bad egg

(source)

So the truth is, about a month ago, I was pretty depressed. I hated most things about myself, including my toes and other things I usually like. I was almost positive it was only a matter of weeks before all of my friends stopped talking to me. Everything felt overwhelming, including loading the dishwasher. I had a panic attack that lasted for HOURS. For two days, I lay on the couch watching Hulu, and feeling like if I moved, my fragile life might shatter into tiny fragments that would then embed themselves in the soles of my feet and cause infections. I didn’t really write about it, then, because I was embarrassed. And also because I was willing to bet that I’d never feel like writing again.

I am writing about it now in order to send an important message to myself and other people: you shouldn’t be embarrassed.

I don’t know what caused the depression (lots and lots of little things building up?). It fell on me, like a heavy piece of old furniture that’s been looming there in the corner for way too long, but no one wants to try to move it. It became immediately clear that I was terrible. That I had failed at everything. That I would continue to fail at everything, forever. There was all this math involved. And for the first time in my life, I understood it perfectly.

Let’s see…

Everything in the world=nothing. It sucks.

My goals+ my age + the chubbiness of my arms – irrelevant things I’m good at like cooking gumbo (the impressive accomplishments of everyone else)= I suck

My pathetic, scrabbling efforts to make something of my life X my utter lack of valuable skills/knowledge= yeah, the same thing. Sucking.

The things I should do before I think about having a baby+ the things I really want to do before I have a baby+the things I’m afraid I won’t be able to do after I have a baby(my total naivete about what it’s like to have a baby and what one is able to do and not do at that point)- the amount of time I have before I am no longer able to have a baby(the number of babies I might want to have if greater than 1)= sucking now and then sucking later, at being a mom, because I failed to get my stuff together before I had kids.

A pattern emerged through the fog of complicated equations. A simple, elegant pattern, that to the mathematical mind might have even been considered beautiful, for all its terribleness.

(the piece of furniture that fell on me. source)

And as I was hating myself, from the depths of the depression, I also felt crushingly guilty. Which then got mixed in with the hatred and the need to stare blankly at the screen of my laptop as the guys in Hot Tub Time Machine ran around trying to hit on girls while drunk in a ski lodge from the 80s. (How could that possibly be helpful?)

I have everything. I could list everything here, but it’d be really long. Summary: I have Bear, who I unironically, effortlessly believe to be my soulmate. I get to write ALL THE TIME, and writing is my favorite thing to do/I get paid to do things I love. I’m close with my family and they’re cool. I’m living in New York City, which is awesome. I am really not that bad looking. So what the hell?

Inevitable conclusion: I might be a bad egg.

I might just be biologically ill-suited for happiness. I might be a genetic mistake. I might be an accidental quirk resulting in an unfortunate and untenable set of neurological processes. What if I am never able to enjoy life the way normal people do? What if I’m constructed to self-destruct? Why are my brothers so normal and healthy? Why am I whining so much? Because! Because you’re destined to whine! Because you are broken!

I was sure I was a bad egg. Anyone else in my position would never be depressed. Anyone else in my position would have thin, graceful arms and a big white smile and a sunny disposition. When she got moody, for a few minutes, it would be because of her period. And then she’d perk right up again and go out to buy ingredients for the gumbo she was so proud of perfecting. The gumbo she’d INVENTED, by the way. With collard greens. And sausage.

(me, as I should be. note the arm.  source)

Bear was sad. He didn’t know what to do about me. I was staring into space. I was nodding a lot without verbal elaboration. Nothing worked.

One day, he was trying to comfort me, and he pulled me onto his lap at the table. I stood up, picked up a glass, and threw it at the wall. I think I said, “No.” He held me for another minute, then went to get the vacuum.

That night, I told him everything.

