Monday
Sep132010

Let's Just Go There

cheeseball

 

Derfwad Manor has always been intended to be a simple, embracing place to swing by, grab a laugh or two and then move on and go about your business. Not too shallow, not too deep, a nice little slice of just right.

 

And that intention has not changed. God knows that Mrs. G. is not interested in being taken seriously. Back when the Women's Colony was in production and we were occasionally interviewing authors, Mrs. G. got an email from esteemed author Margot Livesey asking when her interview was going to be published, she was anxious to see it. Mrs. G. apologized for the delay and told Ms. Livesey that she had a confession to make: the Women's Colony was not Newsweek and in no small part consisted of a middle aged wife and mom cranking out print in her living room, winging the holy hell out of it with an amazing group of dedicated women. Ms. Livesey wrote back that she was impressed and that she felt like she would like to come over and water Mrs. G's plants.

 

The point of this is that this is still the truth. Mrs. G. is just a woman sitting in her living room cranking out print. She doesn't say this to minimise herself, she says it to remind each and every one of you that she has presented herself in what is likely an alarmingly honest way: she's insecure, she's struggling to reframe a life centered around kids (which is leading to a lot of second guessing about decisions made years back), she really does just randomly fall to the ground, home decor and fashion bore her and it shows, she's an interrupter, and pretends she is serving the environment by wearing a shirt two days in a row when in fact it's just one more ploy to avoid laundry. She tries to be a nice person and apologizes when she fails. She can open any jar put before her.

 

But she is flawed and, presently, she is lost.

 

And this is a big one: Mrs. G. rarely shares her problems with anyone besides Mr. G. because she is fearful of appearing whiney. When she is feeling overwhelmed or troubled, her inclination is to lay low and not be a bother. Compared to most of the world, she is so privileged and what is more annoying than a privileged woman carrying on about her problems?

 

Which is explains her recent lack of writing. She thought about writing some bullshit about being extra busy and blah, blah, blah.

 

But it occurred to her last night that she should tell the truth because certainly she is not the only person who has dwelled in a valley, and because she suspects just laying it out there will actually solve some of her writer's block, the just sitting in front of the screen staring at it and staring at it and staring at it.

 

So she has swallowed her pride and found a SARK-less therapist to help her re-evaluate her difficulty in just sucking it up and shaking it off.

 

Apparently these strategies are no longer working because Mrs. G's previously conquered fear of bridges is back--but she keeps driving over them, refusing to give in. Her normal appreciation of beauty is lacking. She was walking up the stairs to her house and came alongside her most beloved gardenia tree (in her estimation, the world's most exquisite flower). The tree is in full bloom, the smell intoxicating and the gardenia tree's beauty and optimism were in such contrast to Mrs. G's dismal frame of mind, she told the tree to shut up as she walked into the house. Similary she looks at her cherry tomatoes, withering on the vine, desperate for water and thinks stand in line, cherry tomatoes, stand in line. You aren't the center of the universe!

 

Mrs. G. has cancelled her last three hair appointments. Are you getting some idea of the magnitude of this crisis?

 

Another intention of Derfwad Manor and The Women's Colony was to create a community of women who might feel comfortable saying things online that are difficult to say in person, a meaningful start in Mrs. G's mind. Reaching out is reaching out no matter what the method. It's human to just connect.

 

So if anyone out there is struggling, know that you are not alone, because feeling alone in turmoil is the bottom and the one thing about the suck ass bottom is that, even in tiny increments, there is no place to go but up.

 

If there is anyone who is experiencing similar difficulties, let Mrs. G. know and she is happy to share what she is learning on what is clearly going to be an ongoing journey. Mrs. G. wants to stress that for her this is not about the outside (aging, whatever) but the inside. We can round robin email if anyone is interested in creating a mini support group, sharing experiences and insights. She suspects to some this sounds cheeseball, but guess what, at this point, Mrs. G. fully embraces cheeseball. Honestly, she would french it.

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Reader Comments (105)

Sorry it's been such a suck ass week. I knew you had a lot going on and figured you'd re-surface when you were ready. You're definitely not the only one out there having a tough time, sister. You know how to reach me, if you need reminding. Hopefully the worst has passed and now you can get back to the garden-variety, everyday kind of suckage. Let's commiserate soon, shall we?

September 13, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSuzanne

Since I'm new in these parts and a sporadic reader at best, it may be presumptuous of me to offer -- but you're more than welcome to take my virtual hand as you wait for various juices to flow again. One of my favorite prayers is "Please pass the relish."

