February 27, 2011

Random moments and careful dialogue

There are many days where I feel pretty good. By "good" I mean functional, able to laugh and converse, working effectively, getting exercise. Actually, I'd say all my days are like that. It is the occasional moment that takes me by surprise. Like yesterday, as I stood in line at Costco, I watched a little girl crying as she sat in the basket, her mother calmly looking for ways to comfort her. I should have looked away within a nanosecond, as I have trained myself to do, but I didn't. I listened to her crying and saw her face squinched up and upset, and I nearly lost it. It was all I could do to maintain my composure, pay for our stuff, and get the hell out of there. Once out of the store, the moment passed like a cloud and the sun was in its place just as before.

What the...

Yeah. An unguarded moment where I realize that I am not above the influence of life happening all around me. I have also noticed in the past couple of weeks that even though I feel much better, I don't cook (normally a hobby that I take great pleasure in). I don't clean. It's been a couple months since I dusted anything. It took me a week to get through cleaning the bathroom (one surface at a time). I am easily overwhelmed by any kind of obligation. I guess I still am depressed, and I do not like this condition. Tonight I will start taking that bottle of 5-HTP I bought about a month ago, since it occurs to me that the neurons in my brain that transmit serotonin might not be working properly anymore and need a bit of a nudge (this can happen with many months of sadness - a condition which certainly applies to me). Counseling alone is perhaps not enough.

And yet, I can genuinely be happy for my coworker who is now about 16 weeks pregnant, after suffering three unexplained miscarriages. I can genuinely smile at the friend who's only announcement of her second pregnancy was a random photo of herself on Facebook, and I realized upon seeing it why she didn't say anything at the dinner where we sat with seven other women. Ah, it was probably because I was there. I could be imagining this, but I rather doubt it. It makes sense, and it would have been a graceful thing for her to do except that it wasn't necessary. She really is a sweetheart.

Another very dear friend recently confessed some guilt about talking about parenting and abortion in my presence (at different times) and hoped I wasn't offended because she loves me so much she doesn't want to hurt me even if the conversation has nothing to do with me.

Hm. How do I feel about this? Should I be offended when people talk about the things in their lives that I may or may not ever experience myself? Should I want people to censor themselves around me in an effort to guard me from the pain of being left out?

Truthfully, those conversations weren't even a blip on my radar. I never even registered a "you have no clue how I feel so you better not talk about that stuff" reaction. Seriously. I love my friends dearly and, regardless of what I'm walking through, I don't expect or even want people to tiptoe around me. I don't want to be the one that people have to be careful what they say around. I'm not that fragile that my soul will be ripped open by the mention of another pregnancy. Come on, life goes on around us regardless. If I don't want to attend a baby shower, I'm sure I can be excused and if that offends someone it's their reaction to own, not mine. If I don't offer up an opinion on abortion it's because I doubt someone wants to hear it, and everyone is entitled to their own opinion anyway.

What an odd place to be.