I've been feeling a bit melancholy the last few days. Sort of hard on myself in my head: like when I make a small mistake or a bad decision, I don't just laugh at my clumsiness and move on--I take it as a sign that Something Is Seriously Wrong With Me. Some of this is due to stress (will my thesis ever be officially signed off? Will I ever get the three signatures I need on the one key piece of paper? Will the gods find yet another way of thwarting my good planning--so far we've had (1) catastrophic wildfires, (2) my forgetfulness, and (3) really terrible Halloween traffic?)
But I digress. The melancholy is more than just stress, though. I really think that it's partly hormonal. I say this because before Lucy was born and I stopped, ahem, taking things to make sure she wasn't born, I went into a tailspin of self-loathing for a month. It was bad enough that I went to see a therapist I'd been to a few years earlier. She asked me a few questions, until she found out that I'd stopped taking the pill, and said, do you get like this every month? And I considered, and realized that, yes, indeed I did, but it had just been worse than usual. She told me not to worry, that there were things I could do to not feel so melancholy (like exercise and change my diet) but that it was also okay to just be blue at the end of the month, kind of cleansing, and I could feel the feelings if I wanted to.
Having had the steady hormones of pregnancy/nursing, I had forgotten about those monthly blues. Until my face started breaking out and I started cussing at myself because I accidentally changed Lucy's diaper when it didn't really need changing.
Being a woman is weird. You feel things that seem wholly related to circumstances, or Life, or Who You Are, but there are also these weird chemicals floating around in your brain that play a much bigger role in how you feel than you'd like to think. And not that the feelings aren't valid--it's not like the weird loathing is wholly chemical--it feels more like my defenses are lower right now, and the subtle insecurities I feel are just magnified. And it's not like men don't have these chemically induced moods--of course they do--it's just their chemicals are constant in a way ours aren't, and thus they're easier to forget about.
To be honest, I feel weird posting about this because my last two commenters are male, but you two can hang with this topic, right? (No comment necessary. Feel free to stay away from the blog for a few days, until the estrogen blows over).