September 13, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCaro

Appreciate your honesty. I'll be thinking of you, and saying a prayer as you go through this process.

September 13, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJen

Strangely I seem to have a harder time talking about things online than I do in person. It might be an age/generation thing. That said, since I've lived many years I can say "been there, done that" to lots of situations. I don't think that qualifies me to offer advice but it sure makes it easy for me to lend an ear.

Anytime!

Darla

September 13, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDarla

I am not one who usually writes/talks/acknowledges my problems but you kind of got to me on this one. I lost my job a little over a year ago and it somehow kicked me in the butt. It was rather ugly and ended up in a lawsuit and betrayal by my coworkers and other made for TV worthy scenarios. That coupled with both my kids being away from home the entire day for the first time (Swiss kids come home for lunch) has left me wondering what it is that I do. I don't feel as much depressed as I do sent adrift. I want something to happen but do not know how to make it happen and would much prefer to stumble upon the meaning of life.
So for what it is worth... I get it. Good luck to you (and me too).

September 13, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMary

Hugs, empathy, and a virtual bottle of wine to you, from another middle aged wife and mom struggling with redefinition. Hope the SARKless therapist is helpful. I personally seem to be seeking solace in chocolate chip cookies, which, while comforting in the moment, is having the predictable effect of making my clothes fit as poorly as my outlook.

It sounds cliche, but have you tried walking? I was doing great with this for a while -- found it really cleared my head -- but then the summer got too damn hot. I am resolving to get out there again.

Thinking of you.

September 13, 2010 | Unregistered Commenter*m*

As a fifty year old woman (ack!) I just spent some time in the therapist's office this summer getting some things straight in my head that were sucking the energy from me. I spent a lot of time in therapy for about six years around the age of forty, before, during, and after my divorce. And I spent a little time in therapy around the age of thirty. I'm beginning to see a pattern that I think Gail Sheehy called Passages. Anyway, my point is that you are right that many, many people have issues to deal with that may not seem big as they are happening but that add up and begin to weigh on you. So congrats with facing them and good luck!

September 13, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterRose

I've let my blog go to hell. Mainly because I feel that I can't turn my regular life details into Shakespeare and without being able to do that, I just leave it alone until the inspiration strikes. The world isn't waiting with anxious hearts for my next words and so my already dwindling audience drifts away even more.

And my real job gets in the way of having time or energy to compose a decent post. I've got plenty to say, but I'm just not sure how to and mostly it would be about school, which I think everyone's sick of hearing about anyway. Either that...or stuff I can't say about family.

Personally, Mrs. G, you could post your grocery list here and I'd read it. Even if you DO write if from your living room. Hell...write perched atop a tractor in your backyard. I'll still be here.

I'm afraid to cancel my blog and I'm afraid not to. And now I'm going to be late for work. Shit.

September 13, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterapathy lounge

I don't have any advice, but would like to add that I think it says something about your intelligence that home decor and fashion bore you. Me too. I just have to say that, even if it insults someone else's intelligence.
From a person who has had lots of emtional valleys, feel better soon!

September 13, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterHeather

Hi Mrs G, I would be very interested in the 'round robin support group' although I'm not too sure what that means or what it would entail! I'm in a strangely difficult position at the moment - deeply unhappy, very trapped and yet I have nothing really to complain about - not willing to put it all out here but would be willing to 'talk' in a smaller online group.

September 13, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterPenny

I was thinking about starting a support group for guys who hang around women's blogs and have seasonal sinus problems. I imagine there would be a sh!tload of whining there...

September 13, 2010 | Unregistered Commentergary rith

My robin could use some rounding. Perhaps it should take a lesson from my ass. I suspect my sleep "issues" have something to do with stress or unhappiness, which is odd, considering I'm so pleased with my new job. My daughter has moved out, but only about 150 feet away, so I can't really grouse about that, and my son is about to start a martial arts instructor's program, which makes him very happy. I try to see these transitions as adventures, but it would be so much better if I knew how it all comes out in the end.

September 13, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterunmitigated me (m.a.w.)

Redefinition of life? I hear that. Emotional valley? Mmmhmmmm. Support? I'm in .

