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Let's Panic: The Book!

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How to Endure and Possibly Triumph Over the Adorable Tyrant
who Will Ruin Your Body, Destroy Your Life, Liquefy Your Brain,
and Finally Turn You
into a Worthwhile
Human Being.

Written by Alice Bradley and Eden Kennedy

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At LET'S PANIC ABOUT BABIES, Eden Kennedy and I share our hard-won wisdom and tell you exactly what to think and feel and do, whether you're about to have a baby or already did and don't know what to do with it.

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Wednesday
May212008

Want to hear something funny?

I actually thought I was being hilarious, with that last entry. I thought that was a return to form. Hilarity was mine again! I'm back, baby! So imagine my surprise when the comments were in the "oh, honey" and "I am inappropriately hugging you in my mind" vein.  I then read the post again, and, huh, well, yeah. I guess all that talk of doldrums and not being able to dress myself appropriately said more than I meant it to. Now I feel a little silly. Silly, and odd.

To those of you who are worried that I need to seek professional help, please be assured that I have an entire army of professional helpers at my beck and call.  I seek the counsel of mental health-keepers  more than I talk to my friends these days. And oh, I wish I were exaggerating.

I went to see one of them today, one of those medication-prescribing  types, who declared that I am more depressed than I think I am, and menacingly waved her prescription pad at me. She, like the Internet, refused to be dazzled by my hot jokes and my jazz hands. Instead she wanted to know if I've been sleeping and eating, or just entertaining thoughts of suicide. Oh, therapist!  Who has the energy for suicide?  All I ask is to sleep for six months or twelve years or so. Is that so crazy? 

I actually don't think I'm doing all that badly, for the most part, except when I'm doing so badly I can barely breathe. I can engage in chit-chat, and play with Henry. I can go to the store, and do store things! I go about my day and no one is the wiser. There's just this niggling pain roaming about my insides, is all, and at intervals that pain will reach an intolerable level, whereupon I retreat to the bathroom and cry for a little while, or else a long while. But usually the former. These crying retreats have become less frequent, so that's encouraging. Right?

Meanwhile, my professional helpers are telling me that my grief is "normal" but also that I'm depressed. I can't quite wrap my mind around this, because as we know depression is abnormal,  and if this is normal, than it can't be depression. That's logic! Then again, I seem to be unable to think clearly, so maybe there's something I'm not getting or something they said that I forgot to listen to. Next time I should take notes. Or bring a translator. Or just stay home and mail them checks. 

I don't think I'm depressed as much as I am emotionally unmoored. Is there a prescription to help that? I don't know what to do, or what I'm supposed to feel, or how I'm supposed to… hmm. I can't remember how I was going to finish that sentence. I'm a solution-minded kind of person, ready to read the book or take the course or do the work that will make things better, and there's no solution for this. And I'm more than a little dissatisfied with this state of affairs.

 

 

 

Reader Comments (126)

Coffee. The strong type from coffee shops & kiosks. Iced, hot, doubles and graduate into triples, even. Coffee was my fix during a really low point in my life. For some odd reason, it made me happy...and let me forget what was going on in my life...kinda the way sleep did. I drank coffee until it didn't hurt anymore...and until the wounds weren't so raw anymore so I could deal.I hope you can find your coffee too.
May 22, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterDebbie
Alice,

You're not crazy or too depressed. Think about how body and the pregnancy hormones are adjusting themselves. When women are pregnant they have a huge hormone surge. Just like some get blue (myself included) after giving birth and all the juices recalibrate, your body is adjusting after the loss. I know what it's like to hurt to breathe, but I also know that it one day won't and I try to look for that speck of light in the midst of my darker days. Pray that God allows you a glimmer of brighter days to cling to.
May 22, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterSara
You certainly show great skill in your writing, which would seem to say positive things about you mental state. It's a joy to be able to read your posts. That unmoored feeling does sound an awful lot like depression, based upon my knowledge from my old social work job. It doesn't seem abnormal, though. Isn't there something like temporary, situational depression? Oh well, I suppose your professionals can/have explained it better. So I'll repeat: it's nice to have you around and your writing shows so much skill that we are all jealous.
May 22, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterSuttonwood
I was so relieved to see this post today. I sent an email to you the other day that I started regretting after I sent it. I felt like I'd somehow made it worse (as if my email had that much power even with the link to the Iris lyrics) and was kicking myself for being so selfish and finslippy-addicted that I'd beg for leavings.

Thank you for coming back. I was so in the middle of being apalled at my selfish email that I didn't allow myself to see the humor in your previous post. I love the way you work through your grief. Keep going girl. We'll be on the sidelines, cheering you on.
May 22, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterkim
Rum, rum in everything.

I think if you took a step back and could actually "see" yourself right now you'd say "Damn, that girl is amazing! Strong, taking care of shit the way it should be, living...."

Just the fact that you are sharing this with people who obviously share the pain and who gain encouragement from you, or from your struggles....you are heading in every right direction there is.

