06 January 2012

I Wear Glasses

I wear glasses.  Every day, no matter where I am and what I do, these glasses are on me.  And they color how I see the world.

Because these aren't regular glasses - though I do wear those as well.  No, these are the special glasses that you hear about, usually when talking about someone overly optimistic.  You know the ones that I mean.  The ones with the rose tinted lenses.

But mine aren't rose tinted.  Or, at least, they aren't always rose tinted.  Mine are transitions lenses.  They slip from a rosy gold to a uniform gray, sometimes in a matter of minutes, sometimes over the period of several hours or days.  And they don't transition based on the sunlight.  The transition based on... honestly, I'm not sure.

Because one minute, I can be sitting in my home, feeling the warm sunlight spilling through the windows.  The world around me tinges faintly with the brightness of that sun.  My thoughts become clearer.  My mind more focused.  I can see possibilities and answers that I'd never imagined before.  I am convinced, thanks to that glow, that I can do anything I set my mind to.  Be a good mommy. Lose weight.  Complete 101 tasks in 1,001 days.  Make a name for myself in the Blogging community.  I can be who I want to be.

But then the lenses start to darken a little.  Maybe it's the sun going behind a cloud.  Maybe it's a letter or a blog post that I've read. Maybe it's children coming home and wrecking in 10 minutes things that took me 3 hours to put to rights.  Maybe it's nothing.  But the lenses darken and the doubts start to surface.  My son is obese How much of it is my fault?  Am I using genetics as a crutch?  The kids won't listen and I lose my temper.  Am I scaring them for life?  What makes me think I can lose weight?  I've tried for 30-odd years to be skinny and it's never happened.  What's so different now that I didn't have before?  I've never been able to follow through with anything longer than a couple weeks.  What makes me think that I'll stick with something for 101 days.  My blog is boring and derivative.  There are so many more interesting ones out there, ones getting the traffic.  What makes me think I can compete in this arena?

By the time this last doubt has crossed my mind, the lenses show the grayness of the world.  Yes, the sun is shining through the window, but it's a weak winter sun rather than a bright summer sun.  There are still spots on the carpet that I missed getting up, or particles near my baseboards that anyone with even one bad eye would notice the minute they walk in. I am a failure.  I am kidding myself that I'll ever be good or successful at anything.  My kids will never obey me, so why do I try?  Even when I try to discipline them, they don't seem to care.  So why am I doing this?  Maybe I should just let the world pass me by.  It will be happier without my constant presence.

The lenses do eventually regain their rosy glow, but it takes much longer for them to transition from dark to light than they did from light to dark.  It is harder to see the beauty in even a winter sunbeam when the doubts draw my attention from the edge of my vision.

Yes, I wear glasses.  Special glasses.

They're called Depression.