“I’m depressed,” I said. “I’m scared.” I told him about being a bad egg. About failing at everything. About not making enough money and not being a big enough success. About being dumb enough to think I could follow my dreams. About being guilty for having everything and being thankful for nothing. I talked for a long time. I was using all of these mindless common phrases like “follow my dreams,” because I couldn’t think of a better way to say things. It was incredibly embarrassing. So I said that too. “This is humiliating,” I said, often. “This isn’t about you,” I said a lot, employing the mindless common phrase, because I didn’t want him to think that any of it was his fault. Because often when I am sad, Bear thinks that what is really happening is that he is failing to make me happy.

But he just listened. And then he said if I never accomplished anything, that would be totally fine. He really didn’t care. But that I needed to stop being so mean to myself.

I talked to a few friends. I told them I was depressed. I told them I was a bad egg and I was guilty. I felt like I was confessing.

They told me about the times they’d been depressed. The years they’d been on medication. The times they thought their lives were over. They told me I had plenty of time to succeed, and that maybe I’d succeed in unexpected ways. That people succeed (in both expected and unexpected ways) even after they have babies. Maybe I should stop trying to control myself so strictly. Maybe I should stop being so mean to myself.

And then one day soon after all that, I didn’t feel depressed anymore. As though someone– actually, I think it was Bear and the friends I talked to– had heaved that stupid old piece of furniture off me, and I was free to move again. I sat up and shook my head a few times. I was suspicious and wary. What had happened? I waited for the darkness to come crashing back down. It didn’t. Days went by and it didn’t.

It still hasn’t.

It’s seeped back, around the edges, some days. But that’s all.

Maybe it’s a trick. Maybe it’s waiting for the moment when I least expect it. But I kind of think that maybe I did something to it. Maybe when I admitted that I was a mess, that I was falling apart, something shifted. I faced the darkness. I claimed it, instead of just letting it sit there on top of me. I said aloud the worst things I thought about myself, and admitted to the worst things I could feel. And, almost like life is secretly something out of a fantasy series where there is magic and evil curses and corsets that make your boobs look amazing but are also somehow comfortable and no one ever has to poop, the darkness lost its power over me, and subsided.

(i would wear this one. source)

These days I’m making a lot of gumbo.

I’m looking over my shoulder a lot, too. I don’t think it’s done with me. But I won this one. And this was the worst one.

And I just shared it on the internet. So I’m hoping that will count for something, too.

And guys, Hot Tub Time Machine is not a good movie, even when you’re in a state of mental perfection. In case you were wondering. Since I’m pretty sure you were.

*   *   *

Not that I’m just making you make me feel less alone, like I’ve totally done before, but because I always like to hear about your experiences (and OK, it’s cool to feel less alone), tell me a bad egg story! Did you ever think you might be one? Or have you never felt like this and can share your secret with the world so that we can all copy you?

Unroast: Today I love my breasts. They’re comforting.

 

82 Comments »

Kate on November 30th 2011 in being sad, fear

82 Responses to “bad egg”

  1. Jennifer Jo responded on 30 Nov 2011 at 1:29 pm #

    The reason you get depressed? Because you were homeschooled.

    I’M KIDDING!!!!!! (I couldn’t resist.)

    Seriously though, depression sucks. I’ve had it, too. Medicine is wonderful. We are all a bunch of chemicals and hormones and other unreasonable things that we can’t control. Sometimes they go haywire and that’s depression. It stinks, but putting it out there, away from you (though that’s almost impossible to do), can be helpful.

    I’m glad you’re out of the hole. And I want gumbo.

  2. L responded on 30 Nov 2011 at 1:30 pm #

    You are me, I am you! This is exactly how I feel so much of the time, that vicious cycle of hating yourself for being depressed, and being depressed because you hate yourself, and never being able to explain it to anyone because it is only real to you, in your head. I just sent this to my man to say, “THIS. This is how I wish I could explain things to you.” Well said, lady. Hope you stay away from the heavy furniture :) Thanks.

