing helps me to feel better, and if I’m ever going to get through this slump (otherwise known as a bout of depression), I need to just get on with life as normal. Right now, I have so many half-formed thoughts in my head that I’ve been meaning to write about, and none of them is big enough to warrant its own blog post. So I figured I’d just do a random disjointed post about what’s going on in our lives.

shrug

And every demon wants his pound of flesh
But I like to keep some things to myself
I like to keep my issues drawn
It’s always darkest before the dawn

I’ve been feeling sort of disillusioned with blogging lately. It used to be something I was passionate about, doing it for ME, for my family and for my kids. I loved it. But then it got to a point where I felt like I was doing it for the world at large, and I lost my voice and lost my way, and now I feel like it’s this overwhelming thing that I just can’t seem to keep hold of. And no, I don’t have this illusion that I’m this big name or that anyone else cares so much about me or this site, and I don’t imagine for a second that anyone would be let down if I just shut it all down and left forever. But I do. I feel a responsibility to each and every person that has ever read, commented, reached out to me in any way… I want to continue.

But then I feel this need to make it a “worthwhile” endeavor. Suddenly, just capturing our memories doesn’t feel like “enough.” I feel like I have to use the blog to contribute to our family in some way. So I accept payments and free products for review, and I get bogged down by how much CONTENT I owe people, and I lose my voice again. And then I worry that I won’t GET these paid opportunities unless I have enough engagement, so I fret over SEO, and I trade “follows” with other bloggers and sites so that my numbers are inflated… but none of us really cares that much about anything other than the actual number, so none of us actually engage, and I am left with followers who don’t interact, and it makes me sad. So I go out of my way to find something to engage with on social media, trying so hard to establish REAL relationships with people I admire, and nothing comes of it.

It is a never ending circle, and it fries my brain, and I feel like I’m just getting nowhere.

me and the boys

And I’ve been a fool and I’ve been blind
I can never leave the past behind
I can see no way, I can see no way
I’m always dragging that horse around

Mark was away on a business trip last week, which took him to California for a couple of days and then to Utah, where he was able to hang with family and friends and go snowboarding and have fun. I had the kids by myself, and it was hard. Despite them going to daycare during the day, I felt overwhelmed. So I lost myself in cleaning and painting and organizing, making the house look better so Mark could have a lovely surprise when he came home.

On Saturday, of course, there was no daycare, so I threw my computer and phone to the side and just enjoyed time with the kids. We played and laughed and read books, and my friend Amy came over with her daughter, and we hung out and ate pizza and giggled with the kids. And it made me feel amazing. And it made me feel sad. Because it reminded me that I don’t really spend that much time with my kids these days. Especially Daniel, who basically wakes up, goes to daycare, comes home and goes to bed. He’s a year old, and he is growing and changing every day, and I feel like I’m missing it.

I put them in daycare in December as a way of having a little bit of a break when this depression started. I was overwhelmed and really needed the help. But it’s now nearly March, and I feel like daycare is teaching both of them SO much, and they are growing as people, and I feel inferior as a mom because I haven’t been the one to help them bloom.

sick mama

Our love is pastured, such a mournful sound
Tonight I’m gonna bury that horse in the ground
So I like to keep my issues drawn
But it’s always darkest before the dawn

I am tired of being sick. I had a bad head cold for about 10 days recently, and then about the time that Mark left for his business trip, I felt better. I had a good two days of snot-free existence, and then allofasudden, I got an even WORSE cold. The second night he was gone, I had nausea and vomiting, a fever of 104 and I was delirious. Thank God, the kids were in bed, or I don’t know what I’d have done to take care of them.

I feel like I’m sick all the time. I went to the doctor last week to talk about the billion and one issues I’ve been having, and she’s ordered a ton of blood work, so hopefully I will figure that all out soon. I have a feeling my anemia is back, which would explain the illness, the lethargy and even possibly the depression. I want answers.

flowers

And it’s hard to dance with a devil on your back
And given half the chance would I take any of it back
It’s a fine romance but it’s left me so undone
It’s always darkest before the dawn

Friendship is hard. I don’t have a lot of friends anyway, and there’s been a lot going on in my life which has meant that friendships aren’t as easy to maintain as they once were. And when I go the extra mile to try and show I care, it is misinterpreted or scorned, and I find myself feeling like a dog having to slink away with tail between legs. I hate it, and I would rather just walk away all together.

family fun

Regrets collect like old friends
Here to relive your darkest moments
I can see no way, I can see no way
And all of the ghouls come out to play

My kids are my joy. I can’t help but smile and be happy when I look at them and know that they love me no matter what. I adore them. There is no other word for it.

growth

And I am done with my graceless heart
So tonight I’m gonna cut it out and then restart
‘Cause I like to keep my issues drawn
It’s always darkest before the dawn

I am tired of being the whiniest person I know. I complain all the time. I hate listening to myself. I can only imagine how tedious I must be to other people. I am working on it.  My word for 2014 is growth.

