It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything here…
I was busy with family in town over Christmas, and assumed that I’d be back to wish you a Happy New Year on January 1. Or at least by January 7.
What’s that? February is right around the corner? I noticed that too. And for the life of me, I don’t know why I’ve been so resistant to the idea of just writing something already.
Or actually – I do know why. I have been experiencing an unusually high level of anxiety lately. I say “unusually high” because while I admittedly always have one toe on the ledge, OHMYGOD who AM I and WHERE did my talent for dissociation go? Every morning I wake up feeling paralyzed – only propelling myself into motion because three small people require it of me. Luckily, it gets better as the day goes on and the beds get made and small tasks are accomplished. And exercise helps. And Prozac.
But it’s not normal. I haven’t had this deer caught in headlights perspective since my brush with PPD after Oliver was born. I remember that well. I also remember coming back to reality and thinking, “what the hell was that?” Unfortunately, knowing that I’m on the wrong side of the looking glass doesn’t make it feel any less dark.
This has been going on for well over a month. Or at least it was. Because a few days ago, I started watching a TV show about zombies.
If you know me well, you will think this is incredibly out of character. Because I LOATHE everything about the horror genre. Especially anything having to do with The Undead. I have never understood the appeal. Why is “scary” fun? What is it about grisly scenes of fictional carnage that make people shiver in delight?
You’re gathering a group of friends to order pizza and watch The Amityville Horror on Halloween night? Me? I’d rather give your grandpa a pedicure while watching back to back episodes of the Power Rangers.
So The Walking Dead isn’t a show that I would have expected to watch. Like – ever. I mean, post-apocalyptic terror CAN’T be good for my psyche on the best of days…
But the other night, when Chris and I sat down for some necessary escapism via Netflix streaming, the options were limited. Chris didn’t want to watch anything BBC or Sci-Fi (or Sci-Fi BBC) and I wasn’t up for action hero movies. Then we happened upon The Walking Dead, and in some weird combination of Chris’ friends telling him how good it is and my recollection that Tom and Lorenzo always write about it (I love their TV recaps), I lost my mind entirely and watched the first two episodes.
I’m surprised I survived.
But here’s the weird thing – as much as it kind of makes me want to light the television on fire and throw it out the window (don’t worry, this will never happen – I’m not crazy…and we only have one TV), this horror story that comes straight out of my worst nightmares has done wonders for my anxiety.
I mean HOW can you possibly see the current world as a bleak and depressing place when you hold it up alongside one where dead people roam the earth sniffing around for living flesh to devour? My life may have its challenges, but it’s not that bad.
So is that all I needed to snap out of my funk? A zombie intervention? Probably not. These things ebb and flow on their own. And as with anything else, there are other factors at play. I have a new project that has been incredibly motivating…I’m feeling so hopeful about the progress that Oliver has made this year in school and what that might mean for his future… More and more, I find myself spending less time worrying about what might happen and more time looking forward to all that is possible.
So I’m not giving The Walking Dead full credit. But I’m also not undermining the power of a reality check via bloodthirsty corpses. Either way – it makes me feela lot less anxious about the bad economy.
Happy New Year!