Down

I’m feeling really down lately. I’m just getting so tired of the self-talk required to keep myself out of the downward spiral–it requires so much energy. Sometimes it feels like it requires blantantly lying to myself.

My husband and I are hardly talking. We’re not mad at each other really, we just don’t have the energy to interact. I know I need to get out of the house and engage another adult in meaningful conversation, but it’s December and everyone is too busy with holiday festivities to just grab a dinner or a drink. 

I feel bad for the stuff I bought after my shopping ban was over. I recognize that I was just trying to distract myself from how bad everything is with some shiny new things. That is definitely my M.O. And I understand that it is going to take a LONG time to reprogram those habits, but damn I still feel shitty for it when I fall back into those destructive patterns. 

I know I have so much to be thankful for, and that my life is so wonderful. I know that I will have it better than most during the Trump-era, especially living in San Francisco. Whenever I use that as my self-talk to keep the demons at bay, I wind up feeling guilty. Guilty for being who I am and having what I have. Guilty for being able to put it out of my mind for a while because my immediate safety, and civil liberties, aren’t at risk (I say this as a woman whose job is (currently–who knows for how long) protected by union agreements and who can’t get pregnant with her husband because he’s had a vasectomy).

I know I can’t bury my head in the sand. I know I need to stay active and engaged. I know I need to stay informed. I can’t hide behind my considerable privilege just to make myself feel better. It’s not fair, and it’s not right.

I think part of the problem is that things are finally slowing down at work. The rush of one trimester’s end and another’s beginning is past us. Final grades have been uploaded, new seating charts have been made (this takes me HOURS with all full the classes I have), curriculum has been chosen and outlined. I have a relatively easy three weeks ahead of me before the break, which I desperately need. And yet, I think having that time to stop and think is actually making me feel worse. There are only so many games of solitaire I can play before bedtime without getting seriously depressed.

I’m trying to stay busy around the house, which desperately needs the attention. Yesterday I picked up everywhere and gave all the floors a thorough sweeping–my goodness did they need it. I’ve let the whole house go to shit in the past few months, and it does help to have picking and cleaning up as a general project. 

I find myself counting the days until I can have a drink on Friday night (I don’t let myself drink on the weeknights because I don’t trust myself to keep my overall weekly intake reasonable), but then I’m always disappointed with the actual experience of having the drink. That’s probably because my husband and I have been so distant, and we generally end up sipping our drinks in silence, each on our own devices, until one of us gets too tired and heads to bed. (Usually it’s him that goes to bed, while I stubbornly stay up too late because it’s the weekend goddamn it and I’m going to enjoy it, even if it kills me, and then I feel horrible and tired the next morning.)

I feel like my only lifeline right now are my children. They so enjoy this time of year, and thankfully their enthusiasm can still put a genuine smile on my face. If it weren’t for them, I know I’d be a lot worse off right now.

I wish I could afford therapy, but with my increased retirement contribution there is just no way. Instead I find myself daydreaming about the future, promising myself that the kids and I will spend a month in a Spanish speaking country during the summer of 2018. That we’ll continue doing that in the summers until we find the perfect place to live for a year or two. I imagine how my husband will stay at his parents’ house with our cat so we can rent out home to pay for the trip (there is almost no way this could actually happen) and that he could take a week or two off work and visit. I imagine our years abroad, where I will magically have the time to unschooled my kids and still make enough to pay for our living arrangements (again I’m assuming a family renting our house will pay the mortgage while we’re away) and that my husband can somehow join us despite not having a job that can be done abroad and not speaking any Spanish and probably not wanting to be there in the first place. 

This is where I’m living these days, in fantasies that will never take place. Just trying to make it through… the next four years I guess? The rest of my life? I know it’s no way to live, but I haven’t figured out an alternative.

5 Comments

  1. I am a total scrooge every year. I just find the holidays and winter, in general, to be very overwhelming. You and I are down for different reasons, but both still down. Awesome.

  2. I’m so sorry you’re in the dumps. It sucks. I’m miraculously NOT there now, this may be the first December I’m not super depressed in a long time. I often feel the blahs after a really busy, hectic time. You are right that having lots of time to think can sometimes be bad. Its a good idea to throw yourself into cleaning/organizing—you’ll have some satisfaction from that, too! As for the relationship stuff—instead of retreating to your own devices, can you veg out with the same device? When we have no energy for talking or relating in any way, my husband and I watch a lot of TV together. At least we feel like we are sharing something—and sometimes we find something to talk about at the end of it. I”m always here to chat!

  3. 1. Have no guilt re being in SF under the new administration. Their motto is paybacks and you are in a city and state that did not vote majority for them so….
    2. Ask for a date night at home with no electronics and reconnect with your husband. Every time you have done this it really really helps both of you.
    3. Pull out your camera and record the season’s joy on your children’s faces. Then post the pictures around your house.
    Hugs!

  4. Saw a woman with a bike like yours at 20th & Castro yesterday at about 4pm. But children didn’t look like quite the right ages. Both children got off (steep hill) and littlest instantly ran to corner gutter and proudly got his hand covered in gutter mud. Thought of you. Hoped it wasn’t you! Hoped parental person had hand cleaner. Hoped parental person had greater inner resources than I would have had in similar situation.
    For the record: Parenting is hard.
    Sending support always to all of you in the trenches especially with children with city gutter mud all over their hand!

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