Thursday, November 08, 2007

Afternoon Blues

I've been feeling sad lately. I haven't wanted to say anything about it. I thought it would pass. Maybe it will pass.

For a month or so now, I've been overtaken most days, mid afternoon, by a sinking, swamping sadness. My heart literally aches. I feel pressure behind my eyes, a rising tide of tears without an obvious source. When this becomes unbearable, I slip my sneakers on, take myself out for a walk, a run.

It works, this infusion of oxygen to my blood. The tide recedes.

But come the next afternoon, I'm back where I started.

Sometimes, it isn't sadness, but panic that hits me. I feel as if I've been riding a lawnmower all day, drinking coffee by the gallon. Even my skin seems to be vibrating. I've had headaches most nights this week. I never have headaches! And for the record, I haven't mowed the lawn in six weeks and I don't drink coffee at all.

I toured the MFA program at the local college the other day, walked away (in the pouring rain) feeling discouraged and overwhelmed. Academia, I am reminding, is not to be entered into lightly. "I'm not sure it's the answer," I told my new, and very wise friend, C~.

"What's the question?" she replied.

I told you she was wise.

It took me two days to realize, the question is this: If not motherhood, then what?

There are a million perfectly good answers, some of which excite me, at the right time of day. But at this moment, they all sound like "get a job" or "go to school." And frankly (can you guess what time it is?) my heart isn't in it.


Patty said...

Homework... I like to call it, "In a perfect world" and what you do is write down exactly what would happen/be happening for/to you in a perfect world. Once you have it down on paper, then you have a plan/dream/goal. Once that is in place then you pick one tiny manageable piece of what you had written and see what you have to do to get that. Often times it is the getting started that holds us back. So write down your question and start your homework. Go for the gold, shoot the moon. It is yours and you can have it.

Anonymous said...

Oh god, Amy, I know that feeling, and it sucks. I hope you find yourself in a different place soon.

Anonymous said...

Just one bit of food for thought. And it's an opinion, and like them all, you may find it a bit stinky. Here goes: We are on this earth to serve others. If we are not in the process of helping out our brothers and sisters on this planet, it can leave us feeling empty and sad.
Many folks enter and remain in academia hoping to avoid "work" in the traditional sense, only to find that it leaves them with huge student debt and no better off in terms of employability. And higher degrees can be a lot of work, leaving you with precious little free time.
Perhaps a traditional part-time job that engages you with other adults and society at large would make you feel better and more connected.
And are you referring to ovulation or your period in terms of guessing what time this is?

Which Box said...

I'm glad that exercise helps push the sadness back.

Hang in there. I've been a reader for a while and am pulling for you.

akakarma said...

I've been reading and it seems like you've been filling up your life with this effort and wish all centered around a baby. Of course I only know the blog so forgive me if there is more! Of course then you are sad when you get a moment of respite. It's good to take a break and feel and get re-grounded. You have been through a hell of a lot in all spheres of life. Just breathe and it will be ok- whichever it is- you are a worthwhile person!

Anonymous said...

Amy, please realize that the first and probably biggest symptom of depression is the inability to get interested in something/ get motivated to do things. Truly. This can really cloud your judgement -- what looks to you as perhaps an inability to get into the idea of going to school, say, may very well be the inability to get into the idea of doing anything at all. Depression does that to you. I speak from experience -- having come through a depression a couple of years ago after a late first-trimester miscarriage.

Best to you as you work through this really rough time.