Sunday, July 26, 2009

Sunday Night Soliloquy

It's after 11.30 pm. The weekend is over. The dog that is making me insane will be off my hands tomorrow & I can settle in to "routine". I took a shower & washed my hair. I'm abstinent. I showed up for all the dogs under my care today. I called my parents. I culled a lot of papers & mail off my desk. So why am I ready to put my clothes on again & go out in search of my pals, Ben and Jerry?

I have a project I'm deer-in-the-headlights over. Until I finish it, I can't really move on to other projects. It's convenient, because each project is scarier than the one before.

I'm also fighting a depression, which is a most selfish place to be in. After almost five weeks of family in two months, there's not much of me left & I don't want to give in to reading or writing, things that feel as heavy as a stack of bricks & which will take me away from this narrow stifling place that is, at least, mine.

I'm frozen in place. Ice cream will not make it better, at least not tonight. I've got to break out of this cell but not for Key Lime Pie ice cream. I'm scared.


chindi said...

I don't usually comment on blogs (not that I read very many of them, and still...). It's feels pretty strange to be reading this at all. Last month I was culling books and instead of letting go of PASSING FOR THIN, I ended up sitting down & reading it again. It's so hot here in Portland this evening that I got up from the couch and decided to see if there was anything post-PFT on-line, and here I am. From what I have skimmed, the weight loss turned into regain and you are struggling with the issues you had in the book, including family. That is definitely realistic, and what made me stop and comment was the remark about depression being a selfish place to be? Hmm. Does being judgmental help? My sister say depression is usually about the past, and anxiety is about the future - but neither of them are inherently good or bad. Don't eat the ice cream. Really. I weigh close to 300 pounds, and it won't help. Go for a walk, listen to some music you enjoy, take a bath (I'm off to take a shower) or just breathe. And if you do eat ice cream, try a cone, not a pint. Peace out - another 52 yo monkey!

April said...

Hi Frances,
Its morning now and I am hoping you made it through the night in a way that makes sense to you. In the big picture, the ice cream doesn't matter ~ what you THINK about the ice cream does...

I, too, wonder and worry about depression. Does it mean I am so self-absorbed? Or am I coping the best I can with feelings that would overwhelm anyone?

And I know about fear, too. Fear can be paralyzing. I would rather avoid challenges, at times, rather than attempt something and fail. I fear failure more than anything. I HATE the idea of wanting something, reaching for it, and ultimately failing. Weight loss falls into this category. What if I can't do it? I ask myself this, and yet I tried and was somewhat successful. Still, it is hard and I am in a place of struggle and re-gain, just as you are. And I am struggling with taking some risks professionally. Do I take a chance? Say I want something? Declare my intentions openly by submitting work for others' to scrutinize and judge? Can I manage others not liking my work? Yes, that's not the hard part. Can I handle others knowing that I want something? Now that's a different matter all together! When I put it that way, it sounds really simple, but inside it still feels raw and impossible and scary beyond all measure.

Thank you for this post, Frances. And know that you are not alone.

Anonymous said...

Sending you very best wishes for a good day with your dogs. May their in-the-moment-ness be of peace to you! C/

gardengirl said...

How very odd--what are the chances you would have two fans, who don't know each other, living in Portland, and calling themselves gardengirl? It's a small world...and apparently a lot of it wishes you nothing but the best.

Unknown said...

Oh, all you wonderful women... Depression is not about being indulgent, bad, or self-absorbed... It's an illness! It's not your fault!

That isn't to say you can't try short-circuiting your negative or self-defeating thoughts. This is the basis of cognitive therapy, which is extremely effective in treating depression. But it doesn't mean the reverse is true -- that you can "think yourself into" or even "eat yourself into" a depression.

We babes who struggle with food, weight, family, work, whatever need to be much nicer to ourselves. As gardengirl says above: Does being judgmental help? Of course not -- it just pushes us farther down the slope.

You are definitely not alone, Frances.

Also: weird about that gardengirl commenter coincidence! *cue Twilight Zone theme*

Lori G. said...


I had a big depression (and still getting through it to be honest) after my mom's surgery. My father wore me out as well. It seemed to get worse just as things were getting better and maybe that's true for you?

You're definitely not being self-indulgent -- it is an illness and a response to the stresses you've had lately.