Monday, May 15, 2006


I am not well. Physically, I’m fine; I don’t have a cold or anything antibiotics will fix. Inside, I don’t feel right. My thought processes and emotions seem to have a life of their own.

Perhaps the day after Mother’s Day isn’t a good one to take emotional inventory. I sent my mother a card. It’s hard to find cards that aren’t for The Best Mother In The World Who Always Took Care of Me. Inevitably I purchase a card that’s in the “For Anyone” section – a nice picture of flowers and a wish for a nice day. Why do I even send a card, you might ask. It’s just easier to send a card, with its empty sentiments, than it is to deal with the fallout of not sending one. Is that disingenuous? Dishonest even? You bet.

Yesterday we took D’s Mom out for lunch and a bit of shopping. She is 85 and is feeling the brunt of her age. She has fairly advanced arthritis, but other than that is in pretty good health. She uses a walker to walk even the shortest of distances, and has a wheelchair for longer durations. She is also losing her hearing but hasn’t gotten to the point of needing a hearing aid (or maybe doesn’t realize how bad it’s getting), so you have to repeat a lot of the things you say to her. Everything is such a struggle for her. Getting the just-purchased sheet set out of the plastic zippered packaging was a 10-minute exercise. Half the time when I am around her I feel sad that her life is so difficult and painful, and the other half I am waffling between impatience and guilt for said impatience. Instead of taking every opportunity I have left to make our visits fun and interesting, I can’t stop thinking about her death. I know someday soon we will get that phone call and D’s world will come crashing down, and that makes me very sad too.

Next on the inventory list are my feelings about one of our dogs. He had two benign cysts removed from one of his front legs, and the incision was right near the wrist joint. After a week the vet decided the wound wasn’t healing with just a wrap and put on a split to keep the leg immobile, which required basically a soft cast to be built up around the split. We’ve taken him back twice now to have the wound looked at and today again they decided to re-do the split/cast and told me to bring him back on Friday. By then he will have been on antibiotics and a mild sedative for three weeks, not to mention having to wear what the vet calls an “e-collar”, better known as The Cone of Shame. He hasn’t been able to play fetch or even go outside in the sunshine for two weeks. If you knew this dog you’d know why we have to keep him mildly sedated – he LOVES his ball. It just breaks my heart to see him this way. We made the decision to have these cysts removed and now he’s been suffering for weeks. Good grief, maybe it’s a good thing we could never have kids – I’d be a basket-case all the time.

I feel like I’m withdrawing. I get headaches almost every day. I used to loathe all the time I’d spend by myself at home, now it’s all I want to do. If you’re not my husband I generally don’t want to be around you. When I go to the gym I have my iPod earbuds in even when I don’t have music playing, because I don’t want to interact with anyone. I’m sleeping a lot, more than I need to. I can’t get excited about anything, despite the facts that the new job at the financial consulting company is going great and we have two vacations planned this summer. I can keep up a false front indefinitely, its how I got through the years I lived at home. I guess that’s what scares me.


  1. Oh Donna, I'm sorry you've hit such a slump. Can you designate a couple-three 'depress' days? It's occasionally helped me. I simply embody depression for the sake of working through it. Ben and Jerry's, indulgent lying on the couch with a book and on and on until I don't feel so off.

    Ugh, but if you're really in a slump this could be useless.

  2. So sorry to hear what a rough spot you're in. Just wanted to let you know I was thinking of you. And your dog too.

  3. Thanks ladies. My life is already so stress-free, I feel guilty even feeling this way. Today I had a 90-minute conference call that started at 10, then worked for another hour (from home), then took Tucker to the vet at 3. THAT'S IT. I typically go into one of my clients' offices two days a week. I'm surrounded by beauty, good friends and a husband who loves me. Why isn't that enough?

  4. I'm sorry you're feeling this way. I know that feeling all too well.

  5. Sometimes beauty,good friends and a husbands love just ISNT enough.
    Its not that you need to feel guilty,maybe you just need some time for yourself.Im sure youre worried about your dog too.
    Feeling down is normal.Just go with the flow and know that it wont last forever.

