Thursday, March 27, 2008

The Day After

Today has gone much better than expected. I woke up a few times last night, but only for a few minutes, so it looks like I dodged the insomnia bullet, which is a huge relief. (Three years ago, during my last breakdown, I experienced 7 months of severe insomnia, causing near-constant exhaustion, followed by about 7 months of just being really tired.) I got up shortly after 9, made myself some Malt-O-Meal (Yum!) and watched Democracy Now! on a community-access station.

The reason I was able to watch a cable channel was because I'm at my parents' house. I drove here last night after eating dinner and watching a little TV with a creeping sense of dread, until I realized I could just mosey on up to New Brighton and, hopefully, get a lot of emotional support. When I arrived at the empty house, I took a bath. My dad got home while I was still in the tub. He knocked on the door to see if it was me and asked how I was. "Not so great" was my typically understated reply. When I was done, I went to the kitchen and told him I'd quit. He was pretty relaxed and understanding. That helped a lot, because disappointing him might be my biggest fear.

I watched Everybody Loves Raymond, because I was emotionally fragile. It's the kind of inoffensive, but still amusing sitcom that comes in handy at those times. I went to bed at 10, same time as he did. The first time I woke up in the night I was afraid the insomnia had survived, but I quickly fell back to sleep and slept for probly 10 hours (not unusual for me the last few months), briefly waking twice more.

After Democracy Now!, I checked out some grad school info and job leads online, while listening to pop hits of the '50s and early '60s. (I've been jonesin' for that stuff lately. But I can't think of a good name for that musical era. I thought the "Innocent Rock" era was too condescending.) For lunch I had Cream of Mushroom soup, but it was low sodium, so it'd been watered down. I also had some Orange Milano cookies, which were pretty good. (I apologize for the excruciating detail. This must be part of the "healing process.")

Then I drove to Uptown and worked out at the YWCA. My usual 45-minute stairmaster regimen was a little easier than I'd anticipated. I picked up some stuff at my apartment and drove back to the 'burbs, feeling almost shockingly good. I was listening to a song by Seal I hadn't heard before and thinking, "Augh! Why do I like this?!" There's just somethin' about him that I can't quite resist, even though his accompaniment sounds slick and not very well-crafted.

The dread that had been lingering in the background relented, and I was able to relax. The music on the radio sounded really good, the passing scenery looked really cool. The long shadows around the Uptown Theater reminded me of '70s movies and TV shows. It seems like back then they fell in love with the fading sunlight of the late afternoon and early evening, especially when it was suffused with the clay dust of a baseball field. Truly, it was a simpler, more graceful time.

So that's where I am right now, emotionally speaking. (That's seems to be the only manner in which I speak these days.) I just hope this isn't the top of the roller coaster. The last two weeks have been wearyingly unpredictable. I'd like to believe this is a sign of things to come.

Note to Michael: Thank you for your kind message. You said exactly what I needed to hear. I'd love to hang out with you soon. Maybe next week? Drop me an e-mail.

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