I managed to make it through my birthday this year without any real depression over being a year older. Usually I get a small bout of the moody blues about the time passed and the days wasted and all that. This year just seemed too cool to waste on being grumpy. I got a new (to me) car. I got an awesome short term assignment that paid awesome money. Even the FM seemed to be under control and I really felt like I was managing it and every thing else really well. That good mood stuck around for about three weeks.
This week, things just sort of fell apart. I missed two days of work and I think that threw my mojo off or something. My sink is no longer shiny. My living room is back to the jungle it was a few weeks ago. The laundry has piled up, once again. Worst of all, I hurt, and I'm tired, and I'm sick, too. Apparently it's a sinus infection because the antibiotics and decongestants that I went to the doctor for seem to be doing something. Well, they are at least reducing the pressure in my head and causing me to cough instead of just lay there and hurt. I suppose that's a good thing.
Not to sound all whiny and stuff, but the FM has decided to take over when I wasn't looking, again. Last night while working at my transcription job, I noticed a tingling in my hands. That is one of the symptoms I've grown used to, and it doesn't really scare me. It serves as a sort of warning sign that other symptoms will probably show up again, too. Sure enough, I woke up today feeling like I was beaten by a baseball bat - from my neck at the base of my skull all the way down to my tail bone. My fingers are not tingling anymore, they are rather numb, which is actually not as comfortable as you would think. Even my elbows, wrists, hips, knees, and ankles have decided to get in on the action so I get to walk around all limpy and stiff. Not a pretty sight, I'm sure.
The part of all this I hate the most is the grumpy, grouchy, self loathing that comes with the pain. I don't know if it is just part of the syndrome or if it is really my brain working in this way, but when I hurt like this, I start to hate. Hate is a pretty powerful word and I don't use it lightly.
When I say I "hate" I mean I start to think about all the things that are keeping me from enjoying my life and my kids and my husband, and I start to hate them. On a normal day, I can be annoyed by all this crap in my life, sometimes I feel good enough to even look at it all objectively. On a day like today, there is nothing objective about it. No matter what I attempt to do otherwise, the words start to run through my head like a stampede of rabid dogs...I hate my life. I hate hurting. I hate being so damn fat. I hate that my kids are out enjoying the gorgeous weather and playing in the dirt and having an awesome day and I am in bed sleeping and missing out on it all. I hate the mess all over the house because I am too tired to pick it up and too lazy to follow after the girls to have them pick it up when they drop it to begin with. I hate that DH is gone all weekend because I miss him so very, very much. I hate that I haven't had alone time with him in weeks because he has been sick and I have been working two jobs. I hate that in spite of loving my job, it will be over on Monday. I hate that because I have worked, LH might lose her SSI benefits and also Medicaid as a back up medical insurance. I hate the pain and the fatigue and numbness and tingling. I hate FM. I hate me.
That sounds like a pity party. If I felt sorry for myself, I might get up and do something about it. I don't feel sorry, I just hate. I don't want to be here, I don't want to get better, I just want to lie down and let the hate wash over me.
Can I pull myself out of this? I should try. I know I should. There are a thousand and one things I have been told to do when this happens. Most of them are things that would make me feel better but I would just feel guilty for spending anything other than hate on myself.
Now wait a minute here! Who's in charge? Hate? I don't think so. Hate is a pretty strong emotion but I don't think it really deserves to run the show. Am I a grown up or a whiny little girl (don't answer that. I'm trying to go somewhere with this...) Since I just had my 33rd birthday, I guess you can call me an adult now (just not where I can hear it.) I shouldn't have to put up with this adolescent angsty crap. Boo hoo, my life sucks. Whatever. I didn't make it 33 years by laying in bed, did I? (okay, so I did manage to do exactly that for the last five years, but that's not the point.) I certainly don't want to spend the next five years, or even five minutes on this. Hate isn't worth it. Hate doesn't accomplish anything but its own goal, which is to make itself more important than anything else.
Well, I am certainly more important than Hate. All of the ideals I have tried to teach my precious daughters revolve around NOT hating themselves or anyone else. This hypocrisy isn't very becoming. So, what should I do about it? Well, as a woman the first thing I am inspired to do is to go shopping. That would feel better for a while but I might not feel very good after paying the bills, so lets mark that one off the list. I could go treat myself to something yummy, but that could lead to the dangerous cycle of binge and purge that I need to stay very far away from. Doctors and self-help gurus tell you that taking a walk is a great way to fix your mood but I don't think that is a very good idea. As bad as I feel right now, trying to move will only make me hurt more which will have exactly opposite the effect that I am looking for.
