Doctor’s orders to exercise more came not a moment too soon. First, it’s 100-and-ball-sweat degrees outside, so I’ve been living in dresses, and the insides of my thighs look like I have fucking scabies. (And there’s still a whole lotta East Coast summer to go.)
But also, someone just sent me photos from the family barbecue — there’s one of me holding Baby Cousin, and it looks like I’m ready to birth his next playmate. Nope. Nooope.
(I mean, I did get hit on that day, so I couldn’t have looked THAT bad. But dude also seemed very surprised I didn’t have kids, so maybe I just have a stereotypical “Mom Bod” now? Outstanding.)
I’ve been meaning to write about this for a while. It involves feelings and mental health, and it’s not really funny-ha-ha. It’s long, and navel-gazey even for me. I promise to be back with snark in the morning, I just need this out of my brain.
I’m going to try to fix whatever this funk is I’ve been in. I’ll start with diet and exercise (and a vacation — thank you, lord baby Jesus), but I’m also going to see a doctor, because I’m not above knocking back some Prozac or whatever if need be. I think the fact that I recognize something is wrong and can fathom taking steps to fix it is a step up from this time last year, when I refused to see a therapist because it was just too much of a hassle to get dressed and pay to explain my “problems” to a stranger. I’m not hating on therapy, I just think my problems are stupid… which I understand is a problem.
You know how you can be over-tired and drive yourself home, and you GET home, but you can’t really remember doing it? That’s how I’ve spent much of the past 18 months — just sort of on auto-pilot and doing whatever NEEDS to be done, but zoning out on the couch or online at every available opportunity. I kept thinking that as long as I could put on the Person costume when I needed to, as long as I could get up, go to work, and see my friends and family, that I was fine. That’s actually what my sister said when I told her I thought something might be wrong — “You’re fine. You’re not CRAZY until you don’t shower, and every time I see you, you smell just fine.” So… that’s the “nurture” I’m coming from here.
I still think like that, to a degree. I know DEPRESSION can get to where you skip work. But, um… I’ve sort of done that. I’ve definitely taken sick days for PMS. In my defense, that’s WHY there are sick days — I really do think the way certain lines of work are set up, how are you NOT supposed to take the “I can’t even” day?
Also, I feel incredibly guilty being a middle-class white woman claiming to be depressed. “Oh, boo-hoo, you’re SAD? What’s next, an Eat Pray Love trip? Go fuck yourself, go to work.” (See?)
I’ve also been noticing a lot more my complete lack of focus. Example: I’m at work right now. I have work to do, but there’s email, and Facebook, and I have to write about my feeeeeeeeelings here, and there are baby goats prancing in pajamas on YouTube, and BAH! We joke about this in my family — we say “Squirrel!” like the dog from Up! — but it can get genuinely overpowering, like I can’t focus when I need to. I feel like this is related to the “I can’t even,” because I also can’t focus on, like, clocks and getting my ass out of bed on time. Who the hell wants to get out of bed and go on the “Squirrel!” tour? And then when I get home, Christ, who wants to think about anything ELSE? Give me takeout and TV, I’m exhausted!
The shift to spring/summer, the purging of stuff, and preparing to move to a new apartment are definitely helping, but it’s still been kind a semi-conscious existence, and sometimes the smallest things are just absurdly overwhelming, especially when my hormones kick in. Tonight I actually considered having the nice delivery man bring me new pizza so I wouldn’t have to get off the couch and re-heat the leftover pizza I had delivered when I couldn’t get off the couch last night. I didn’t, only because the idea of smiling and saying “thank you” to the delivery guy seemed like more of a hassle than re-heating pizza. (And, let’s be honest, by “re-heating pizza,” I mean, “eating it cold from the box on the living room floor while I watch Easy A for the 57th time.”)
There’ve been elements of all this my whole life. When I was younger, though, they didn’t have diagnoses, so I was just “lazy, antisocial, and flaky.” So I’m trying to decide how much of that is just ME as a person vs. something I might actually need help with. And obviously there’ve been a shit-ton of recent life changes that likely brought out the worst of things.
I’ve been blaming PMS, but I’m pretty sure when you’re moody and tired for most of EVERY month, that’s probably something that needs tending.
Or you’re just an asshole.
Here’s hoping I’m not an asshole.
P.S. Post title taken from “Break Me Open” by the glorious Anna Nalick: