Saturday, February 25, 2012

Down in the Dumps

It's nearly midnight on a Saturday night and it's been one of those days.  Everything is fine: in fact, I've had a relaxing day - I went and got a little beauty treatment and did a grocery shop, did some research on making money online, made tacos for supper, worked on a 1000 piece Tinkerbell puzzle and wasted some time on the net.  That being said, I wasn't very social.  I didn't talk to anyone today but my family and I didn't talk to them very much, either.  

We were all kicking around the house on a rainy day today, but I didn't play, didn't converse much, was ever so slightly snappy and just kept to myself.  I wasn't grumpy or unkind, just reclusive, even while being in the same room.  And I kept thinking that I was wasting my time: that I should be filling in forms, applying for visas, seeing if my medical insurance will pay for the back surgeries that are being recommended devising some scheme that will insure our children's futures and our retirement that go beyond our teachers' incomes, making vats of chili and fake meat patties to freeze for the future.

It seems I live in a state of perpetual guilt so even when I am doing something I enjoy, I really do think I should be doing something else more productive.  I love those lists of mine, but I can't seem to cross much off of them.  We've been living in our house the better part of three years and most of our pictures are still in boxes, I haven't written my best selling novel or become the motivational speaker I have dreamt of becoming since my teenage years when I was certain I would become the Billy Graham of "lady evangelists." 

As I write, I am sitting on the only comfortable chair in the house with a heater blowing on me, wrapped in my cozy terry robe, eating mini fairtrade Dairymilk bars because today is my non-vegan day and I'll be damned if I'm going to let it go to waste by not eating a lot of chocolate and cheese products.  

Why do I live this way?  I feel guilty for what I don't do enough of and retaliate by going overboard and then feeling guilty about that, too.  I have so much to be thankful for and live such a rich, rewarding, fun life, yet so often I ruin it by feeling guilty.  Instead of thinking, "What a lovely day you had of hanging out on your own, puzzling, resting and pampering yourself," I think, "Why the hell didn't you take your kids out for a bike ride in the pouring rain or invite Don to watch a movie instead of retreating to your room to find all the purple sections of the puzzle in the dim lamp light because you can't stand overhead lighting?"

I AM private, and I AM prone to guilt.  A lot of it. Some say that guilt is reserved for the Catholics, but that's a fallacy.  I'm guessing it's universal, but I am also guessing women have it more than men, religious people have it more than atheists and mothers have it more than anyone on the planet.  Luckily, while I am prone to guilt, I am not prone to depression or not in any form that is debilitating.  

Granted, I am not someone who jumps out of bed relishing the day  ahead of me, especially when the floor is cold and the water takes a long time to heat up, but I am not someone who dreads my days either.  Even in my lowest moments (which tend to be upon waking up or going to bed), I am still grateful and know that I am blessed.  There are so many people who deal with a depth of depression that I hopefully will never have to; I am just a gal who gets down in the dumps sometimes for no explicable reason.

I acknowledge my silliness.  I also acknowledge that none of this is a big deal in the scheme of life.  There are a few good remedies, however, I have found over the years when I go through my cycles of feeling dumpy/guilty or  sad for no reason I can quite identify:

1. Exercise helps, of course.  I've been really remiss on that one since I hurt my back, but I can walk.  I can get out every day and have a stroll.  I'm back on it.  (Not now as it's after midnight, but tomorrow, for sure.)

 2. Funny TV is great for mild depressive bouts.  It's best when you've got it on DVD so you don't have to wait all week to feel better.  You should watch it in prolonged doses.  I once watched every single season of Friends when I was in a bit of a longer funk.  It helped a lot.  It's good to laugh out loud.  Friends helped me do that.  (Admittedly, it would have been better had I allowed my real friends to do that, but my down-in-the-dumps personality is quite antisocial.) 

3. Eating helps, but it's stupid and will contribute to depression, not alleviate it.  (That being said, I'm now done with the Dairymilk and have moved onto the kids' leftover sweet popcorn from the movie their daddy took them to this morning while I was tending to my eyelashes.)  I'm not proud...

4. Bathing.  Of course.  With mags.  Better yet.

5. A hiatus from the news (the real news, that is) and the internet helps too.  I'm a doomsayer and it's not so productive for me to know that our world is about to be destroyed by either Iran or North Korea's nuclear missiles.  That being said, I do have a healthy supply of canned goods, dried legumes and beverages that will last us indefinitely should a pandemic come along.  I also have tamiflu left over from the SARS scare more than seven years ago.  I just can't seem to throw it out.  You never know...

6.  A good snuggle or spoon is also a good antidote to the blues.

7. Calvin and Hobbes.

8. Hugs.

If you don't hear from me in the next few days, don't take it personally.  I'm a pretty private person at the best of times, but downright anti-social when I'm down in the dumps.  You are, however, welcome to try to contact me.  It's nice to be loved.  I'll try to love you back by answering the phone or the text or your email.

Then again, maybe I'll be back on track in the morning.  I've never been well known for my consistency and my funks seldom last for long.  To be honest, I was whooping it up with my sweetheart on date night last night, having the time of my life, and I felt pretty happy eating my pancake and maple syrup this morning, too.  If I were to gauge it carefully, I'd say the fog funk probably started at about four this afternoon.  And honestly, after getting this off my chest, I'm feeling better already.  

Truth be told, I'll always put my best foot forward.  How am I?  Just fine, thank you very much.  In relation to most of the rest of the planet, just freakin' fine.

So I'm going to brush and floss, head up to bed, hope my sweetheart's snoring does not give me murderous thoughts (Poor guy, he has a pretty nasty cold: I can't blame him for the bellowing.), and see if I can manage a sleep in and be back on track in the morn.

The sun will come out tomorrow...

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