Sunday, April 5, 2009


I wish I understood exactly how my sadness switch works. It may be partially genetic as in brain chemistry. I almost never saw my mom awake, other than at mealtimes when I was a kid. She slept most of the day and night, and it always puzzled me as a kid.

How can she nap, I wondered, when she just woke up? I know now that's a red flag for serious depression. So I may have it in my blood.

It may be circumstantial. My marriage was hellish, as was my girls' relationship with their less than decent dad. That was depressing. By the time I got a brain in my head and filed for divorce, I felt so guilty for subjecting them to prolonged madness, I never even thought about trying again. I devoted all my time to paying the bills and being with them. That, I'm proud of doing. I owed them a LOT. I always will.

But now they're grown -- 19 and 26 -- with significant others of their own. So I find myself at loose ends, emotionally. Where I could barely scrape together enough hours in the day as a working mom -- I slept 4 hours a night -- I am now, to condense it down to a word, LOST.

I didn't make many friendships as a kid or an adult -- I didn't know how. Still don't, really. And those I did make, well, they have families of their own. And I'm not easy to like right now. As one friend put it, I don't have any fun. I think I've forgotten HOW.

That's not exactly true. Writing books is fun. School visits are fun. Dinner with my kids is REALLY fun. Movies are fun, though I see most of them alone, which can be hard. Coffee with my friend is fun -- when I'm not being stupid. But for the past few months, I've been stupid a lot. And that's depressing and puts what friendship I have at risk.

Stupid = afraid. And fear is almost never my friend. I mean, it keeps me from driving off a bridge, I guess, so that's not a bad thing. But the fear of loneliness and loss can sometime paralyze us -- paralyzes me. Paralysis doesn't do me much good.

I'm trying to find my way out of the mess I've made of my life. Well intentioned or not, it is a mess. What is it they say about the path to hell? Paved with good intentions? Rings true, at the moment. But where there's a road in, I have to believe there's a road out. So I'm looking for it -- back tracking.

I had help, but I did find my way about of 17 years of abusive marriage. So maybe I can find my way out of this mire. I hope so. But if I could turn the sadness switch off while I try to find my way, it sure would be an easier journey.

Haven't figured that out yet. But I'll keep trying. In the meantime, I have a school visit tomorrow, so I'll have a little escape. I'm really lucky to have those kids.



  1. You don't have any fun??? Nonsense.

    When you go to ALA Chicago this July, girlie, you and I are going to an all-night naked hookah bar.

    I'll show you fun.

  2. You'll be swamped at ALA, and I may not even get to go. But what fun I remember, in my past, very often has your name on it. It guides me. Thanks.