Sunday, February 01, 2009


It's the season of black and white -- and blue if we're lucky and the sun is out. I think Christmas should be commuted to the end of January so that we could all slog along through the slush and ice and wind with something to look forward to. As it is, each morning I wake up and thinks it's X number of days until April 1st, when there is a hope, maybe, that winter will be over.

Alas, two years ago there was snow on the dogwood on Easter.

I am much too irregular about blogging. Partly I know that there are other good blogs to read on the subjects I cover and partly it's everything else. Laziness. Unworthiness. Tiredness. Who-will-read-this-on-a-Sunday-ness. For the last week, however, I've actually had a good reason: I got a cold that makes the economy look healthy. I think I've canceled two dogs for two illness-related reasons but this week Henry stayed in DUMBO for three days and I stayed in bed as much as possible. It hit my chest first but my head felt like a helium balloon bobbing about three feet away from my nose and I was intensely tired. Daisy was a good nurse, surprisingly, and didn't resent the shorter walks and all the napping.

I think I know who shared this bug with me but it came right on the heels of seeing my psychiatrist, who I hadn't seen in many months. I sat down and promptly turned into a wreck. She thinks I'm depressed. I wanted to say, "You should have seen me in September," but I couldn't say much of anything. "Did you think of calling me?" she asked and I looked at her like she was the crazy one. "I couldn't," I said. When I'm in that place, I can barely pick up the phone let alone ask for help.

I have that problem with doctors as a whole because I grew up with patients calling at all hours to tell my dad about, what he called while he was in general practice, "moles, colds, sore holes, fits, farts and freckles". I've been astonished the few times I've called a doctor and they've called me back and been glad to listen and/or prescribe.

But it's also that thing about asking for help. I can accept help when it's offered...and then feel there is nothing I can do to thank my savior enough. Asking for it is another thing altogether.

There are several themes running through this little discourse I hadn't planned on writing. One of them is unworthiness. I guess I've been feeling that all over the place lately.

And writing that makes me sit back in my chair and assess. Fear is often confuted with unworthiness, it occurs to me. I'm not scared of going back into the Rooms as I feel unworthy of the time I will use up, the space I will take, the help I HAVE to ask for to make a 12-step program work. I'm scared of my novel not because I'm afraid I don't have the talent but because novels are what worthy people get to write. You know: people who are thin, people who are popular, people who are...worth something.


So here's the deal. I impose this upon myself. The door rang one morning early this week and there was a man from the local Food Museum with an enormous basket. Why do I have to be the one to sign for stuff? I grumbled but lo! it was from Henry's humans. I lived off that basket for days.

In light of my conversation with Dr. Pluto, that gift basket was a bolt of lightening (as well as various sugars and refined white carbohydrates). They knew I was at the farthest end of my energy tether and they empathized. It's the sweetest gesture I've received in years.

But only the sweetest and maybe just the biggest. There aren't very many people who think of me the way I do myself and there is, miraculously, hard evidence for it. I can live in my delusions or I can pay attention to what actual persons are telling me.

So I'm going to work on that. I deserve it.


Unknown said...

It's funny -- you blog primarily to help other people and I blog primarily to help myself (and it's nice if other people find it useful). This is a good one, though, and I think it served both purposes.

Frances Kuffel said...

I think our blogs demonstrate a fundamentally different outlook on our lives, Jen. I blog to help myself as well. I throw up (pun intended) what is weighing (ibid.) me down & then it's out there, in black & white, for me as well as for other people -- if they happen to identify with my own spewings. I'm a student of myself & can best speak for what I observe in myself. I was thinking the other day that I'm not so much a writer as I am a pathologist...

You, on the other hand, are a student of the world. You read, try, do, attend, converse, apply yourself to and with the world. And that's what you share. If I'm a pathologist, mired in my yucks, you're a journalist, mired in synthesizing information.

I guess I'm a mushroom, thriving in the dark, damp & rotting, & you're a sun flower, turning your head to the sun as it passes through its passage of the day.

Maybe we need each other.

Susannah said...

Frances, I am always glad to see a new post from you. Your writing is absolutely worth my time. Please keep posting this month and I hope your cold quickly becomes a distant memory.
Feeling worthy is such a struggle. I have many many deeply ingrained arguments as to why I am not worthy, not good such easier to let the brain go down the old familiar path of hatred than to take that strange and tricky path of love.
Bon courage!

Lori G. said...

I cannot articulate to the BF why I don't feel worthy of anything and your post just reminds of why I need to work on it. You do have wonderful gifts and you give a lot; I'm so happy that Henry's humans sent the basket. It's not so much the stuff in it but the sentiment.


Anonymous said...

You probably don't understand how much your first book affected its readers, including me. You are SO worthy. But I understand the feeling, and I fight it all the time, too. Please do keep writing.

Helen said...

I am so glad you are taking care of YOU...and that you realize that lots of other people think that's a very worthy thing to do. Me included. :-) Go you!

Unknown said...

I liked this post a LOT. You developed some great insights and are maybe on the path to believing in yourself and acknowledging your worth. Stay the course.

Unknown said...

Definitely don't wait to post until you have something earth-shattering to say -- we like hearing from you. Sometimes just getting my thoughts out there helps clear out the yuck (I carry around my fair share).

Laura N said...

Hi again Frances. Your FB comment/reply reminded me to come check your blog. February has been a complete blur for me--I've not had time to read anything, including blogs. I'm going to catch up with your posts now.

V. touched by this worthiness post. So much of what you write, I feel too. You are so not alone. We are all One, across this world of Us.