Reasons Why

I have so many reasons why not.

I don’t have child care. I don’t know how much it will cost.  I am embarrassed. I don’t trust doctors. I believe in figuring things out on my own. I just need some more Vitamin D and a G* Lite.  I will feel better if I start running again.  I should learn to be more honest with the people in my life.  I just need to get out more. I want to have another baby. I am scared.

The truth is that I haven’t been very honest here lately. I am aware that my writing is suffering.  Don’t you all want! to! hear! about! my! budget!?

The truth is that I feel buried under a mountain of sad.  I feel like everything that’s going wrong has morphed into this endless layer cake and I can’t see where the layers start and if I can’t figure out where the layers start I don’t know how to fix it.  Every minute it shifts and turns and slips from my grasp.

Mr. E is befuddled and I tell him that his three problems don’t compare to my thirty.  That he can’t expect me to be in a good mood when these have been the most stressful three months of my life.  When the weather and weight charts and our bank account balance and what hall table to buy and my eroding family and my mother’s judgmental tone and the constant work of trying to make people like me and read my site and to write something worth while and our broken gate and my lost running routine and the weight I still haven’t lost and the never ending day in and day dullness out of the life of a SAHM  and the interrupted sleep and the crying it out and the beans for dinner and the budget – when you add it all together I feel like I should get a very large very solid gold medal just for sort of keeping it together.

I don’t want to go to the doctor. I don’t want to do it. I am scared and scared and scared.  I picture myself sitting in an office, shrugging my shoulders and saying “I just feel sad” to a stranger and I want to throw up. I shake all over thinking of it.

I think it’s a ridiculous design – the most anxious and neurotic and crazy people are the ones who are expected to do all these insanely anxious making things to try to fix the problem? If I could call up a doctor and make an appointment and blithely find child care and saunter in and explain all  my problems and get out of the house without having an anxiety attack, I wouldn’t need to go to the doctor.

I have nothing more to talk about because this is just becoming all I can think about.  I can’t write. I spend half my day wanting to throw up and the other half of my day crying and the other half of the day wishing for sleep and the other half of the day praying away the dreams.  My muscles ache from the tension of being me.

I can’t talk to anyone about it. I don’t want to talk to anyone about it.  I can’t hear anymore about what I should be doing, or how I should fix things, or what better ways I should be living my life. I don’t want any more advice about  how much I suck.

You won’t know about any of this, I know.  You’ll say “I had no idea” or maybe you’ll wonder if I’m being melodramatic, but working the sinking weight of depression into a phone conversation isn’t something I’ve mastered yet.  And I am a survivor. I have learned to keep quiet about these things, not to court awkwardness, to cry in the shower.

And sometimes I do feel better.  A Sunday morning in the park, a funny email, a back rub, a glass of wine.  The fog does lift. I do smile through the gray.  But then there are mornings like this one, when all my defenses are down and tears land on Eli’s soft downy hair and I hate myself for it, hate it. Wonder what else I have passed down, what I’m doing to him now.

I don’t even know how it works.  Do I just casually mention the sad to my regular doctor, right after I tell him I think I have celi@c disease? Do I have to meet with a psychiatrist all the time, once a week?  Will certain drugs make things worse, scramble egg my brain so I’m an anxious muddled tooth grinding mess, more than I am now?

I feel like there’s a blackboard out there of my life, a Back to the Future Polaroid, and my life, the one I had picked out for so long, is being erased from it.  Like I am losing my some day daughter and my future four children and my craftsman in the burbs, making chocolate chip cookies when my kids get home from school, it’s all slipping away in the time my brain takes to really pickle itself, and I’m waiting to be left with an empty frame.

But even worse than that.  The worst part is that it feels like I’ve  lost my words. Something I had in my writing feels gone.  I want nothing more than to sit down in front of my blog and spin tales and fit the words together like puzzle pieces and tell you  how it feels to be me and have it ring that bell in you and have you say “me too” and I have lost that.  This…whatever it is… It is stuck in the pipe and nothing else is getting past it.

There are all these voices in my head now and they are the voices of my mother and my husband and my son and my friends and they all tell me this is bigger than I am, that I need more help than a Go Lite and a bottle of Vitamin D, but none of them can take my place and pick up that phone and make me an appointment and walk in there instead of me.  None of them can explain to someone else how scary it feels to be me right now, how I wonder if this is just how my brain is put together, if I am just meant to be sad, if I have made all the wrong choices in my life and so I deserve to live an unhappy life, I am just not strong enough to fight and so I need to learn to love losing.

