Every now and then I go through a gray period.
This isn’t like a depression, more like a fog that settles around me making things obscure and blocking out some of the light. I can’t really tell you when they begin or end or exactly how many come per year but I estimate there are about three or four of them annually.
I don’t always know why they come and I think that’s part of the reason they are so difficult to get rid of. In addition, sometimes I don’t even know they are happening, except that I feel tired and my writing motivation is poor, my creativity sucks and work just seems like a bigger drag in general.
If they’re especially not good, I might withdraw more, avoid seeing people and just focus on spending more comfort-time alone, reading, watching movies and waiting. I have no idea if this is the right approach but it always seems more obligatory. For example, if you stopped over and said, “Ok! We are getting you out of this! Let’s go out!” it wouldn’t work. They seem to operate on their own terms.
The latest one came on about three weeks ago. I have a feeling it was due mainly to a big change that was coming.
I had decided to move in with my boyfriend and that meant giving up my apartment and the life I had fought so hard to rebuild after my husband suddenly left me with his inane statements that he didn’t love me, never really had and had been pretending to the whole time.
I think I grew more in the three years I established myself in my new place than I ever have in my whole life. I took baking classes, made new friends, wrote my novel, got a new job, fell in love again, faced many fears and more than a few setbacks but ultimately learned to trust life again.
Now I was leaving this safe place behind.
Comfort and security are funny things and I wonder if they are similar to my semi-annual fogs; illusions that we create but don’t ultimately control.
So the move came a few days ago and I muscled through it, packing boxes, ripping out shelves I’d installed myself and knowing that I still really wanted to do this but still feeling that shaky insecurity that becomes a permanent attendant to life’s major upsets. And I kept saying to myself:
I’m fine. I’m just fine. Everything is going to work out. If I survived that, I can survive anything. This is no big deal really. It’s all going to be FINE!
Until yesterday when it wasn’t. I turned in the keys, said good-bye to my breathtaking view and really faced that that chapter in my life is over – and a new one is just beginning.
And then I drove to my new home and shortly after I got in the door, the tears showed up along with a scattered commentary explaining it all – which my ultra-patient boyfriend had been waiting for all along. See him putting his arm around me, telling me to breathe and it’s going to be fine.
And for some reason when he says it, I actually believe it.
And then I woke up this morning, sat down at my computer and realized I felt better. A lot better. The fog had lifted and I’m back.