I’m always hesitant to write when I’m in a state of high emotion. It’s not that I won’t be passionate here – I certainly have been before. It’s just that when I’m in a state of mind that isn’t quantifiable, other than perhaps melancholy, I tend to draw a screen between myself and the world, as it were. A veil of silence and obfuscation. As I get older, this is less because I care what you might think of me, dear reader, in my current vulnerable state of peculiar contemplation and companied by the Black Dog. It is more that I do not inflict whining on anyone, having been a mother of toddlers.
It does feel like this should be nothing. All things pass in fleeting time, relative to the length of a life lived as mine has been. And if I look back, I can honestly see how far upward my trajectory has carried me. Even if I tremble at apogee in this moment, it has been an exhilarating ride, and I have few regrets. I have blessings and live in joy, even as there are sorrows I shoulder. This doesn’t always help improve my mood in times like this.
It’s difficult to simply wait. So many years, I found my way out of trouble by doing something, anything. Right now, I have to face that nothing I can do will help some of the biggest problems in my life. Only time will mend those. Besides which, I’m too tired to be effective at much of anything at the moment. I need to rest. My mental state, though…
Tonight in the lab, there was a thunderstorm passing overhead, reverberating off the roof, and in a moment, the air cut off. Just a moment. I heard the ever-present buzz of the fans go away, leaving in their wake silence, the jar of thunder on the distant surface of the building, and then every alarm on the hoods went off at once. We were not working in them, so there was no danger, but the screaming ululation was jarring, nonetheless. That’s sort of how I’m feeling. My alarms are jangling, but there’s no real reason I can put my finger on. We didn’t lose power in the lab, I’m not sure why the air handling system stopped for a moment, as it came back on… but the hood alarms were going off, and even after we reset them, one would go off at random for the next couple of hours. Made me jumpy and gave me a headache.
I’ll keep looking for my reset button. It’s not as easy to find, lacking the handy flashing red light the alarms at work have. Besides which, when the brain starts to jangle, I have to stop and process: is this real? That slows me down and diverts me from the real work at hand, whatever that may be. And I really need to come up with some coping skills that don’t leave me feeling guilty. I don’t need to bake (and eat) bread, panic about getting another job/selling art/writing more books faster in order to make money, or alternatively shut down entirely and hide inside a book. For one thing, all of those take time I have not got. For another thing, they don’t help me attain long-term goals.
Right now? I’m going to do nothing. (hides handful of jellybeans, because that’s a bad coping skill, too, but… jelly bellies! Looks down at own jelly belly and sighs). I’m going to go lie down (after I brush my teeth), and hope that thinking out loud here will help press that reset button on my causeless anxiety, so I can get some sleep. It’s already tomorrow, and work comes when I open my eyes again.