I am telling you this because I have nothing else to say.  And I am hoping that if I get this out, something will come unstuck.  I am hoping today is the day I can do it, that some how the unsticking will make me strong.

That today I will be able to pick up the phone.

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44 Responses

  1. Oh, hon. Oh.

    I know there’s nothing I can say to help you feel better. Except, maybe this: that you most definitely haven’t lost your words. They’re just as honest and beautiful and clever and true as they have always been. And they ARE ringing that bell, and I AM saying “me too.”

  2. Call me and I’ll three way conference you. Then you won’t be alone. I’m not kidding. This is a real offer. I’ll even give you my unlisted number on the internet. 914 977 3025. I can’t walk in the door for you but if I can help with the stuckness at all I will.

  3. Oh, this definitely is a “me too” post. That’s not gone at all.

    As for the rest of it: pick up the phone. Call. Just do it. And when you’re done, you get to reward yourself. That’s my favorite trick, and I know I’m basically training myself like a dog, but treats work. Whatever you want. Trashy magazine? Gluten free ice cream? Fancy coffee? Whatever. Make the call, get the prize.

    Child care: bring him with you, if you have to.

    Also, do you have a doctor lined up? One possibility is to center it around the next-baby question. Go in for a preconception checkup, and mention it then.

  4. you are right. No one else can do it for you. No one can tell you whether or not you are just sad or if you need medical intervention. It sucks big, giant, hairy, stinky balls, but it is all on you. And that first call is scary. Scary to admit you need help. Scary to think you might be in drugs for a while. Scary to have to tell a professional you might be falling apart.
    BUT.
    after that first call, that first appointment, that first admission…it gets so much easier. Even before the hypothetical drugs kick in…just knowing that you ARE doing something to help…helps.
    I wanted someone else to fix it for me. I wanted it to be out of my court. But…they couldn’t. I had to. And now, I am so proud of myself for taking that first step…for making that first call.
    I know that the particulars of your life are different than mine. But I know what you are going through. And if you need…anything…someone who understands and listens with judgement…please. Contact me.

  5. A few years ago I was sad a lot. I never left the house, I stopped calling people and I was just a blob of nothingness. I finally went to the doctor and she asked me what was wrong and I just said “I don’t know” and from that one statement she managed to comfort me, arssure me I wasn’t crazy and give me the help I needed all at once.

    Go, hun, go ask for help even if you don’t know what you need. You are worth it.

  6. Oh, honey. You haven’t made all the wrong choices and deserve to live an unhappy life. You have a husband who sounds wonderful, an absolutely gorgeous little boy who seems delightful, and you are a terrific mother and writer. Please, if there’s any way I can help, email me. Best wishes.

  7. I wrote a blog today and I saved it. I didn’t publish it because I am tired of hearing about it. I am tired of living it and talking about it. My life is dull and boring and jeez….why would all those people that are subscribed want to come there and hear about it AGAIN? I feel like a shell of myself every day….

    So what I am saying is, you are not alone. You are NEVER alone. If I was in California I would watch E for you, I would drive you to the dr… I would buy you whatever liquid courage it took and I would listen to you talk about it again for as many times as you needed, just as I come here every time you post.

    I know that I am not the only one that feels that way about you 🙂

  8. OMG!! I know I know I know I know I know!!! When I NEED HELP, that’s exactly when I can’t manage to call the dr, make an appointment, and explain what’s wrong. What I wanted was a button in the house: all I’d have to do was push the button and it would be done for me. Or, I wanted psych meds available over the counter, so I could just get some when I went to Target. I could not face the work it would take to get them—especially when I wasn’t even sure I WANTED them or NEEDED them, but on the other hand OMG I FEEL LIKE I DO.

    It’s such a stupid system. It’s awful. I hate it.

  9. Oh, but this is a “me, too” post. It definitely, definitely is.

  10. Call! Definitely call! Can Mr. E watch Senor Pants while you go? Maybe find one with Saturday appointments if you can find one? Go to the regular doctor, mention the gluten-free thing, ask about the other stuff, just GO. Seriously.

    p.s. I’ve never commented before but how could I NOT comment on this? Take care of yourself. You have to.

  11. I have been there. I have been on the floor, in a heap, without a will to get up. At odds with myself for not being able to fix it, not knowing how to fix it, and above all else, not having the strength (both emotional and physical) to fix it.

