I am not sure if this is a real pattern or not (I sure as hell hope it is not.) but I seem to be having some rather challenging weekends that then bleed over into Monday and Tuesday of the following week.
Here is a rundown of events... none of which are actually bad, but all of them ended up leading to my very, very rough, emotional day on Monday:
Saturday... a pleasant overall day. My wife and I made some pea soup for dinner and at a big salad with this and a multi grain roll. It was quite good.
Sunday... We attended my wife's family reunion on her grandfather's side of the family. It was held at a distant cousin's home about 2.5 hours from our city. It was nice... good food (I ate mostly enchiladas and a lot of fruit and vegetables), pleasant company and fun activities (raffles, bingo, toy walk, etc.). We had a nice drive home as well and a comfortable evening including black bean toastadas my wife fixed when we returned home.
Monday... The storm of emotional turmoil began brewing on Sunday now that I look back in hindsight. The nice time we had at the reunion unfortunately triggered a wave of saddness in me about the loss of members of my side of the family... especially my mother, but also my father, very special Aunt A, very special Uncles C & K and my niece R. Most of Monday was spent FEELING very sad, but struggling to try to pull myself out of the horrible, overwhelming doldrums and utter despair I felt deep to the pit of my soul.
I have said this before, but it bears repeating because I still feel these emotions and am at a loss on how to work through them:
During the passing and deaths of all those relatives so close to me... my father, very special Aunt A, very special Uncles C & K and my niece R... I was very sad... but I was also able to cope fairly well in the knowledge that I NEEDED TO HELP those in my family who were hurting "more" than myself. For many of the above, I had to be strong to help my mother work through these very heart wrenching deaths... deaths that while hard for me, were much harder for her because of the closer lineage. Helping her during those sad time inadvertenly also helped me to heal and to cope with my own sadnesses. NOW, with my mother's passing, it is I who am at the pinnical of the harshness of hurt from the death. I do not have anyone to help, and I am the one who apprarentlly needs the help the most. While it is not as frequent as it had been, I still feel this overwhelming loss and despair frequently enough that I feel at a loss on what to do. On Monday, I must have cried at least 6 or 7 times, and my energy and focus were close to zero. Believe me when I say I tried numerous ways to pull myself "up", my wife and I took a short day trip, we went to a cheese factory, we went to very large fruit market and while those things were wonderful and spending time with her was wonderful, I could not shake the heavy blanket of sadness that was smothering me.
Between Monday and Tuesday, while sleeping, I had a horrific nightmare
. In this nightmare, I was offered the opportunity to make some extra money by teaching an endocrinology class to a group of 72 students on a different campus from my University... in another state. My wife and I agreed I should do this, and I went down there and found a room in an apartment with 5 other people. The odd thing was that I actually only met one person of the five others, for our schedules were so varied and hectic that none of us was there often and our paths crossed even less frequently than that. The enormous class (72 students in a 400-level course) was filled with students who seemed a chimeric blend of all the most agrrivating students I have had in the past... this entire group was foul mouthed, tempermental, and quite slovenly. Two or three students stood out in particular for being cranky, one student, Brad (who looked a lot like this fellow
), worked as a meat packer at the local grocery store and was trying to complete pre-med courses so he could apply to medical school. Another, Jen (who looked somewhat like this
) was a stuck-up "Valley Girl" type who came to "talk" to me every single day to complain about everything about the class that was keeping her from getting the "A" she "deserved" and tried to argue every single point of each and every exam given (her average was roughly 40%).
After a week or two of the course, there was a report on the news about a gruesome murder of a professor on campus. This man had been brutally vivisectioned... his head had been chopped in half and his torso split open from throat to navel with his various body organs and entrails eviscerated from his body and strewn about the scene.
This unnerved everyone on campus and it was even more difficult teaching. Then a second professor (this time a female) and then a third (male), and a fourth (female) were found murdered in the same fashion as the first each of the next several weeks.
We moved ahead to the last day of class prior to the final exam. I had a blinding headache from having had to listen to the harping of Jen for three hours that afternoon. I felt so horribly hurt and sad and angry. I just wanted to go back to the apartment and sleep. As this was a fairly well-populated city, as I was walking back to the apartment I kept walking past various coin-operated newspaper boxes. The paper on display in each screamed some sort of new headline about each of the grusome muders and what the police were attempting to do to find the killer. About two blocks before I reached the apartment, I took a slightly different route down a side street and happened to stumble upon a few shops I had not known about previously. The first was a little, tiny hole-in the wall type tobacconist, and I purchased an ounce of a apple tinctured burley, and next door to that was a liquor store. I walked in and purchased a small pint of gin and a large bottle of tonic water, and proceeded to the apartment.
As usual, no one was in the apartment, and I quickly went to my room after getting a handful of ice cubes from the kitchen and a glass. I sat on the bed and was pouring myself a gin and tonic and set it aside so the ice could get it nice and cold, and filled the bowl of my pipe. Setting them on the desk next to the bed, I layed down for a moment to try to relax. I heard rustling in the apartment and knew that one of the others in the apartment had come home as well. The soreness and discomfort I felt behind my eyes from my headache was just starting to lessen a bit, and I sat up and reached over to my glass and my pipe, when the door was violently kicked in to my room and there stands Brad, with a shinny meat cleaver in his hand and a look of rage in his eyes. All at once, I suddenly knew Brad was one of my unseen roomates, and as he charged into my room, I knew my life was over. He wrestled me back onto the bed and was just swinging his large meat cleaver down to my skull where it would have easily split my cranium apart much like a walnut shell... when I woke up.
I was covered in sweat from stem to stern. I was also feeling panic throughout my body. I layed there a moment and tried to relax but could not. It was stiflyingly hot upstairs and I was feeling so out of sorts I did not know what to do. My wife stirred quietly next to me and groggily whispered to me "What is wrong?" I told her I had a nightmare and could not sleep. I got out of bed, went downstairs, and sat for a few moments in the family room. I could still not relax. I went into the basement and layed upon the futon and cried myself back to sleep.
Tuesday... The nighmare of the evening before did not allow me to get much rest at all. After crying myself back to sleep, I slept very poorly and awoke at 7am feeling more tired and sleepy than before I went to bed Monday night. I would have stayed on that futon all day I believe, but fortunately my sister and her husband had invited my wife and me to a round of golf with them, with a tee time of 9am. The four of us had a very very nice time. I did well, having not golfed in a very long time. I had one par, three bogies (one over par) and two double bogies (two over par). On the remaining three holes (the first, the seventh and the ninth) I had very poor concentration and focus, and hence did not do as well. But, in the end my brother-in-law and I both tied for first, and interestingly my wife and my sister were both only 2 strokes behind us. It was quite fun. The four of us then went to a rather unique craft shop tucked away in a nearby town and housed in an old barn, and then had lunch. I ordered a chicken taco salad, my wife ordered a chicken oriental salad, and my sister and brother-in-law each ordered a cheeseburger basket combo.
The day with them helped me feel quite a bit better.
Today (Wednesday)... I slept much better last night, and therefore I am hopeful that my extreme doldrums were simply a 24 hour affair. I do not feel actually fully chipper and enthused at the moment, but neither do I feel utterly lethargic and hopeless. It is a big improvement over Monday and Monday evening. My goal today is to do some further laboratory organization and then spend time working out.
Wish me luck, please.