  6. I am in my own dead zone right now so I can't really offer any advice.

    I just wanted to let you know that you are in my thoughts.

    Wishing you brighter days ahead.

  7. Same with Beagle - I'm in my own slump right now, but I wanted to let you know that you are not alone. I hope things get better for you soon.

  8. Donna, as long as you're not putting on a false front with your husband I'm not too worried about you. Which isn't to say I'm not sorry that you're feeling so out of sorts - I am. But I think it's something that everyone goes through at times. And even though you think you shouldn't feel adrift, that doesn't necessarily help you from feeling that way.

    I think you are an amazing person. You've survived so many pitfalls and are intelligent, thoughtful, accomplished not to mention stunning. You've managed to create a wonderful life for yourself - and even if it doesn't help to hear it, I wanted to remind you.

  9. I'm just glad you're writing about it, being conscious of it. That's half the battle. Honor your slump and it will honor you.

  10. Donna, don't feel guilty, you are an individual and this thing you are feeling is real, and you need more time to think, and be sad. You're also a wonderful and very special person. I'm sorry you're having a rough time. Seeing yourself ride the wave of emotion is a good thing (not the riding, the seeing) even if you're currently riding the wave down. It will come back up. I'm thinking of you.

  11. I'm sorry that you're feeling so down. I don't have any advice - I know it's especially tough when you're not even sure why you're feeling down. Like all things, eventually it will return to normal. And give that doggie a big hug and kiss from me - I'm a sucker for a puppy with a cone. -Kym

  12. I'm sorry you're feeling the weight of the world right now. I certainly understand. For me, it is incredibly frustrating because the rest of the world has Spring Fever with an extra lift in their step.

    We had 3 dogs years ago. When one got fixed, he chewed his stitches out and required a cone head. Man, was that thing popular. The other dogs were very jealous. One day, I came home from work to find a different dog proudly wearing the cone. At our house, it was the Cone of Power!

  13. Donna, I'm so sorry to hear about the duldrums. You know, people talk about post pardum depression all the time, but i really think that there's a thing as pre pardum depression.

    And yes, you can have a good life, job, and husband, and still feel bad! Dont feel bad about feeling bad. Some people are worse off than you, that's true. But what has that to do with your current feelings?

    I'm so sorry you're in the dumps. I hate that place.

    Take care, my friend.

  14. Sorry to hear about the poor wee doggie missing his ball :(

    I think you are missing your ball too. Lets face it, there does not need to be anything specifically bad going on for the black trough to swallow us up. In fact, that is the time when I think it hits the worst because you think "Why now"?

    It is all peaks and troughs with me, with nary a middle ground. The main comfort being that if you can ride it out, another upstride will come around any week now. You have had a lot of emotional and psychological things stirred up recently and obviously your mind is just getting around to dealing with them. Thinking of you, sweetie.

  15. Sorry you are feeling so down. I have to agree with others though, just cuz on the outside it all looks good - (beauty, support, job) doesn't mean you should feel guilty for feeling down. You do feel down, and acknowledging that is a great thing to do. Sometimes we don't know the "whys". I hope you can work through it and find some solace. Thinking of you.

  16. Donna-
    Sorry you are down and hoping you are on the upswing by now.
    Let's just face it: MOTHER'S DAY SUCKS.

  17. Hi Donna. I'm thinking of you too. Depression just sucks, that's it. Hopefully you'll swing out of it soon. Don't be hard on yourself- you've had a lot to think about, especially on Mother's Day.

  18. Depression doesn't need a reason, Donna. I'm kind of in the same place myself these days.
    Take it easy, and don't be so hard on yourself

  19. I had a crap mother too. I had to leave one shop because their mother's day cards were too loving and praising, I told the shop woman my mother wasn't nice enough for her cards. In the end I bought her a mother's day card but sent it to myself (i lost my daughter to adoption many years ago) and as a last minute guilt thing sent my mother an e-card.
    She's trying to weazel her way back into my life and I keep her at a distance.
    My life blossoms since I told her not to contact me, everything gets better since she is out of my life.
    Your blog is lovely, so full of courage and humour and emotional honesty.