Slipping away

It’s another fabulous fall day. It’s raining, it’s cloudy, all the lamps are on and it’s only eight o’clock in the morning, and it’s the kind of weather where I just want to snuggle on the couch, light some candles, and open up a good book. S is playing in his darkened playroom, trying to figure out which toy makes the loudest noise when banged on his plastic drum. And I’m here waiting, wishing the time away.

I feel like I spend half my life anticipating things. Waiting for better things to come. These days, the better things are weekends, when C is home and we can be a whole family again. Working evenings is great, and don’t get me wrong, I love being home during the day. But there’s not a lot of family together time during the week.

Once when I was little, I shook an old mercury thermometer to get it ready for my mom, who needed to take my brother’s temperature. It hit the edge of the counter and broke open, the large drop of mercury slipping down the bowl of the sink and into the drain. I watched it go, not knowing what it was, but thinking it was beautiful.

That’s how I feel about these fall days. September was gone in a flash. Now October is just sliding through my fingers in a blur of rain, falling leaves, and the tedium of our daily routine. I wish for the weekends and when the weekends are here I wish for sleep and when I wake up I wish my family would just let me to lie on the couch for hours on end, watching HGTV and wasting the day away.

I didn’t used to be like this. I used to try to live in the moment. Well, sometimes. And if I wasn’t doing that, I had a full-time job that required me to be thoughtful, purposeful, and on top of my game. My job still requires that of me, and I like to believe I do my best there. But I only work 20 hours a week. And those hours are in the evening, when everyone else is home with their families, eating dinner, putting their kids to bed, and settling down on the couch to watch this week’s episode of The Mindy Project. No one sees me. No one needs me. No one cares.

I had my appointment yesterday, and as part of my new treatment plan, I’m weaning off one drug and starting another. There will be about a month where I take both, but that’s necessary, to gradually introduce the new drug into my system as the old one takes a bow and walks offstage. So I’m wondering if my new, gloomy outlook has anything to do with the fact that I have less serotonin in my system. Or, is it just me? Is this just how I am, and do I have to actually have to do the work before I see a change for the better?