Friday, March 31, 2006

Peaks and Valleys (and Rum and Coke)

I lit all the candles I own and am relaxing with a rum and coke, not a very exciting drink but a true classic. Listening to my iPod--the playlist entitled "Thinkin Music." No TV. Just me, my dog, my drink, my music. It's kind of nice. It's been so long since I just allowed myself to unwind a bit and think. I've unwound but by watching TV and zoning out, not thinking.

My life is full of peaks and valleys. I have emotional peaks and valleys, which come from my depression. I tend not to feel just normal; I feel either nearly ecstatic and giggly (which often leads people to wonder if I'm drunk) or--more often--withdrawn and depressed, at the bottom of my own personal pit of emotional hell. I've battled depression since I was in high school but it was always relatively manageable until a little over a year ago. You know, when my boyfriend of over a decade left me and my mom was dying of cancer and I was still in a job I hated and had no friends. Then.

But ever since I started taking my happy pills things have been much better. I never took pills before because I worried about them causing me to not feel at all, or at least to feel very little, but at the point where I was last year--crying everywhere when I wasn't home, just sitting there crying at work, in the car, at the store, everywhere (never at home because I had to keep up appearances for my dying mother who had to depend on me)--and with my mother (and my family) depending on me to get her through things, I decided I'd try anything to get me through the day. So when my therapist suggested the happy pills, I said sure.

Now I'm afraid to stop taking my happy pills. I do still feel with them but the peaks and valleys of my emotions aren't so far apart, and when sadness does hit, it doesn't turn into a long bout of depression. If this is what normal is, the way most people feel, I don't ever want to go back. I don't ever want to have the valley of depression be a short step off a tall, tall cliff again. The gentle slopes are so much nicer.

So those peaks and valleys are better now--not gone, just better.

But I also live my life by peaks and valleys of involvement. I am either doing nothing in my life or doing fifteen different things at once. Take right now. It's a fifteen different things period. I work three jobs and go to school full time and take care of my mother when she's sick and share custody of my niece and have a social life. Two months ago, it was a valley. I was on break from school, wasn't working my graduate assistantship, didn't tend bar since my sister was home. Didn't have my new fabulous job as DIrector of Operations for a political campaign. I did nothing. N-O-T-H-I-N-G. Well, except for sleep with a couple of guys.

So here I am on a peak of activity and realizing I'm a bit overextended and am probably getting too old for this shit and wondering why it is that I must live my life in extremes. I'm in a relationship with a capital R or else I'm sleeping around and afraid to date anyone seriously; I work no jobs or three. I have no friends or fifty.

I got my emotions on a gentler slope of peaks and valleys; now I have to get the rest of my life on that gentler slope. Hmm. I think I shall make myself another rum and coke and think on this a bit more. And listen to Jimmy Buffett.


Jenna Howard said...

Sorry you're having a rough go of it, Tina.

On the other hand you just aged me as I sat and thought back on rum & coke. It feels so...retro now. *sob* I mean...who drinks rum & coke now? Isn't the hip combo Red Bull & Vodka? Seriously? Whatever happened to the rum & coke world? Wait...don't answer that. Not until I've laced my own coke.

Here's to peaks and shallow valleys.

dan said...

I know it sounds corny, but I think it happens to all of us. It only takes a couplethings going wrong (and they always come in sets) and boom, down you go. Everyone always does things in streaks. Nature of the beast.

Rum and coke is THE drink. Make no mistake. I hope you find what you're looking for. :)

Anonymous said...

Valley: Rocking out to said song on radio "I would walk 10,000 miles..." and then having it cut to DJ who says "Thanks for listening to Oldies..."