I had a week last week. You too? You know the kind of week I mean—the terrible, horrible, no good very bad day that morphs into two terrible, horrible, no good, very bad days, then three, then feels like a week—an eternity—long before it hits seven—the kind of awful week that’s barely endurable even when it’s a day—the kind of week that feels as if it is a month, a year long—the kind of week that feels it will never end…
…but, mercifully, eventually, it does.
I think it’s over, but, I don’t know. Its defining mood comes back every now and then, washes over me in a black wave—no, it’s over, it must be over, I can’t endure aother day of that week, be over, now!
Nothing bad happened by the way. Well, except the world and life—but, really. No external trigger at all, unless one can continue to plead macro causes—and I am sick of blaming the pandemic for my moods.
This beast, let’s claim for a change of pace, came entirely from within.
Mostly recovered—at least, not in a full-on hate for the world, myself, and you—I meet a friend for coffee and distraction.
Them: How have you been?
Jane: Fine. By which I mean, fucked up, insecure, neurotic and egotistical, as Louise Penny’s Ruth Zardo would put it. I had a week. Better now. Have you seen…
Them: Why did you call me? You know I’m here for you!
(When I say call, by the way, I mean text, as do they. Don’t call me. The phone rings, and I stare at it, confused—the only call I’m expecting is AHS to call if my COVID test is positive, and so now I’m freaking out, why did you do that to me? Just text, dammit.)
Jane: Yeah. I know. Pass the bean dip?
I like my friend. They’re good people and fun to hang out with. But I’ve learned that their ardent belief to the contrary, they are not there for me when I’m having a week. And not because they’re selfish or ungenerous or unfeeling. Quite the opposite. They will help me move, clean cook, rip out my a flooded basement. They will selflessly help me do a million things.
But when my emotional rollercoaster crashes, and I’m buried under its smoldering debris—hiding in bed on that no good day—I don’t call them.
I’ve called them in the past.
It’s gone like this:
Them: What’s happening?
Jane: Bad, no good day. Pain. Blackness. Suffering.
Them: OMG! I feel so bad for you! My heart is breaking! This is so horrible! I can’t stop thinking about how awful what you’re going through must be! I’m just shaking…
Jane: Hey, hey, take a deep breath. It’s not so bad. I’m fine.
(Thank you, Louise Penny, seriously, thank you.)
Them: Are you sure? Because I’m just totally devastated just from hearing…
Jane: Sorry. Over-reacted. I’m fine. Go have a bubble bath and smoke some weed. Think about puppies. Feel better?
Them: Yes. A little. Are you sure you’re fine?
Them: If there’s anything I can do to help—you know where I am.
Jane: Sure. Take care of yourself.
Empath fatigue, kittens, It’s a thing.
Anyway. My bad no good terrible horrible week is mostly over. I’ve decided to blame the moon and the stars (say one word about hormones and my menstrual cycle and I’ll clobber you with my coatrack).
I accept that the pandemic, stress about money, and adjustment to major life changes may have been a contributing factor—but, mostly, the moon, and, also, Mercury’s in retrograde again I bet (when isn’t it), and you know what that means, right?
Them: And you didn’t call me.
Jane: Yeah, no, you know I prefer to deal with these moods alone.
Which, to be frank, is a lie—I just don’t want to manage your mood on top of trying to survive my own, you know?
You: And how are you feeling today?
Jane: Fine. Thanks for asking. You?
You: Really fine? Or are you quoting Ruth Zardo again?
I don’t know. One or the other. Hungover from the mood, and not chipper, but semi-functional. I might work today.
I will work today.
I worked today.
Jane: Totally fine. Take care of yourself.