  3. andee responded on 30 Nov 2011 at 1:30 pm #

    I feel like a bad egg for hating my job. I feel guilty for not being satisfied. I make good money for the area and they treat me nice but I hate it. So guilt sets in and there is a lot of crying because I am unhappy and then sobbing starts because I feel like I’m ungrateful and horrible. Happy times! Thanks for sharing it really does make me feel better.

  4. Kate responded on 30 Nov 2011 at 1:31 pm #

    @Jennifer Jo
    LOL!
    I’m glad you said that, because sometimes I don’t want to admit stuff like this because I’m afraid people will blame it on my childhood or something. But whatever– even homeschooling couldn’t prevent my brain from getting an attitude with me :-)

  5. Kathryn responded on 30 Nov 2011 at 1:49 pm #

    for you:

    http://www.ordinarycourage.com

    what’s helpful for me:
    Knowing that it is okay to have depressed days. It is okay to be crushed by furniture for a day or two and not take a shower and watch hulu all day. When I give myself permission to do that, and refuse to beat myself up about it, and refuse to feel bad about it, it’s easier to lift the furniture when I’m ready to. Part of the switch for me was that I stopped fibbing about it. When people ask me what I did that day, I tell them that I couldn’t get off my couch. Honesty can be totally freeing. Good job writing this!

  6. Twyla responded on 30 Nov 2011 at 2:04 pm #

    I felt like this for the first two weeks I arrived in Istanbul. And I’m still feeling it a little (one month after arriving) around the edges. I don’t really know what I’m doing or what I want to do.
    But slowly little things are working. And those little things feel good.

  7. Frances responded on 30 Nov 2011 at 2:18 pm #

    Ooh! I have the perfect, perfect answer for your question: read this (it’s not me, but it feels like me) http://hyperboleandahalf.blogspot.com/2011/10/adventures-in-depression.html and then read the one about being an adult. Marvel at all the comments from who also feel like disasters for no “good” reason and you won’t feel alone!

    My psychologist loved it too :)

  8. Kate responded on 30 Nov 2011 at 2:20 pm #

    @Frances
    LOL! This was awesome. Thank you.

  9. Kate responded on 30 Nov 2011 at 2:20 pm #

    @Kathryn
    Funny, I actually JUST subscribed to that blog. We’re thinking along the same lines :-)

  10. B responded on 30 Nov 2011 at 2:38 pm #

    I’m L’s man, and I can vouch for this being us. I’ve read some of your other posts before and really we are strikingly similar (in fact, you may be the bizzaro us). I just wanted to say that I’m glad you beat this thing. If the darkness starts to creep in around the edges too much for your liking, remember that even the happiest of us see the darkness once and a while.

    And if you’re reading, L I love you, and am here whenever you’re ready to start moving that furniture.

    As a side note, GUMBO!!!!!!!!!!!!

  11. Kate responded on 30 Nov 2011 at 2:40 pm #

    @B
    OK, that was the coolest thing ever. I just read this comment three times, and each time it was cooler than the last. And it started out very cool.

  12. Becca responded on 30 Nov 2011 at 2:45 pm #

    I’m there with you. I hit rock bottom depression this summer, (seemingly) for no good reason. I felt guilty because I’m so privileged and lucky. I couldn’t talk about it. It was all encompassing. I knew I was a bad egg and resigned to miserable failure.

    I think there’s something about highly intelligent introspective people that lends itself to depression. We’re never fully satisfied with ourselves. We always want something better (more fulfilling, more success, more meaningful, more money… take your pick). But talking is important. I finally wrote a bit about it here:
    http://stumbleandleap.com/2011/09/23/rock-bottom/
    http://stumbleandleap.com/2011/09/30/lighting-the-way/

    And I backslid. I got better and worse. But I think the real turnaround moment came when I broke down crying with my Mom and finally used the word “depression.” And then I got strong enough to talk about it with Jason (because I’d felt so guilty about making his life hard that I couldn’t talk with him first) and he freed me. Much like Bear did for you. My husband’s unconditional love freed me.

    It’s a process, even though it sounds like you’re really past the worst. But you have a lot of support out here.

