Suburban Butch Dad Report: Home Remedy

Hello blog friends, I’ve been having quite a roller-coaster couple of weeks.  The actual calendar events aren’t all that impressive, but my moods have been swinging like the 20s.  Yes, it is possible that I am entering that phase that starts with ‘men’ and ends with ‘pause’, though honestly it’s been on my mind to unpause men… ahhh, well.  Hormones out of whack? Maybe.  A bit extra chunky for what my body is comfortable with?  Yeah, definitely.  Frustrated with myself for not doing any kind of bike commuting for almost a year?  Yes, that as well.  Feeling sad and mopey and missing my lover and feeling like it will never get better again?   Ohgodyessosomuch.

What did I do about it?  I moaned and complained on Facebook, I think I ranted on Twitter, too.  I vented and curled up on Roxy’s lap for comfort (in a virtual sense) — we’ve been taking turns, she’s not having any Barbie Dream Picnic either.  I’ve had some wretched days and weekends where I felt the bank of my energy and passion overdrawn.  I’ve felt as though the flesh container of my body was so full of toxic foul moods and held-back feelings and the stress of HOLDING-IT-ALL-TOGETHER-FOR-EVERYONE-ELSE that I was sure I’d burst open and it would all finally be over.

But I recovered each time.  With huge helpings of Roxy’s warm, loving, encouraging words.   Through the sweet giggling antics of my three year old and the wiser-than-her-age compassion and empathy of my 12 year old.  Through the echo-sounding of my friends letting me know through the fog of self-recrimination and doubt that I wasn’t alone.

And then I decided to do something about it.

A friend suggested a hormone test, to see if I’d entered the land of even wonkier hormonal surge and fail, but I’ll wait for my annual to broach that subject with my NP.  I decided to first tackle two items from my list of self loathing failures:  my weight and the lack of exercise in my life.  My weight bothers me not because I think I should have some svelte, hunky 20-somethings body (a little young for me, most likely), but because I have been very dis-eased lately.  I can feel in my back and my joints that I need to drop and tighten.  I’ve had some moments recently where I didn’t need a cuff to tell me my blood pressure had risen to alarming levels.  Unease in my body leads to lack of confidence, discomfort in my body leads to poor sleep, and all of that leads to deep holes of black depression that I end up feeling I deserve to be left in.

So, I’ve started biking to work again.  Not all the way, it’s 10 miles each way to my current consulting gig so I’m doing my own park and ride.  I drive to my company’s office and bike the remaining 3.7 miles.  Well, I’ve done it once so far, and will do it again tomorrow and hope to get into a rhythm of 3-4 times a week.  When I was in the heyday of bike commuting a few years ago, it was 4.5 miles each way, so this is very doable.  Once it gets easy, I’ll choose a new starting point.  Eventually it becomes a matter of time, as in, how much time can I give myself to get to and from work, considering how busy my family is these days.

I started reclaiming my biking legs this past weekend, with a 5 mile loop with  my big kid.  We rode to a local bike store to pick up a biking map of the county, then over to Big Tom’s for excellent milkshakes, then to Twister Donuts for treats to bring home.  It was nice, and I did better than I had expected, which gave me confidence to tackle the ride on Monday.  The bonus was spending time with my big kid, who I adore (except when she’s acting like a teenager, which is more and more frequently).  She’s so much like me, sometimes talking to her is like talking to a younger version of me.

And that’s my home remedy for the deep, dark, stinky, suffocating blues that have been dogging me lately.  It’s not a complete cure, I had trouble sleeping last night because my brain decided to obsess on negative shit, and got more and more bizarre about what it threw at me.  When I did sleep, I had mean sad nightmares.  So this morning was hard again, feeling physically drained and on the edge of tears.  And, once again, Roxy helped me up out of the hole. Even though she was also on the edge of tears.  I’m a lucky boy, that’s for damned sure.

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