September 13, 2010 | Unregistered Commentertrash

From the time I had post-partum depression with my oldest child, I resolved to share that and other difficult experiences with other women so that hopefully I can help someone by at least letting them know they are not alone, as I have felt. Why are we as women so afraid to share these difficult things with others? I'm currently going through another difficult valley due to family circumstances and thought I would break, but finally shared my burden recently with two friends. I think we too often can get caught up in a trap where we put on a mask for others while we are privately struggling inside. We need to have the courage to be real and honest and perhaps we will find others, as I did recently, who can offer wisdom learned from their own experiences.

To all those hurting today, I wish you peace.

September 13, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBunny in TX

Mrs. G I'm with you on this one..I have battled depression since I was 17. I have lost count of the number of therapists i've seen in the intervening 40+ years. I poured my misery out in the friday confessional and was was gratified that people didn't just laugh (no insecurity here right) . I am in a 2nd marriage, seperated, filed for divorce ,then took it back only to have my husband un-burden himself . (Im trying to be discreet here). lI have been a complete fool , fortunately for me I called our old marriage counselor and started seeing him by myself.This is a big plus as he knows the man that takes up the most time in sessions so far.Tthe other plus is hes a wonderful and smart therapist. There are lots of bad lazy therapists out there and if you see one run" Helen". We all have our struggles and its the "sisterhood" (for lack of a better term) that helps us through men, kids parents etc. at least it has been for me me,
I've spent the last 3 days crying until i wore the skin off my nose with kleenex.and Im not out of the woods yet .Each day seems to bring another new DRAMA to contend with. However, now that I no longer think the world is better off without me, I just a need a new plan for my life.
Any thoughts?
Chin up and know that you are not alone in your struggle There are lots of us who are there or have been there and we have tales to tell of how we made it though,
Cheers to you for putting it out there ....I know you will find bunchs of support .
Hugs.

September 13, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterPetunina

Support? I'm here. I too have suffered many emotional valleys -- fact is, I'm not even sure I'm fully out of the last one. Mrs G, I've adored both you and the Women's Colony since who knows when. I figured there was something going on when you hadn't posted for a bit, but since I'm a newbie , I felt it presumptuous to ask if everything was OK.

I'm turning 50 this year. There's some sort of change going on within me my non-SARK therapist says is necessary before passing into the next phase. It's very uncomfortable. I'm not the same person I was 5, 10, or 20 years ago -- heck, not even 2 years ago. I don't talk about it very much, but maybe if we did we could maybe not feel so alone.

September 13, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterkizzy

I'm right there at the bottom of the valley with you, Mrs. G. I'm floundering right now. After fourteen years of being a stay-at-home mom, I'm not sure what my next step should be. Go back to teaching? Sub for awhile? Sleep all day every day? Give writing a real whirl? (The third option is winning right now). I feel like I've lost my value and sense of self, and I don't mean that in a New Age-y annoying way.

September 13, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterjenn

It's the 40's, Mrs. G. They suck. Look at it - you essentially "lost" both your children in the past few year. If men can have trouble adjusting when they retire, why shouldn't women who suddenly find themselves in a different phase of their lives have trouble also? Personally, although I always looked forward during the baby years to not being pregnant or nursing, I have found myself completely devastated by a life without babies. Completely. I am unmoored, as it were, without having the baby's needs and the baby's laughter and the little toddling steps to center my life around. The whole family feels the difference! We always had a 2-year-old to entertain us. What do we do now? Get cable? A poor substitute to be sure.

And it's not as if I have nothing else in my life. I still have 4 children at home to feed and take care of and laugh with. I have hobbies and friends and all that. I'm busy! Yet, it means nothing next to having a little angel in the house.

You are not the only one floundering, Mrs. G, be sure of it. Just keep pedaling until you reach higher ground. I'll meet you up there.

September 13, 2010 | Unregistered Commentersuburbancorrespondent

Mrs. G, you're a candle in my dark cave. I'm floundering around myself. I've been in therapy a few times, but now that I live in the cow pastures and corn fields of North Carolina, I don't think I'm going to find any decent therapists anywhere nearby anytime soon. I'm just taking my angst out on the teenagers I encounter while substitute teaching. It's working surprisingly well as long as I leave my 16 year old daughter out of the loop. Count me in as someone who'd love to be a part of your journey. God knows we all need some company.

September 13, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJayme L.

I've struggled on and off with depression since I was a youngster, a couple of episodes of major depression. I'm doing much better for the past few years, and I guess it is because I have learned some coping skills along the way, but also (and more importantly) I broke the inner dam on a traumatic event that occurred early in my life. I think that helped more than anything.