The day is beautiful though, and because of the time change, it will still be light out for a few more hours. I think getting out and about might be a good thing after all. A hot shower to start off with and maybe I can find something to do that is a little bit pampering for me but isn't going to make me feel guilty. Well, there is something I really want to do, but I am nervous about it. On one hand I think it will be so cool, but on the other it will inevitably start a cycle of money spending that I am not sure I am really comfortable with.
It sounds a little scary and daring and silly, but I want to go red.
Specifically, I want to color my hair red. Something eye catching and bright and sexy. Something the exact opposite of dark blonde and blah.
Just thinking about this is getting my heart racing, so maybe it is a better idea than I thought. I need something to pull me out of this funk and everyone knows a new haircut makes you feel good. I need a haircut, regardless since I've managed to grow my hair long enough now that it there is no style left to it. (This happens to us girls with fine hair - we get a nice a hair cut and within 6 weeks, there is no sign left that we have ever been to a stylist in our entire lives.) Why does something so superficial make such a big impact on my mood? I don't know, but it always has.
When I was in high school, my hair was almost down to my waist and I decided to cut it because I needed a change. It was one of those big emotional breakdown things that started with a bad mood and ended up with a 12 inch ponytail on the floor. It was so effective, I have done it a few other times in my life when I needed a change. Going from long hair to short all at once enables me to donate the hair to Locks of Love (check this charity out 'cause they are really cool - http://www.locksoflove.org/ ) so I could feel good about doing it even if I looked like hell after wards. Plus, It was so liberating to be able to make such a big difference but not have to feel awful about it. Hair is not permanent for me. It will (usually) grow back no matter what I do to it.
I've never colored my hair though. I am a natural blonde and always have been. I have always felt blessed that I have been given what so many other women go through so much hassle to get. Now, though, I think it is time for a bit of a change. I found a silver streak in my hair, right where my part is, and not small and tiny. At first I shrugged it off. All of my family has a tendency to gray early. My dad was salt-and-pepper by the time he was 35. My brother got his first gray strands in high school, I think. He is about halfway to full gray and he is just over 30, himself. So, it isn't that I am getting OLD, exactly. It is just another weird family quirk showing up, like how we all tend congregate under smoke alarms when we get together (I have no clue why but it is true) or how all of us talk with our hands (it's a Cajun thing.) Since I found that first streak about a year go, the white had been showing up an awful lot. It is not extremely obvious yet, unless you know me well, but I know it's there and I think it is taking it's toll on my mood.
Letting my hair go gracefully from blonde to silver would be pretty easy and probably wouldn't be too awful too look at. Maybe a little gray wold give me the look of maturity that is so hard for me to achieve professionally (4'11" doesn't usually look like a boss, even in heels and a suit.) On the other hand, why shouldn't I take this as a cue to shake things up a little. It's obvious I want and need to change a little something. There are a lot of things I need to change, but Big Change doesn't happen all at once, it is made up of a bunch of Small Changes. Perhaps a new style will snap me out of the Oh Poor Me and push me over the edge to Oh Wow! If I have learned anything about myself over the past few years it's that my mood affects everything - including my physical state. Being happy hurts less.
But, what if I go and make this change and I look like a circus clown? What if I go somewhere and they charge me hundreds of dollars and I still don't like it? What if I choose the wrong color or I can't keep it colored on my own and I get those ugly roots that scream "Trashy, frumpy, careless!" These are serious issues for me. The idea that I could make a bad decision that would affect my appearance for MONTHS actually paralyzes me for a minute. A bad haircut can make as big an impact as a good one. When I was pregnant with LH, I got a short haircut with bangs. The next week, I took my niece, who was 6 months old, shopping with me. I had someone close a door in my face, thinking I was 12 years old, and pregnant, and already with a baby. THAT'S what a bad haircut can do for you.
I have been told that hate is not the opposite of love. Fear is. I have also been told that, at the root, hate IS fear. So, maybe all of this hate I am trying to rid myself of is really fear. Fear of inadequacy, failure, disappointment. I am even afraid of success because I am afraid that I can't sustain it and then I will fail and feel even worse than if I have never tried to succeed.
Well, I think it's time to combat my fear. It isn't doing me any good obviously. I should step out boldly, or at least baby-step boldly, forward. That is what I should do. Yes, sir. Moving forward is a good thing. I should really do it. The sooner the better. Without fear and with confidence. I really should.
Why am I still sitting here...