My Secret to Calming Myself When I’m About to Lose It. Like *Really* Lose It.

My Secret to Calming Myself When I'm About to Lose It

 

 

 

 

 

Thump Thonk. Thump Thonk. Thump Thonk.

That’s the sound of my clothes dryer.

It’s also the sound that soothes my mind and prevents me from losing my shit on my kids.

Thump Thonk. Thump Thonk. Thump Thonk.

A somewhat less-known aspect of dealing with depression is irritability. A lot of people think depression means being sad and down all the time. That’s part of it for me.

But the irritability is the worst.

When I am in a time where I am really battling against depression, I have no patience for my kids. Like, none. Zero.

Everyday annoyances like disagreements over clothing, or whining from being tired and grumpy, make me snap and yell.

And when Annie has a temper tantrum, it sends me over the edge.

Like really over the edge.

Her scream-cry is like nails on a chalkboard. It gets inside my head and triggers something in there. I feel anger. Annoyance. Rage.

It’s the rage that scares me.

I have stood in Annie’s room, staring at her when she’s tantruming, balling my fists up at my side from the tension electrifying my body.

At that moment, I hate everything.

I hate myself for not being able to hug my daughter and make her feel better.

I hate my mind for the depression and what it is doing to me at that moment.

And sometimes, sometimes … sometimes I even think I might hate my daughter.

It’s a horrific feeling.

So I flee.

I turn my back on my tantruming daughter and I take care of my own tantruming brain.

Because sometimes Mama has to come first. And this is one of those times.

I have tried many things to calm myself when this brain freakout happens: listening to loud music. Going outside. Running up and down the basement stairs.

But what really works is my clothes dryer.

One night when Annie was wigging out I was looking for a place to calm down and found myself in the laundry room. The dryer was going.

Thump Thonk. Thump Thonk. Thump Thonk.

I sunk down in defeat next to the dryer and felt its warmness against my back.

I listened to the rhythmic sound of the towels circling over and over.

And gradually, a sense of peace washed over me.

Just like a little baby, I was calmed by white noise and soothing warmth.

I sat there with my eyes closed, breathing deeply and enjoying the heat on my back for about five minutes.

I thought of nothing. I just listened to the Thump Thonk of the dryer. My brain refocused. Reset.

And then I stood up, my mind cleared. I felt like I could handle life now. I felt … normal again.

I went back upstairs to Annie, who had calmed down a little. And I gave her a big hug like I wished I could just 10 minutes before.

So there it is. My clothes dryer is my secret to calming my brain when it’s completely freaking out. It’s a little weird. But it works.

And it’s a whole lot better than losing it on my kid.

What coping mechanisms do you use when you’re about to lose it?

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