I only got out of bed this morning because I had to pee. As I pulled on my Comfy Pants and customary long-sleeved t-shirt (not gym clothes, because those are currently all in the dryer, which is all the way in the basement and beyond my capabilities at 6:30AM) and socks, I realized that everything I was wearing is a shade of grey.
Like the weather. Like my mind. Like my mood.
The Grey is something I fight against all the time. It’s easier in the summer, when there is sun and warmth and I can wear my sandals and drive around with the windows down, but it never really goes completely away. I’ve been told that it never will, and the best I can do is fight it and force it back into the tiny corner of my mind where such things live.
So that’s what I do. For a long time, I used medication to keep The Grey at bay. That was moderately successful, but expensive and riddled with a series of side effects that were, more often than not, the root cause of The Grey in the first place (sleeplessness, weight gain, etc). One side effect of one of the more interesting medications I was on was ‘mood swings.’ Are you fucking kidding me? MOOD SWINGS as a side effect of a drug that I’m taking to HELP ME WITH MY MOOD SWINGS?
Oh, pharmaceutical industry. You so crazy.
The last drug I was on was designed to ‘even me out.’ No more of the high highs and low lows! No more emotional rollercoaster! That was fine, for awhile. I wasn’t bursting into tears every five minutes or getting homicidal every half-hour, but I wasn’t laughing much, either. I could have gone on like that indefinitely (since the alternative was scary) but I got knocked up instead.
Don’t ever quit your SSRIs cold-turkey. It’s very unpleasant.
I’m sure I’ve written about it before, but pregnancy hormones chilled me right the fuck out. Or maybe they didn’t – could be that I was just so tired and distracted, I didn’t have time for The Grey to settle on me. Once Jillian was born, I KNOW for sure that I was exhausted, but it was all okay.
And it has been more or less okay for the past 5 years now. I feel like I’ve risen to the challenge of parenting and acquitted myself very well. I know for certain sure that I’m a far better parent than anyone ever expected me to be!
But The Grey is still there.
Maybe it’s because I’m older now, or I am smarter, or wiser, or some other thing, but The Grey is a lot weaker than it once was. It could very well be that I have better things to do with my time than sit around and be depressed. Could be that I’m just better at pushing it back to where it belongs. I don’t know for sure. If I did, I’d write a book about it.
I don’t know why I’m writing about this today, of all days. Everything is going swimmingly, all things considered. Everyone in the family is happy and healthy and we aren’t dealing with any more than the usual stresses of a regular family. We have more than enough of everything (except warm weather, but that can’t be helped). I guess it’s been awhile since I checked in with my brain. Everything is shipshape, brain! Keep up the good work!