Monday, May 17, 2010

The Plague Year

The anniversary of the morning my mother fell and injured her hip is in twelve days.  From that day on, she was never the same and in a sense, it marks the death of her as part of my home family.  I want the day to go by and to put the last twelve months behind me.  There have been wonderful things in this year -- going to Prague, going to the Pacific Northwest, meeting a lot of people on Facebook -- but there has also been a lack of energy to write, sadness, bad depression, family schism, and a bit of a broken heart.  Add to all that, weight gain and increasing social anxiety.  It hasn't been pretty.

In making some choices to speak up and claim parts of myself, I've lost a couple of friends. Just recently, another seems to have rebuffed me, although I haven't tried to find out why.  For the most part, I've probably been a distant friend this year, absorbed in family events and trauma, sunk in a wordless place when I was confined to quarters for two months, traveling, watching Angry Fat Girls tank, and getting abstinent, which always makes me go underground with civilians.  If my illusiveness has caused more rupture in my friendships, I'm sorry.  But it was, on the whole, a year in which I had to put the oxygen mask on myself first.

For the last five weeks I've struggled against my anxiety to get anything done.  While I was in relapse, I had occasional hard work days because if I didn't do something, I'd feel so miserable that I'd want to die.  Without sugar, I've been feeling what's going on.  Not much is happening in my life to blog about because that's what I've been doing: feeling.  Therapy has been like boot camp and I joked on Facebook one day that I think I need a therapist to talk to about therapy.  There and in my step work, I'm facing some demons.  There are days when I just go to bed after crying through an assignment or therapy session.

All of this is by way of saying I'm sorry to anyone and everyone who reads this and who has felt slighted by me.  I've been curled up in a very tight ball.  My life is about to blasted open if we come to an agreement with Berkley about the next book.  I'm going to have to go on about a hundred first dates and write about them.  Am I ready?  I don't know.  You can find out by going to my new blog, "Assholes in the Headlights," which I should have started yesterday.

My blogs: sheesh.  I blog about food/addiction/depression at Psychology Today, snarky dating experienced at Headlights, about publishing on my website, and about my other stuff here.  I feel fragmented but somehow, also, that any other blog needed to wait until I could write this.

So I'll see you around the Web, and I'll see you in Starbucks.  I'll be the large woman having a stilted conversation about what the guy opposite me does for a living.

And I'll try to come up with events to report here on as regular a basis as possible.


Jody, Portland, OR said...


I read Angry Fat Girls and really enjoyed it. I'm not fat, but know that I easily could be. I'm sorry to hear that the book tanked, which I'm assuming you mean financially. The book touched my life and I find that my thought process has changed because of it. I'm grateful for having read it. Thank you for writing it.

I hope you find the peace that you are searching for.

Unknown said...

I saw the fringes of this and, in your aloofness, it was too misty and I could only see you occassionally, bobbing in and out of the fog. I didn't know it was an everyday happening, and I'm sorry. I think I let YOU down.

Honestly...I am here if you need someone. I can listen, play monopoly, harvest crops and give advice or even just tell you you're being a loophead.

I can also sit in silence and just be here so you're not alone.

I love you, you're beautiful, you're courageous and wonderful and you have a good heart. I believe in you.

Anonymous said...

Hi Frances. I've lost several friends in the last two years as well, and it took me by surprise how much it affected me. I've had people move in and out of my life, but these felt like a loss. Factor of age? It has also been a time of great internal change, and maybe more than they could handle.

Oxygen mask on yourself first, though, is a great way to put it. It's hard damn work.

Life changes, such as the death of a parent, seem to cause these kinds of earthquakes. There's a book in there somewhere, I'm sure.

Take care. You sound sane to me! I've gone through many periods when brushing my teeth was a triumph of the human spirit. I think most honest people would admit to that....

I hope you won't be consciously going out on dates with dorks and dumbasses....


Vickie said...

there is so much of what I see as the 'naked you' in this post.

And that seems like a good thing. An honest thing. A reality time thing.

I love when you write like this.

I LOVE the almost poetic writing too. You write like a queen. Such magic in your words.

But I guess I am a no frills kind of get to the point person at heart. So I like the nuts and bolts of every day life too.

I identify with having to ditch people.

I think it might be part of the process. There is only so much time and so much room to deal in our lives.

At some point we have to prioritize. And hopefully the priority is ourselves when we need to it be just ourselves.

and I think a lot of this has to do with where people are and aren't in their own process. Like if they are not on a similar path - that is helpful/empowering at the time - we just have to go our own way for a while. Sometimes forever. Sometimes the paths remerge and empowerment can be found.

People who have been through the process and come out the other side will understand.

Cutting any/all excess. Self protective. And leveling our lives.

It is hard to tread water with a lot of things on our backs.

And in the beginning it isn't even (yet) treading - it is pushing up off the bottom. And pushing up off the bottom, with excess, is nearly impossible. We have to strip down to the bare essentials.

And then when we start adding back in - it is with carefulness - not to add to much too fast or to add back everything and get caught back up in being all things to all people and losing ourselves in the process.

So your year of first is just starting. I hadn't thought of when the beginning was for you. and I can see clearly that the fall was the beginning. That there are more stages.

Helen once told me the loss (parent) is harder when one is single and doesn't have a 'new' family unit.

That the focus is still on the original nuclear family.

Maybe the child is still very much there.

And the child has lost her mother.

And for you - this is again - and that has to be REALLY difficult.

I am glad you are peeping out a bit into the world if you feel ready. And I suppose even if you don't feel quite ready but it is time.

Baby steps hopefully and not galloping full blast.

I think the important part of AFG isn't how the rest of the world received it - but if you got out of the process what you needed to - like getting it out of your system, the other half of Passing For Thin that needed to be said for you to feel balanced. Bookends, even.

(as always - I just write - gramatical errors, spelling errors, run on sentences, I know you will look past them because you are just glad to hear from me.)

Cindy said...

It has been a dark year for me as well and I am ready to put it behind me. Sadness, depression, anxiety, death, family issues, grief, job loss, I can't even remember it all. I can relate to needing a therapist for therapy, my daughter and I go through exposure as soon as school lets out and at times we both dread it but it is part of what we need to do to do. I did not know about Headlights, I need to find it -snarky dating experienced sounds like good reading to me! I am so glad you keep writing about everything. It is an inspiration to me.