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.
That's What She Said
You can also find Monica's writing here:
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Thursday
Sep072006

Shame Spiral

I am feeling lower than low. It's not related to the depression. It's because I am a hypocrite. I am a self-obsessed fool. I hate myself. What am I doing? Taking photos of myself, uploading them onto the internet, sharing all my bullshit all the time like I'm somebody? What the fuck? MySpace? I'm nearly 30 years old. Yes, it's a nice way to keep in touch with people.. but suddenly, there I am again, uploading silly photos of myself where I think I look hot, checking up on other people's accounts and then making fun of The Ex or whomever for doing the same damn thing. And then this blog.. I find myself not writing what I want to write. What do I want to write? I don't know. I am trying so hard to be authentic in this blog, but inevitibly - I'm writing for an audience... and that makes it less real. Remember that stupid reality show Newlyweds with Nick and Jessica? Y'think they acted like themselves with the camera on them? Hell no. So in a way, although I'm trying to be real I end up performing to an extent. What I realized is this; since I've been writing in this blog I stopped keeping a journal. Because this blog was my journal. But I don't write everything I'd write in a journal in this blog for fear of offending or hurting someone's feelings. I didn't realize it but I've been bottling up many of my feelings and not letting them out anywhere. So.. what now? I suppose I could turn off comments. It would create a more solitary vibe so that I feel like I'm only writing for me and if anyone happens to read the shit, great. If not, s'fine too because either way I won't know who's reading and what they think.. But I like reading comments. Sometimes it's nice to know I'm not alone in my fucked up life endeavors. Also, why am I giving it so much thought? Who the fuck cares, it's just a silly little blog. There are millions of 'em out there. Today: I hate myself, I hate The Surge, I hate how I think, I hate how I feel. I want to be somebody else.

Reader Comments (41)

Monica--please--hurt my feelings. Write whatever the hell you want to write. You're not a politician--you're a very talented writer. And if you hurt my feelings, I won't read you for a few days, but I'll come back because the same will be true after I dry my tears: you are a gifted writer.
September 7, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterAnn
I am sorry that you hate yourself, hate The Surge, hate how you think and feel today...but at some point, maybe even tomorrow - you will love yourself, love how you feel, love how you think, love who you are are and maybe...just maybe...you will even love The Surge...

Wait on it, it will come and surprise the shit out of you...
September 7, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterRichelle
dear monica, i've been reading your blog for a couple months now at the recommendation of a friend...we really enjoy it...who knows how many of us silent surfer monica fans are out there. some days are just like this, you know. do something nice for yourself today like get a massage or a bag of weed or somethin. and know that ditching my in-basket for 10 mins. to peruse your stuff is a nice thing i do for myself when i get the what-am-i-doing-with-my-life-existential-angst at work. (does it perhaps somewhat cheer you to know you may be costing corporate conglomerates around the world time and money lost to your blog??) also, don't worry about sharing all your secrets. some things are just your beeswax. now go get that massage! or weed! or whatever will lift you up, girl! love from nova scotia, canada.
September 7, 2006 | Unregistered Commentergina
Why do these people have to convince you over and over again that you're such a talented writer, that you're such an honest person, that you're so brave, that you're this and that. So what if your writing skills aren't what it takes to make it in the big league? So what if you feel weak sometimes? So what if you're not pretty? So what if you vibrate low for a change? So what if you think stuff that isn't politically correct? Can't you just be yourself for a while? I think you HAVE to step on some toes, you have to write about the REALLY nasty things inside of you (not just the prefabricated wishy washy Oprah topics that have been discussed on this blog) to write in an interesting manner.
This is one of the few entries on this blog that I found authentic. Like I'm finally hearing your true voice. Maybe you should turn off the comments. Or maybe not. Would you value my opinion less if I told you you were a lousy writer?
September 7, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterThe bean picker
How about just turning off the comments on those seriously introspective posts. If you're worried that your posts will cater to peoples' reactions...just turn those reactions off. It'd be a shame to go off line all together.
September 7, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterBuffy
P.S.

