Tag Archives: depression at night

Mom, I’m bored!

2 Aug

8:33 am

Yes, it is 8:30 in the morning, and I’ve already been up for an hour.

Since I’ve gotten home, I’ve felt, I guess, somewhat manic–and for the most part, I’ve totally welcomed it! I don’t need a lot of sleep, but, I’m also more agitated than usual. I credit my volunteer trip as having “re-wired” me, but, is that all that’s going on?

As you can imagine, the mania/extra energy dissipates and by the afternoon, the agitation, brain fog, and general feeling of listlessness and/or hopelessness sets in. I think I just feel let down by the afternoon and evening–what the fuck have I done with my day?, I wonder, in spite of everything I’ve checked off my to-do list. Even though I have been “busting a move” on a lot of projects and items…I still feel, generally speaking, depressed in the afternoons. I think I always have, as long as I can remember being self-conscious enough to actually examine my life. The day is over, I mourn. And, while I know I am often too hard on myself, maybe I could be doing so much more?

Where art thou, dopamine?

I wonder about this “boredom” thing. WHAT IS IT? It’s not that I am bored, like, I-have-nothing-to-do-bored. Sometimes it’s that I have too many options, but they all take work. Usually, it’s a visceral agitation–my gut feels clenched and my head feels foggy. Like, EVERYTHING feels irritating, and even though I know I have to push through my cerebral work, it’s hard. So, I just get ‘er done. Go through the motions. Focus through the pain. It sometimes feels like my brain is broken, this brain fog stuff.

I want to fix it with wine. I have been REALLY wanting to drink since I got back, and I think it’s a combination of my “natural high” from the trip wearing off, and well, my “brain fog” days. Maybe I just have too much to do, too much catching up, and I feel like I want it all done, NOW (you know, without having to actually do it). Maybe I am bored, as in, what I’m doing has become somewhat…staid? I often want to say, Fuck it, and Good enough, to my writing; but, I just can’t do that. I can’t let it be bad. I have more stories and assignments than ever, and, even though my writing would not win any awards, I’m still plugging away. And that’s all I ask for! It’s just that sometimes, I really do have to go through the motions to get stuff written (reporting is fine, it’s the organizing and writing that hurts).

I wonder about boredom. Fear of working. Agitation. If your goal is simply to “get ‘er done,” are you really in the right profession? Some days I have no spark. I tried to quit Diet Coke, but honestly, I simply could not work without it yesterday. I had a horribly annoying morning at the “free clinic,” and then, I came home to have to push out a piece. It was like giving birth. I did it, of course I did it. But, after crashing out on the bed for about an hour, and then wandering around the apartment, feeling agitated and simply UNWILLING to make my brain work; I broke my measly ONE-DAY STREAK of no Diet Coke and downed like, two glasses. It helped. I “got into it” and finished my piece. Thank GOD, is all I could think.

I used caffeine a LOT in my 20s and early 30s, and this reminds me that I used it to actually be able to get hyped up enough to perform at what was then, something new to me: an office job, typically involving some sort of marketing communications-oriented stuff. I was a biology major, hello? I wasn’t used to talking to people during the day.

I used to use wine to fix this “boredom.” I know I can’t anymore. Mainly, it just doesn’t work. I mean, I have tried it while in this state of mind, and it actually makes my head feel worse. Still, the “but it’ll make you feel high, better, actually happy” rings so loudly that I can barely ignore it.

It’s interesting that only now am I seeing the simple fact that I used wine primarily as an antidepressant. Does that make me less of an “alcoholic?” No, probably not. But, it was rare that I truly sought out wine when I was feeling good. What is the point of drinking if you already feel good? I didn’t drink to get drunk; I drank to feel better. It just so happened that I also didn’t know how to make myself feel better on my own, or even more, PREVENT this slide into my depressed/agitated state.

I am learning, though. Simple things like, unless I need it to activate my brain to finish a story, caffeine is not good for me. I crash, and I crash hard. I have been getting up early, and that helps: I hate spending the hours of 10 – 12 checking email and Facebook; if that shit isn’t done by the start of my workday, which hopefully is before 9 these days, then I feel behind. And, that makes me feel scared. And, that makes me want to procrastinate, or avoid, feeling even worse.

I’m all over the place these days, but I can’t worry about that. The important thing right now is that I am getting my work done. Sorry, depression, but I’m going to have to give you a time-out. You sit over there for a while and Mommy will get her work done, mmkay?

The thing about self-employment (in the creative arts?) is that you can’t just show up. Showing up is meaningless. You have to produce. It doesn’t matter if it takes you two hours or ten, you have to deliver. And some days, it doesn’t come. And that is freaky. Scary. And those days, you worry about your income–bills, food, future bills and future food. You worry about your capability–am I a fraud? You feel the knot in your belly and you think, Fuck, just do it. So, you do, and you go through the motions, and you get ‘er done.

Through it all, I keep thinking, where/what is my reward? Sure, I earn money. That’s a big one. Sure, I move forward in my “career,” so that’s good, too. Lately, though, I want more. I want a “real” reward. I want to feel something else. I want a vacation from this sobriety bullshit! I get SO tired of feeling sober, you know?

I run through the tricks and offer myself alternatives. Take a run; if you don’t feel better, you can get that bottle; but if you do, then promise yourself you won’t (I always feel better). You know you’ll feel ten times worse tomorrow with God-knows-what-kind-of-hangover than you do now, so just push through. Embrace the pain and disappointment–what’s next? What about a trip? What about another coffee? (Actually, I’ve been trying to get away from any food-related rewards, but I’ll save that for another post.)