  13. Emmi responded on 30 Nov 2011 at 2:49 pm #

    Thanks for telling us about all this, Kate. I am so glad you are climbing back up. Your problems are not “better” or “worse” than anyone else’s – such a distinction runs a null program. They’re just YOURS. And since you are important to all of us, your readers, in addition to your wonderful husband, loving family and supportive friends – your problems are also important.

    My parents and sister all have severe depression issues. I’m pretty sure I don’t have them by sheer force of will only.

    My mother was clinically insane when I was a child, so her mother moved into the house and raised me, putting a buffer between me and crazy mom. Thankfully, Mom’s better now on a cocktail of antidepressants &etc that work well for her. I know she was not herself back then. My sister has not coped as well. She has Asperger’s, which was only just recently diagnosed (she’ll be 32 next week), and still struggles with PTSD & SI from the abuse we suffered as children. She also has CRPS (so many acronyms) from an ankle injury, so she is wheelchair-bound and still living with our parents.

    I wish there was more I could do for them. I tried, once, and almost broke down. I went into therapy myself. Rigorous weekly therapy where I really forced everything open within myself, laid it all out, and put it all back together in a healthier way. I had been angry all the time. I was frustrated with everyone I would meet or encounter. I was newly married, newly diagnosed with Crohn’s disease and trying to decide if having a child was even feasible.

    My therapist, I should send her roses every week. I’m not sure what she did, or if seeing her was just a way for me to figure things out on my own, but after a year and a half, I wasn’t so full of rage. I wasn’t taking everything so seriously. I had learned how to pick my battles, and how to recognize anxiety and allow myself to let it go. And I realized, there’s no saving my family. If they aren’t willing to save themselves, then so be it. I actually see them much more now, but am somehow far less emotionally invested in them at the same time.

    It’s so great that you just let yourself talk, to Bear and your friends. It can really, really help – it did for me, even though I was dubious about its efficacy. We are never resigned to a fate. We make our own choices, and are in charge of our paths.

    On a related hilarious note, I eventually decided that birthing my own babies was not the best idea for health reasons, and resigned myself to that. I have never actually held a baby or been near one – the youngest child I have ever interacted with is three. I was frantic and anxious over the idea that I would have a baby and hate it, have regrets, mess it all up. Now that I’ve decided I probably won’t go that route, I have very fuzzy feelings towards babies! Not my own – but now I am eager for my ladyfriends to procreate, so I can be wacky Auntie Em. Perhaps then I will want one of my own, perhaps not. Right now it’s definitely not a healthy option for me, and that’s fine. Maybe someday I’ll find an already-made child or two that needs a good home.

    Who knows? I’m so freewheeling now! After a quarter century of being high-strung and nervous about everything, likely thanks to the environment in which I was raised, I finally figured out how I didn’t have to be like that anymore. I have plans, short and long term, but if things go awry – meh, that’s life. I deal. I don’t have enough years left to worry. Heck, none of us do.

  14. Belen responded on 30 Nov 2011 at 2:55 pm #

    Every. Single. Day. (almost; they’re momentary, but still, they keep my mind churning… which, I guess, is a good thing)

