Thursday, July 30, 2015

The Calculator

Caden got a calculator last night. It was love at first sight.

He got it at the 99 cent store and the battery died almost immediately, which didn't surprise me, but crushed Caden. That is, until he discovered a trick: that if you hold the calculator next to a light or direct a flashlight towards the screen, the crisp digits become visible instantly.

I said I was sorry it wasn't working properly, told him he shouldn't have to point a light at the screen. I told him I'd get a better one tomorrow. He rejected this however, saying he liked the one he had.

"I can just take my flashlight," he said, then bent his head towards the screen again, marveling at the numbers.

"What do you not know?" he would ask me next. "What numbers shall we try?"

Friday, July 24, 2015


I wrote this after realizing that things that used to rile me up were not having the same effect as usual. It's like when I go to get mad, there's a gap there instead.

I'm assuming it's the medication, "smoothing out" the peaks and valleys. Lexapro: a steamroller for your emotional landscape.


I feel more chill, I can't get mad
I still get worried, but there's no edge
The rage just fizzles, can't even be brought
Things that once angered are now impotent
Even when my son pushes boundaries, pushes me
I get short with him, yes
But feel compassion underneath
There's a space where my anger used to be.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015


Life before Lexapro (antidepressant, 5 mg daily):

Desperate and exhausting
Increasingly rageful and cynical (perhaps due to all of the above)

Life with Lexapro:

More simple
Things are clearer and brighter
I can hear again and focus my thoughts
It feels like I am breathing different air.

What Lexapro is not doing:

Solving my problems (that part is up to me), and making the negative thoughts go away completely.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Structure, please

I hate days off. I have so many things to do but no idea how to begin them.

And it's not that they aren't important, I have overdue bills and a green card that's going to expire soon and an apartment overflowing with papers and books and children's toys, belongings, artwork, and so many other things that it just feels like chaos - it's no wonder my favorite thing to do is go and be in the mountains for the day.

But that won't get my green card processed or improve my quality of life when I am back in that overflowing apartment. In fact it only makes everything worse, as I am not dealing with the issues at hand.

For days when my mind is an almost incomprehensible muddle of thoughts, I have started making a list of things to do.

From The Moth - "A New Home"

I listen to a radio spot called The Moth sometimes when I run or drive - The Moth is a not-for-profit organization focused on storytelling, featuring "true stories told live," Participants stand in front of an audience without notes and recount tales about 12 minutes in length. The stories can be funny, heartwarming, quirky, triumphant, or even (and often) break your heart, but they must be true.

This is a recent segment from their show called "Fathers."

Dori Samadzai Bonner - A New Home

In this segment, a woman describes her ordeal as her family struggled to remain in the United States after escaping from Afghanistan using forged papers. It is a brief but moving account of a father who will do anything for his family, and the overwhelming emotional and mental strain many immigrants face during the process of application for amnesty.

I have listened to it twice - it moved me enough the share. There are many other great stories on The Moth website worth listening to as well.