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9 comments

Marie @ Buncha Monkeys February 24, 2014 - 12:45 pm

I feel the same way about blogging. I get caught up in the dream of making money so that I can justify all the time I spend on my blog. But then my mom or bff tell me how much they loved reading about the kids doing something and then I’m snapped back to the reality that my blog is better served if I focus on the people who actually care about it. And I totally understand about the rest of the stuff too. I didn’t run for three days because I was sad and kept telling myself it doesn’t matter. But I’m trying to repeat a new mantra to myself: Choose to be awesome. 🙂

Reply
Katie Reed February 27, 2014 - 11:46 am

That is a GREAT mantra. 🙂 I need to use it! 😉 And your blog is great, Marie. I can’t tell you how much inspiration I get from it!

Reply
Tara LN February 24, 2014 - 2:00 pm

I love reading your posts and don’t normally leave a response, probably because I feel like I’m intruding, but this particular post made me want to reply. I wanted to reach out and give you a virtual hug. For what it’s worth, your blog posts are things I enjoy receiving and look forward to reading. I am glad you write about your family and your life, it makes me feel a certain kind of kinship, that there is a mom out there with young children who has ups and downs and actually TALKS about them, when most other people had me convinced that motherhood the first year was OH SO EASY! I completely appreciate how honest and up front you are and this post really puts you out there. I am glad you wrote it. Thank you for sharing your story, today and everyday!

Reply
Katie Reed February 27, 2014 - 11:45 am

Lol. I’ve seen so many other mom bloggers out there who make their life look so perfect and glamorous, and it’s so hard not to compare myself to them. My truth is that life is a struggle most of the time. Two little boys who are full of energy and chaos (and OPINIONS!) and a hubby who works a LOT mean I am often overwhelmed. But comments like this really do help me to feel so much better. Thank you, honestly, for your kind words.

And I totally know what you mean about feeling like you’re intruding. I find it hard to comment on blogs for this very reason! 🙂

Reply
Angie B. February 25, 2014 - 2:20 pm

I also have depression. I work part-time outside my home for half a day 5 days a week. I find it a chore to get up and go to work sometimes and just don’t have the energy I want/need to have to get house work and everything done. I don’t have many friends either. I don’t get to go out much because hubby and I work opposite shifts and all my family works too so finding a sitter to do just about anything is nearly impossible. i get overwhelmed as well. I don’t want you to think I’m comparing or anything I just wanted you to know you’re not alone and I can understand where you are at. Right now blogging for me is my outlet. I kind of get swept into this world for a little bit when blogging or using social media and I almost feel normal. There are times though when my to-do list seems forever long and I get a few things off the list and some others come along to replace it. I started being choosier about opps I take and when I blog. It’s actually been better for me business wise.

Reply
Katie Reed February 27, 2014 - 11:42 am

Bless you. I’m sorry to hear about your depression. I’ve thought about getting a part time job just to get out of the house and talk to people, but my energy levels are so low, and I get so anxious when I leave the house. So for me, I doubt I could actually do it. Thank you for sharing. I, too, am choosey about which opps I accept. I only do ones I like, thankfully. 😉

Reply
Brandi February 25, 2014 - 1:32 pm

Blogging can be hard work. On both your emotional self as your physical self. You just have to remember to only put on your plate what you can handle. When I came back blogging full time this year, I decided that I wanted to make more money and build it into more of a business. I also decided that I’m not running a ton of giveaways. I hate it when sponsors do not follow through and so I just decided to be super picky about the giveaways I participate in or host. When it comes to reviews. I set a limit. If it doesn’t meet that limit, then I’m sorry, it isn’t worth my time and energy to review it. I also only do one review a day, with the exception of gift guides and products I really really wanted to work on. I brought on an additional writer to work on reviews as well. I hope you find your voice again. And if it is a jumbled voice at first, let it be jumbled. Your take on living through depression might just help someone else find their jumbled voice as well!

Reply
Katie Reed February 27, 2014 - 11:43 am

Thank you hon. I think that is the main reason I’ve continued to blog. Whatever bad feelings I might have, I know that I’m not the first nor the last to feel them, and I have always believed that sharing my thoughts on it could be beneficial to someone at some point.

Thank you for the great advice.

Reply
kyle February 25, 2014 - 5:48 pm

we understand to frustrations of social media and the never ending cycle of likes for likes and follows for follows that are meaningless and just a number. In the end we just want to help parents provide healthy snacks for their kids in a convenient way, making the life of a parent just that much easier. We love to see the look on kids faces when they open a GREAT Kids Snack Box and get to discover new snacks each month.

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