I love your photography. Wish I could be more carefree like yourself. I'm 30...and working on it.
September 7, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterBuffy
I started reading your blogs a couple months ago and fell in love with them...because of you I started my own blog...but I write everything and anything I want not because I don't care about hurting peoples feelings but because its the one way to get every emotion that you have bottled up inside out. Don't write this for whoever you think your audience is, write for you and nobody else...so what if you turn your comments off every now and then on certain entries..if it makes you feel better and that you can write whatever the hell you want without censoring yourself than go for it. But thank you for writing this blog because I can relate to you more than you think.
September 7, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterTiffanie
Only a person who's able hating herself sometimes, is able lovig herself sometimes. So WHAT's your problem. ;-)
September 7, 2006 | Unregistered Commentersamte
I just spent the last few minutes pondering what “being authentic” really means. I don’t think anybody can be truly authentic--the definition seems unattainable. Do you think the commenters here are being authentic?

I hate to say this (b/c I’m afraid of the wrath of your audience, and b/c I totally dig this blog), but in the true spirit of authenticity -do you think entries like this look like you are fishing for compliments? I realize you are conveying how you feel, but as you say, you are writing for an audience…who wants to return again and again to coax the ego? Also, do you really think that both “being “authentic” and writing for your audiences are mutually exclusive?

There is a definite pattern developing in your journal entries- introspective entries followed by unrelated light hearted pieces…it’s becoming clear that you feel the need to write in a forced audience specific manner…

….(now the unsolicited advice part)..You should evaluate what you really want this internet space to be. So what if you lose some readers in the process. Also, maybe you need to privately journal to express these feelings…I personally think journal entrees written and read exclusively for you are good for the head/heart.
September 7, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterleggo
I don't see any of your posts as begging for compliments. I see you genuinely struggling to express yourself instead of pandering to what you think readers will like. Of course you can't help but write for an audience when you know so many people are reading. But that's okay. Some days you may feel light hearted and want to write something funny, other days you don't. That's how it goes. I don't care what you write just so long as you keep writing. It never seems like you're "performing", it just seems like you're trying to write creatively.
September 7, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterAimee
Yo, write whatever you want to. It's your blog. But I do understand what happens to a blog as more people begin to read it. You start writing the type of entries you think your readers will like. You work on the phrasing, and the irony, and the witty remarks. All of a sudden it's a cariacature of who you really are. I think that's why I fell off blogging for a while. But now that you realize it, it's up to you to make this blog what you want it to be. If you feel like saying stuff that isn't politically correct, or could be seen as hurtful, then damn it say it! People will get over it. It's your thoughts and feelings and no one can begrudge you those.
September 7, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterLiz
"Today: I hate myself...I hate how I think, I hate how I feel. I want to be somebody else."

I'd like to be somebody who didn't drink half a bottle of Jack Daniels.
September 7, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterSicksadworld
I don't get the impression you're afraid of not being politically correct, I'm guessing you're worried about venting personal issues involving family and friends? That's the tough part of blogging when you aren't anonymous. For what it's worth I enjoy every blog. The ones where you're witty, the ones where you're depressed - all of it. That's what writing is about. Don't you think Mark Twain tried for witty? Every writer writes for an audience. Like Aimee said, maybe some days you feel like entertaining and other days your entries are more personal and diary-like. That's the beauty of blogs - they're whatever you want them to be. There are no rules. Also, if I was as beautiful as you I would post my picture everywhere!
September 7, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterGemma
"but suddenly, there I am again, uploading silly photos of myself where I think I look hot"

But you ARE hot... in a hot kind of way.
September 7, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterStFarmer
Don't be so hard on yourself. Only the strongest & most self-assured could put themselves out there & not be affected by the ensuing criticism & scrutiny.
September 7, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterChrissy
I've only been blogging for a few months, but a I learned two things very quickly: 1) it feels good when someone reads your stuff and responds to it and 2) most people who read blogs are bloggers themselves. So as it plays out, we all end up writing for an audience to an extent because it feels good when they keep coming around and we even end up reading for an audience in the hopes that the receiver of our comments will respond in kind. The blogosphere is a bit of a circle jerk. But who cares? I don't blog so that people I don't know can learn my darkest secrets; I blog because it keeps me writing, which is something I enjoy. I guess my point is that as long as you aren't "performing" in your real life, for your husband, friends, family, self, then you are being authentic. You have no obligation to cyber strangers.
September 7, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterMiss Eight-oh-Five
Monica,

This sentiment is one I've heard on many blogs, most that I've read actually, including my own (and no one but my friends even read mine, pretty much). There is always the question of how much and what to include when you know others are reading. I think all of the following are good choices:

