@loripalminteriTweets by @loripalminteri
No Numb November No More
A couple years ago I published a blog called, “I May Need Your Help,” a vulnerable plea knowing that November has been a pattern trouble month for me for years. When, years ago, I realized I was damned with a properly severe major depression problem, I tried watching it to see what triggers it, if anything, so to give myself tools to stave off these blue periods. I had found that there was often little reason as to why my mind suddenly became so adrift to the dark side, save for the months of November and February that seemed to be staples for reoccurring depressions. It wasn’t until a couple years ago when I finally decided to allow others in, in a rare effort to see if others might be able to soften this time for me.
One of these people who stepped up asked me if this year was different. That I seemed to be in a much better place. It’s true. The cycle appears to be broken. I still wake up dreadfully tired most days, but not with that dread that life is stale, pointless.
Sure, life might still be pointless. Who am I to say? I honestly have no idea. For me, the whole point of life is to be happy and to bring, as much as we can, happiness unto others. And when I make my nephews and niece laugh, this notion makes more sense to me than math to a scientist. Math never made any sense to me, ever. Which is infuriating knowing that the universe works according to math. Something my brain will never, ever, grasp— outside of an elementary version of it. Hell, my seven year old nephew is better at math than I am. He likes to do these sort of pop quizzes, asking me, “Aunt Lori, does x plus x equal x.” Why are you walking around doing math in your head? Wouldn’t you rather talk about dinosaurs or Star Wars?
When I was as young as he was, way back in early elementary school, I knew that whatever I was going to be when I grew up, I didn’t want it to involve doing any math. Math hated me and I hated math right back. Plus, there were enough people in the world who were intrinsically good at math, it’s not like I would be needed anyway. Even back then I understood there were different types of intelligence, and I was already miles ahead of peers when it came to certain emotional intelligence. Adults would compliment my parents that I was 8 going on 40. I didn’t understand why I was that way, but it made my parents happy, which, in turn, made me happy, because I was/am a middle child with a heavy dose of that syndrome.
Anyone who came to know me in my adult life knows me as being a bit cold, usually distant and often taking a neutral stance on issues and things people are most passionate about. But every shrink I’ve ever seen has told me within 10 minutes I’m the opposite. Overly sensitive, hyper aware of how others are feeling and so much so affected by it that I created a dense shell to live in, so to not get hurt or hurt others. I loathe the idea of being so sensitive, of being fragile. Why? Because that inner child that most of us kill off before puberty is still alive. This ice queen version of myself I subconsciously created to protect the original version of myself. And the ice queen is an overly defensive knight and a trained killer.
Which version of myself am I? Very much both. And if any of this sounds crazy to you, I’d accuse you of lacking knowledge of the basic human condition. Some people are very simple. And some of us aren’t. It’s when you’re at odds with yourself that makes you vulnerable to darkness and you start to become as numb as my toes when Raynaud’s syndrome sets in.
Sometimes the inner child and the ice queen are in sync. And together they waltz. The ice queen realizes the inner child isn’t weak, not at all. Quite the opposite. The inner child is the rock for which they both stand. In turn, the inner child is aware of how terrified the ice queen is of losing the inner child. This is the reason she overcompensates on defense. In their dance, a balanced ying and yang, makes Lori stable. The more stable I am the more I’m aware of how much I have to live for. How many people and things actually make my heart sing. And I’m grateful. And that’s how I feel this November. Eternally grateful.