Thursday, September 19, 2019

I only wanted to see you laughing in the purple rain

The thing about fall is that it can really sneak up on a person.

I imagine this does not happen further north, where the leaves turn beautiful colors and suddenly  there's a nip in the air and it's all just rather obvious.

We were in Maine in late August and one morning it was very fresh and our last two nights were actually really cold. I mean, we were colder than we might otherwise have been, because we were sleeping in a TENT and I have more to say about this.

When you don't write for weeks and weeks on end but keep living your life forward you wind up with a lot of things undescribed and unexamined. So I have lots to say about a ton of things but then where to you even begin?

And what I think I'm best at his here and now.

So here and now, today has a slight chill but it's the first day. Normal people are probably not wearing fleece yet.

We went swimming on Monday because it was so hot and humid. It's supposed to be 90 on Sunday.

This is not the heat of fall. 

Which, I guess it's technically still summer, up to the equinox, right? But in terms of light, it's fall. It's darker earlier and earlier. And the light is not winter thin, but the quality has shifted.

I know to be vigilant in winter, because winter is not my friend. And fall makes me nervous, because it's the gateway to winter.

But it's been so hot and we've been doing summer-ish things after school, that I hadn't yet gotten in an Aikido frame of mind for fall.

And then all of a sudden I realized that everything was hard and I basically hated everyone. Not you, of course. Everyone else.

Because people are really annoying.

We had back to school night and they were asking for room parents. Our class had one room parent--a truly lovely woman--and they needed another one. I didn't raise my hand but I did feel like I ought to.

So afterward I asked Nick if he thought I should volunteer and he said, "I don't mean this unkindly, but do you think you have the temperament for it?"

And I was like, "You mean because I'm ill tempered and hate people?"

Which was, in fact, precisely what he meant.

Then a friend who has been a room parent multiple years was like, "Just do it. You don't have to be nice."

So now I'm a room parent.

But back to the issue at hand, which is, basically, how to not careen headlong into a dysfunctional pit of despair.

I don't even look depressed, do I? That photo is from Monday. Whee!

Once it struck me that: 1. it was essentially fall; and 2. I was not dealing well with life; and 3. my sugar and carb consumption had skyrocketed, I called my psychiatrist's office. I have an appointment for next week.

Frankly, I kind of hate taking an antidepressant. And at this point, it's not about the stigma. It's that they all have side effects. I could list the ones I've tried and what they did. One pill makes you larger, and one pill makes you small. (And the ones that mother gives you don't do anything at all.)

There is something that sucks, largely or minorly, about each and every one I've tried.

But let's also be candid about this: my genes are not so great in this area. And maybe I'm just a person who needs some help with the selective inhibition of serotonin reuptake.

I work out practically every day. I get myself out in the sunshine. I take a probiotic, and eat fiber, which is supposedly what our guts need. I barely ever drink anymore. My sleep isn't great, and I do feel like that would help.

But honestly. So much honestly.

And what I've begun wondering is, what if my problem is anxiety more than depression? I had a panic attack this summer. I was crying. And hyperventilating. I couldn't calm down and I couldn't breathe.

This had never happened before, not like that. Not even when I was dealing with my dad disappearing, or when he died.

I know I'm an anxious person. God knows I FRET. I believe there's a 50% chance of dying with every flight. I save voice mails in case loved ones die on a plane or get hit by a bus. I have to make things right before we say goodbye or good night in case it's the last time. Even if it's for, like, 8 hours.

But I'd never had anxiety symptoms, like heart racing or sweaty palms or the other physical symptoms they list, and because no professional had ever suggested it, I hadn't considered it.

And then my friend Jo posted a list of anxiety symptoms that resonated, and are not all the physical symptoms. Like irritation, lack of concentration, avoidance.

So I said to Nick, "Hey, maybe anxiety is my problem. What if it's been anxiety all along, and not depression?"

He said, "What if it's not one or the other? What if it's not red or blue, but rather purple?"


So this is what I'm going to say next week. This is where I am and it's not all that great, and I don't  know what it is or isn't, but what if it's purple?

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