Monday, November 14, 2011

Feeling Like a Cockroach

I struggled with depression for years. Oddly enough, since I got pregnant, and in particular since I gave birth, my moods have markedly improved. In particular, my lows are no longer as low, and last for a much shorter time. However, I still do get very sad/gloomy from time to time, and when feeling this way will spin down into the vortex of low self-esteem, self-hatred and constant internal berating (the depressed Grace voice is incredibly mean and abusive to the other parts of Grace). In the last couple days, I have been feeling pretty down for a variety of reasons, partly because I am not feeling perfectly well, partly because it's being raining a lot, partly because I can't control my temper well.

When I am really sad, I will say that I feel like a cockroach, and in my more down moments will claim to be a cockroach, channeling poor Gregor Samsa I suppose. B pointed out today that indeed I actually transform  myself: I start dressing sloppily in dark colors (black or dark brown) and don't regularly groom myself; stop cleaning the house, which means it quickly becomes a pigsty and uncomfortable to be in; stop eating regular meals, preferring to eat Oreos or bread covered with just mayonnaise at odd times and in odd places (ie not at the table); and darken the house by not turning on lights or opening shades (in general I love light and keep the house as bright as possible). The natural endpoint to this is me in bed, overweight and bloated, surrounded by crumbs and junk food packages, dressed in dirty black sweats, in a dark and filthy environment: in fact, as close to a cockroach as a human can get.

It is interesting I go through this mini-transformation, because it's as if I feel compelled to physically act out my internal feelings. The good thing about it is that B can always tell how my emotional state is doing: wearing all black is a bad sign,  and when combined with a large pile of dirty dishes, he knows there is trouble. So he provided me with some psychological assistance (in moments like these, it's very handy that both his parents were mental health professionals), and now the house is clean and I am wearing bright blue.

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