It’s taken a long time, but I’ve finally come to see the seasonal pattern of my mood swings in its full spectrum. I’ve always gotten depressed in the winter, and in recent years I’ve come to expect that mania will visit at least once during the summer and early fall. And now, thanks to an unusual flash of insight, I just realized that every year in the spring, I tend to go ape shit.
I’m serious. I do things like blow off jury duty and fail to file my taxes (2011), become suicidal (2012), and have nervous breakdowns (2013). This year, the anxiety is once again rearing its ugly head and my moods are horrendously labile, but I have an advantage that I didn’t have in previous years: I’m well-medicated, and I’m fifty-five……which means I’ve learned how to TALK things out instead of always ACTING them out.
That doesn’t stop the racing thoughts or make it any easier to figure out how to get out of this lifestyle I’ve spent so many years creating only to wind up hating it, but it does provide a framework for rational discussion, which I had with my husband Will tonight at dinner. He is fully aware that I get wacky in the spring, and I prefaced the conversation with an acknowledgment of that fact. But the truth is, this has been coming on for some time; I just needed to overreach and fall on my face one. more. time. before I could admit that what I REALLY want is out of the fucking rat race.
I’m sick of it. I want things to be less complicated. I want a job that doesn’t require me to perform intellectual gymnastics I’m not capable of, or take a year to learn. I want a house I can afford and a yard I can keep up. I want less stuff. Hell, out of everything I have, all I really care about is my hubby, my pets, my memory box, my Christmas decorations, my computer, and my bed…..I don’t give a rat’s ass about the rest.
I wake up in the mornings now and have to fight off the urge to call out of work and just start throwing stuff away. I fantasize about living off the grid (until I remember what it was like without running water for those few days last December) and yearn for a lifestyle like that of my oldest daughter and her family, who live simply but happily in a double-wide out in the middle of BFE. I even peruse Craigslist to see if anyone wants to hire an old gal who’s still got some life left in ‘er for a fun but mindless job that pays enough to cover my bills and not much more.
Can you tell I want a change?
I wish this epiphany didn’t have to coincide with the annual mental festivities brought on by the arrival of cherry blossoms and blue skies, because I’m really NOT talking crazy. I really do want things to be different. I’m not sure how to make it happen, but happen it must because I’ve had a bellyful of keeping up with the Joneses. Those bastards never cared about keeping up with me, anyway……only the bill collectors do.