by Lori Dwyer on December 16, 2013 · 18 comments

I tell people I’m not well right now, and it tastes like a lie.

If this was a physical illness (and maybe it should be called just that), I’d tell myself not to push too hard. To be kind to myself. To fill myself up with nourishment, to rest and allow myself time to just sit and be still and heal. For fear of becoming sicker.

There’s a nagging voice that tells me this is mind over matter, this is all in my head.

Both those things are true, but not true. The depressive’s paradox.



From the Robot Hugs blog.


I remember Charlie the shrink asking me why I kept it all in, why I pretended I had this all under control, when clearly there was so much still to deal with.

Because I don’t want to do it alone, I told him. Because I want someone there to break my fall. Someone to fill in the pieces of my self esteem that I couldn’t resurrect myself. 

And now I’m here. The Most Amazing Man is a constant. He holds me when I cry, makes me laugh when I hate myself. And he doesn’t stop loving me. Never once threatens to take himself away because the emotional fire of this onslaught is too hot and it burns.

It sucks for him. To have me, but not have me the way I was. The person he met is not the person I am now. The essence of me is still there. It’s just that all the strength has left me. I am a wasted wreck of the person I once was. I’ve found my safe space and I wallow in it, confident that when I breach the surface for air, he will still be there.

And he is. Every time. He supports the threads of our life, so I don’t have to. It’s not what he signed up for, we both know that. But he never complains, never resents me or the kidlets for it. 

I trust him. I believe him when he says I will get better, and that he will still be here, no matter what.


One day at a time. Small things. Tiny goals. Touchstones with which to connect to reality. I shower. I take my meds. Today’s goal is writing this blog post. I try to keep myself busy. I pay attention to my thoughts, put up big red Stop signs in my head. Attempt to pinch off horrible thoughts before they spin themselves into a vortex I cannot push back out of.

I try to take control of my mind, one minute at a time.


If nothing else, I can do Christmas. The kidlets are so little. They deserve Christmas and all the good fun things that come with it.

It’s relatively uncomplicated and the process of buying, wrapping, listing, and caroling has very few horrible memories attached to it.

I mix things up. Occasionally I forget the little white lies that exist to keep Santa a real, believable concept. But the excitement of it, the magical element of the season… that allows me to fool my children with my shoddy, hard-won enthusiasm.

Our Christmas tree is a metaphor for my life right now. It’s lopsided, the decorations thrown on haphazardly. But it’s there, in all it’s symbolic glory.

It’s the best I can do right now.

It’s enough.



Thanks to everyone who left me a comment, or sent me an email. It reminds me that even when I can’t bring myself to care very much about me… there are other people who do.

Leave a Comment

CommentLuv badge

{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

Martha January 4, 2014 at 3:56 pm

Depression is a bitch of a dog, and somehow worse at holidays. Wishing you peace in life and in yourself in this new year.


Toni @ Finding Myself Young January 3, 2014 at 11:27 pm

Hope you had a better time over Christmas and New Year Lori :) Miss seeing your posts. Hope this time out is giving you time to heal. Thinking of you xx
Toni @ Finding Myself Young recently posted…Join me and create 52 weeks of memoriesMy Profile


Cass January 2, 2014 at 5:28 pm

Hope you are doing ok lovely Lori and that the new Year brings you health and happiness


Miss Pink December 29, 2013 at 10:55 pm

Love to you Lori. I hope Christmas was good and that you’re feeling ok.
Miss Pink recently posted…An End To DecemberMy Profile


Liz Warde December 29, 2013 at 4:19 am

You are so amazing and honest and brave.
Thanks so much for sharing all of your dimensions, not just the shiny, happy bits.
I think of you often and worry.
Life is shit sometimes.
I’m so sorry.
Lots of love and hugs to you, brave warrior.


Kim December 28, 2013 at 10:38 pm

Hi Lori

You have been quiet. Just touching base. How you doin darlin girl? Soft squishy hugs.



Karen December 18, 2013 at 10:30 am

Keep hangin’ in there, Girl! Wish we could all join forces and poke Depression in the eyes and kick it good in the shins!


Carol the Long winded December 17, 2013 at 1:28 pm

Ugh…and we have to remember to that depression can be a chronic illness. (Re: the above cartoon – I have two autoimmune illnesses and have heard all of the above about them, including that my crohns and psoriasis are caused by my attitude. @@)
Hang in there, and as the Blogess wisely points out, Depression Lies.