  15. jeanie responded on 30 Nov 2011 at 3:21 pm #

    I suffer from bouts of depression, too. Sometimes they last a week or two, sometimes entire seasons. Lately I’ve had so much trouble making enough money (I’m a freelancer) that it has been difficult to tell the difference between feeling the stress of being broke and being in the middle of a “normal” black hole.
    I picked up a book that has really helped me throw off that heavy furniture on a daily basis. It’s called Compassion and Self-Hate: An alternative to Despair. The title really turned me off at first, because I don’t want to admit that I hate myself, even though that’s what it often feels like. I was embarrassed to be seen reading it by my boyfriend because I didn’t want him to think I was crazy. But I think it makes some good points.
    The book defines self-hate and helps you frame it as this entity almost separate from yourself. Your description of depression as a giant piece of furniture is similar! And if you can learn how to acknowledge it and face it in the moment, you can overcome it.
    It takes a lot of work. This weekend my boyfriend and I wanted to get away from the city to de-stress a bit. We went to the most beautiful state park. I totally lost myself there, it felt like being in a fairyland. I felt good. But then I checked my email on my phone on the way back to the car and BAM–I was hit by a shit-ton of self-hate (I’d gotten a slightly annoying work-related email, that was all it took to crash me) and I basically obsessed over it for the rest of the night. I finally realized that I was doing something that is pointed out in the book; I was punishing myself for having let a little light shine through and enjoying myself for an afternoon. Who was I to deserve some fun this weekend? My bank account is still shot, I’m still almost thirty without a steady income, my eyes hurt and I can’t afford to go to the doctor. I should be worrying about these things ALL THE TIME, right? So once I recognized that thought cycle happening, I forced myself to confront it and realize that having fun isn’t “unproductive” or silly, it’s an absolutely necessary factor in my ability to function.
    If you feel it creeping up again, the book might help. It sounds like you have an ideal version of yourself that’s basically impossible to live up to, and you’re beating yourself up for not being perfect. You wouldn’t be so mean to anyone else on earth. As Bear said, you have to be kind to yourself. You’re a human being who needs love, including self-love.
    Sorry to have gone on so long. Mostly I want to say that I’m sorry you had to deal with that terrible feeling. I definitely know how it feels to believe you’re a bad egg. It SUCKS.

  16. Virginia responded on 30 Nov 2011 at 3:29 pm #

    Ohhh… I think you are brave and wonderful and amazing for facing down the darkness and writing about it, because it absolutely will help other people realize they are not alone.

    For years I was the friend nobody wanted to talk to when they were depressed because I love my friends/family so much and think they are so awesome, I just cannot understand when they can’t lift the heavy furniture off themselves. You’re so awesome! Why can’t you just see that I’m right about this? Would be my typical line on the subject.

    Which, I have now realized, as I get older/wiser/sometimes sadder, is not at all helpful. Especially when you’re under the furniture and can’t see how to lift it off yet. I’ve been churning through my own version of this, especially the part about “when to have a baby/what to do before having a baby/what will I regret if I don’t do ever get to do it because I had a baby” for the past few months, ever since it became apparent that this one big thing that I wanted terribly and tried so hard to achieve just wasn’t going to happen. And once I was the one under the furniture, I realized how UNBELIEVABLY unhelpful it was when the other People Like Me in my life said things like “you’ll be back on the horse in no time!” and “you’re going to do a million amazing things, don’t you know how awesome you are?!”

    And in fact, the most helpful thing ever isn’t “don’t worry, I know you can do it, so just do it!” as I always thought people needed to hear. It’s what Bear said to you — that if you never accomplished anything, that would be totally fine. He really didn’t care. But you needed to stop being so mean to yourself.

    But somehow that is also very hard and scary to hear, maybe because it just sounds too good to be true? So anyway. I am NOT here saying “you are amazing, you can do anything!” Even though I do fully believe that. I am saying what Bear said because it bears repeating — if you never do anything, that would be totally okay also. You would still be amazing.

    Good luck, lovely! xo

  17. Grace responded on 30 Nov 2011 at 3:29 pm #

    Hi Kate!!
    New reader here!! I’ve been kind-of creeping on your blog for the past couple weeks, but this is my first comment. :) I cannot even beign to tell you how timely for me this topic is (but I’ll atempt to anyways!) I’m 23 and a vocalist/songwriter in LA. I just moved here a year ago to tackle a career as a musician full time, and it. is. so. hard. I have days like the one you mentioned alllll the time. In fact, I just went through one–I released an EP, only to realize how small a step it is and how far there is to go.

  18. Meg responded on 30 Nov 2011 at 3:31 pm #

    I love blog so much.

