There is a beautiful time of day. It lasts about an hour. It falls after I have come home from work, after the boys’ homework has been checked, but before I have to start dinner, and before grading and lesson planning. Let’s call this time, “STFU Time.”

During STFU Time, I put the dogs outside and encourage my children to stare at a screen of some kind. I crawl into bed and have an hour nap. It is necessary, needed, and precarious. It doesn’t take much to make STFU Time fail, but it is always worth a try.

My mom has called me three times in the last four days. She has caught me during STFU Time each time. I’m in that groggy state where I forget to lie when she asks if I’m in bed. When she called today, she was so annoyed at my laziness that she wouldn’t talk to me and passed the phone to my dad. The rest of the day I felt the urge to call her back and tell her I’m in the middle of a med switch, that being a high school teacher is a tad tiring, I’m fighting off another depressive episode, and a bunch of other reasons to justify myself because I feel so guilty. I wish she would ask me questions or maybe just google some shit.

But then I remember she has said the following things to me recently:

“You need to just get over this.”
“Your husband must be tired of all this by now.”
“You need to pull yourself together.”
“Don’t your boys miss you while you are always in bed?”
“You’ll feel better if you go out for a walk.”

Then I don’t feel so bad anymore. I can’t add feeling guilty about being ill to my list of reasons that I’m feeling ill.

4 thoughts on “STFU Time

  1. It really does amaze me that people can be so insensitive some times. Sure, as adults, we have other responsibilities – but does that mean we no longer deserve time for ourselves? Do we no longer have the right to take a break for our own well-being? That’s a shame.

    Enjoy your quiet time. Maybe now your mother won’t call and interrupt. Mental health breaks are important.


  2. Ugh. Your Mom is lame. I nap almost every day because sometimes just existing is too damn exhausting to go without one. You don’t owe her, or anyone, an explanation.


  3. It’s not easy dealing with a depressive, and it isn’t easy for us to deal with “well meaning” people. Some of them just don’t get it. I’m glad that you’ve decided not to be guilt tripped by your mother. That isn’t easy to do.


  4. This is why I wrote a poem about “The Subtle Art of Arguing with the Depressed.” People seem to think if they come up with the “right” thing to say, they can make your problems go away! Bothers me to no end. It’s like, “I get that you’re trying to help, but STFU.”


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