MERSCH – A mother of two who holds a demanding job is proving that working mothers can do it all — by waking up early each morning in order to complete a full hour of serious depression before the day begins.
“I don’t even have to set my alarm,” said Valerie Tisdel, 41, in the early hours of Monday morning. “By 4:45, I’m wide awake, my heart beating quickly, dozens of worries and doubts bouncing around my mind.”
“Shit, my son was supposed to bring a shoebox for school yesterday and I forgot,” she continued. “And I can’t bring him one today because I have a working lunch.”
“And my daughter’s got a German exam on Thursday but the tutor is ill,” she added. “And I have a late meeting on Wednesday, which means I won’t see the kids before bedtime.”
Instead of remaining in bed and letting the uncontrolled thoughts paralyze her, Tisdel migrates to the sofa to spend a full hour curled up in a ball, her index finger placed firmly between her clenched teeth.
“If you’re going to do depression in the morning, you’ve got to have a plan, and you have to stick to it,” she said. “I do three sets of 10 to 15 dark thoughts, followed by 100 emotional lunges until I reach a state of hopelessness.”
“By that time, I’m really exhausted, but I don’t give up, and instead I make a list in my head of 30 or 40 ways in which I’m failing as a parent, spouse, and senior manager.”
Tisdel admits that in moments of weakness, or when the weather is particularly bad, she does play with the idea of giving up her morning depression routine and taking up meditation instead, or asking a doctor for some meds.
“But that would be too easy,” she said. “Hup, two, three, four, let’s stand up and get those dark thoughts warmed up.”