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State of the Union, Part Three or, A Brief Clarification of the Crazy

So. STILL WORKING ON THE PLAN to become Un-Befunked. I WILL post it this weekend because I am putting it into FULL THROTTLE MAGIC ACTION on Monday. I am gearing up. I say this to you in with Scarlet post-radish puke vehemence: On MONDAY I begin to fix this crap via SHEER ANIMAL WILL and maybe chutzpah.

Let me say a few thingies to clarify my rushed Part %@!^#)^$)(+_. I think the abbreviated version I spewed out after the one I worked on for three days got magically deleted (and here we understand “magically deleted” is a euphemism for SELF-DELETED because I have the attention span of a goat on LSD and am apparently TSTL) made a few things unclear.

This is not hormones. Not to medically overshare, but I can tell a few people think I had an Abdominal All Organs Must Go Fire Sale, but really they only took out a single, solitary organ that was trying to KILL me.

SO I am just as lunarly looney as I ever was, and come the full moon I still rear up and kill people and paddle about in their blood like a happy duckling for looking at me funny, then the next day I weep into their dead hair and tell them they are still, LIKE, MY BEST FRIEND, MAN.

Ahhhh lovely flower that is womanhood! I am not yet done with your tender joys and homicidal rages! My doctor even said.

This is the Deep Mean Blues. I know the difference, as I spent a year before in the Deep Mean Blues, and I have spent EVERY MINUTE OF MY LIFE being a moody hormonal disordered jackanapes. I recognize them as two separate but familiar entities. Unlike my flash-pan hormonal wild ape swings from emotional treetop to pit trap and WHEEE BACK UP! this is steady and ongoing and inexorable and heavy. It does not sway or deviate. My moodiness happens on top of this. This simply abides.

Medication is not an option for me. My friends – even my friends who medicate RELIGIOUSLY- will tell you it is not a good idea for me.

First and foremost-ish, because I have HUGE and BIZARRE drug allergies and reactions, and whatever side effects a drug CAN have? I get. I am hypersensitive to many chemicals and I don’t have a year to screw around puffing up and vomiting and falling over from dizzy spells, much less experiencing liver failure, suicidal thoughts and actions, and my all time favorite, sudden death.

By the time we found a drug that worked even remotely, I would probably have, if left chemically alone, already come out the other side.

Even if I didn’t have such a checkered and bloody history with pharmaceuticals, I would still avoid Better Living Through Chemistry because a part of me knows this is a piece of my Serious Crazy; this is where the books come
from. You don’t kill the goose that lays the pretty eggs you love, even on those days when the goose poops in the house and makes untoward comments about your mother.

Case in point, the last time, the first Blue Year—I came out the other side with both Maisy Jane and gods in Alabama. Things I never would have had without that bleak flat sorrowing year. And I also know, this time, several things I did not know before.

1) I know I am sad. I missed it last time until it was over, so couldn’t really work to counteract it.

2) I know that I CAN come out the other side. Because I did before. This is SUPER HELPFUL TO KNOW.

Fake lastly, I want to say I know all this “oh noes I r sad” crap is SUCH a first world problem. I can feed my kids. When it rains, I can toddle into my nice house. I have clothes. Some of them are EVEN CUTE. My car (I have my own car! It is ORANGE!) can drive me to yoga, and I live near YOGA. I am SUPER GRATEFUL FOR ALL THIS. Every damn day. Really.

DOUBLE REAL ACTUAL LASTLY, Thank you. Thank you for your comments. I like my little warm hole I have carved out here on the internets. I like YOU. I like US. ESPECIALLY FOR REALLY AND MOST OF ALL thank you to the people who simply shared their own experiences. Solidarity. Some of you clearly have deep mean blue pits you visit, too, and maybe we can scootch ours over by each other—friendly neighboring chasms. We can have barbecues and suchlike. Eat Super Foods. Say mean things about the HAPPY neighbors. Who’s in?

34 comments to State of the Union, Part Three or, A Brief Clarification of the Crazy

  • JulieB

    I’ll bring the blueberries.

    Yes to you. Yes to your plan. Yes to the whole post. Monday my husband and I got home from work just as the kids got home from school. He walked into the basement to discover the carpet was squishing. He opened up the door to access the water shut off valve to discover that that was pointless – the water was flowing around the pipes through the foundation like the dyke in the story. The only thing keeping me sane was perspective – at least I had a basement and not only a basement, I have a job that I like, I had neighbors who would take the kids if needed, we might not get the vacation we’d been saving for for two years, but we would still eat dinner this week and next week…

    The pipe is fixed. Not the best-case scenario, but not the absolute worst. The vacation fund is dented, but I have classes this semester and start getting paid today, and I think we will still be able to go. Plodding through with perspective.

  • Jenn

    I’ll bring salmon burgers. Omega 3 helps me maintain my sanity, especially when I remember to take it. There are some yummy infusion sort of things (fruitol by pharmax) that don’t have you burping fish all day. Or take the gels at night. Also, it’s more about the ratio of 3 to 6 vs the amount of 3, so work to get your consumption of Omega 6 down.

    I have OCD, the pure O type that means it’s all thoughts in my head. I realized the other day that it can best be described as a never ending Interrupting cow joke since the OCD likes to interrupt my every train of thought. (knock knock, who’s there, interrupting cow, interrup, moo!) I also have generalized anxiety, since OCD likes to bring a friend.

    Perhaps I’ll let you lead and start my own plan back to sanity on Monday too.

  • Hoping the funk takes itself somewhere else soon. Anxiously waiting to see what comes out on the other side!

  • Elizabeth

    I also have a pit, but if I could have barbecues and martinis with you in yours, my own pit would be worth it. Thank you for sharing. gIA and Maisy coming out of your sad year is pure awesome bliss. I’m praying for you!

  • Jill W.

    As soon as I figure out what an acai is, I will bring that.

    Hope your Chutzpah to Happiness Plan works. : )

  • Shelley

    I will bring wine. It has antioxidents so is good for us.

  • Carrie (in MN)

    I’ll bring the dark chocolate, because you KNOW we’re going to need chocolate.

  • ailouron

    I have a super plan I am putting into action also. I am making myself into a super secret super hero, a la Jane McGonigal’s SuperBetter game, and my black pit into my arch nemesis, Sir Evil Brain Worm of Apathy. I will collect allies and go on missions to defeat my nemesis. Sir EBWA, prepare to die!

  • Aimee

    Of course I’m in! I can’t wait to read your plan, but in the meantime let’s have some of that chocolate and wine. It can’t hurt, right?

  • I am SO in! I would love to move my pit next door to yours so we can say mean things about those darn happy people. And I’ll bring lots more chocolate, too. (A friend once remarked that I have enough chocolate in my refrigerator to give diabetes to a small third-world country.)
    I grok what you are saying. Fortunately, I am able to take the meds that keep the dark cloud from becoming the giant, looming pack of thunderheads of a summer storm, but they don’t totally get rid of it. Sometimes it’s so hard to remember that it WILL go away, but it does. In the meantime, I’m only marginally functional, but even so, I still have a lot to be thankful for. Thanks for reminding me of that, too.

  • gillian

    all hail to the plan.
    may I humbly suggest that even though you are doing the Yoga, I seem to recall that you have in the past responded well to various versions of some kind of more physical Boot Camp
    Perhaps those endorphins are in short supply
    sending good thoughts and energy to you

  • My own pit is a black cloud that covers everything, so I’ll fire up the grill for light and bring pecan-crusted chicken.
    Thinking of putting a pretty index card on the bathroom mirror that says, “Just make the effort”. Or maybe I should put one on everything: work desk, vacuum cleaner, refrigerator door…

  • OH DUDE I am so in. I think I may have missed the previous parts of this saga, but you are sort of describing me to a T, with the drugs not being an option and the hormones being a separate constant thing and knowing it will pass because it always does and oh, also, I AM TOTALLY IN THE PIT RIGHT NOW. Heinousness abides. But it will pass. It totally will. Please please please.

  • Since everyone else is bringing high class wonder foods, then *I* will volunteer to bring The Cheetos. Just sayin’. They work.

    I also love that your horrendous year brought forth your first published work and your last published child. Yes. . .we are at the point in our lives when we KNOW that there is a problem, and we can more than likely even IDENTIFY the problem, but we also know the hell that lays before us. At least NOW we know it’s best to wear comfy clothes and bring a pillow and a friend.

  • Lulu

    Sounds like a party in the pits!! I’m in. I love that sort of plan.
    I’ll bring cheese and smoked salmon and loads of mean things to say about the “happy neighbors.” Sorry, my dark side is really, really snide and snarky, and my actual neighbors last night? Hoooo, boy. If you want a rant, just let me know. I’ve got one polished and waiting.

  • Beth R

    Since Roxanne is bringing the Cheetos, I’ll bring the Cheezy Poofs – I like my nuclear orange cheese snacks puffy sometimes and crunch other times.

    I am one of the lucky folks for whom 1) the meds work, and 2) we got the right one on the first try. Talk about a major YMMV area! That’s why my previous prescription was girlfriends-time. That pretty much helps most of us, although it has its own side effects, as well, including peeing your pants (from laughing too hard), bleary eyes (from staying up too late laughing), possible headache (again, from staying up too late… and maybe the booze), and potential weight gain (from all the required snacks and lovely food that must be consumed).

