The Doldrums

The Doldrums

sailboat in the doldrums

I was probing my mental status this morning and trying to find a word to describe how I’ve been feeling for the last week and it came to me – doldrums. I’m in the doldrums. My mental ship has been becalmed. The thing about your ship being ‘becalmed’ is that it is not calming.

Doldrum – a state or period of inactivity, stagnation, or depression. A spell of listlessness or despondency. A state or period of inactivity, stagnation, or slump. A dull, listless, depressed mood; low spirits.

You get the picture. This series of definitions from various online sources hits the nail on the head. I’ve felt stagnate, lightly depressed, listless, in a slump. I’m not saying getting my second COVID-19 vaccine made this happen, although the timing is damning.

The Doldrums – a belt of calms and light baffling winds north of the equator between the northern and southern trade winds in the Atlantic and Pacific oceans.

The Doldrums can be deadly. If your sailing ship falls prey to too much calm and too many baffling winds, you’ll get stuck and getting stuck can mean you run out of drinking water and food. And perhaps your sanity. Maybe that’s what they mean by ‘baffling winds’. I know I’m a little baffled about why my mood has hit such a lull when I’ve finally achieved what I’ve been looking forward to for over a year – I’m fully loaded with a vaccine against COVID-19. So why aren’t I cheerful, overjoyed, jazzed and energized?

Do you know what ‘drop’ is? It’s that feeling when a conference or other highly anticipated event has ended and all the hype and happy brain chemicals are nowhere to be found. My experience is you feel like your whole being has dropped into a hole. That’s what I think has happened to me. I’ve been anticipating and looking forward to and craving those two very important needle pokes for SO LONG that now, when it’s finally happened, all of that tension and anticipation and anxiousness has nowhere to go. The shot can prevent me from getting deathly ill from COVID-19, but was not effective in eliminating that long term build up of that anxious anticipation. In addition, the reality is, my life and activities have not and will not change much for a while. The vaccine didn’t unlock all the doors that have been a barrier between me and ‘normal’. Or if not normal, something closer. And I think a part of my brain committee was telling other parts that we just need to hang on, we’ll get that vaccine and everything will be peachy-keen again. That’s a trick I pulled on myself and I’m not sorry, just dealing with the consequences.

So maybe I have vaccination drop? Fingers crossed a nice weekend with my sweetie will help reset my mood. I hope so. I’m tired of being stuck in this slow, still section of the ocean with its baffling winds.

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