a case of the “can’t help its”…

I haven’t been feeling well the last few days. Nothing major, just a tummy ache and general tiredness. The kids are gone for the weekend and because I wasn’t feeling well my plans for Friday night dinner out with one of my friends didn’t materialize. I sat home last night watching the rain and TV while fighting off a case of “the can’t help its”. My 91-year-old grandmother, Nanny, is the person whom I credit with that turn of phrase. It is rare to see my Nanny down but on those occasions she would say with a shrug, “I just the can’t help its.” The best description is…when you are blue but don’t necessarily have anything major to bring you down.It’s that feeling of blah or just being a little sad without any real reason for it. My Nanny always snaps out of it. I don’t ever remember seeing her down for any length of time, ever. So last night I had a case of the can’t help its. I went to bed with them. I woke up feeling physically better but I was still down this morning. “I know I have to do something about this,” I thought to myself. I made myself get up and get the Keurig going, let the dogs out, fed the fish and turtle in my son’s room, collected the paper and yesterday’s mail and text a friend to come have coffee.


I have to switch gears here for a minute and give a disclosure about myself. I am one of the thousands of Americans who is treated for chronic depression. When I had my first child I experienced post partum depression and it went untreated for my son’s first year. I kept thinking I sucked as a mom. I was sooooooo tired and I had no joy in my heart. I cried a lot. When I finally went to see my doctor and she diagnosed my symptoms within minutes. At the time I was a labor and delivery nurse and also worked in the newborn nursery but I couldn’t see it. You know what they say about the forest and the trees? Well with medication my life improved greatly. My son and I despite my depression had bonded well. When I became pregnant with my daughter my OB put me on an antidepressant immediately. I continued on the medication through the pregnancy and into the post partum period without issues. For years I was in a cycle of taking my medication then stop because according to my husband, “There’s nothing wrong with you. You have a weak constitution, that’s all.” After he and I separated I stated going to therapy with a psychologist and I was diagnosed with chronic depression again. I knew what science had to say about how depression. It is treatable. It is thought to be caused as a result of a chemical imbalance in your brain. It is considered a medical condition, and not just a psychiatric problem. Once I got this through my thick skull things got better. Still for years I hid the fact I took an antidepressant and I never spoke to anyone about seeking counseling. My how times have changed. Now I see that it is really a medical condition and it can be passed down through genetics. My mom has depression and she too kept it a secret for years. I discovered over time that there was nothing wrong with my constitution and I am as “normal” or in my case “abby-normal” as the next girl. LOL!  So on with the story…

After coffee I decided to head in to town and workout. It’s a 35 minute drive to the gym. I missed my Thursday evening workout but I would get in my Saturday workout by George!  I checked in and headed back to the aerobics room for Piloxi with Susan. Room empty. What the heck? I went back to the front desk thinking I had the time wrong or something. Then I see the posted note, “Piloxi with Susan is cancelled today.” It was right next to the sign I did notice which said, “One Towel per Member.” Why would anyone want more than one of their old scratchy, non fabric softener towels anyway? Disappointment washed over me. I discarded my scratchy town and me and my full water bottle left. I remembered after I got to the car that there was another workout option! Brandi’s Zumba class stated at 11am on Saturday. I had plenty of time to make it. I headed to her class across town. I arrived about 15 minutes early and headed to the door. I heard loud music as I got closer to it. Hmm, I’m not late…. I cracked the door and saw everyone going through the paces of the cool down. Can you say deflated? I should check my Facebook more often. If I did I would have seen the time change posted on Brandi’s time line. ((groan, woah as me, sign)) I got in the car to head home. As I passed my favorite park I decided I would persevere. I’d walk! Dear reader, this isn’t my norm. Two strikes and I’m done. Sometimes one strike and I’m done. But not today. I parked and walked a purposeful brisk pace for 2 miles. I even stopped and did some calisthenics focusing on arms. Yay me!!!!


Let me tell you what I enjoyed thanks to this one-act of not giving up. As I walked I watched the squirrels play. They aren’t the least bit shy at Creekmore Park. Those little guys come right up to you. So cute.  I felt the sun on my skin and the breeze blowing. I checked out the swimmers gathering for a swim meet at the pool.  I saw the tennis players and watched the train go along the tracks. As it passed me a little boy wave excitedly to me and he was so adorable as he waved even bigger and told his mom loudly, “She waved back Mom!” I greeted the other walkers and lastly I said good morning to an elderly man sitting on a bench. I couldn’t understand exactly what he said in reply then he produced a card for me. It read,”This smile’s for you!” and at the bottom, “Rejoice in the Lord always. Philippine 4:4”. Absolutely! There is always something good to appreciate in our lives. This walk is my something good. It took me 2 strikes but I found it. I’m so glad I didn’t go home in defeat this morning. I completed my two miles and am now rewarding myself with my favorite beverage: a white chocolate mocha skinny/fat-free over ice. Yum!


Had I let the “can’t help its” get hold of me today I wouldn’t have enjoyed my walk. I wouldn’t have this great feeling. I wouldn’t have felt like writing. It’s early. What doesn’t the rest of the day hold? I think I’m gonna find out.

Daisies, Coffee and Chocolates,


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