I'm currently facing some of the same issues as noted above - a late 40ish woman whose kids are more or less grown accepting the challenge of redefining a life that was formerly defined by being a parent. Now, I'm still a parent, and the kids still need me (a lot), but they certainly don't need or want me to keep them as the central focus of my life. So here we are, figuring it out. If you come up with something brilliant, let me know. A couple of strategies that may be paying off for me is going back to school and making the effort to travel more.

September 13, 2010 | Unregistered Commentersuepw

Oh, Mrs. G.... I hear you. I'm 48. Lost my job a year ago to a perky-just-out-of-college-no-experience woman because she could work the late afternoon hours and I could not ( sorry... no can leave my 15 year old alone every day after school, just not smart.) My oldest is away at college. I've got a bunion. (a bunion?!?!) I just feel lost and alone and bored and ashamed of myself for feeling that way, because I'm blessed every which way and have nothing to complain about.

I've set up camp in the valley, and can't find my boots or map to haul myself out.

yuck.

I must say that I bake a really great cake though. And the bathrooms are sparkly.

I love your writing. I'm proud of you for doing it even when you are in said valley... I happen to know that is quite an accomplishment.

September 13, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterwendy

Sending you all sorts of good vibes, nice thoughts and good wishes, Mrs. G. I have a feeling that a lot of self-discovery and wonderful experiences in general will come out of this valley you're crossing. Best of lucks!

P.S. omg there's another Caro?!

September 13, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCaro

Several years ago I quit my job to stay home with the kids, and, at the time, disabled grandma. It was the best decision for the family, but not for me. I loved my job, loved being respected for my brain and opinions. Now I fail--I'm a terrible housekeeper, I don't really enjoy teaching children who don't appreciate the lessons they're being taught, and no one asks my opinion about anything. And when grandma died after contracting a cold I shared with her, I felt nothing but guilt and depression. I have spent the last two years barely functioning. Every time I start to get my act together, something else happens to make me feel useless. I've let everything go, but most especially me. So yeah, I get you. Sometimes one more thing is just too much...

September 13, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJen

We all travel through hills and valleys on this journey. There is a difference between admitting we have problems and allowing ourselves to examine them openly and just whining. You have never sounded like a whiner to me, Mrs. G.

Reframing a life centered around kids is a tough one, isn't it? I've written about that before, recently even, and I'm sure I'll write about it again. This is the main reason Tom Petty has been playing the major portion of the soundtrack of this period of my life. Stevie NIcks' "Landslide" is also a good fit with my own twist in meaning applied. And it's the only reason I'm finding any value at all in reading "Love in the Time of Cholera". (This is not a recommendation. There are just a select few parts with which I can identify. That is all. The real reason I'm pressing forward is sheer stubborness and an inability to quit reading even a lousy book once I've started.)

There are so many things I would have trouble saying out loud in person that I can say on my blog (or in the comments of other people's blogs), and it truly does help me work through it. Maybe it doesn't work that way for everyone, but I'm content that it does for me. This writing therapy is a luxury I allow myself, and I ease my conscience in spite of those who might call it navel gazing because I know I can't be the only one who's been or will be where I am now. Maybe there will be value and validation and even a little help in what I write for someone else. I know that reading what you and others have written has been helpful to me.

September 13, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJenni in KS

I know all of the streets in that valley you're in. I've been back in therapy since spring and sometimes I think I see progress on my journey out, while at other times I feel I'm walking in circles.

I wish you well Mrs. G.

By the way, it was cold enough last night to snuggle in that beautiful quilt I won here and want you to know that in addition to warmth, it brings me great joy. Once again, thanks.

September 13, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterrudeek

You've been through a heckuva year+. As SC just pointed out, both kids have grown up and gone out in the world (Enzo is still living at home, of course, but the jump to public school is huge). A job you loved came to an end. An online magazine you birthed grew into a toddler with public tantrums (thinking of some painful episodes that were NOT your fault) and the cost of daycare was prohibitive.
Personally, I've struggled with depression for a long time. I didn't go on meds until my last baby was a toddler and it occurred to me that I was yelling at him. (I shudder to think what it was like for the other kids... I have a few memories that cause me to wallow in shame.) And right now I am standing on a precipice, looking at the tightrope and trembling with fear. My husband is going to retire in 9 months, we're going to move cross-country to a new place (someplace where we can afford to live), my 2nd child will head off to college, and my baby will start middle school. Oh, and my husband will take over much of the cooking and grocery shopping. Where does that leave me? Floundering, that's for sure. Heck, I'm already floundering. And I can't really talk about it with friends locally because they are already unhappy that I am moving away.

