Friday, February 05, 2010


I am, as always, proud as a peacock of my new header and sidebar graphics. Tres Parisian if you will, but I remain wildly infatuated with the photos from those hundred hours or so I spent in France.

A new header, as (almost) always, signifies I have excessive spare time and am likely huddled at home, hiding from the outside world in a fit of depression. I am less than proud of my behavior of late.

I'm lashing out in moments of energy, effortlessly bringing anyone around to my level of misery whether that requires them to get angry or feel sorry for me or get worried about some minuscule problem I've magnified greatly. I feel ashamed afterward - bitterly so, actually - while I'm interacting with people, the pain spreads. As the black tentacles slip from the cloud that surrounds me, encircling others and wrapping tight, it feels as though the suffocating darkness eases.

I encountered a feeling of dark satisfaction after upsetting a colleague. He works for another company and I felt it utterly necessary to jerk him around, ridicule his attempt at a proposal and indicate I could easily go elsewhere. I blinked in a moment of clarity - at once shocked and appalled and afraid - and told him I needed a moment. He blinked at me in return, surprised that I'd depart an argument I was dominating so completely, but I moved from the room and found an empty office. Closing the door behind me, I clasped my hands, bowed my head and prayed. The resulting moments of relative peace allowed me to apologize and help plan next steps before I escaped to my office and begged time to pass more quickly.

"This is a problem," Adam said of my frequent absences this week.

"I know," I replied, staring at him without offering a solution. He sighed, opened his mouth only to close it again and shook his head at me.

I'm never comfortable, I realized. I'm either overstimulated or horrifically bored. I'm sweating because the heat is too high or shivering in a desperate attempt to ease the cold - all without moving from my spot on the bed. I vary between absolute terror that I can't pay my bills to complete disinterest in going to work and ensuring my income continues. I avoid phone calls, glaring at the phone every time it dares ring, but am desperately lonely and wondering why nobody would worry over me.

I made it 8 hours today, I congratulated myself, resolutely satisfied that the illness had not forced me from the office after 2-3 hours as has happened most of the week. It hurt - it was hard - sitting there, wanting escape so badly I trembled and my head ached obligingly to offer an excuse - but I stayed. I prayed. I breathed deeply. I sat in the bathroom a lot.

Almost as a reward, Smallest One demanded the phone when I called my parents. "I talk," she said firmly. "Aunt Katie? I talk." And I smiled over her, relaxing just a bit.

My books came from amazon - far sooner than they should have since I selected free shipping - and reading new stories felt more like a pleasant pastime than rereading old books in hopes they'd ease my poor brain.

My plan remains the same as always. Be vigilant about taking medication. Spend time in prayer and seek peace in the quiet. Walk outside - watch my dog enjoy her outing and increase blood flow to my brain and look at the world and realize it's not so terrible. Make sure I have some human contact - whether by phone or in person. And remember that I'm OK. I'm just sick, not broken. And it will get better.


lucy said...

{{{{Katie}}}} I'll be thinking of you and hoping this passes quickly. Take care.

Angela said...

I like the new header :) take care of you and I hope things start looking up soon.

Earnest English said...

It's perversely helped me in my dark terrible mood and sick body to read your blog. I'm sorry things are so hard lately. I wonder about seasonal affect for both of us actually. Perhaps we both need full spectrum light bulbs!

Or maybe we're usually so busy and working so hard and expecting so much from ourselves that these dark moods and depression are really about our bodies trying to achieve some balance. Actually this makes perfect sense since you just were traveling and that takes SO much out of a person. I found once that flying to the Middle East and making it to the hotel was just as much as I could do and I spent two days in the hotel room reading Didion's The Year of Magical Thinking and eating peanuts (because I had brought them). Of course, I was just going on antidepressants at the time. But travel is much more exhausting that we realize.

Anyway, here I am trying to find logical reasons for this ICK, when it's the lessons in the Ick that are important. Read books. Snuggle. Be quiet. Do what you need to do. Have a quiet weekend. I'm going to follow my own advice.

Anonymous said...

I'm in a similar position, an academic battling depression and another chronic illness at the same time and as EarnestEnglish said, reading your blog is sometimes very helpful for me, because you talk about all this so freely and it makes me feel a bit less alone. Anyway, to reprocitate a bit, perhaps this would help you.
I found a method that helps me get calm and accept myself as I am in a particular moment in this book: Jon Kabat-Zinn, Full Catastrophe Living. Just a suggestion.

- a longtime lurker

ScienceWoman said...

Hugs, Katie. I hope a quiet, but not too lonely, weekend helps you feel a little better. And I love the new header.

Brigindo said...

The header is beautiful and, as always, I am touched by your honest and vivid description of your illness. Yes you will get better as you always do. I hope some quiet time this weekend helps but don't forget we are always here.

Psycgirl said...

(((Katie))) I hope this passes soon. I love your new header.

I just realized, reading this post, that you never seem to blog about actually being on vacation. Do you have vacation days? can you use some to get away and take a break?

hgg said...

Love the header! Get well soon.

JaneB said...


Travelling is very, very hard - I think it uses up a lot of the energy we usually use on warding off depression, myself, and that we have to assume we'll feel crap afterwards.

I'm so sorry that you're having one of those episodes which starts turning outwards and has you spreading the miserables, especially as you're such a nice, caring person - much empathy from here, if that's any comfort.

Be kind to yourself. Find a tonic to boost your system, if you can. It WILL pass, though it might not feel like it. And i'm praying for you too...

Anonymous said...

I just read this, too. I hope things get better for you, and like everyone else, I like the new header.

Many hugs,

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