I’m so back and forth in how I feel about my childlessness these days. My moods swing like a pendulum at times. Last weekend, out of the blue, I had one of my off-the-charts anxiety attacks about it. I don’t know where it came from. I had a lovely Saturday morning and Saturday afternoon, but Saturday evening it hit me like a train. I guess I started thinking about how much my life doesn’t seem to change from year to year, and with a whole new year stretching out in front of me it all feels so overwhelming. I woke up Sunday morning with the wet blanket of depression on me. It literally felt like I was carrying something heavy on my shoulders. I didn’t go to church, and I cried on hubby’s shoulder for a couple of hours. He was frustrated with me, because he doesn’t want/doesn’t know how to be my counselor. I get over it pretty quickly, although I do carry around a low-level malaise most of the time. Maybe that’s normal maybe it’s not, but I function well most days and have many good to down-right great days. I think the low-level malaise is something you obtain after any great loss. It’s always going to be lurking deep, down inside no matter how much you heal, and will rise to the surface if the conditions are just right.
I’ve been working on the anxiety (with related depression) in the past few years, and I can say that it’s definitely more under control than it was two years ago, but I do have the occasional no good, rotten, very bad day. Oddly, the bad days usually come during weekends and holidays when I have more down time and more time to think. I’m a chronic over-thinker/analyzer, and believe me, there are days I envy the ditzy people of the universe. Oh, to just turn my brain off would be bliss!
Fast forward to mid-week…I’ve been hearing of a lot of folks my age dealing with rebellious teenagers and prodigal adult children, and I think, “Whew! I’m glad I’ll never have to deal with that!” I even voiced this aloud yesterday at lunch with my coworkers. They were talking about planning, applying, and paying for college and just listening to everything they have to do just wore me out. When I told them that it’s things like this that makes me grateful I don’t have kids it led to a very open and honest discussion about kids vs. no kids. I said, “Well, you’re going through these headaches now, but at least you’ll have someone to take of you in your old age.” They said, “Oh, you can’t even count on that” which is true. I knew it was a bad statement the minute it left my mouth, but I was trying to comfort them in an awkward way. Anyway, it was great, thoughtful conversation, and I think they understood my side somewhat.
So to sum it up…last weekend I’m in the throes of depression about my childlessness and at the end of this week I’m almost relieved to be childless.
Welcome to my life…