Sobbing on the Bathroom Floor

That’s where I found myself tonight.

I had knocked over the glass with my last vitamin C tablet. Tepid orangey fizzing liquid dripped down the side of the vanity onto the floor. Dripped behind the toilet. Dripped onto the trashcan.

This is not something that would send a normal person into sobs, but for me, it was the last straw.

I have struggled for years with clinical depression, and I’m the first to admit that PMS makes everything a thousand times worse. Combine those two factors with exhaustion, sickness, and the ache in my heart, and you get me, sobbing on the bathroom floor.

I miss my guys. Smiley is back with his dad after only two days, and last week’s time away from him was so hard, even with my great vacation. The Writer is on another business trip. I am home alone. It is too quiet. I have time to brood.

I worry about what I’m “doing” to Smiley. How he’ll turn out. Whether I’m ruining his life by “bouncing him back and forth” between two homes (his dad’s phrase). He’s so easygoing and adaptable and happy, and I know how important it is for him to have as much access to both of his parents as possible (and there is no way I’m getting back together with his father). But I’m so worried and I feel so guilty.

I twiddle my thumbs and get anxious for the day to come when The Writer and I can move in together and get married, and then I turn around and worry that I am wishing away these days. I know it will happen, but I am impatient. I worry that I won’t be a good stepmother–that I won’t even get a fair chance because The Writer’s ex will badmouth me to their daughter.

I worry that I’ll never get the weight off. That I won’t be able to keep up with Smiley. I worry that I’m not reading enough parenting books and I just go with the flow too often. Are there things I need to be doing? Am I stunting his emotional growth and education? Is he getting enough calcium? Is he getting too much?

I am looking ahead at the winter holidays and dreading more time away from Smiley. I’m dreading more time away from The Writer, when he spends almost a week with his daughter. (I am so glad they’ll have that much time together–it’ll be great for both of them–but time with her means our only contact is e-mail, texts, and whispered phone calls after she’s asleep.)

Smiley, The Writer, and I had one night together this week, and it was great. My family, all in one place. We made dinner, ate together, played, and had a wonderful evening. Those days are rare, and they have quickly become my favorite days of all. Then Tuesday it was back to mama and Smiley (which was still pretty awesome), and tonight, it’s just me. Planted on the couch, feeling sorry for myself, only realizing right before bed that I hadn’t stopped at the drugstore for more Mucinex. I was so glad there was a vitamin C tablet left, thankful I could at least take that to help fight the cold that surely has already taken hold.

And then I knocked over the glass.

And there I am on the floor, sobbing, cleaning up a mess beneath the toilet with the “good” towels I received as a wedding present.

It’s only fitting, I guess.


18 responses to “Sobbing on the Bathroom Floor

  1. You can always call or text me! I would’ve read you some of the assignments I’m grading. They would’ve made you cry for a totally different reason! And then you’ve thought about them later & bored yourself to sleep.

  2. I’m going to suggest exercising at times like this. Sounds silly but I’ve found that it takes care of a lot of things at once. The hardest part about being alone is all of the time you have to just think. And sometimes we don’t think about great things when we finally have a chance. Sometimes we think of all of the stuff we’ve been trying to drown out when it’s being drowned out.

    Running helps. Or just walking quickly. Put in some earbuds. Think about the music. And tell yourself it’ll get better and it’ll work out because you’re not allowing it not to.

  3. I get it. I’ve also struggled with depression. These times suck but you also know they will pass. I’ve found I just need to remember that and get through the bad moments/days as best I can, hanging on to the fact that I will feel better & ‘myself’ again. A walk, bath & to bed seem to work for me. Your boys will be back soon. :)

  4. A good stiff drink does it for me. OK, that’s maybe not responsible drinking, but the times I’ve actually needed to do this can be counted on one hand, so it’s not THAT irresponsible. OK, the times I needed to do this when I wasn’t pregnant can be counted on one hand. Obviously I couldn’t when I was pregnant. But I wanted to. A lot.
    I’m a bottler. And prone to understatement. This i not a good combination apparently and wound up with me passed out first visit at a chiropractor due to something called ‘sympathetic storm’. I don’t recommend it. So you know what? If a good cry makes you feel better (and sometimes it does) I’m all for it. Followed by a double vodka, a hot bath, and bed.