*Turn off comments for sensitive posts
*Keep a journal where you write sensitive thoughts you aren't sharing on the blog
*Use the blog as a way to become MORE yourself in public by pushing yourself to share more and more of just those kinds of things you are reluctant to share (which by the way, I think you already do)
*Consider that maybe not all of your thoughts are meant to be shared with the public. It isn't necessarily bad to keep certain things private--I question some people who share way too much sometimes, especially about things that involve others
*Continue to use your blog as you've been to the public, but write EXACTLY what you want when you want, and save thpose posts as drafts (don't know how typepad works but that is easy to do on blogger). That way you have all your thoughts recorded and visible to you but not all shared with the world. Maybe as you think more about what you want this site to be, you will turn some of those drafts into published posts.


Anyway to me you have come across as authtentic and often brave, sharing personal things that could help others, such as your recent post about your libido.

But there are many times when you write about celebritites or "light" topics and that's fine too, but I just see a big discrepency between your writing about yourself and those kind of posts. I'll tell you why I come here though--it's not for the celbrity posts, it's for the ones where you talk about you and your life.

Blogging, like much else in life, is always evolving and a struggle too in some ways. I think what you're experiencing is totally normal. I use my blog to push myself in ways I need to be pushed in my regualr life. That's why it is still an outlet for me (granted I don't have the number of readers you have so that makes it easier for me).

For example, I practice stating my "controversial" opinions on my blog and that makes it just that much easier for me to be more assertive about stating my views in real life (something I'm normally reluctant to do if I don't push myself).

So maybe think about how rather than hold you back, your blog can help you with some of what you'd like to improve in your life. If you have a problem being and feeling yourself in social situations, then maybe this blog is the place to practice not shying away form being totally yourself to your readers (this is just an idea, and not a suggestin that you need to be more authentic or that you don't already present an authentic self to readers--I wouldn't know since I don't know you but you SEEM authentic to me.)

As I'm sure is obvious, I enjoy your blog and hope you keep it up and keep writing about you and your life. Sorry this is, again, so long.

Best wishes!
September 7, 2006 | Unregistered Commentermm
I HATE MY JOB!!!!



Nothing to do with your post, but just needed to vent anonymously... and I'm here at your blog as I am so often while I'm at my job.
September 7, 2006 | Unregistered Commenternog
I think I see a new psychological term in the works......."blog anxiety"! :)
September 7, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterJustified
Still here and still hating.............................
September 7, 2006 | Unregistered Commenternog
Oh nog, join the club. Most days I thank god for the creation of blogs. It's my only diversion. I can't imagine how people spent their days before blogs.
September 7, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterAimee
Thanks Monica for writing this post, and thanks to mm for the advice. I opened an account with myspace about two months ago. Coincidently, over the past week I've considered blogging, so far I've only mustered up the nerve to post Momma's Baked Bean recipe. My main concerns are copywriting and plagiarism. The poetry that I write is really personal, and I would be madder than a possum in a box if someone were to clone my blogs.
September 7, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterAllison
I love reading your blog. I am someone you went to school with and I think you are leading a fabulous lifestyle unlike those of us stuck back in happy valley USA!!! I do however wish you would write more about your family like your beautiful little nieces and nephew. I know family is fucked up but hey I think the children are therapeutic. Anyways also you are very veyr very beautiful on all your photos and they are very eccentric some of them!! But you are fucking gorgeous just as you always were!!!
September 8, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterUTchick
hey, how are you today my friend (could I call you my friend?) ? I overslept all conversation again;o)
as I said before I'm so so so glad I could find your blog, and for me, beyond doubt, you are real and authentic in this all staff you'd written... god, it's a pity, we couldn't have coffee or glass of wine together and small talk, sometimes I doubt about all that shit around me as well... anyway I think your writing is very good and interesting and I mean it even if my english is so so :o) right!? I understend and respect all this because this is your life and I agree with 'mm', she pointed out a good tips about the blog's staff...hmmm, maybe i'm wrong but as far as I get you know (by your writing) I think you like and really enjoy amuse people, and it's good, and it's you, and stay strong with this even if you start questioning about this... you dream about being writter, right, so keep audience amuse and don't bother people who come here saying nasty or some not importent staff. belive in your lines, in yourself, your dreams and stay calm. (in such a days like your yesterday I would say: take a glass of wine, turn good music on and have a bath and relax but now it's too late we've got next day, right:o))

