Tuesday, July 7, 2009

End of the tunnel

A lot has happened in the week-plus since I last posted, enough that I feel a little guilty for not writing sooner. I’ve seen the greatest fireworks of my life, for instance. And I’ve been diagnosed with Seasonal Affective Disorder.

I have no clue how to portray this as the positive thing it absolutely is, except to say that if you periodically felt exhausted, hopeless and overwhelmed at the tiniest obstacles, and sad for no reason at all, it would be your dearest wish for someone with a prescription pad to tell you why.

This happened to me last week, after the sunshine I’d written about here was long gone and I was having a really hard time again. Everywhere I went, I trudged. It felt like a different person was at the controls of my emotions, making lousy choices with no relation to my life or who I am. Fed up and partly inspired by this woman, I marched up to the Mental Health wing of Harvard University Health Services for a walk-in appointment.

For too long, I had been reluctant to see someone because I wondered how many hours we would have to play tell-me-about-your-mother before they believed that I was healthy and happy aside from this reaction to the rain. Now I wish I’d gone much sooner, because the answer turned out to be… about one and a half. After a brief intake appointment and a single, perfect session, I was literally sent home with a prescription phototherapy light. It’s a loaner until my own comes in the mail—free of charge, of course, thanks to insurance. Proof, once again, that Harvard does not kid around.

This may be the most personal I’ve ever gotten with this blog, and part of me is sorry for the overshare. But the moral of this story—if you feel crummy, TELL SOMEONE—just seemed too important to keep quiet. I also wanted any of you who were worried by the tone of my recent posts to know that things are looking up.

So to balance out the drama (and prove that I am in fact functioning) here are some nice, everyday details of Cambridge life!

Both Russell’s office and mine were closed Friday, so after a leisurely breakfast we trekked out to the Target in Somerville. We needed some things, like a new alarm clock and a specific size of fluorescent lightbulb, that our tiny neighborhood grocery store doesn’t have. We also replaced about half our bathroom towels. I thought picking out colors was super fun. Russell disagreed, but can’t deny that the bathroom looks awesome now. Isn’t that how it always works?

Saturday, we cooked out on the patio with great success, despite extra uncooperative charcoal. Then we headed for the Charles River to watch fireworks. We joined thousands of people (and Cambridge is the less crowded side!) sitting on blankets, listening to Neal Diamond sing with the Boston Pops, and then watching some of America’s best fireworks literally yards from the boats where they launched. I have never oohed and aahed harder in my life!

Tired as we were the next day, with my mom’s visit and the one-year mark of our tenancy approaching, Russell and I agreed to a huge clean-out of the apartment. I bleached half the bathroom, polished everything I could reach, and literally spent time on my hands and knees wiping out dusty corners with Windex. Russell took all the rugs outside for a good shake. And our Mr. Clean Magic Eraser—buy yourself one right now, I cannot recommend them enough!!—made the kitchen counter look like it had never touched food.

The place feels so amazing now that Russell and I can’t stop remarking how worthwhile all the effort was. It’s like a fresh start, something I’ve also received at work because a beloved administrative assistant just retired and everyone, sensing my need for sunshine, insisted I move from my cubicle into her giant-windowed office.

She has great style, and a lot of her belongings are still around, making the place already feel like home. Even on cloudy days like today, my new city view manages to lift my spirits. All things considered, it seems the universe is finally conspiring to help me get well.

1 comment:

mimi said...

I can attest that it really is a GREAT office!!!