The Dress

This weekend, a friend of a friend posted a dress on Twitter and I fell in love. Parrots and palm trees on smooth white polyester. Size 8. H&M. Shift cut. Dreamy. It made me think of bare arms and good times. Pool parties and Lost Lake. Not waking up in icy darkness with a head full of dread.

That dress was a tropical vacation in a long and shitty winter.

It’s at the Unique on Irving and Kimball, she tweeted back. If you go it might still be there. I went back to her post and looked at it. Looked at it again.

And I went. And I ruffled through a million other inferior and just plain weird dresses but I got it. It was $3.40 because Unique has half-off days. And then I got fancy cat food for my fancy cat and the bus came on time and it was perfect.

Sometimes when I’m in a particularly bad one, I complain to my dude that I need a big win. A really big win, a windfall, my ship finally coming in, a Powerball-level punch to my racing heart and sad sack mind and all the things I want to change or go away. And then I realize I’m an educated white girl of average build with features in a more or less okay arrangement – my whole life is a win. (I still want to win the lottery. I still want everything to suddenly work out all at once.)

But sometimes it’s not the big win. It’s a three-dollar dress. And sometimes it’s not even that, although yes it is perfect. It’s the walk there, the anticipation, going slightly off path and succeeding. It’s breaking routine – a reward and more often, a necessity.



It’s Not Like I’m Smoking Crack

In an effort to figure out if I should still be this insane and depressed, I picked up my copy of “What To Expect…” the other night and came across something interesting. Interesting and terrifying.

A half page section described many of my symptoms and said that these can sometimes be signs of a thyroid problem, masked by pregnancy issues.

I wouldn’t have thought twice about it, but my mom has a thyroid condition and this was one of the reasons I should probably have been tested for it.

I was not.

If you read more about hypothyroidism (as I obviously did), I found out about many disturbing statistics, ranging from miscarriage to birth defects to an out and out link between this condition and having a kid with a lower IQ.

Unless detected and treated early or before pregnancy, there’s no telling what effect this may or may have on my baby.

If I even have it.

I may or may not get tested at my next appointment, told by my doctor that I could wait until I see her next month to discuss it.

So all I can do is just that…wait. And worry.

This in combination with the extra ultrasound I have to have in a couple of weeks to make sure my placenta has moved up (if it hasn’t, I may have to have C-Section) and the gestational diabetes test I’m scared I’m going to “fail”, I’m suddenly more than concerned with whether or not my baby is OK.

Here I was worried that he’d be a picky eater, the asshole kid on the playground or one of those douches I saw on the DePaul campus walking around with his frat brothers. Instead, I could unintentionally be the cause of his brain damage.

This is the reason I opted out of the genetic testing. I didn’t want to know of any potential deficiencies because I would have spent my entire pregnancy contemplating the implications.

I know there is nothing I can do. Not only can I not go back into the past and ask to be screened for a condition I had no idea could affect my pregnancy, I can’t do anything for him now other than what I’ve been doing.

It’s the most helpless and pointless feeling ever and I’m just trying to remind myself that whatever happens, it will be fine. It will play itself out and we will roll with the punches and make the best of the situation.

I suppose I need to start working on being able to live with uncertainty more than I ever have before.


When You Are In A Deep Depression

* Don’t worry. I have a supportive group of friends and family and already have therapy lined up.

Life is standing in the ocean where your feet don’t touch the bottom. There is a weight tied to your ankle and it prevents you from going anywhere. You don’t want to drown, per se, but swirling your arms in circles to keep afloat can be annoying and tiresome. Even if you could somehow cut the rope, you don’t know where you’d go or why you’d bother to swim. There is nothing in sight except for miles and miles of endless dark water, waves that push you to and fro.

Sleeping sounds like the only thing you want to do. But it also makes you feel kind of terrible and out of it. But you’re so tired. So damn tired. You have no energy and lying down is the only thing that makes sense.

Eating can be pleasurable. Sometimes not, though. You’d prefer to do it alone. You’d prefer to spend $25 on take-out so you don’t have to leave the house and no one is a witness to you hovering over a styrofoam container of something salty, fattening and horrible for you.

You don’t want to talk to anyone or see anyone. Except if you don’t interact with your friends, they will stop calling and maybe stop caring and then you’ll feel worse.

It’s hard to do things like shower or blow dry your hair. Because who cares? You certainly don’t. You are fat and ugly. But maybe you should put on make-up before seeing your boyfriend. He’s been so patient and understanding and if you lost him that just might be the straw that breaks the camel’s back.

You don’t give a shit about anything. All of the things you loved doing seem completely pointless. Things you should be really excited and happy about are rendered neutral, forgettable. Nice weather days make you feel especially guilty.

The crying for no reason is the worst part. Oh, well, I mean, there is a reason. It could be something happy or sad or totally inconsequential, but something is creating an emotional outburst you can barely contain. The tears and the sniveling come out of nowhere and you’re like a helpless baby, unable to convey exactly what is bothering you.

I’ve been on both sides of depression. Sometimes I’ve managed it with talk therapy. Other times medication. And I have stretches where I don’t feel like I need either. The most important thing is to seek help when things are particularly bad. Life should not be this bleak on a day to day basis. Ask for help. Take the help.

You can’t fight this battle alone.