p.s....as unfulfilled photograther: you're very photogenic person, and great face for good images...sometimes I don't like how you treat your images (yourself) by photoshops process:o) but don't worry it's just my opinion... big hug!
September 8, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterana
I turned off the comments on my blog and it's a very freeing experience. Somehow your brain writes like it doesn't care anymore. It's mine. I own my words. If someone wants to write me a sincere comment, they can take the time to send an email. BUT, then you have to be perfectly OK with the whole "Is anybody reading my blog because no one is commenting..." so you just have to say. Who cares one way or the other? It's for me anyway.
September 8, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterC Marie
Most of what you are saying about your feelings of feeling lower than low, hating yourself, the constant thoughts and analysis of everything, as well as the previously discussed hopelessness, are classic, textbook depression symptoms. You should remind yourself often that many of these thoughts are not real, but caused by the depression and will go away when the depression breaks. You are getting treatment, so it will break, don’t give up. In the meantime, if you cannot believe it, trust and believe Serge, your family, friends and Max that you are a beautiful, smart person.

You say you are self-obsessed, but you are currently in pain. When you stub a toe or slam a finger, you become self-obsessed because it hurts like hell. This is the same thing.

Besides, you said this before that you are self-absorbed and it’s not true... Because I was unhappy at a Marah after-party a couple of months ago, I told you what was wrong. You were very sympathetic and encouraging. If you were truly self-obsessed, you would’ve changed the subject or excused yourself from the conversation. You did neither even though there were plenty of opportunities for you to get away.

A private journal is a good idea and you can bring it with you to therapy to discuss with your doctor. It may give insight and help in your treatment.

I am less than two weeks away from my 42nd birthday – don’t tell anyone – and I am on myspace, but blame Marah for that. Age is just a number, and I redid the math to make sure it was correct. If I acted my age, I would not have nearly as much fun.
September 8, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterStarsky
From my experience, the shit I write in my personal journal all sounds the same: I'm fat, I'm pissed at Boyfriend, I'm hating my job, blah blah blah....bring on the fucking violins. It's cathartic for sure, but I definitely don't put much "skill" into it.

The fact that I blog for an audience makes my writing MORE REAL, not less. I write stuff I normally wouldn't put any effort into writing just for myself. And now I have an e-history of stuff I've done and places I've been and feelings I've felt, not just the woe-is-me shit I normally pour out onto paper.

But I get what you're saying. Blogging seems really self-indulgent. But the people? They like it! They want it! They eat it UP. ;-)

I think the act of writing in and of itself is inherently a public act. At least, this is the conclusion I came to in my grad school writing theory courses. And in life.
September 8, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterrosie
Hey Girl
I enjoy reading your Blog. We all Know the Joys and Pains of up`s and Downs. I am a Merchant Sailor at sea. Reading your Blog is a High point in my day. Why you may ask ... I Grew up in N.Y.C. I left there 26years ago. And a Non Active LDS.

So I can feel "Some" of the things you write about. As for you Write want you want to !!! If you hurt someones feelings 9 out of 10 times they will get over it. Just rember You don`t Have to Share everthing if you don`t want to. So far most of us have liked what you done so far

Sailor Mike
September 8, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterSailor Mike
You're young, you're beautiful, you're talented, you're in love and you're alive! You also made it out of Utah, and that is a major accomplishment. Hope you're feeling better.
September 8, 2006 | Unregistered Commenteramy
why cant you keep a journal AND blog? i write poetry and i blog. i write novels and i blog. i write for a select audience on the blog. the deeply personal or hurtful stuff i keep for myself. you can do it all. your talent is beyond question.
September 8, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterghost
Chill out Danny!! I rescued my 2 year old out of a swampy grasspool yesterday and I still smell like a trashcan that has been full of lawnmower clippings for two weeks out in the hot sun. It smells bad. Trust me on this one.
September 8, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterwally
Wally, I am still blown away by the fact that you read this blog. That makes me happy. Anybody else I grew up with reading? Tell me hello. I'm homesick. Who'd have thunk it? I'm actually homesick for Utah.. Not just the mountains, but the people who live there.
September 8, 2006 | Registered CommenterMonicaBielanko
You miss good 'ole Wally?? Did I interpret that correctly???
September 8, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterwally
Lovely sister Monica,

I read your blog every day here in Downtown Salt Lake, we have high speed Internet at the COB and boy do you ever make me giggle. I just told ol' President Monson we need more good sisters just like you.