    I just had a baby and spent the weeks leading to my sons’s arrival worried about givig birth to a human and affording a baby, sure, but also panicking at the thought of my life being over; at being a disappointment to Feminists everywhere for not making anything of myself before having a baby – for goodness sake didn’t I know how hard they’d worked for me to be more than a BREEDER??

    Three months later, I still have panicky moments. Then I feel guilty for not loving my son enough on top of feeling guilty for disappointing Feminism. I’m trying to adopt two ideas to this: first, that I have all the time in the world and second, that it’s bad enough to deal with worries and fears without piling on the guilt. So I’m trying to get rid of that first.

    And for what it’s worth, I love your blog, your voice, your opinions, and I think you are an interesting, smart person.

  19. Grace responded on 30 Nov 2011 at 3:34 pm #

    Oops!! I submitted that without finishing…*spaz* My point was, I think for those of us in creative fields, success is so amorphous that we never really know when we’re doing well. For example, from an outside point of view, you seem to be doing fabulously–charming, witty, and popular blog–but internally it may not feel like enough. Anyways, I’m rambling, but–I know how you feel, and I appreciate you sharing!! You’re totes awesome. :)

  20. Kate responded on 30 Nov 2011 at 3:38 pm #

    @Emmi
    Love the attitude. The world needs more people who are willing to say, “Maybe I’ll fine an already-made child or two that needs a good home.” And also, it’s just refreshing to hear you say it’ll be OK either way. Because it will! How crazy.

  21. Kate responded on 30 Nov 2011 at 3:39 pm #

    General note: this blog really needs that feature where you can respond directly to comments, like, right under them. Why don’t I have that? Is that too much to ask for? :-)

  22. Sooz responded on 30 Nov 2011 at 3:40 pm #

    I know I’m a bad egg. I too go through depressions that are terrifying. And it is so weird when the depression lifts. Usually after i accept it’s being there and talk to someone. :) I am in the process of accepting the fact that I am not happy. I am grumpy and everything irritates me and I am really really sensitive and get hurt really really easily. I am learning to love even that dark part of myself. It ain’t easy. But it helps to have voices like yours to make all of us feel less alone. :)

  23. Kate responded on 30 Nov 2011 at 3:42 pm #

    @jeanie
    Oh, freelancing….god, it’s scary. Now I’m scared for your hurting eyes. Is there not a free clinic-y place somewhere in the city that can help? Why are basic things so incredibly expensive?
    I might check out the book, just because you admitted to being embarrassed by its title, and by the possibility of it making you look crazy. That’s how I’d feel, and since you like it anyway, I think I might, too.

  24. Kate responded on 30 Nov 2011 at 3:48 pm #

    @Virginia
    Thank you! You almost made me cry, there, at the end. So next time, give it a little more effort, and we’ll see what happens. :-)

    Also, can I just say that it kills me a little that your big thing isn’t happening, and it makes me want to turn right around and say, “You’re amazing! It will happen!!”? Which is exactly what I’m not going to say, after this comment.

    OK, OK, I do think it’ll happen for you. I can’t help it.

    But I also think you are incredibly cool, and I have since I first started blogging and you were, like, the first real blogger I met. You’re a huge role model for me, and if you decided to quit now and become an organic farmer or a cat groomer or a hot air balloon pilot, or anything else, I’d continue to be totally impressed.

  25. Kate responded on 30 Nov 2011 at 3:49 pm #

    @Meg
    Thanks for the honesty. I like hearing from new moms. Makes me feel like one day I can be a new mom, too.

    And, so much more importantly, congratulations!!!!!

  26. Ashley responded on 30 Nov 2011 at 3:49 pm #

    Inspiring post!

    I agree that you need a threaded format to your comments.

  27. Kate responded on 30 Nov 2011 at 3:51 pm #

    @Grace
    Yes, art. Why do we continue to do it, though it causes us to lose our minds? Because it’s the best thing in the world anyway.

    Congratulations on releasing your EP!

