L— came home late last night and shaved her head. Her raven locks, which we'd only dyed in the last month, lay in a heap in the wastebasket. She wrapped her slender, milky arms across my shoulders and said, "I've been so worried about you, Mom."
I hit a midlife crisis and my kid shaves her head because she's concerned about me. Somehow this all makes sense.
I sat in my psychiatrist's office today. Back on the pills, I'm searching for just the right med cocktail and we're not off to a good start. The lithium is a reliable standby, but finding an atypical antipsychotic to keep my lability even keel is another matter. I don't respond well to these drugs. The first we tried—Vraylar—I wouldn't recommend to anyone. Shrink thought I'd like it for the upward swing it tends to give patients. That it did. I hit a two-week hypomanic joyride complete with med induced hallucinations, both auditory and visual. I bought a lot of second hand clothes, lost a lot of sleep, took a few unfortunate risks, wrote more than I've written in months, and used a few self-medicating substances that I haven't broken into for years. I flirted a little more than I should, ended up in the ER with a panic attack that I went in convinced was a heart attack. I tell all of this to my shrink and my therapist, tell them I suspect a midlife crisis, and they both said, "But of course."
This is not the response I expected.
L— texts me from the next room: "I'm a mini-Sinead, dude. Like if I wanna be any cool dope chick besides you, it's her."
And what can I say in return?
Mr. PNU is so understanding as to elicit guilt rather than defensiveness. Most people respond the same way. "Of course you're having a midlife crisis."
You can see a list of the signs here.
So I walk the tracks at the switchyard in the morning, capture images, dance alongside the train cars, listen to the rumble of the world. I drive to the Slate Canyon lookout and watch the sun go down. I read poetry, fold origami swallows, mount my own photography, drive, drive, drive. If I had the cash I'd get that one tattoo we're all allowed. And in between my music taste has slipped backward twenty years. Me. Nine Inch Nails. Nirvana. Sisters of Mercy. Perception, perception, perception. It's great and it's not. Kids talk about the feels. I'm smack in the middle of every possible emotion. It can be overwhelming. I left Facebook out of fear that I'd blabber intimate details of my life to those who oughtn't be aware. That's one of the joys of the distress that goes along with elevated moods. Detail diarrhea.
I don't know that I don't know who I am, even if that's a feature of the midlife crisis. This is a regressive representation of me: pre-children (with children), pre-marriages (with husband), pre-giving a damn about conforming (while living in a cul-de-sac in a predominantly Mormon neighborhood). All mixed in with post-don't-give-a-damn about people, so that so far I've only hurt myself more than I've really damaged anyone else. Point for myself there. Hurting people sucks.
Tonight I started yet another trail of an atypical. Just because I'd like to reign in the lability, even if my shrink thinks it's completely understandable.
How to deal with your own midlife turbulence? Message me. I'll make you an origami bird. Maybe I'll take a photo and send it. I could write you poetry. Just jump on board for this thing's duration. You can spend your crisis by being among my muses.
After all, I'm presently in love with the world.