Sitting with you in your living room was an incredibly comfortable experience. I felt very 'at home' there. I wish you could drop in and visit me today. I'd clear off a spot on the sofa and serve you fresh apple crumble with apples from our trees. I'll be here all day, trying to process (cook applesauce, bake cobbler, dehydrate --whatever!) the apples before they go bad like a SARK therapist.

September 13, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterkcinnova

I, too, have been dwelling in a valley. While I'm beginning to dismantle my comfortable little house in this valley and come out of it, I find I'm faced with the overwhelming question: What do I want now? This question sends me scurrying back into the valley and rebuilding walls I struggled to rip down.

I thought I was asking this question over the past 18 years of intense motherhood. But with the dawning realization that in less than a year my home will be one child short, I find I've not really addressed it.

It seems the growing silence in my house, makes the question scream louder. What do I want? Shit, I wish I knew.

September 13, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterrlrho

I've often wished I had a group of sisters like the Ya Yas. Lately I've been struggling emotionally with husband stuff and my own insecurities that exploded a week ago. Things are getting better I hope but in the midst of it I really felt like I'd "dropped my basket". Haven't really picked all of the basket up yet but I'm working on it.

Hang in there Mrs. G. We're all hanging out here because you speak with a voice we recognize. Take care of you.

September 13, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterWendy

I guess I'm down in the valley as well. I think I realized last night when I began crying for no reason while playing 'bejeweled' on facebook (don't judge it usually helps me de-stress). I think a lot of it has to do with my mom; realizing that every event and holiday this year is a 'first' without her. Our family is financially strapped, my husband is a twit, and I feel like a failure because I don't think I'm giving my son a better life than I had. So yeah, if there's a support group of sorts, I'm in.

September 13, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKelley

Dearest Mrs G, as apathy lounge posted above, I'll read your grocery list if that's what you want to post.

I needed to read this today, something to let me know that I'm not alone in the unwanted need to reframe my life. By choice and luck, my world has been kid-centred for decades; however, there have been a metric tonne of changes in one year and I am struggling. In an hour I will be taking my youngest son to his new residence at university. This leaves one kid at home and I know she wants to flit ASAP. Must. not. cling.

This must be what it feels like to be fired after 25 years.

Deep breath. You, me, all the other fine women here. Do what's in front of you right now.

September 13, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterc

Mrs G, I'll french the cheesball, no problem. And if there's an e-mail support group, I'll join that too. Winter is coming. Again. I'm back in vocational classes after ten years of university schooling, because I don't know how to run a life. My son is 17 and counting. My extended family is nuts. I used to have tools for escape, but none of them work any more.

Hey--a guy called me to do some phone banking for Darcy Burner, and I thought I should do it. It would be two hours, once a week. Would you be into doing that with me? I keep thinking the key might be for me to find a place to focus outside of myself, so maybe I should try that. We'll see.

J

September 13, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJill W

Oh Mrs. G I have been telling my husband all summer that I think you must be depressed. It was just a vibe I picked up. I think I was aware of how you were feeling because I too have been experiencing the same sort of lost and "What the hell has happened to me" feelings.I read every blog post of yours but lately I just don't even feel like commenting because I feel I have nothing useful or witty to say. Yes I think it is partly age and hormones and my children getting older but also I feel a certain amount of depression about the great divide I see in the country. It has gotten so bad for me that I have joined a group that is spending the next 12 weeks going through 2 books "The Artist Way" and Wishcraft".Not sure if this group will help but I am desparate and need some answers. I sat in my car before the meeting debating whether I should go inside or start my car head to the nearest Starbucks and sit there for 2 hrs. and then go home and lie to my family and say I had a great time at the meeting. I decided to go inside and attend the meeting. I sat through the meeting and participated but a little voice inside of me kept saying this is stupid and a waste of time. This is a big move for me because I am not a group joiner. I know you will hate hearing this but I am not a woman who enjoys being around other women. Most feel fake and phoney to me. You are one of the few women who I believe to be real and nonjudgemental. You are happy to admit your flaws.
I am so sorry you are going through a valley but now I don't feel so alone. If there is anything I can do to help I would be happy. You have been a bright spot in my day for several years now. You truely have a gift. Your wit, insight and writing come together so beautifully. Even though we have never met I call you a friend and I admire you.

