These days if I’m lucky enough to find something that gets me out of a funk, I refer to that something as my “orange”.
A couple years ago I was in the thick of a depressive episode with no obvious way out. The numbness had persisted for weeks, maybe even a couple months at this point. One day, I went into the kitchen in search of a snack. For once, I denied my sweet tooth–maybe I had no artificial sugars stocked–and opted for the healthier option in the form of an orange. I wasn’t expecting any miracles as I peeled the fruit, but when I bit into that first slice and the citrus hit my tongue, my eyes opened wider. My spirits lifted. My mood recovered.
Why was the orange so effective in that moment? Was I on the verge of scurvy? Unfortunately, the orange has proven not to be a reliable cure for my funks. Believe me, I tried again for my first few subsequent episodes. No dice.
Now, when I’ve been in a lull for a while, I alter my routine in search of something to break the cycle. Maybe I try going to sleep early one night. Maybe I go for more walks. Or maybe I try writing my way to a better place, as I am doing in this post.
When my wife notices these changes in behavior, she’ll ask if I’m looking for my orange. I’ll confirm and she’ll usually give me a look of sympathy and a hug and then release me to continue my search. How lucky I am to be with someone who gets me.
I’m writing about this now because yet again I am looking for my orange. Maybe I’ll find my orange in the form of the disposable Zebra fountain pen I bought last night and then used for the handwritten version of this post. Maybe I’ll find it in next week’s out-of-state vacation. Or maybe I should try a damn orange again. It’s a low risk/high reward situation, so I have little to lose.