Friday, January 8, 2010

Perfectly Normal

There's no hiding the fact that this week was awful. It was wretched. This week was a brand-new toothbrush dropped in a toilet that hadn't been flushed. It was a total waste.

The worst part is, there was no good reason for this week to be so bad. Nothing went particularly haywire. I was about medium-level busy, nothing too stressful. I cried at the drop of a hat, though. I dragged sloth-like through every day. I would think I was fine, then find myself completely flipping out from some minor thing. Before you ask, no, this had nothing to do with my time of the month, and be glad you weren't in the same room with me when you asked that question. No, there was, I repeat, NO GOOD REASON.

Yes, folks, welcome to the latest episode of Emily The Depressed Mother, the continuing saga of a previously normal person and her horrifyingly good life. Watch as she yells at her son for being three minutes late! Hear her lecture the neighbor kid for chewing with his mouth open! See her mood zoom back and forth so fast, it's like she's Venus AND Serena. The ratings for this show are abysmal, but it's in no danger of being canceled - this is the only show this station airs. Talk about your bad reality tv - give me The Bachelorette any day over this junk.

I'm fortunate enough to have a few regular viewers. Ryan, of course, can't avoid me and my issues for more than a few hours at a time. (Maybe that's why he wanted to build an office in the backyard. Hmmm, it all seems so obvious now.) I also have two friends who I share all of the ups and downs with. I am so grateful to have these three in my life - the people I don't have to pretend to be normal in front of, because they know me well enough to see through it.

Today I thought I was fine, until some plans fell through and I absolutely lost it. I lost it with a ferocity that surprised even me - a reaction completely out of proportion to the situation at hand. At that point, I had several options: 1) I could pout and mope and sulk, 2) I could try to go about my day, in a semi-normal fashion or, 3) I could go hang out with my 2 friends and let them cheer me up. All logic points to option 3 being the correct answer; after all, even if I sat at my friend's house and sobbed quietly in the corner it would still be better than doing the same things at home.

I decided on option 1 followed by option 2. Why would I purposely neglect the one thing guaranteed to make me feel at least marginally better? Well, for one thing, I'm depressed - depressed people aren't known for their logic and rationality. Second, don't underestimate the attractiveness of a good mope. There is something so comforting about crawling into bed and lying there, ignoring the world and your children and your responsibilities, focusing on feeling sorry for your poor, pitiful self. Woe is you! It's like eating an entire bag of cinnamon bears - it's ragingly unhealthy, bound to make your feel even worse than before, but when you think that's the one thing that will make you feel good, you do it anyhow. Fortunately, moping won't give you a stomachache.

After my mope (and it was a classic mope - if there were moping competitions I would have swept the floor with this mope) I took Darcey out to lunch. Yes, I could have driven to my friend's house and eaten better food for free while Darcey played with her friends, but instead I took her to Coney's where she is currently dripping vanilla custard onto my ipod while she watches Spongebob and I write this entry longhand. As much as my husband and friends love me, I realized that the one thing I wanted today was to be treated like I was totally normal. Even if I acted completely normal, the people who watched or listened to me crying a mere hour ago would be tainted by that experience. I wanted to be viewed as a regular person, albeit an unshowered person with puffy eyes and no eye makeup, neglecting her two year old while scribbling on a notebook like a stay-at-home mom version of Ernest Hemingway. (Not that I'm comparing my writing to Hemingway's, mind you, just the potentially erratic behavior.) So if you could consider that normal, that's what I was. I was incognito, but instead of hiding my identity behind a red wig and stilettos a la Sydney Bristow, I wore my "Don't mind me, I'm just a regular Joe" disguise. Nope, no issues here, I'm just one of the folks. It's refreshing, being someone I'm not and having people believe it, even if it's just the kid scooping ice cream and all I've done to earn my title of "normal" is not cry when I placed my order.

I'm feeling a lot better now. I don't know if it's the change of scenery or the ice cream or the faux-normality or the doctor's suggestion that I double my dosage. Maybe a magical combination of all of the above. I think I'm going to bring my fake normal identity home with me. Yes, it'd be way cooler if my alter ego was really a spy working for a black ops branch of the government and I could kick people's butts and have rock-hard abs and no one would dare have sympathy for me, because of the butt-kicking. But I'd settle for normal. I'm down the street from a Barnes & Noble; I think I better test out my "normal" skills by going there and buying something without crying. Maybe a few things. You can send the bill to my alter ego.

1 comment:

rachel said...

You know, the funny thing is, I think days like this ARE normal. I would bet that anyone (especially female?) reading this would agree. The problem is, we try to hide it. It is one of those things we don't generally talk about (kind of like depression, eh?) I have spent so many years trying to be the stoic, solid one, and it is only recently (as you well know) that I have broken down and cried in front of people. It is actually liberating, even if sometimes I feel stupid afterwards. The nice thing is that the people who really care are still there during and after the tears, and for so long I think I feared it wouldn't be that way. So, here's to friends and family who stick around and don't judge. And here's to the opportunity for a better week ahead! Thanks again for sharing :).