Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Coffee Isn't Helping

One Ring once told me of a classmate of hers at Furman University who had the habit of walking around campus saying, "Oh, wretched day!" while drinking whiskey out of a McDonald's Ice Tea cup. Yes, someone out there really says, "Oh, wretched day!"

For some reason, that story has stuck with me, and there have been mornings where I've walked into the kitchen for breakfast and repeated that line, often receiving a chuckle from One Ring in response. Usually - 90% of the time, I'd guess - it's been a joke, a way of melodramatically expressing my irritation at an upcoming event. But sometimes I feel as if that silly statement is oh, so true, and so accurate.

Yesterday was one of those days. Today isn't looking so hot, either. Two cups of coffee and I'm still not up and running ...

I'm not saying that there were plenty of times when I was doing cartwheels because of my work. The job has its rewarding moments, to be certain, but let's face it - it's called work for a reason. Work is work. It's not play; it's not fun and games. No matter how much I wish otherwise, it will never be one of those jobs that the rare person has; the one they enjoy so much that they exclaim, "I can't believe I'm getting paid for this!" I've dreamed of getting a job like that, as has every other human being, but so far, no joy.

So, what’s going on? My favorite holiday is 11 days away, so I should be as excited as a child on Christmas morning. And yet, I told One Ring last night – as we went to the craft store to purchase yet another batch of clay for my craft class and saw the picked over shelves of Halloween decorations and craft projects - that I felt like I had already missed it. For some reason, the build up and anticipation of all kinds of scary movie watching, pumpkin carving, and house decorating has turned into an emotional “Meh. Whatever.”

Not good.

Usually when I have a client who is suffering from dystthymea – which is nothing but a fancy schmancy word for chronic mild depression – I ask what’s changed in their lives. Usually a core issue can be detected after a short time digging around the conscious or sub-conscious. At least with my patient body, that seems to be the case. So I’ve been turning my eye inward in an attempt to see what is going on. And aside from some recent setbacks in my guitar lessons, some mild frustrations at work and in my clay class (I’ve only been able to teach twice since I started due to lack of interested parties.), the only major event in my life is the pending birth of my son. Which I guess is reason enough to be freaking out and riding an emotional roller coaster, but during those moments where I’m mourning the loss of independence and spontaneity, I feel as if I shouldn’t be having those feelings. And, as we all know, feelings suppressed become feelings expressed in other ways – usually emotional outbursts, resentments, or a depressive withdrawal from participation and interaction with others.

In other words, we have a winner. Despite looking forward to Simon’s birth (My selection of “H.R. Puffinstuff” for his name was soundly rejected.), I’m also resenting the changes and chaos he’s bringing in his wake. And it is this, of course, which makes me feel lousy. I imagine lots of fathers feel this way, and that it is this which leads to absenteeism on the daddy-side. I’m not going to do that (Death, first!), having experienced that first hand twice – first with actual absenteeism and abuse, the second time with emotional absenteeism. But still, the mixed emotions are there.

So there you go. That’s why I haven’t been posting. That’s why I’m having sleep issues. That’s why my productivity at work is at an all time low, and that’s why I’ve occasionally joked with One Ring that I’m going to nickname Simon “Buzz-Kill.” She laughed, so I guess I’ll live until she gets tired of that joke!
Okay, time to go back and pretend to work.

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