    Every time I get a piece published somewhere, I feel like it’s this tiny, tiny step. Even though, like, the day before, I thought it was a big step. I totally understand.

  28. Kate responded on 30 Nov 2011 at 3:52 pm #

    @Ashley
    Threaded! That’s the word!

  29. Hannah responded on 30 Nov 2011 at 4:06 pm #

    I think that you’re totally right. You have to be ready to lift the heavy furniture off… but what I’m trying hard to learn (now and always) is that sometimes you can lift it yourself and sometimes you need other people to help you lift it and sometimes you might need an actual crane, and every time is different.

    Last time that I had to spend a whole weekend in bed watching hulu (had to, not just wanted to), I came to the startling conclusion that I have spent basically my whole life thinking that productivity=value.
    I crossed twice as many things off my to-do list today as yesterday? Great. Makes me twice as worth it.
    I have spent all day in bed not doing homework? Too bad. Totally worthless.

    And you know what? THIS IS A LIE.

    I just need to learn how to believe it and not just tell it to myself when I am sad. I want to be worth it whether I’m happy or sad or productive or contemplative or active or hibernating, and these days, I’ve been sorely tempted to just hibernate……

  30. Jen responded on 30 Nov 2011 at 4:10 pm #

    I don’t think I’m a “bad egg,” exactly, more like a total failure of a human being who is somehow faking everyone into believing she’s kind of awesome, which just makes the failure part all the worse because someday everyone will figure out that I’m actually awful, and THEN what? Not to be too specific or anything. I still have these moments a fair amount, but therapy helped a lot. And my husband, who said something much like Bear did (I also call my husband Bear, and they sound a little alike, and so I always think of them as partly the same person). I was freaking out about being a failure and he basically said, “Jen, I don’t care. You can fail at everything and I will still love you. How many rings [beyond engagement and wedding] do I have to give you before you believe it?”

    I still worry about it sometimes, especially when people seem to think I’m awesome. I get a panicky feeling like “oh god, they’re going to figure out I’m terrible!” But more and more I think that feeling is more about me and the harsh way I judge myself – and it sounds like this also might be true for you – and not actually at all about a “unbiased” view of who I am or you are.

    Thanks for writing about your experiences. I think it’s so helpful to hear that other people feel something similar. <3

  31. poet responded on 30 Nov 2011 at 4:14 pm #

    Actually you’re making me feel less alone – so much of what you write is so relatable to me!
    You are awesome. Your writing is awesome. The topics you choose are important topics and your perspective is always an interesting one. Every time I see that there’s a new post by you it makes me happy because I know I will enjoy it. I have failed to say so before because I’m always shy around people I admire, but I’ll say it now. I’m glad you’re feeling better than a while ago! Keep up the good work!

  32. teegan responded on 30 Nov 2011 at 4:23 pm #

    hubby makes 4-5 times what i make. he teaches, i serve coffee and bagels to people. i work half to two thirds the hours he does.
    so, yes, i worry that i’m a bum and don’t make enough money and somehow the fact that i am, in fact, saving $1000 on the average months dissolves when faced with the guilt of spending six whole dollars on a goodwill dress for myself when it should go toward OUR savings, OUR vacations, OUR mortgage. (hubby doesn’t have this problem. he’s sensible).
    and then there’s the baby thing. because we’ve been not trying not to (as in, not tracking ovulation or anything, but using no protection) for the past five months. and we ignore the fact that we’ve been buying a house and changing schedules and overworked and overplayed and stressed and wondering WHY AREN’T WE PREGNANT?
    is it because i’m broken? because he is?
    (no outward signs of these things, of course. we’re actually pretty damn healthy all around).
    is it because we’re not meant to have babies? are we doomed? he’s always been told he’ll make a great dad. i’ve been told i’m motherly since i hit puberty. is that all a lie? a cosmic joke?
    why haven’t i been published? do my short stories and novel suck that much?
    why is my belly a weird shape – not the cute little belly chubby, but the odd there-might-be-muscle-under-there-somewhere chubby? why is my hair frizzy? why do i feel like when i don’t make any kind of face at all, i look angry/mean?
    why don’t i sweep enough? do enough dishes? do enough laundry?

