Moody- Wednesday January 23rd

I used to think I was really moody.  I went to a shrink once who asked if my depression lasted two weeks or more.  I thought that was a stupid question.  My depression lasts two to three hours, then I’m deliriously happy, then I’m pensive, then I’m tired, then I’m crabby, then I’m worried, then I’m frantic, and this goes on and on and on.  If I was in one mood for two weeks I’d be incredibly relieved, even if the mood was depressed. At least I’d be able to rely on my reaction to things.

Then Hazel arrived, and I realized I didn’t even know what a mood swing was.  These past 34 years of moods are nothing compared to the wild brain heaving that has happened since I became a parent to a living child.  Here’s a typical day:

Begin drive to work: Happy, feel like it’s my free time to listen to This American Life and look at the city.

Mid-Drive to work: Hate every choice I’ve made except the lovely wonderful man I married, the children I’ve had, and going to Rome for my Junior year abroad.  Everything else sucks.  Wonder why I didn’t have the courage to have more adventures.  Hate self.  Hate life.  Feel fat.

Arrive at Work: Heart fills with love getting my old dog out of the car.  Grateful to get to bring her to work.  Laugh at her antics.

Actual Work: Miss Hazel so bad it hurts.  Feel proud of small accomplishments, then enraged by small infractions or things that don’t go my way.  Then feel neutral about things not going my way because, after all, I have Tom and Hazel and my old dog and I’m not a coal miner in China so things aren’t that bad.  Laugh, laugh, tell 12 stories hoping my co-workers will think two are funny.  Then get so pissed off by someone or something that I have to bitch at the top of my lungs until my co-workers (who were just laughing at my great stories) hide under their desks or pretend to get a phone call on their cell phones.  ”The ringer was off” they’ll mouth, to explain why it didn’t ring.  But I know it’s because of my exhausting but articulate vitriolic ranting. Try to calm down, but do not succeed because spell check can’t figure out what I’m trying to write, or because I can’t uninstall Adobe reader.  Then I’m tired. Eat food. Feel energized and grateful again for the things in my life that are lovely and sweet and fun.  Miss Hazel with a happy longing- I can’t wait to see her but it doesn’t makes me depressed, like it does early in the day.

End of day: Wild card.  Either fantasize about valium or feel like I’m experiencing a serotonin surge (“natural high”).  Either skip to my car or drag myself to car.  Either pull Ramona along with irritation or smile at her cuteness.

Drive Home: Get on Lake Shore Drive with an urgency that borders on mania.  Shake fist at cab drivers who honk at me.  Speed past the Belmont exit, then calm down.  Enjoy free time.  As I approach home, I have a new feeling; born of the prospect of seeing my daughter.  It’s a happiness that shouldn’t even count as happiness, because it’s so huge.  It’s so huge I could easily tow a train with my teeth like Jack Lalanne or swim the English channel.

Arrive Home: When I walk in the door, I can’t remember one thing that happened that day.  I leave my purse in the car so I’m unfettered and can’t stop to hang up my coat.  I run to Hazel and grab her and squeeze her and make her laugh and we dash around the house playing and reading books until bedtime.  I am often “shushed” by members of my household because my exuberance makes me talk like I’m on a crowded bus. Also, Hazel thinks my realistic animal noises are funnier if they’re loud.

Post-Hazel-Bedtime: Rehash the many annoyances and injustices of the day.  Worry that I’m failing.  Worry that Tom is sick of me worrying.  Get bored of worrying, work on the NYTimes Crossword (Mondays only).  Feel content….for a little while.

I tell myself that I’m excellent at appearing normal.  I have to tell myself that, or I’ll be in a bad mood.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...