See that chick with crazy, ombre looking hair? (Really, I just needed my roots done DESPERATELY,lol) That's me. I am 33 years old, happily married to a man I have known literally most of my life, and I have 3 absolutely wonderful children. I bought a great old house in my little Ohio hometown, which is the only place that has ever felt like home, and I did so in cash. (Hooray for no mortgage!) I have a ton of blessings, and I do not take them for granted. I am thankful every single day for all of the good things in my life.
Lately, I have been in a funk, and not the Uptown kind. Of course if my Bruno wants to come sing me Uptown Funk, I am more than game....I absolutely adore that man. That is another post entirely, though.
Wait. Who am I kidding? This is more than a funk. A funk is something found on my preschoolers' clothing, that can be washed away with a quick trip to the washing machine. A funk is usually blessedly temporary, however unpleasant it may be.
I can't lie. This is no simple funk. My depression has come back, in full force, and has been emotionally and physically draining me for the past 6 months or so. I cry every single day, sometimes multiple times. I can't sleep worth a damn, and I have become even more introverted, if that's even possible. Just accomplishing simple things like cooking meals or cleaning the house has become incredibly difficult for me lately. I have literally zero motivation to do anything, really. I feel tired. Worn out. Sad. Worthless. Unwanted. Unappreciated. Ugly. And I don't know how to shake it.
People ask me a lot, "Why are you depressed? What happened?"
Well, the answer to that isn't so simple. Nothing really happened, per-se. Other than stressing a bit more about money issues, things have been pretty routine.
Routine. Hmm....Maybe that is the problem, exactly. Things have become entirely too routine.
You see, although I technically have my "Happily Ever After", sometimes I'm not very happy at all. It's no one's fault. Life just happens, you know?
I love my husband with all my heart. I couldn't picture ever being with anyone else. (Except for Bruno Mars, of course. But that doesn't count.) Before Sophie and Xander came along, we were all over each other. We went out and had fun together. We talked. We snuggled constantly. We were the literal picture of a happy couple.
We're STILL a happy couple, but after having back to back babies, things change....These days, we spend so much time and energy worrying about the kids, the house, and our jobs, that there's very little time for romance. By the end of the day, we're both too exhausted for any "adult time", and when we can squeeze it in, it lasts about 30 seconds and is completely unfulfilling. It's no one's fault, and I am sure that as the kids grow and become a bit more independent, it will change... but the lack of intimacy, both physically and emotionally at times, leaves me feeling empty inside.
I hate to admit this, but sometimes I worry that maybe I'm just not attractive to him anymore. Maybe he just sees me as the "Mommy figure" who cares for his children rather than a desirable woman who is "doable". And it hurts. I know I could try to spice things up a bit by putting on make-up, actually doing something with my hair, and by ditching the yoga pants once in a blue moon. But honestly, when you're in the throes of depression, that's easier said than done. I worry that no matter what I do, it will go unnoticed, and that I won't be good enough. (That's a BIG struggle for me...Convincing myself that I am good enough. I think that's due to the fact that I was in a very abusive relationship for a decade, and when you hear daily how horrid you are, you eventually begin to believe it.)
I know my husband loves me, don't get me wrong. He's not ever mean to me, and we get along just fine. He's my best friend, and I truly believe he's my soul mate, if such a thing exists. We just stay so busy with everyday life that there seems to be a bit of a disconnect. Rather than being a lovey-dovey couple, we're Mommy and Daddy. And that's okay. It's part of life, and I know a lot of couples go through the same thing. I just wish there were more of a balance between parenthood and romance. It's something we have to work on, I suppose.
The funny thing? Dan doesn't think there's an issue here. He is perfectly happy going to work, coming home, playing with the kids, zoning out to the TV, and then passing out. He sees the zoning as quality time, since I am on the couch with him. I, being a woman, would love some affection and attention. Just vegging constantly isn't my idea of quality time. After all, I am home alone with the kids all day long, and seeing him is the highlight of my day. I don't get intelligent, adult conversations. When he comes home and morphs into "Zombie Man", it's no fun for me. It's not his fault, and I don't blame him. I think that the routine has become...well...too routine.
I think the combination of having pretty severe social anxiety and being a SAHM is also taking its toll on me.
I am lonely. I feel isolated. Every day is like some strange version of Groundhog Day. Nothing happens. Nothing changes. I am simply going through the motions.
Don't get me wrong. I absolutely LOVE being able to be home with my children. I enjoy being able to spend so much time with them, and I take great delight in watching them grow and learn new things. I wouldn't trade being home with them for a million dollars. Being a Mom is the most important thing I will ever do, and I want to do it right. I am very blessed to be able to be there all the time.
But I can't help but feel that something is missing....
I don't really have any friends. Okay, that's not entirely true. I have a few good friends, but they live in other states and lead very busy lives. We don't really get the chance to connect outside of Facebook. The other 99% of my friends? Well, they live in my computer, so to speak. I have never heard most of their voices, and chances are, I will never get to meet most of them. While I value these relationships, they don't take the place of spending time with a person, or being able to call someone just to talk. There's a certain lack of intimacy in relationships that exist solely online, and it's close relationships I am craving. My family is amazing, but everyone needs friends outside of their home, too.
Since we moved here to Ohio, it's been incredibly hard to meet people. My social anxiety paired with the fact that I work from home and am surrounded by small children all day makes it very difficult for me. I have a hard enough time reaching out to people I DO know, so the thought of seeking out new people is utterly terrifying for me.
I do have one friend here. He was actually my babysitter when I was a kid, and his little brother was best friends with my little brother. He's a great guy, and Dan and I both love him, but it's not the same as having girlfriends to hang out with. I doubt he's going to want to go grab lunch or go get our hair done, haha. Plus, well....He's a guy. Out of respect for my marriage, I don't hang out with men unless Dan is there. Nothing would ever happen, of course, but it's just better that way, I think. Just like Dan doesn't go hanging out with other women. It's a respect thing, and it works for us.
I guess that the constant loneliness, and the never-changing routine has been really affecting my overall mood. I love being a Mommy and a wife. I wouldn't want to change any of that. I just wish I had more to look forward to every day.
I wish I had more.....More romance. More intimacy. More confidence. More friends. After awhile, feeling totally alone and isolated takes a very heavy toll on a person, and it's incredibly hard to move past it. I am tired of the constant tears. I am tired of being sad and not being able to identify why. I am tired of being so exhausted that going upstairs to shower seems like a chore.
I am going to try harder. I am going to truly work on my self-esteem and stepping outside of my comfort zone. It's funny....With social anxiety, I put myself in a bubble. My bubble is safe. It's familiar. It's comfortable. But there's a great big world outside of my bubble full of wonderful things, people, and experiences. If I can somehow force my way out of my own sadness, I hope to explore it one day. I hope to one day have a "bestie" that I can go out and spend time with. I hope to one day be able to look in the mirror and like what I see. I hope that one day, I can feel like more than just a mom.
Can anyone relate? Are any other SAHM's out there familiar with the loneliness, the routine, the emptiness? Or am I the only one who feels this way sometimes? I'd love any tips or ideas on how I can pull myself out of this seemingly endless abyss.