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Monday, August 15, 2016

The Temporary Normal

Depression Awareness Ribbon
It's going to take us a long time to get back to anything approaching a new normal, but I can see us making stabs at it already. In the meantime we're in that limbo known as situational depression, where normal and even funny things happen but the eggshell fine is still pretty cracked.

For those who are worried about our emotional well-being, well. we're getting there. We've been watching a movie - mostly Disney classics with a little Harry Potter thrown in for good measure - almost every night, and tonight (as Lizzy and I are reading Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince) we had a little catharsis in discussing Sirius' death and the implications of survivor's guilt.

Even Lizzy at not quite nine groks that survivors' guilt is irrational but very very real. As is the depression (not rational, but reasonable) and anxiety and the symptoms thereof. Irritability is a big one; I find myself shouting at the kids for such heinous crimes as Being Thirteen (eye rolling) and Being Eight (random wiggles).

I have medication to help me with this one; half at Ativan when I'm feeling especially overwhelmed and at bedtime seems to do the trick. Ativan is in the same class of drugs as Xanax. I don't really like taking it - even at half a dose - because I prefer other ways of reducing anxiety. But sometimes one needs a chemical boost in the short term.

Those other ways? For me it's mostly keeping busy. That means getting kids' school stuff ready (mostly done), setting up our booth for this week's neighborhood-wide yard sale (half done) and extreme housecleaning (almost done, mostly by friends and family).

And the friends and family are helping in more ways than that. This week for instance I have friends coming over here to provide moral support and company (that is not comprised of children at whom I am shouty) on Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday; on Wednesday my mom is coming over in the afternoon while my sister takes Abbs shopping. I have two sets of friends working together to make a memorial booklet based on all the nice things that have been said about Laston for those less tech-friendly among us (like Laston's parents). And that doesn't even take into a ccount the lovely things done by people already.

Sunday Abby will be coming back from her dad's and I'll take the kids to my mom's time share as they do every year, and I hope to return to work on Monday (the 22nd). Not only do I need the money, but I think with the kids gone for the week, I'll want something like work to distract me from the temporary normal, as depressing as it is.

On Saturday the 27th, everyone who loved Laston (or loves someone who did) is invited over for a potluck open house memorial. Nothing formal, but if you want to say a few words, raise a glass, play a round of Munchkin, whatever in his honor, you are welcome. Those of you who need to know how to get here, please message me.

Just clearly label foods please, if you bring some; I never want to see that hospital again if I can manage it.