Fermi December 17, 2013 at 1:08 am

It’s nice to hear these things. I’m struggling with a lot right now and I constantly think…why did my husband marry me…when I’m stuck in this sadness I can’t escape…but he stays there and just like your amazing man, he hugs me and holds me. Really when it comes down to it, we’re pretty lucky to have good men like that.

Love to you during your tough time. I know it’s hard, but please keep writing, I do enjoy reading your blog.


Suzy Mac December 16, 2013 at 10:35 pm

Thank God for TMITU, I’m so glad he’s there to support u & the kidlets. My vote is that u drive to the lost dogs home, find your soul mate & spring him/her.
Puppy-therapy :0)
After my miscarriage my Orange Dog held all of the fractured pieces of me together, stuck them in place with his sloppy kisses.
He’s carried me through the worst of my husband’s battle with severe depression. Cuddling him, smelling his paws (which oddly always smell like oatmeal cookies) never fails to lift my mood.
If I was there- I would get u a dog. I think the whole family needs a dog
Suzy Mac recently posted…TrollsMy Profile


Alyson December 16, 2013 at 7:23 pm



Alyson December 16, 2013 at 7:27 pm

Be kind to yourself Lori. I am glad you are getting help. I am also glad that you have found your safe place to fall. Sit with it. Feel all of it. And then slowly dig your way out of it. Hang in there. This will pass. And when it does, you will be in a much better place than before you fell. Things will get better.


Emily December 16, 2013 at 2:31 pm

Love to you and yours. What an amazing man. But don’t forget that he has an amazing woman too. Have as merry a Christmas as you are able to, Lori. x
Emily recently posted…Children’s book review – DecemberMy Profile


Sheri Bomb December 16, 2013 at 1:37 pm

This resonates deeply with me Lori, but more from the perspective of TMAMITU. I don’t claim a title so highly as his, but I am the partner of a mentally ill person who’s breakdown and various depression and PTSD diagnosis have prevented him from being able to work in the last 5 years. When things get tough, I remind myself of the realness of his illness. Liken it in my head to a cancer of the mind. It helps me to understand, support, empathise, stay patient and maintain realistic expectations both of him and of the illness and its treatment. Treatment can be tough and really take it’s toll, leaving him ill or unable to face the world, wanting to stay in bed. Sleep is difficult. Every day is different and there are good days and bad days, where his capacity for happiness, participation and an even temperament are either good or bad. He is doing everything he knows how, to get better. He wants to get better. Mental illness is as real as cancer. Its effects can be just as debilitating. Our expectations of those suffering should be the same. Perhaps your expectations of yourself should be the same. Wishing you well Lori xo
Sheri Bomb recently posted…Tattoo Tuesday: All Filler No KillerMy Profile


Whoa, Molly! December 16, 2013 at 11:56 am

That cartoon is so great. While I’m all about having a positive attitude, all the cheery thoughts in the world don’t fix buggered up brain chemistry. It sucks you have to ‘prove’ it’s a ‘real’ illness, but so many folks get it. A lot of them show up here. And comment!

I hope that in making a sweet-ass Christmas for your kids, you find a little bit of cheer too. It might rub off! Sparkly lights help. Cakes too.
Whoa, Molly! recently posted…This one time: I was naked with 5000 other naked people.My Profile


Marianne December 16, 2013 at 11:50 am

It’s funny how Christmas can make it both worse and better. Be careful and don’t overtax yourself…but enjoy the enjoyables. So happy you were up for writing a post. We’ve missed you.

If your Christmas tree is a metaphor…I wonder what that makes mine…it’s being systematically destroyed by bow-tie wearing cats…

Love you chicka! Hang in there.
Marianne recently posted…Mama, Do you love me?My Profile


flask December 16, 2013 at 11:42 am

maybe it’s obvious, but maybe you can use a reminder.

life changes are stressors that can precipitate episodes. it doesn’t matter if they are positive life changes or not; they’re still stressors.

so really, this here is a thing that could have been expected and predicted. you always hope it won’t come, but sometimes the best you can do is hold on until it passes.

be gentle. remember to get some exercise and also to eat your vegetables.
flask recently posted…it’s a mysteryMy Profile


Fermi December 17, 2013 at 5:13 am

I think that’s a good reminder for all of us to hear. Thanks Flask :)


Previous post:

Next post: