Sunday, October 11, 2009

:: solitude ::

original image (found here) is from kevindooley's flickr photostream.
i added the quotation, which i found here.


this week i've been working on a little theory about my depression, or maybe a theory about what it's going to take to climb out of it and stay out for good.

i sat down earlier this week and started a two-part list: enjoyments, hobbies, and coping mechanisms i relied on before i had a child; and enjoyments, hobbies, and coping mechanisms i rely on now. i also thought about how my days used to be structured versus how they're structured now.

and it hit me: i need solitude. i need it every single day. every single item on my "before i had a child" list was something i used to do alone. go to the gym (alone). read. write. take long daily walks. since childhood i've been someone who needs her me-time in order to be able to face the day.

i've always known i was an introvert. when i did that myers-briggs test in high school it was absolutely no surprise to me to find my first letter was an i and not an e. i mean look at me: i like to sew, to knit, to read. i love taking long walks. all of my most favorite hobbies are things you usually do alone. this has never meant that i don't enjoy social interaction or that i don't need it everyday, too. i do, on both counts. it has just always meant that social interaction drains my battery, and somewhat rapidly depending on the company, while solitude recharges me.

and living with a toddler is like 13 straight hours of social interaction. every single day.

i found the quote above here, and it made such perfect sense to me from where i stand right here, right now. when i'm depressed, yes, i feel lonely. i am not myself. i don't know how to find myself. i need to be around people, but not just any people: i need to be around people who know me. but being around people isn't going to be the solution, at least not for me. going out into the world every day may be a distraction, and it may be good for me in doses. but i think the way out of this is going to be by finding ways to be alone, quiet, thoughtful, and peaceful every single day. ways to bring back my solo walks when i can. ways to recharge. ways to encourage evan to let me recharge, maybe, and ways to get some time without him.

there's more to the theory, but this is my favorite part. it's the part that makes me feel hopeful.


Anonymous October 11, 2009 at 2:58 PM  

I love your theory.. and I've always known this to be true for myself as well. The depression always hits harder when I have to spend alot of time being social. Thank you for the quote.. I would love to use the photo on my blog if u don't mind.

julie green October 11, 2009 at 4:07 PM  

you can feel free to use the image on your blog as long as you attribute it back to me and to the original photographer (the link is in my post).

db October 12, 2009 at 1:41 PM  

Its been a while since I have commented her, infact, I dont know if I have since you've gotten the new blow. Anyways, I like your theory, but then again, Im big on theory's, especially the home made kind. Everyone reacts differently to different situations, I think that realizing how certain situations make you react, is important. Keep up the good work.

Pretty Neat Designs October 12, 2009 at 2:17 PM  

Theories are good. And especially spending the time exploring that leads to the theory. I am an "e" on the myers briggs scale and when I first started working on my own and spending so much time alone, I got very depressed. And even though I know I need interaction to feel better, sometimes it is hard to take care of yourself. I hope you find little ways to take care of yourself.

jlk October 12, 2009 at 2:36 PM  

I love May Sarton's journals. A Journal of Solitude is especially good. Strange you should find this quote when just two days ago, Corey and I drove to her grave and saw the house where she wrote that journal. Nelson, NH. (Check out the pics on Facebook.) Strange-goosebump-coincidence aside, it is hard for solitude-loving people to find it in the midst of work/relationships/family. I find it when writing in my journal (or even reading other people's journals or blogs!).

Take care, Julie. Sarton also said, "Solitude is to feel the presence in oneself of a power that cannot act, but which, as soon as it is able to, obliges me to realize myself by multiplying my relations with myself and with all human beings."

tamdoll October 12, 2009 at 9:09 PM  

I don't know I got to your blog, but I'm glad I did. I think you hit the nail on the head with this one. As my kids get older and I have more time for myself again, or can go out for a walk and not worry about them being alone for an hour (they're teens now), I'm much, much less miserable.
Thanks for the post, I'm going to explore some more around your blog now.

Camilla November 15, 2010 at 5:26 PM  

Hi you,
This is my first visit to your blog (love it btw) but I can understand your problem 99%.
I too need my alone time, without it i get cranky and lash out saying unkind things that I dont meen.
I LOVE my little girl but after 9 months on mathernity leave and i could'nt wait to get back to work, but that only worked for a couple of months co's I still didn't have my alone time. Everywere someone wants me to be my best, to deliver and for me to be an perfectionist on top of that.... Working full time and coming home to my other full time job; the family.
Now one year later my hubby and i have arranged it so that after the "baby" is layed to bed, we do something together; watch a favr. program or other stuff. Then he gets the remote so he can watch sports or use the playstation etc. and I can do that I want; knit, sew, paint or like tonigth use the labtop to reed blogs that inspires me to concentrate more on thats makes me happy, so I can make my family happy.
(the secret is that I let go of the claening - I was hovering, dusting, doing the dishes, organizing or putting babytoys away in all the time i had to my self. That is now dividet into the different days a week, we are testing if that will work for us.)
Another note: I'm from Denmark, Europe so plz pardon my writing mistages.