September 13, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMargaret/Who Asked You?

Hey. Reading through all the comments before mine, I am convinced that you've created a powerful and engaged community here. And we are with you - we are invested in you, no matter how deep the valley you find yourself in at the moment.

My cheeseball advice: take a 30 minute walk every day. Tell the trees to shut up and the clouds to knock it off. Just walk and breathe.

September 13, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterThe Other Laura

My one and only child (son) is leaving for college on Sunday. Instead of savoring this last bit of time with him, I am turned into a complete bitch. I KNOW why, but I still can't seem to do anything about it. My son is going to leave, relieved, to be away from him crazy, depressed mother.

Why can't I stop it?

September 13, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterNancy G.

"...she's insecure, she's struggling to reframe a life centered around kids (which is leading to a lot of second guessing about decisions made years back)..."

Mrs.G, you are a pioneer, a revolutionary. It would be so much easier to draw the blinds and sit in the dark with a bag of Doritos, but you choose to stand up and meet this thing. I am, as ever, quietly inspired by you, admiring your strength even when you feel feeble.

I am so honored to meet your footprints in the sand with my own feet, to experience your journey as it illuminates where I may end up, the pitfalls and valleys, there is an undeniable comfort in knowing we're not alone, wherever we may find ourselves. And eventhough it's dark, I hope you can feel us throwing blankets over your shoulders and loving you and praying for you and holding you up.

Incidently, I've just started reading Donald Miller's latest, "A Million Miles in a Thousand Years" it's about reframing your life (or editing it down to the unfiltered story) It may speak to where you are. And for the record, I think that telling our stories is one of the bravest things...

September 13, 2010 | Unregistered Commenteremily

Dear Mrs. G - Via email I am sending you a picture of my stepson who could be George Clooney's younger brother. I know that will cheer you up.

September 13, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKathy

Not Darcy Burner. LOL. Patty Murray. I've gone back in time, apparently.

September 13, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJill W

Hi Mrs. G,

I am interested in forming an email support group with you. Sometimes I feel a little odd here because I've never married and have no children, although I do have dogs. I'm there in the valley of depression again, though, and could really use sharing with other people. Depression, for me anyway, leads to a whole lot of isolating. Picked up a lesson along the way that I shouldn't bother people so I can't talk to people unless I don't need help. Feh. Stupid lesson, but hard to let go and easy to slip back into.

I find Vitamin D (the liquid form), walking, and a SAD light box are helpful. Now that it's September, it's definitely time to set up the light box again.

Thanks for writing, and thanks for being you.

September 13, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterkabbage

Many hugs, Mrs. G. I am have no wisdom to impart. Just some love coming to you from Oregon.

September 13, 2010 | Unregistered Commentersarah

Mrs. G, I am right there with you. Lately it's all I can do to keep my head on straight, get my butt outta bed and face the day without tears. I know I shouldn't complain about things because there are so many worse things that I could be experiencing. I just choose to keep things to myself because I don't want to be one of those friends that's always complaining about their life....however, I really wish I had someone to talk with about things...someone that would listen. My hubby doesn't have the time or the patience to listen to me. So if there's a support group, I'm in!

Like others before me in the comments....I too would read your grocery list....I'd read anything you write because you write honestly and speak for a lot of us women. I feel your pain Mrs. G! Hugs to you!

September 13, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterms. e

Virtual support group? I'm so there. Thanks, Mrs. G for being real. You truly have created something amazing for us. The idea of a support group of other women who feel the way I feel gives me hope. Something I haven't had in a very long time. Thank you.

September 13, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterShelly

Dear, dear Mrs. G,

It is a huge step to be able to face that things are tough. I went through a period where I could go to work and come home most days. But I did nothing else, did not open mail, did not pay bills, did not clean. I lived by myself and figured if I continued to 'look' like I was functioning- no one would be the wiser. Eventually someone recognized that I was in a deep, deep hole and help me get back to the surface, it was still a while before I was making forward motion. It sounds to me like you are making slow forward motion, that is awesome.

I too would be happy to listen and/or share life's dilemmas. My son will be going away to college next year and I am frightened of what my life will be like. I was never going to be married or a mother and then I found myself both of those things- it scares me to consider another major life change, I am not really good with spur of the moment. Can I live alone with my husband? Weird question huh? Do we love each other enough to make this work just the 2 of us? Now he thinks he wants to build a house- I am 53 do I want a new mortgage at 53?

