So, Brandon went back to work Thursday, and I'm really disappointed at how quickly the depression came back. I hate how co-dependent that makes me sound; like I can't handle my day to day life without my husband. That's not it at all. Yes, I love him and I miss him terribly, but I feel like the depression is brought on by stress, not his absence. They're directly related of course; my stress levels are so high because I don't have his help when he's gone. He's not here to wrestle with Beck and/or make sure he doesn't destroy the house while I take a shower. He's not here to play fetch with the dog for hours on end so she's not leaping all over me constantly. He's not here to help me deal with Piper's whining or to play hide and seek with her while I cook dinner. I end up not being able to do any of those things so that our day-to-day life is infinitely more stressful. We're missing the link in our chain that keeps everyone calm.
I spend most of the four days he's gone so stressed out my chest hurts, and the few days he is home (two this time) desperately trying to recover from all that stress. I escape, leaving him home with the kids and the dog and the mess. I sit on my ass at night on the couch with him because I can, instead of taking advantage of the help and getting the house somewhat presentable again. Or crafting without interruption. Or going to the gym. Or doing any number of things I should do.
My life is one big emotional roller coaster and I honestly don't know how much more I can take. Every day I feel like I've hit my limit, and then Beck scribbles on one more important piece of paper, or the dog eats one more of Piper's dinners, or I burn one more of my dinners because my attention is constantly pulled in three different directions. I feel so hopeless.
I've tried so many things to alleviate some of the stress, and nothing has worked. If anything, it makes ends up just making things worse. Searches for part time daycare or even reliable sitters are pointless. Eating better and trying to exercise is out of the question; I have zero energy by the time I am able to work out, and all this stress just has me holding onto any weight I would lose even if I was eating right. Play dates end up being more tantrum than play, trips to town end up with me almost in tears in the car with one kid who wants everything in sight and whines about having to walk from one end of the mall to the other and another kid who refuses to walk at all and has just realized he's been two for almost six months so he better get on that Terrible Two business. I took the kids to Darbyland (an indoor playground on base) last night, thinking they would have fun and I would be able to just sit and think for a while; I spent the whole time dragging Beck off the dirty floor as he threw tantrum after tantrum after tantrum. My heart broke when I had to tell Piper, who was actually having fun, that we had to leave.
Brandon constantly asks what we can do to help me get through his tours better, and honestly I just don't know. I should probably go to therapy, but then we're right back at the childcare issue. How am I supposed to go to therapy if I'm alone with the kids all the time? I can't even try to schedule appointments for days Brandon's off, because I never know when those days are.
So I end up waking up each day with a feeling of dread, full of guilt for feeling this way when I have such an amazing family. My husband is more than I ever dreamed a husband could be, and I hate that my feeling this way just makes me want to just run away. Piper is so beautiful and creative and caring; I hate that I lose my patience with her so much and don't have more time to just enjoy her. Beckett is so hilarious and adventurous, I hate that I spend most of my day discouraging his energy and curiosity instead of encouraging it. I just hate the person I've become, and I don't know what to do to get the old me back.