    It was one of the hardest things that I had to do — to go in, admit that I was “broken.” Except, in retrospect, I wasn’t broken at all — I just needed a hand to help me stand up and walk away from that heap on the floor.

    It’s not your fault, it’s nothing that you did, and you’re not alone. If you need any help (anything at all) please do not hesitate to ask. If I can do anything to help you, I will. And that’s a promise.

  12. yes, just tell your regular doctor what’s wrong. print off your post and have her read it, if you want to, if you can’t get the words out. and give a copy to Mr. E pronto.

    and then try to understand that people who haven’t felt this way won’t understand what you’re going through. the people who love you will try their best to understand, they will probably offer you “solutions”, and you will have to be patient with them, because i truly believe it is impossible to explain the scope of depression to someone who hasn’t been there. and that’s why we have professionals and medication.

    i did this a few years ago…went to my doctor for a physical and instead we ended up talking about how i could get help. all the weird physical things you’ve been going through are probably VERY related to being depressed (it’s weird how the mental stuff manifests itself in our physical bodies). i’m still on medication and probably always will be because of the nature of my depression (and btw, the right medication will NOT scramble your brain – it will make it possible for you to be YOU again).

    it has made a TON of difference for me to be able to understand what’s happening in my head and why – and that there are many options for treatment. i didn’t mean to have such a long comment, but my heart was aching for you when i read this post because, like some of the other commenters, i’ve been there. i AM there. and i want to give you a big hug.

  13. This is definitely a “me too post”. Please make the call, and then print off this post to give to your doctor. Your words are so eloquent and ring so true…

  14. I’m so sorry that you feel this way, but you certainly haven’t lost your words – trust me. I look forward to your words every day.

    I agree with Melissa’s comment – I think you should print out this entry and hand it to a doctor. Any doctor could pinpoint your problem after reading this.

    Also, this may sound weird, but there are these ads in Texas recently about a new “housecall” business (it’s even covered by some insurance). Or maybe you could set up a phone consultation with a doctor? I mean, you can’t be the first person to have these feelings and was unable to get to a doctor. Please take care of yourself.

  15. Add me to the list, sweet gal. I concur with much of what has been said by the other folks commenting. Now that I think of it, I was able to get evening appointments and/or Sat. appts. which may help with the childcare. And the first call…yeah…it’s not easy, but you won’t have to say much there…I hope you can do it. I am here for you.

  16. Okay, everyone has said it better than I can but I have to comment and say: It is hard to make that call, it is hard to get out that first sentence at the doctor’s office but putting your feelings down as you have today so eloquently seems like a big step in the right direction. Make that call. And take today’s post with you.

    It’s one of the good parts of my day to come here and read your beautiful words. You take care of yourself.

  17. Oh, sweetie. I hope you can have the courage to do what you need to do to feel better. HUGS.

  18. Girl, you are not the only one, believe me. The hardest step is making that call, after that there is light at the end of the tunnel. Believe it, there really is.

  19. I have absolutely NO IDEA how you feel, but I have watched my partner go through this to the point he was suicidal and I drugged him (with anti anxiety meds) and got his ass to a doctor one day. Thank god I did that because I am sure in one more week he would have been gone.

    I know it is hard to go to a Doctor and say you need help, and scary too. I hope you get the courage soon because you sure do not need to feel this way. Being a Mom is tough enough.

  20. And hey, as a person who works with a lot of mental health patients; it really is just a small chemical you are lacking. Not really a big deal once you get yourself checked out. If you do it now – 3 months from now you will be shocked that you let yourself suffer so long and silently.

  21. This is incredibly brave, even just to write it.

    And posts like these make me angry when people are dismissive to internet friendships. Because I know you will get something back from putting this out there.

  22. Well, I couldn’t NOT say something. I look forward to your posts during my endless workdays & I coming from someone who just weeks ago went crawling through your archives to see all the wonderful things you’ve written, I think you have a shitload of words left in you (aren’t I eloquent?). But, if you feel like you’ve lost your words, then that’s the way you feel & I respect that. It’s really about you. And only YOU know what you have to do to feel like you again. But I hope all these comments leave you feeling liked, special, important, & that you deserve to feel good about yourself. Isn’t it amazing how much we can all like & relate to each other without even having met?

  23. I really have never felt more connected to you than now. Fuck, why don’t I live closer?

    No advice, no tips, no nudging, no anything. Just here.

