When my husband travels overseas for months at a time for work, I go through a roller-coaster of emotions. I usually start out numb for a few days and then I’m fine. But after a few weeks, I start to get depressed. And I usually feel it coming on ahead of time. It will manifest itself at first in anxiety attacks, complete with tightened chest muscles, short breath, and red, itchy blotches across my chest and up my neck. Then, as I force myself to maintain composure and control, for the sake of my kids, I start to internalize the stress and I begin to cry over stupid things like So You Think You Can Dance choreography and realizing we’re out of milk when I’ve already poured myself coffee. I oversleep a lot during this phase and my kids end up missing a few days of school. Also, I will sometimes realize that it has been a few days since I’ve showered. Usually, my oldest daughter will walk up and sniff my hair and say, “Eww. Hair stinks. Gonna  puke.”

Way to all of a sudden get verbal there, Kid.

Anyway, so yesterday I recognized where I was in my cyclical depression and as I tried to pull off my leg warmers, I realized something else. It’s not 1984 and I don’t own leg warmers! So I decided, “That’s enough of that!” and grabbed a razor and hit the shower.

It’s amazing how much better I feel. I got up in time to take my kids to school today. (They didn’t actually attend though because the power is out and won’t be back until next week.) And I have lamb chops marinating in the fridge and just sent one of the boys out to buy me a head of lettuce. I took my younger daughter to buy the yarn she needs for home economics. I’m only two loads away from catching up the laundry. So, things are looking up. And if it would just rain, I’d be a smiling, happy person again. (I love the rain.) 

And maybe, just maybe, I’ll make fresh buttermilk biscuits with cheese and fried eggs for the kids for supper tonight before they go to bed. And we’ll read aloud on my bed like we used to do when they were younger and I won’t miss my husband and my son so much and I’ll be able to sleep without waking up all groggy and blue again….for a while. But it’s a cycle that I go through every couple of months while he’s gone and I recognize that it’s just a part of me. 

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