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Monica Bielanko
A chronicle since 2005 of my marriage & move to Brooklyn in my twenties; becoming a mother in my thirties; moving to Pennsylvania and learning to amicably coparent after divorce in my forties while living 3 doors down from my ex-husband in a small country town.
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Wednesday
Nov022005

Lingering

The words aren't coming today. Usually they jump onto the page like.. like.. See, even the metaphors aren't coming. It's been an introspective time, to say the least. My brain just keeps churning out more minutia to mull over. And I oblige by thinking too much. Then thinking about how I think too much. Then I think it's strange how I can think about thinking how I think too much. Always trying to figure out what kind of person I am, who I want to be. I just want to be. I want to be one of those people who dawdle down the sidewalk, seemingly not a care in the world, smiling to themselves. Just what the fuck are you smiling about, I want to know.

I'm told medication might help slow the tornado in my head. This past year has been a mind bender. I think, perhaps I'm in the midst of a mid-first-half-of-my-life-crisis. Even these words ring hollow. Don't convey the depth of my suffering/anxiety/confusion. I have just woken from a string of overnights at News Station X. Yet ask me what's in the news and I don't know. Don't care. Somehow my brain cells know the big events, they seep into my conscious like a plant that automatically absorbs water. But I could really give a fuck. I sat in on a political debate with Mayor Bloomberg and his democratic challenger and it struck me as a colossal waste of time, a waste of exchanged empty words. Hurricane Katrina gripped the nation and I barely batted an eyelash. Go on.. you can tell me I'm lucky, that my house isn't underwater (although it's under cockroach attack) that I don't have cancer, that no loved one is in Iraq (although he will be in December) but that means nothing. Nothing, when I sleep in 20 hour shifts and still feel tired. When dragging myself to the dog park is the hardest thing I'll do all day. When I haven't washed my hair or applied make-up since I went to London.

Intellectually I know what needs to be done. I know the mechanics of pulling myself up by my bra straps, have done it many times in the past. Thing is, it's like rehab. If my heart's not in it, it aint gonna work. Then there is the immense guilt for my self obsession. Missing The Surge, yet relieved he is on tour and doesn't have to be subjected to my love fest with couch/bed/TV/takeout. Then worrying that everyone is worrying about me. Worrying about them worrying and not wanting to be worried about. Yes I'm using food to satiate The Beast. The Beast feeds on sleep, shit food and shit sitcoms in that order. They are his lifeblood. Like a vampire suckling at delicate neck flesh, The Beast's potency grows. That last sentence is cracking me up. Goodtimes.

I have the number of The Therapist. But I'm terrified. Of what? Maybe I'm afraid of coming to terms with myself. My depression is familiar, an old friend, a comfortable blanket that covers my retreat from the world. I don't want to be a couch crying cliche. Bitching about my fucked up childhood and low sex drive. What makes me special? Everyone has their story. But I want to be rid of this disease. I've tried all the old methods
The 'for godsakes just be happy' prescription an old boyfriend helpfully suggested.
The 'just exercise your blues away. do you know what endorphins are?' from another well meaning friend.
There's always the 'at least you have your health, be grateful for what you have' lecture from those who seem to bounce from bed each morning, running on reserviors of do gooder energy. These helpful tips just serve to highlight my developing agoraphobia, point out yet another way in which I am not the same. Know this. Depression is not a choice. I don't choose to wallow in despair and exhaustion. I don't choose to not shower because I'm only gonna get dirty/not do the dishes because they'll only get dirty/not make the bed because I'm just gonna sleep in it again.. Who would choose that? It invades my body like cold germs.. Sometimes it goes away, sometimes it lingers. This time , it's lingering, that's all.

Reader Comments (10)