I don't think depression always needs "fixing"...if YOU know you aren't suicidal or homicidal, or whatever-cidal, then working through the depression and coming out on the other side where you realize you've smiled more than you've cried, or thought of "good" things more than bad is going to be the best feeling.

Thinking of ya!
May 22, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterWhy Mom Drinks Rum
I think someone recommended tequila - they are quite genius. Soothes the nerves quite nicely, and then solutions? What solutions?
May 22, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterC-Rah
i thought that last entry was funny. it wasn't all daisies & sunshine, & look at me over here dancing with clowns - but funny doesn't always have to be that way.just like life.all you can do is keep, keepin' on.
May 22, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterkat
Candy? Really? Nuh uh.Is there really candy at the bottom of the cliff?What kind?
May 22, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterHeyJoe
The kind you like.
May 22, 2008 | Unregistered Commenteralice
I printed out your last entry, and this one, and highlighted nearly every word. Then I brought them to my most recent appointments (yesterday and today) with my own mental-healthkeepers and read them out loud. THIS, I said, jabbing my finger at the pages. THIS IS WHAT I HAVEN'T BEEN ABLE TO FIND THE WORDS TO SAY.

So, thank you.

I hope you find your center again, and the crying times become fewer and fewer. I wish you all the best.
May 22, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAnne
I, too, am a solution-minded person, and it's irritating beyond irritating when I don't know what the solution is.

The only Zen koan that has ever done anything for me is this:

There is no solution.Seek it lovingly.

Which says to me "FREEDOM"! It doesn't mean you shouldn't look lovingly for the solution, it just means that there is no one right answer.

Keep rocking it, wonderful Alice.
May 22, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMFab
DAMNIT!
May 22, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterHeyJoe
Miscarriage sucks. It's a real loss, so you're having real grief, and that's okay. I've been through it twice myself, and my last one was at about that same place in the pregnancy. I was stunned by how awful it was. I thought maybe it wouldn't be as difficult the second time. I was wrong. I thought maybe it wouldn't be as devastating because I now had my daughter (the first had happened before she was born, in my first pregnancy). I was wrong. I felt as you do (both times actually), that I wanted THAT baby, not a different one.

As with all deaths, the grief never disappears, it just gets less constant and less intense (though it can return in waves with great intensity over time). The first weeks are the hardest, but the whole first year is intermittently difficult.

I'm just so so sorry. (And for my money, though the pain was evident throughout, that last post was hilarious. I got it.)
May 22, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterKaza
I write better when I'm sad.

My counselor wasn't impressed by my witty banter either when I was in his office yesterday, and thus, I have an appointment with a psychiatrist next week. I will accept her prescriptions with open (jazz) hands. Anything to feel differently than I do right now.



May 22, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterChristi
Just for the record, I thought your last post was hilarious, and I was going to comment on it like, "You're so funny."

And then I read everyone's comments, and I was like, "Oh. I guess I'm lame. I guess I should be more sensitive."

So if it makes you feel better, you're so funny.
May 22, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterHeidi
If it helps, your last post and this one were actually very funny, just also sounding like you need hugs!

As for depression, I long ago decided it was a normal state to be in at times in our lives. Just because it sucks and people need therapy and medications does not mean it's not normal. Right? Right.
May 22, 2008 | Unregistered Commentercaramama
*running**falling**fall cushioned by Mike and Ike and luscious peanut butter cups**Pledges allegiance to Alice**berates others to take the plunge already*

May 22, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterHeyJoe
it's possible to be sad AND funny. glad you are taking care of yourself.
May 22, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMamaCarter
It's been 16 years since I lost my baby. He would have been my third boy. I remember the doctor kept saying a "miscarriage"--most likely to shield me from the fact that I was having to labor and deliver a baby who had ceased living in utero a week or so earlier. So I believed him--a miscarriage it would be, until my husband told me afterward that it was a boy with tiny legs and arms. I would have been better off thinking forever that it was just unrecognizable tissue. Then a year later I had the most amazing baby girl . . . I figure God more than made up to me for the loss. But sometimes I still tear up and think about the baby "James" that I didn't get to keep.
May 22, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterNancy
Geesh, I didn't really make a point there did I? I just wanted to let you know that you're going to be sad and that people aren't going to understand your grief sometimes, but to remember that other wonderful things will come along to bless you. But it's ok to fall apart for a while--you're not crazy and you're not being a wimp. Your grief is well-warranted.
May 22, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterNancy
I'm just catching up on your blog--I want to say something but don't know what to say except that I was there in 2006 when I had two miscarriages 6 months apart. It is okay to be sad for a long time. You lost a life that is part you and your husband. I am so sorry. You are helping a lot of women by posting your experience here.
May 22, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterangela
MamaCarter - weird, MY first comment came out with your name on it!
May 22, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterNancy
Now I have to apologize to MamaCarter AND Angela . . . my comments are posting with other people's ID on them!
May 22, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterNancy
:-) And now I realize I'm an idiot . . . the names come out BELOW the posts.
May 22, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterNancy
Feeling is feeling, no labeling needed. You have beautiful humor and beautiful sadness.
May 22, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterFelicity

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