  5. Aww….((hugs)). Sometimes it all boils together and a good cry is the best way to get it out of your system. I hope you are feeling better today. XO

  6. Be more gentle with yourself. You’re doing fine by your boy! I struggle with the same concerns and fears … it’s only natural as a mom to worry! I hope things are looking brighter today!

  7. i agree with folks here.. it’s OK to sob on the bathroom floor! though the couch is a bit more comfy. preferably with tissues and a sad movie or something. things are good, but they arent yet where you want them and you are trying so hard to do EVERYTHING right that of course you are going to break down now and then (also, agree, PMS does NOT help!). Also my sick optimistic brain must point out – now you have clean bathroom floors! bonus! hahaha


    Seriously the worst thing I did was second guess my gut instinct and think that any kid could be raised from a strangers theories on their own child. You are doing the best you can and what you know best and that my friend is the best you can do.

    While the time alone sucks, some times we need to grieve through our bad times alone and once it’s out of your system, remember this too shall pass but that doesn’t mean it won’t come again. This is life. This is life with depression and co-parenting and figuring out that we didn’t totally botch it.

    Chin up my friend. You will be victorious.

  9. I was never “bounced” between homes… well I can’t say that. I was. But it was a weird situation. I turned out pretty well though for the most part :) I’m sure you’re little dood will be fine as well.

    Cheer up & look at lots of pink shit. Pink = Happy! :D Hope you feel better.

  10. Oh love it happens to all of us. Yesterday it was over the sink while I cleaned the shit out of my youngest’s pants– again.

  11. I agree with Christina, you have to pick yourself up off the bathroom floor and exercise, it will automatically clear your mind; works for me. And I feel fantastic afterwards, natural highs are good.

    I’m going to play devil’s advocate a little bit here. How is marrying the writer going to make the “bouncing” from houses change or different? You and the Ex will have the same custody agreement right? I suppose it will change for you as you will have more emotional support, and that’s good. But I only suspect a whole new world of challenges will present itself. Blending two families and the transistions there, prioritizing your marriage where kids used to be number one, and dealing with two sets of backs and forths. My point is not to bring you down more, certainly it will be lovely and I want happieness for you…but looking to the future to wish away the past doesn’t work so well. I only say that, because I have been there.

    I would worry about you as a parent if you didn’t worry about your child. THAT is what makes you a good parent. Hang in there Mama! Your little boy will be great!

    • Living together won’t change my custody agreement with Smiley, but it’ll mean that The Writer will be around more. As it is, the weekends I have Smiley, The Writer has his daughter, at his apartment, and we don’t have the opportunity to see each other.

      But yes, you’re right, that’ll bring new challenges, such as a blended family. I’m realistic…I know it’ll be hard. But I am confident we can work it out together.

  12. ((hugs)) I constantly have that same fear in regards to my daughter. She’s like Smiley and totally unfazed by the divorce and “bouncing between houses”, but I worry that we’ve completely screwed her up in all this. Since I’m the one who left it’s really MY fault. ….and then the crying starts again.
    You are an amazing momma and you’ll get through this time. Drink, work out, eat, don’t eat… whatever you need to do. Do it for YOU!

  13. Hang in there. Sometimes we’ve just gotta cry. For what it’s worth, so many of us single mommas can relate to everything that you’re feeling all of your worries and “broodings”. Give it a day or two, things will look better.


  14. I sometimes find myself thinking those same thoughts, especially about “bouncing between two houses”. My daughter is starting to ask why she has two homes. In her words, she’s “confused”.

    It’s normal for us to worry, I guess, but let’s try not to overdo it. I know, that’s easier said than done, but it is possible.

    I’m cheering you on from this side of the globe :)

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