shitty dude... I;m not going to waste your time reminding you of aids that you already know...shitty man. I feel like you do, except its opposite, i overly tighten the comforter over my bed..nice an taut so I can bounce a penny on that sucker. I clean and clean, wash, scrub, peel, burn, dry dust..its almost like if my house can be spotless than so is my soul. but its all bullshit, I pretend nothings wrong, my roomates see me smile, if my door is closed I must be fast asleep like a good little girl. Meanwhile my mind is racing about shit that happened when I was eight and there is no way to change it. I think in the end what gets me through it is that I slowly remember it won't ever change, it won't ever be different, and I can either face it or wallow in it. Tough choice, but it is what it is. Have faith sister, your words may linger sometimes, but they will always be your own, spewing you like a fountain in Rome, bringing truth to the dreams of the dreamers. Chin up.
November 2, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterJulia
Is it just me or is suddenly everyone revisiting their depression? All I know is that maybe you should call the therapist. I was having a shit time a few weeks ago and called mine. On the way there I was reluctant and contemplated just going home, but I went in there and when I left I felt soooo much better. Seriously, it helps.Either way, I hope you find something to make you feel better.
November 2, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterHeather B.
God, how awful. I can't say that I understand depression - I don't think anyone really can who hasn't gone through it - but I've seen its impact on people I care about and it's just heart-wrenching. The one thing I'll suggest is that you shouldn't (and I know someone telling you this doesn't change how you feel, but saying it anyway!) feel guilty about feeling the way you feel. Wow, could I have used "feel" one more time in that sentence? Everyone has their own set of problems, and this happens to be yours. You'll sort it out eventually. In the meantime, although I don't know you, I'm glad for you - that you have a husband, and friends & family who love you - not to mention a community of readers pulling for you.
November 2, 2005 | Unregistered Commentersandra
I've struggled with both agoraphobia and depression, so although I am obviously not inside your head, I have an idea of just how bad you feel. Everyone finds their own way out, you just have to find what works for you. I know it's hard to think about that when you can't even see the light at the end of the tunnel. Therapy has helped me immensely, it is completely self indulgent. Where else can you sit for an hour or more and just talk about yourself and they HAVE to listen? Oh, well besides on a 'blog of course! We're all pulling for you and sending good thoughts your way.
November 2, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterAlissa
You know, I get what you're saying. I did the therapy thing and to be honest, the joy of having someone really look inside you, 'really see the inner you...' is just arse really. 'Cause deep down, you know you (yes, you do), and don't actually have to have yourself explained back to you. Much more rewarding to look out, into other people, and really see them... honest, not shitting you. You have your whole life to stare inwards. You learn more from looking out, or at least I have.
November 2, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterLady Jane
I am reminded of the phrase 'take to her bed' -- this is how I think depression was described in historical terms. I was on a field trip with my kids at a historic mansion here in Virginia and the story goes a resident there once spent most of a year in her room. It wasn't considered too unusual, I don't think. But now we are supposed to be up and instantly on to the next thing, whatever that may be. Everyone is moving, running, working, dashing around. Too bad we can't just sit on a rocker on the front porch and set a spell, no?

As I've read the posts here over the past week or so, I'm thinking that this blog is not unlike what I participated in when I was a 20-something. I appear to have a good 20 years on most of you, but way back then we would all get together at a woman-friend's home with food, wine, dope and music, pick a subject and worry it around for awhile. We called it 'consciousness raising'.

So that's what you have here. It's hard to figure it all out, and the pressure doesn't ever seem to lighten up -- work, career, love, motherhood. It's such a lot to work through. I wouldn't be your age again for anything, even though I do miss the body I used to have (jesus - how low can these boobs go, anyway?), and I've been in a pretty severe hair crisis for several years now. But I digress.

It seems meaningless to say -- you'll figure it out. But you will. Because you really have no choice. All you can do is keep some things around you to help you on your way. A sense of humor, a comfortable bed, nothing taken too seriously, good music, regular sex. And remember, better living through chemicals -- it really is true. I recommend Welbutrin for depression, it doesn't decrease your sex drive.

Back to one thing prevously mentioned - music. Don't underestimate it's power. Y'all probably know that, I've seen you around the Marah boards enough to know that. But really, a good song has saved me on more than one occasion. As a young woman trying to figure it all out I cannot recommend any artist more strongly than Joni Mitchell. I Am A Woman of Heart and Mind, we all are.

Take care of yourselves, try to laugh at something - it'll help.


janet
November 2, 2005 | Unregistered Commenterjls
You write interestingly. That's one thing.
November 3, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterJennifer
Janet's smart. And all the little girls want her.

;)

CH
November 3, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterChueb
What your saying really hits close to home, substituting News Station X for a greedy and BORING IT company.

Oh...I wish we could all get together for a little consciousness raising.... I'll bring the chocolate Lindt truffles (best things ever) and a box of wine.

House white?

:)
November 3, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterMindy
Joni Mitchell, phew..what soul. I'm down for a box.
November 3, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterJulia

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