(Explicit language advisory.)
Well, I lost my shit tonight.
I yelled at the neighbour’s teenaged son for driving a thousand miles an hour on our street while I was walking with my daughter. I called him out in my, “I’m a parent, I’m an adult, I know better than you” yell-y, kind of way. It wasn’t pretty.
I lost it because I have three kids and I try so hard to protect them. I lost it because I’m tired and overwhelmed –and because, six weeks into summer vacation, I feel like I want to run away, for real. And now, I feel like an asshole for not being able to keep it together.
You don’t have to suffer from depression to feel that, some days, it’s all too much; the crushing weight of life filled with expectation and responsibility is a lot to manage even for the most stable mind.
Money, kids, work, relationships, cars, insurance, meals, cell phone plans, pets, grocery shopping and laundry – all the self constructed weirdness we call living, is overwhelming. The façade that enforces the idea that we need to be more, be better – be everything is maddening. And I’m mad. I’m mad that as a society we can no longer distinguish the difference between what’s important and the perception of importance. I’m mad that I don’t know what the right answer was in this situation. Doing ‘what’s right’, having a reasonable conversation with this young man, without accusatory verbal domination is the ‘better’ way, but in that moment, I didn’t believe it would save my kids if they were caught in the cross fire between a two-ton vehicle and the asphalt.
Depression – such a loaded word. It doesn’t have to mean a crippling day-to-day existence, it can mean – losing your shit on a dark road, beside your house, at a teenager you barely know. This is the kind of depression that can surround each one of us in its most pervasive form called, getting by. Getting by is the unspoken answer to the question, “How are you doing?” Some days, “I’m great”, and some days, “I lose my shit” – but most days, “I’m getting by”. It’s the answer that fills the years between not-young and not-old, the decade where you are getting there, but you aren’t quite there yet.
Tomorrow I will consider apologizing to the neighbour; not for trying to educate him about the perils of speeding on our street but for imposing that education with lightening reaction and a fierce anger that was about more than driving recklessly.
(Sigh) But first I will rest.
I will take care of myself so I can feel the lightness about life that I love. I will recharge my soul so that I have something left to give – so next time, I won’t feel so devoid of an emotional reserve and I can keep my shit long enough to have a reasonable conversation with a person that one day will be me – wondering if there is a better way.
Love and hugs people – love and hugs.