If my moods were measured like the contractions of a woman in labor, it would kind of look the same on a monitor. Instead of “here comes a contraction, put your chin to your chest and bear down, it’d be like “here comes the sadness, plant your feet in the sand so it doesn’t knock you down”. Or “hold your nose and close your eyes so the salt water can’t get in”.
If I wake up and the sadness is already present, I make myself get up and try to burn it off. I say burn because it feels like an act of violence. And it feels like an act of violence because it is: a physical and psychological waging of war.
I’ll put clothes on and start angrily at my emails. I’ll angrily look at social media. I’ll drive angrily to a place to do my work. And I’ll wait for it to surrender in the face of my activity.
Or I’ll let the wave knock me down and fill my mouth and eyes and ears with salt water. I’ll stay in bed longer than I should because the fight was already lost. I never stay in bed all day though: at some point I get up to do something. Even if it’s just to take a bath, do some cleaning and run one errand. When I’m in New York, that errand usually involves walking to a bodega a block or two away.
How do you handle the spikes and flat lines?