    Hugs from a fellow crazy and remember that all of your friends-in-the-box are here for you along with your friends-in-real-life!

  • Michelle-who-is-Shelley

    *waving hello to Jenn above in the comments* Hi Jenn, I have OCD too, but not the pure O kind. GREAT description with the interrupting cow. It does suck your brain away. That much we have in common.

    Joshilyn, I’m pulling my pit up near yours. I’ll bring chocolate. Milka. Really good.
    I know your “fake lastly” point makes logical sense, but stuff like that is usually the WORST thing that anyone can say to me when I am in the pit. I was born with inherent guilt, and adding more guilt by “think-of-those-who-have-it-worse-than-you” just makes my sad worse.

    Thank you for sharing. Really. I have yet to find anything good that comes out of MY sad or a plan that works, so all of these people pulling their abyss/pits up around your we-are-sad campfire makes me feel hopeful that I may discover something new.

  • Jessica

    I have been herbalizing (not the illegal kind) instead medicine-izing. I keep a close eye on my own mental illness number, because I have a HUGE family history of extremely high mental illness numbers. I am not sure what is causing this particular spike (unless it’s just my stupid brain doing its messing up my chemicals thing), but I have an appointment in a couple weeks to talk to my doctor about this and other things. The herbal stuff is actually doing a better job of getting my brain to shut up, so maybe I’ll stay on it. We’ll see.

    Anyway, since we’re all pulling up our pits and having a pit-y party (hahaha! I slay myself with bad puns!), I’ll bring my ice cream maker. Mir just got me a good deal on one, so it’ll be all natural and stuff. Not healthy, though. We can add the non-natural things like Oreo bits. I just want to get out of the pit, because I know it’s no fun for my husband to live with a pit-iful wife (there I go again! Yay for bad puns! Ummm…where’s everyone going with their pits?)

  • I, too, have had the Deep Mean Blues. Now, even though life is more challenging, I avoid the pit by using EFT. Check out http://www.eftuniverse.com. Read the manual. Watch the videos. Search the archives for Deep Mean Blues stories. Learn it. Practice it. You will reach the other side sooner. I promise.

  • Elizabeth

    I’m there. I’ll bring basil. and cheese.

  • Laura (a loyal lurker)

    If clearing food allergies / intolerance and their reactions out of your system works for you, then I have a great plan.

    If not, chocolate is good too.

    Good luck.

  • I’ll join the party, although my blues are only lurking on the horizon and haven’t come for a good long visit. But boy oh boy, when they do. . .

    Hey, could you make some of your Fat Fat Potato. . I forget the real name, but I think it belongs here with the rest of us. I will supply frozen custard and amaretto. Together or separately, both are good. Although there’s a lovely tiramisu gelato that goes nicely with rum that could toddle along with us.

    Hmm, take a solid chunk of grilled pineapple, a serious dollop of rum and a hefty chunk of vanilla bean ice cream. Put in blender. Drink. Cups optional, but the blender blades make licking the container a bit dicey. That’s what we need here!

    Love you much, Peach. Always have, no matter what. Hang onto that.

  • Brigitte

    Sorry, when I am in the pit I am too likely to murder anybody who comes close enough to reach, so your pit must be at least 10 feet from mine. But I’m lucky enough that drugs work pretty nicely for me, and I actually ENJOY the “drowsiness” side-effect, as it’s the first time in my life I’ve gotten some decent sleep.

    I thought the commenter who said it might relate to your surgery wasn’t referring to potential hormonal aspects, but the deep, subconcious psychological scarring that belatedly may occur because you have been deeply betrayed by your VERY OWN interior lady bits?

    I get what you say about the “I r sad” thing. It’s kind of like how I don’t like to say we were “poor” growing up, though our family had very little, especially compared to the rest of our snooty, WASP-y, blue-blooded, white-bread little privileged town. After all, we DID have a house, clothing and food!

  • I’m SO in!

    Not the pit. Because I am not in a pit. But I’m ready to be with you in your pit and not say too happy things to make you not want to invite you to your next barbecue. I’ve been in my own pits and can relate. I’m ready to nod and make sad understanding eyes whenever I need to on your behalf.

  • Oh, was that you in the next pit over? It’s hard to see out of my pit right now. But I’d love the company! I’ll throw you some Heath bars, you share your barbecue? Can’t wait to hear the details of your awesome plan.