  24. Oh Elizabeth I’m so sorry. I’ve been trying to come up with the Perfect Thing To Say all day, but I’ve got nothing. Just thinking of you, lots.

  25. I’ll be thinking of you and praying for you. The hardest part can be making the phone call, sweetie. Big hugs from the middle of nowhere.

  26. call your MIL, she would be there tomorrow. call me. even if you don’t want to. no judging, no suggestions, just listening. OR, give me the number and let me call the dr. for you. For reals. we love you.

  27. Your post really spoke to me. You have a lot of courage and strength to be able to write your thoughts so eloquently for others to see. I think that you would really benefit from therapy, especially since you are so articulate. I am a therapist, and I really encourage you to make that call, even if it’s just going to your PCP for a regular checkup. Also, remember that you don’t necessarily have to take medication – sometimes it just helps to talk to someone. I sincerely hope you find something that works for you.

  28. Everyone else’s comments have been great; I just want to add my voice to theirs in saying: do it! Get help! I understand how incredibly difficult it is – I myself got to the point where I was literally unable to get out of bed in the morning (your phrase “sinking weight” is perfect) before I was ready to make the few vital changes my life needed so that I could be happy again. I can’t know what those changes are for you, what the kind of help you need looks like, but I want to encourage you, so so strongly, to do it. You are worth it.

  29. Nothing to say that hasn’t already been said, but we’re all here for you, even those of us who are strangers and live far away but feel connected to you through your words.

  30. I had years of general “sad” – and your post spoke volumes of the kinds of Life Things that can cause The Sad! Just go to your regular doc, and like someone else said, print out this post. You can have the best things in life surrounding you (and you do) but not be able to feel the joy from it because of all the clouds in your head. There are many different kinds of safe meds (SSRIs) that you can take if you want to go that route.

    Life is overwhelming sometimes and our brains go on overload and our body’s hormones get all out of whack and we think noone else feels this way so we go on and on and on. You are so brave to try to stop the horrible cycle you’re in. Just take the first step and see your regular doc – you’ll feel so relieved that you’re finally doing something to make it stop.

  31. So? How you doing? Didja call yet?

    Not nagging. Just checking in.

  32. You can go and get help. Or you can continue to feel this terrible for the foreseeable future.

    It’s your choice.

  33. PS: you write “I have so many reasons why not.” but I say you have two reasons to. Your son and your husband.

  34. Have Mr E make the call for you.

  35. I hear ya’. I had to go out to the parking garage during work three weeks ago to cry for half an hour. Life just sucks sometimes. It’s bound to get better eventually, if only by accident 🙂 And I sure do know how making doctor’s appointments and getting tests done and all that shit can become a full-time job. Good luck sorting it out! It looks like you’ve got plenty of people on Team Elizabeth.

  36. For me, the hardest part is the phone call. Can someone do that for you?

    It’s going to be ok. This is fixable. You’ll do it for your boy. If you had cancer, you’d be fighting to get treated because you know you’re needed at home. Do the same thing for his illness so you can feel better soon.

  37. um…i know this was yesterday, but at the end of my comment, i meant ‘listen WITHOUT judgment’. oops. 🙂

  38. Babe,

    Y’know, I got prescribed Fluoxetine for the same kind of feelings, and I have to say, it made the world of difference until I felt I needed it no more. I just don’t know why but it levelled things in my head until I could think about stuff without wobbling. That’s all. I’ve kind of squared it off in my mind now and I know it’s always there if I need it; just to restore those naughty serotonin levels. Serotonin is sooo important.

    Love Panda xx

  39. oh dude.
    i’m so there with the me-too’s.

    i made the call 5 years ago and it’s the only reason i’m still married and…still alive. it’s the only reason i have my daughter and pretty much everything else good in my life.

    what i’m saying is, it’s hard but it’s totally worth it.
    email me anytime. i mean it.

  40. I was there 3 years ago and oh, my god what a difference talking to someone and getting medicine made in my life. We’re all here for you.

  41. […] Posted on October 23, 2008 by ebj123 I posted this with trembling fingers.  I cried as I proofread.  It was a true last resort, to put that out […]

  42. Can’t think of the perfect words to say, so I’ll just say: Hello. I see you. I recognize you. I’m sorry things are this way right now. I’m just sorry.

  43. […] 24, 2008 by Robin G [Note: This post was largely inspired by Princess Nebraska, but it was a long time coming anyway. And there’s about a dozen people in my life right now that […]

  44. oh my god YES

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