January 22, 2009

It's all Greek to me

Remember how in Mary Poppins, the wind changes and she arrives and then when it changes again, she leaves? That's how I feel right now. Everything goes well and I'm a fully functioning parent, wife and aspiring freelancer and then... the wind changes. In small increments, I've been getting farther and farther from my confidence.

It starts with small anxieties, brief flittings through my mind, in and out, of little worries all day long. As you'd expect, that's exhausting and incredibly distracting. Then I start to get short-tempered with the girls (not that I wouldn't get miffed anyway with two tiny whirlwinds in my face) and do my best to avoid them rather than interact. They are miraculously skilled at playing on their own most of the time, a fact I've been taking inconsiderate advantage of. I know That Place is sneaking up from behind when the sound of the phone ringing gives me a jolt of actual fear. Sort of like, "EEK! Oh no, someone wants to talk to me, it's probably bad or they need something and I can't think of anything to say, I'll say something stupid, best to save them the trouble and not answer."

It's not that I'm having a major moment of mental bad. It's simply an unjustifiable burst of fatigue, worry and defeat. I know it'll pass, as these things do, but in a weird quirk of memory, it's also hard to remember NOT feeling like this. That goes both ways, though. When I'm better, back to normal irritations and inspirations, I find it hard to believe I need anything so mind-altering as a mood stabilizing pill. I hear often that these shifts are an organic problem, a direct result of the postpartum tweak in my brain chemistry, but I have trouble, on either side of the block, believing that. It feels more like a vast character flaw.

From where I stand now, I'm disappointed that my efforts to muscle through and fix myself leave me back where I started- tired, worried and detached. It's such a defeat to not be able to think myself out of the blues. But I have learned, knowledge ingrained like scars through my skull, to stick to my routines, regardless, even when I feel like Sisyphus with that damn boulder. Routine, fresh air, clean food and exercise are as much, or more, a part of my cure as that silly little pill that leaves me in doubt. Those are things that keep this moment from turning into moments from surreality past.

So I will play Candyland, I will go to the gym and I will take the girls to the park. I will drink enough water and write in my journal and finish the laundry. There will be a spaghetti hurricane and subsequent baths tonight. These are the things, the small, boring, little things, that pull me through the day. I'll probably snap at my kids, too, for having the audacity to ask me for juice and a snack. Sure, I may have a little cry off in a corner during Little Einsteins, but doesn't everyone from time to time? There's only so much of Leo, June, Quincy and Annie a girl can take, after all. Tonight, when I finally go to bed and find myself bizarrely unable to sleep, I will swallow yet another pill and get my rest.

Maybe tomorrow I'll actually wake up instead of walking, nearly asleep, through this fog. And if not? I'll lean into that rock again and start up the mountain. Unlike Sisyphus, I have some hope that soon it will settle in at the top, where I'll catch my breath and enjoy the view.

For now? Let's just say that the DVR didn't record the LOST premiere last night and I am pretty sure it did it on purpose just to hurt me.


mosaica said...

Beat the DVR with Candyland while sipping a tasty cup of hot coffee. You are the best rock pusher I know. xoxo

Kerrie said...

Being a stay at home mom of young children has its moments, both good and bad, but I can assure you that when your girls are teenagers, you will be glad you spent the time with them when they were little and squeezed in a a game of Candyland.

Even if your DVR is out to get you, you can still watch the episode of Lost by going to ABC.com

I look forward to meeting you at the Northern Colorado Writers Conference.

Kerrie Flanagan