I am surely going to walk around and yell at bushes and trees in my yard to SHUT UP though! I think it may help...lot's of warm gentle thoughts coming your way.

September 13, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterklcrab

I love you for telling the truth about where you're at! That's powerful stuff. I think you've made a brave choice to keep this community vibrant and real as opposed to cliche' and shallow. I am sorry you are in the valley. Know there are many people who love and support you. I also would read your grocery list :)

September 13, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterE

Ah, Mrs G. Thanks for putting this out there. The last couple months I've been lingering. Not lingering in a place, just lingering everywhere. Every time someone asks me whats new I either feel like crying or throwing a punch because it seems as though nothing new and interesting is happening for me. And I know some of it is my fault - normally I love new experiences and egtting out to try new things - I'm the type to totally want to frnech the beauty of a blooming gardenia tree. But lately I've come to a new understanding of the word ennui. I just can't seem to get excited about anything or make any decision about how I really want to change my life.

September 13, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJenny

What a community of women--these comments show tremendous honesty and empathy. I think you did the right and brave thing for opening up here.

Also? You and I have so much in common sometimes it almost freaks me out. I have been battling a bridge phobia for years--like you I just keep driving over them, but it gets harder and harder every year. I'm fascinated by the idea that you had it conquered for a while.

September 13, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJenn @ Juggling Life

((Gentle Hugs)) Mrs. G. You're going through so many changes it's no wonder that you're feeling a bit lost and down.

After twenty years of recurrent depression I finally found a therapist I could stand. And right after that my husband made a huge mistake that had both legal and financial repercussions for us. And then his job started cutting down his hours. And I'm about to leave for my intake and evaluation appointment for a formal diagnosis of bi-polar 2. Wheeee!

Because of my depression I often feel like I am half drowning. Like my personality has been taken over by apathy and anger. I am a mother and a wife but most of the time I forget, I don't find out what, or don't have the energy, to be anything else. This summer seems to have been a difficult one for so many people. I made a pact with myself this year that I would stop pretending like this isn't a problem for me. One of the reasons that I think we're so often afraid of being perceived as whiny is because people think of depression and other mental disorders as being some sort of personality defect rather than the diseases they are. This doesn't mean I simply give my self permission to bitch all the time or vanish when I'm too down to cope with other people but it does mean that I acknowledge to myself and others this disease that affects my energy, mood, and personality in so many ways. And then I go to therapy and try to overcome as much of it as possible.

Don't be too hard on yourself and it is better out than in. Holding these things in poison us and make us feel even more isolated from the rest of the world.

Another Heather (HMS in Oregon)

September 13, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterHMS in Oregon

There's a lot of us in the same boat, clinging to the life preserver, it seems. I'm 53, married, with 3 grown children and had many ups and downs. I wonder often at how the decisions I've made over the years have affected myself and family. Oh, if only I had done or handled that differently, how would things be now... Family medical crises, family dynamics, shitty neighbors, the huge need to take care of everyone and everything along with the feeling of being responsible when things go wrong... it's wearing, and the past two weeks have been the pits. I hope I can move on into the next stage of my life feeling so much better about things. And Gary? I feel your sinus pain, but you still get a huge eyeroll and not-so-gentle smack on the back of the shoulder.

September 13, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterGaliena

I'm happy to hang out in the valley with you for a bit, but let's all drag and push each other up the hill.. I rented "The Hours" last week, hadn't seen it before and it was almost too painful to watch.

Post your grocery list, with commentary. I'll read it and enjoy it.

September 13, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterVivianne

Dear Mrs. G,
I have erased many sentences here because what I am trying to say has been said by the lovely commenters above. We are here for you no matter what you post or how often. I like what Wendy said- We're all hanging out here because you speak with a voice we recognize.
I am sorry you struggling.
I started visiting The Women's Colony for your homeschooling posts but quickly started reading everything because I felt a connection with you (and the other ladies!). I am happy to know you, if only virtually. If you ever feel like making a drive up to Port Townsend, I would love to get together for coffee. Or gin, depending.
Hugs, gina (a seldom commenter and every day reader)

September 13, 2010 | Unregistered Commentergina

I hear you Mrs. G.

xoxo

Bonnie

September 13, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBonnie

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