  • The Deep Mean Blues….you have the bestest words for these things. I always call it the “Swirling Vortex of Despair” and I thought I had a handle on it…until I realized today that I have come home for the past two weeks after dropping the kids off at school and crawled back into bed until I have to go pick them up again. That can’t be good, can it? (also, that was a horrifying run-on sentence, but I don’t have it in me to fix it, sorry)

    Well-intentioned friends keep telling me that exercising will help me feel better. And I will, as soon as I finish this nap. Geez, people, think it through. SO. I am looking forward to hearing your plan. Because mine is not working out well AT ALL.

  • Also? That little blobby avatar guy next to my name looks almost EXACTLY how I feel…uncanny.

  • :HUGS: Oh, Joss.

    I am so sorry you’re in that place. Fall 2008 through Fall 2009 was my last foray there. I do not want to go back. It culminated in a week in the hospital, self-admitted, and I left on chemicals. But like you I didn’t want to kill the goose, and went off them by April 2010. To do that I’ve had to become VERY SELF-AWARE, so me and the turnips are gonna go make a gratin. 😉

    I think recognizing the signs is one of the most important things you can do. I’m struggling with poor food choices to combat stress, I swing between anorexic proclivities and binging, and I’m trending toward the latter lately, but I can see it, so then I can assess what in my life is making me stress-eat – well, right now it’s pretty obvious, I’m living on a mattress in friends’ apartment as my divorce gets sorted – and can work on the root of the problem instead of just trying to stop eating so damn much.

  • I’ll bring the music… it’ll be belly dance music because that helps me most to chase away the icks and to stay just on the edge of the pit and not down in the deep dark bottom of it. We’ll all dance and drink wine and eat chocolate and cry and wail on each others shoulders and then we’ll dance some more and it will be wonderful.

  • I love how your writing about your apocalypse is twenty-thousand times better than most people’s happy days. I been there, done all that. I’d come to your pit party if I could leave my house. Yesterday I had to go to a party and just about had a shart at the thought. 1) would I be an alcoholic if i poured a shot of vodka in my water glass in order to get myself into the car and go? 2) ah, cloniphen 3) once I got there, confessed to the hostess that I was having an anxiety attack. She said, “me too!” we closeted ourselves in her bedroom with her five dogs and sat on the bed and drank wine and talked about what was wrong with us we couldn’t be with people. even as we were gaining solace being with each other. I will tell you the hormones can make you INSANE. I know because I tried taking replacements and they turned me into a crazy bitch I knew very well…it was comforting to know that all those years of PMS it was the mones not me, but then again, there you have it.

  • Michelle M

    I have a pit. I’ve been in it for awhile. I wish I could write about it the way you do. Imma say mean things about my happy neighbors. Maybe that will help.

  • JMixx

    Oh, my goodness! Yes, like most of your loyal posse, if not all, I have a pit too. I try not to visit it ever-Ever-EVER though, because it almost killed me when I was about 19. My life would have been a very different experience if not for the creation of SSRI medications. I expected my life to be over by the time I was 21; not in a dramatic, tragic way, not like “OH RHETT I WON’T MAKE IT!!” but just, kind of, “whoops! well, that’s all!” Last Thursday I celebrated my twenty-fourth “bonus” year (do NOT do the math. I am 39. I turned 39. Again. Yes.) And it has been a good ride, mostly. I am not thrilled about the achey knees and the nonexistent metabolism, but, other than that, I am looking forward to seeing what’s next. Like you, I am not very good at identifying negative emotions. I wonder sometimes if that’s “what Good Girls Do,” and we all learned to pretend that negative emotions don’t exist, even to ourselves. I did come up with one coping skill for myself (other than Prozac, which I didn’t come up with, so never mind!). When the depression had one black hand over my eyes so that I couldn’t see the way out, and one icy hand in my heart, squeezing out every drop of happiness or hope, I imagined grabbing Depression by its nasty head, flinging it across the room, and venting my rage on it (instead of on everyone nearby, or, my more typical pattern, on myself). When I tried to kill the depression while it still had a hold on me, I ended up hurting myself (literally). By flinging it across the room, I was able to identify that it is *NOT ME*, but rather an unwelcome invader whom I could fight. It is not dead; I don’t know whether it ever will be. But it is slinking around in its corner, wanting to launch its subtle attack but afraid to come too close to me, because I know who it is and what it looks like, and am perfectly willing to *murdify* it!

  • Dear Joss: You are not alone. My Crazy responds well to pharmaceuticals (I clearly remember jumping up & down in my kitchen when Zac was about a year old, caroling, “I’M ON PROZAC!!!” which I feel is a dynamite alternative to curled up in my bed 24/7 wondering just how sharp the kitchen knives are. I have 2 great kids, my health, a fantastic relationship with a wonderful man, a job that keeps food on the table…idk. WHY MUST THE FIRST WORLD ANGST VISIT US, AND HOW CAN WE CAN WE LURE IT FARFAR AWAY???