Sometimes I think I need to mess up my life. Like, I don’t ever let go anymore. I don’t go out, mainly because it’s not fun. It’s not fun to go out and be the sober narc; it’s not bad, but it’s not something I would choose to do over spending time alone, getting my shit done. And that’s the thing: who am I now? I used to be so much fun. I used to be a hot mess. I used to be curious, at the very least, to just have a random night out, exploring bars and just wasting time with my friends. I don’t have any friends, to be frank, let alone a group that I can let my hair down with and simply waste time. You know how much I learned by wasting time and being silly with my friends?

And honestly, I’ve been thinking this: is “the unexamined life” really not worth living? Or, is it the messy life that adds texture, not the one that has been examined to the point of sterility? That is how (my) life feels sometimes: overexamined and sterile. I feel like I need to make a mess!

On that note, I think I am going to stop. Sorry if this is a rambling whine-fest (wine-fest?). Happy Saturday to all!

(Btw, July 31st would have been 500 days, had I not drunk that beer six weeks ago–and wow, that was six weeks ago? I really have not even seriously considered drinking again since then, so that’s pretty great. And, my, how fast time passes!)

Not wanting kids, or, the one thing you’re not supposed to talk about?

24 Jul

11:34 am

(I wrote this last night, and I’m posting it for illustrative purpose: I’ve discovered that as the day goes on, I just get depressed. Not to say that this piece isn’t accurate in representing how I feel right now, but I’m just saying that maybe it’s darker than it “should” be because I was feeling low. When I was drinking, I used to force myself to stay up, of course, and live through it. 2 and 3 am were my usual bedtimes (with the alarm still set for 7 or 8 am). I almost always also drank wine. Could it be the two were connected? Cue the “not exactly rocket science” horns.)

I went to the beach this morning, and it was glorious: crisp white sun, shockingly blue sky, clear water reflecting both. These days, I’m pretty damn grateful all the time. Content. Maybe even happy?

Yet… I’m 39, and some days all I can think about is, why did it take so fucking long? I mean, Jesus. Just NOW I’m starting to feel OK about being a human? What the fuck?

And then, because I’m 39 and I think about having a baby constantly (whether I want one, whether I should want one), how on EARTH could I willingly bring another human being into this world knowing what I know about how difficult this life thing is? I mean, from about 14 until present, life’s been pretty difficult. Exhaustingly so, I might add. I mean, are we really supposed to spend the first 40 years learning how to live, and the next 40 learning how to die? Is that it?

I’ve been reading blogs and watching a lot of “addiction TV” lately, and man, no fucking wonder we all drank. Trauma, lots of it. Big, small, sideways, and in between. Some of it unearthed, a lot of it still buried in unconscious thoughts, unexplained feelings, and reactive behavior. And, imagine how it’s going for the rest of the world, who haven’t gotten sober and started looking at things with a magnifying glass? No wonder there are mass shootings.

I know this is heavy for a blog post, but admit it: we feel LUCKY to be alive. Can we really expect things to go opposite for our kids? Life is hard, and confusing, to say the least. Surreal might be a better word. Finding a sense of purpose, a creative outlet, a way to identify and manage your feelings? Hard as shit. Why do we view procreation through rose-colored glasses? It was hard as shit for you; it’s probably going to be hard as shit for your kids.

I, for one, already feel bad for my unborn child entering her teenage years, feeling as dark, depressed, and overwhelmed as I did. I folded in on myself, spending hours–years–writing in my room, dancing alone, binge eating, and having fits of anger in which I’d alternately weep and slap myself. This was just the beginning. I wish I had had the courage to seek help, as it were, but I didn’t. And I blame myself–as a human, of course, I do!–for all of it. Sigh. How could I do this to little Susie, knowingly?

It’s been a huge part of my recovery process, coming to terms with these convictions–I’ve had to think back on my own tumultuous journey and realize that actually, if I’m dead-fucking honest with myself, the joy might not outweigh the pain. I mean, we live and we love and we appreciate both, but, dude, it was a long-ass haul from 16 to 39 years old. Can I truly expect that my child, who has my genes, won’t experience the same difficulties?

At this point in my thought process, if I was still drinking, I’d probably crack open a bottle of red wine. I’m starting to sense that wind tunnel feeling in my belly, like I’m being sucked into a black hole. THERE ARE NO ANSWERS. THERE ARE NO SALVES. These are truths, no matter how difficult to ponder.

I am grateful, and bemused, and astounded by life. I am also selfish, and I admit to not wanting to pass my youth over to a newborn. Evolution and industrialization have allowed this, for our generations; we don’t have to have kids, and we get to ponder the reality of doing so well into our waning years of fertility! Sometimes I think, being sober now and knowing how exhausted I am of always having been the overachiever, the do-gooder, the people-pleaser–I’d rather let “them” have the kids, let “them” raise the children. I’d rather sit this one out, let others take on that work. Is this bad? Am I a bad person? I don’t know, but it’s the truth (right now, anyway), and it keeps coming up A LOT these days. It seems directly tied to my getting sober, this attitude.

I think for people who have bad kidhoods–like, with serious physical or emotional trauma–they either grow up into people who want to have kids so that they can improve upon their own childhoods, or, like me, don’t ever want to have to relive it! Kids remind me of being a kid, and I didn’t like being a kid! I had a lot of trauma being a kid. I had a lot of joy, sure, but all in all, more pain than joy. I just don’t want a re-do, no matter in what form.

Then, of course, there are days when I DO want kids, and, realizing that that ship has probably already sailed? That’s an even harder truth to face.

Maybe I need to “let go and let God” in the sense that, I don’t know everything and maybe this entire rant was simply my ego talking, my personality, my fear–underneath it all, I value life, I want children, and I do believe that the joy and wonder definitely outweighs the pain and hardship?

Hmm…

Where’s my Broadway musical? Hello?

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