Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Late to Bed....Early to Rise

I left Louisiana on Friday, February 10. I am a changed person. I spent a mere two weeks in Louisiana and in a sense, I have been broken. I have discovered that fundamental things about me have changed. Things that were as true to me as my eye color. Becoming aware of the changes has sent me into a big bout of depression. As Holley Golightly refers to them in "Breakfast at Tiffany's"...."a case of the mean reds."

First, and most lighthearted, I'm no longer a "light packer". In fact, I've never had to pack to go anywhere for two weeks in my whole life (except leaving to go to college). I've never been to Europe or anywhere like that. I've never been on lengthy business trips. I'm forty years old and I had to drive and work somewhere for two weeks. I packed my car to the gills. This includes dvds, magazines, books, two handguns and every form of anti-diahhreal manufactured. But, I did not think to bring quarters for the laundry. I did not bring enough hangers. I think being forty and realizing I haven't really been anywhere for two weeks was kind of eye-opening.

Second, I am a good corporate team player. This is a bit startling to me. For so long I was considered a bit of a loose canon. I've never really thought I cared too much about the "corporate image". But, when I found myself surrounded by a profound level of incompetence....not because the people are stupid but because they have not been given the appropriate training.....my reaction was a deep sense of shame and embarrassment for my company. I wanted nothing more than to give these people the training they were desperate for...I felt like Shirley McClaine (sp?)....instead of "GIVE MY DAUGHTER THE DRUGS"......I wanted to say "GIVE THESE PEOPLE SOME HELP!!!!!!" .....I never thought I cared. Maybe I'm not a curmudgeon anymore?

And the thing that bothered me the most is that I realized I am no longer a loner. As a child, I played a lot by myself. As an adult, I lived a long time by myself and didn't marry until I was 35 years old. From the age of 30 to 35 I was as happy as a pig in slop living alone. I could not comprehend people that didn't enjoy living alone. I enjoyed eating out by myself and going to the movies solo. (I still do). Friends whose marriages were on the rocks would cry about the prospect of being alone - and I would think to myself - YIPPPEE!!! It is going to be great!!! Well, over the past five years, The Man has apparently grown on me....bipolar/alcoholism and all. After two weeks without him, I was shot. Two weeks without The Man, the Mildly Retarded Dog and our humble abode and I was a basket case. My routine was gone. I could not fly by the seat of my pants. I couldn't go with the flow. I was Rainman and Wopner was at 3:00 but the TV in my hotel room didn't get that channel. I ran out of Prozac on Wednesday. By Friday, I was barely hanging on to sanity. Thumb-sucking was not out of the realm of my consideration.

The Man suggested that I break up the driving trip again so as not to have to spend 100 hours in the car all at once. I refused. I could not be swayed. I would drive it all in one sitting because I HAD TO COME HOME. NO ONE UNDERSTOOD HOW BADLY I NEEDED TO COME HOME. I am forty and I am no longer FLEXIBLE - I AM RIGID in my need for routine, for my friends and my family, for my nest, for My Man and My MRD.

So, I'm home. The Prozac has been re-filled. I have stopped crying. I'm making peace with the fact that I'm not a loner. I know this may seem disjointed and that these realizations are not a big deal. It may seem disorganized. But, that is just what my brain looks like right now. I'll blog it all out over the next few days. Sorry that I've been too depressed to blog. Here are two interesting photos. One is a pic of the moon on my way TO work. The other is the moon on my way home FROM work.


Blogger Brooke said...

Oh sweetheart...I understand. And on this day, I send you much love and understanding. And heart-shaped meds.

7:34 PM  
Blogger Ditsy Chick said...

I had a similar revelation about myself this year. I always loved to spend time by myself, but living in Phoenix without my husband (who I SWORE I did not want with me) was enough to drive me mad. I think I all but had a nervous breakdown.

I have to believe that this happens to all of us and it is not always a bad thing to rely on those we love to be there when we need them.

I hope you keep feeling better.

8:51 PM  
Blogger No name said...

Oh SV, how I've missed you. I've checked your blog everyday waiting to see your return. And now you're here. Yay!

Good for you for driving home all at once. You know best how to take care of you and obviously, the best thing was to go home.

I'm sending many good thoughts and energy...all the way from Canada! How's that for a Valentine?

9:17 PM  
Blogger The Gradual Gardener said...

It does happen to all of us. Needing your man, not just wanting him but actually needing him, is a good thing. A little scary sometimes, but still a good thing.

Sending you a hug...

5:11 AM  
Blogger Mignon said...

There's no shame in loving and needing the company of the person you've chosen to spend the rest of your life with. It's cliche, but we are creatures of habit. I think you should congratulate yourself on a two-week job well done, on choosing a mate that you want to be with all the time, and for having a group of people that missed you terribly while you were gone (that would be me and everyone else who obsessively refreshed your page for the last couple weeks).

And for god's sakes, I've been on lots of extended work trips and always forget something extremely important. Who in the world would ever be prepared enough to remember laundry money? Don't beat yourself up about that!

9:21 AM  
Blogger wordgirl said...

Be grateful for the insight into yourself. Self-discovery is fantastic, but the depression that follows happens because you have to allow a long-held perception about yourself to die in order that the reality can take its place. It's normal to feel strange and shaky about that. But don't forget to use that new information to get closer to happiness.

10:25 AM  
Blogger mama_tulip said...

Sending you a hug...I'm glad you're home, with The Man and The Mildly Retarded Dog.

10:45 AM  
Blogger Tink said...

Glad to have you back. It's totally natural to miss home. I leave for 2 days and miss it. And I have TWO MRDs.

11:51 AM  
Anonymous TB said...

Much love to you SV. I know how difficult it can be to lose your routine when you need it most.

Take good care of yourself. Lot's of hot baths, long walks with the MRD and snuggling with the Man.

12:43 PM  
Blogger Mrs. Harridan said...

Good to have you back! Routine is good - hopefully next time, it will be just enough alone time, and not too much.

1:19 PM  
Blogger Arabella said...

Welcome back! I think it's a bit inevitable to come to rely on those you live with, even when you loved living alone.

Good for you for getting through the two weeks!

5:56 AM  
Blogger DebbieDoesLife said...

Glad your home and I know you will feel better soon. It has to be an adjustment going and coming back. Tell us more detail about WHAT you were doing in LA. Please.

I can't imagine being away from my whacky little group of kids, dogs and one man for that long. I would be such a nutcase. I say they drive me nuts but they actually make sure I don't drive myself nuts.

8:01 AM  

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