May the lard be with you.

Gordy.
September 8, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterGordy B. Hinkster
I do miss Wally. And look! The Hinkster is logging on as well! Wow.
September 8, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterMonica
The "lard"... That's the best Utah accent EVER!


Explanation of Utah accent: CARN for CORN, LARD for LORD, MOU-UNS for MOUNTAINS and so forth..
September 8, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterMonica
You seem like a very aware individual, for better or worse; that is a good quality IMHO. Take care of yourself and have a nice weekend.

TGIF

P.S. Your dog is cool, love the pix.
September 8, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterBen
I found this blog from a link on flickr. A few reasons I read it are..... I am new to the east coast and like to see how others adjust to living here. I maybe moving to the Big Apple for job reasons so I like to read a real persons story. The honesty and openess. It feels comforting to know others have the same thoughts and issues I have. Max,the dog. I miss my lab.One more reason I read this blog. I use to read the "we are the perfect couple who live in Manhattan" blogs....BS I am sure most of these "happy couples" with Martha Stewart perfect life are just as human as the rest of us. This blog is refreshing. My own blog is for me. I have a very tiny but loyal readers and that is enough.
September 8, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterKittenwtw
Well I for one am relieved to read this. It's nice to know you're possibly not as spoiled and self absorbed as I was beginning to think you were. Or if you are...at least you realise it. Not that it is any of my business what you do or how you choose to relate it on your blog. That's entirely your perogative. But it's about time you made a more objective appraisal of your life. If only so you can start being happy. Life is too short to be unhappy when you don't have to be...

You don't want to spend the next 10 years hating what you've got, only to look back and realise that it was actually pretty good but you never took the time out to appreciate and enjoy it.

You see, this morning I got up, wondered what I am going to do once I lose my job (found out this week I'm being made redundant), I made a cup of tea, took the cocktail of medications which I may have to take everyday for the rest of my life , looked at myself in the mirror - hating what these health problems have done to my once beautiful body then turned on the computer and started scanning my favourite blogs.

"I wonder what Monica has to feel miserable about in her horrible life today?" I thought as typed thegirlwho into the browser.

Don't get me wrong. I know depression. I know the darkness and the inexplicable, irrational and overwhelming sadness that suffocates you. I also suffer from it and am having my own Little Black Cloud week.....where every ounce of mental energy goes into trying not to collapse into a sobbing hysterical mess without warning or reason. I also know that much of what you write about isn't related to depression. There are a plethora of justifiable reasons I could use to wallow in self pity and blame depression - losing my job, health is fucked, living with Evil Mother in Law because our lives never seem to evade disaster long enough to get out. But if I am honest, these aren't the things that suffocate me when the Black Cloud blows in.

So as much as we think our present circumstances permit us to wallow in self pity, the reality of our lives doesn't..... my beautiful dogs came in, rested their big beautiful brown heads on my lap and looked up at me to say they wanted to go for a walk. My boyfriend stumbled out of bed with his sexy bed hair standing on end, kissed me and brought more tea... and I thought....things could be so so much worse and I can wallow in this crap, or I can embrace the good, learn to live with the bad and fight tooth and nail through the temporary. And the decision I make on how to deal with these things is going to determine my happiness. Nobody else can make that decision for me.

So. What is so wrong with your life?....you're beautiful, healthy, educated, have a wonderful (and very sexy) husband, live in a fabulous vibrant city. Endless opportunities on your doorstep. You have got more going for you than many of us could dream of.

You say you want to be somebody else - well I can assure you that there are MILLIONS of people who'd love to be you ...even if just for a day.
September 8, 2006 | Unregistered Commentersfh
sfh...you got it.

I said long ago, depression + meds equals dull depression.

Depression + therapy + meds equals REAL progress.

You can't take shortcuts.

Monica, if I may, start with Dad and work forward.

Love on you, more now, than ever!

Joe
September 8, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterJoe
I kinda know how you feel. I have a blog and have been suffering the same negative feelings about what I write about. At some point it became more about the audience and what they enjoy and what they want than about what I want and what I feel.
September 9, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterJimD

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