The other night I had a moment. It’s not surprising given the insane week I’ve had, the time of the month, and the general state of craziness that is everyday (read: life in New York City), and I actually can’t remember the last time I “had a moment.” The this that inspired it was fairly insignificant, as it usually is, because the this is something small and then it becomes me wondering about my job, my relationships, my future, my ability to be happy and fulfilled now and in the future, and for some reason I always feel fat and unattractive as all of these thoughts race through my head. I’ve been like this forever – blame it on the extra X chromosome, my generally emotional disposition, or the socialization of women even in our post-modern society (whichever is your brand of justification). Anyone who’s known me for long enough to see me when I stop being polite has learned to tread carefully when I get like this. The good ones know too that I have to wallow for a little while, and then need a little push to get moving again. (Rachel, what you said in that meeting this morning has nothing to do with what kind of a grandmother you’re going to be one day. I think you’re spiraling). And after the obligatory resistance we change topics, laugh, throw in a movie or go for a run, and then it’s behind me. Lather, Rinse, Repeat.
Friday night, exhausted, I planned to go to bed early, but my plans were thwarted as I got sucked into my own head. I swam around in there for a while, tumbling and kicking through scenarios and lamenting the fact that I’d never get to sleep. And that I had to get up in the morning. And maybe I should take something? Or call someone? At least since college I know how to ask for help. So I sent out a couple texts, fishing, expecting most people would be out socializing like I would be on any other given Friday night, and I poured myself a glass of water to cool the fire. I laid on my back for a while, put on some music that crooned, rolling over from time to time waiting for a response. Time passed and there was none – not surprising – but what did surprise me is that by the time one had come I was sitting up, calm and cross-legged, typing away and feeling fairly calm. I relayed the feelings to my friend, sorting out for her which ones were valid, which ones would eventually prompt actions, and which ones were merely conditioned responses (feeling fat). We chatted for a while until I confessed I was tired, at which point we said our I love yous, and I crawled into bed snuggling comfortably beneath a fuzzy yellow blanket. And I was out like a light.
I had broken the fever all by myself. I appreciated extroverting about the issue, but I had sorted out everything I needed to on my own; I was really only sharing my findings as she listened politely. I knew when to say when, and when I needed to sleep more than I needed to feel. And what’s more, when I woke up the next day, I’d practically forgotten about it all and had returned to being the rational, calm self that so frequently inhabits my body these days.
R: It’s like we’re becoming well adjusted or something!
B: Well, I don’t know about that…”