    hubby tells me what bear tells you – the only thing that frustrates him about me is how down i get on myself. he reminds me that i’m saving tons of money and we have an adorable house/dog/marriage/life.

    i blame our childhoods. i think we were convinced we were brilliant awesome superhero amazon warriors who would cure cancer, defeat The Man, birth a dozen perfect, polite children, grow prize-winning roses, and never have dirty fingernails. ever.
    and here i am, with a few weeds in the garden, coffee grounds under my fingernails, no babies yet, and a resume full of jobs in coffeeshops, bookstores, and bakeries.

    when the furniture falls on me, it’s more like an old fridge: rusty, ugly, and threatening to catch fire from poor wiring. i watch romantic comedies, drink too much coffee, and wait.

  33. Deanna responded on 30 Nov 2011 at 4:26 pm #

    I’ve been depressed too for a few weeks, maybe more. My husband had to take a job overseas so we are separated now and if he decided to come home it means no job and not being able to pay bills. My business is slow and I am not ready to give it up and look for something else. At this point, I can’t earn nearly enough to make it worth my while.

    The thing is, sometimes we have good reason to be down. It would be downright abnormal NOT to be depressed when things are not going well. It’s fakey and phoney to pretend things are always okay when they are not. Sure, I get having to put on a good face and be positive, but at times that just doesn’t work.

    When I was your age it was not cool to admit you felt depressed. To me it seemed that no one was ever depressed and I suffered from one very unhip malady that most be genetic or something. I only knew pretty, happy people (who never had any body hair either…but that’s for another blog). Then it turned out that these happy hairless people (sorry)were every bit as depressed as I was. They had lots of issues many worse than mine, but they were taught to hide them. I was never taught to hide anything and I always felt that wearing my soul on my sleeve was best for me. Turns out I was right. It’s actually healthy to not keep things cooped up. You’re writing and your blogging is probably the healthiest thing you do. Keep it up. It’s all good.

  34. Kate responded on 30 Nov 2011 at 4:27 pm #

    @teegan
    Wow. Beautifully put.
    And the part about being convinced that you should be a brilliant awesome superhero just reminded me of how, earlier today, I saw this effort on Twitter to make a girl dying of cancer into a trending topic, because her wish was to be one. And I got suddenly annoyed. I was worried that she wouldn’t become a trending topic, and worried that everyone wants to, and that this little girl wouldn’t get her dying wish, because her dying wish was to be pointlessly famous, and that stuff is mostly totally random. Maybe we should stop thinking fame is both so accessible and so positive. Maybe we should stop thinking we have to succeed within these extremely specific parameters.

  35. Grace responded on 30 Nov 2011 at 4:36 pm #

    This is exactly how I’ve felt for the past week. Thank you. I don’t know if I’m up to “confessing” at this point, but just know that you helped me.

  36. justmama responded on 30 Nov 2011 at 5:06 pm #

    “But he just listened. And then he said if I never accomplished anything, that would be totally fine. He really didn’t care. But that I needed to stop being so mean to myself.”
    The man is a KEEPER….a definite KEEPER! :)
    Great post!
    Been stuggling with this one myself lately. My man keeps telling me of unconditional love…so hard to remember and accept.
    Your writing is so pure and honest, and heartfelt. Thanks.

  37. Kate responded on 30 Nov 2011 at 5:09 pm #

    @justmama
    I agree, about Bear :-)
    Thank you for reading!!

    And to the other people who were so sweet about my writing– the same. If I had threaded comments, I would respond more individually. Universe, that was a message to you. Send me someone who knows how to make that happen!

  38. eM responded on 30 Nov 2011 at 6:50 pm #

    Really great post, Kate!

    I think the mark of a great husband is when you can tell him your worries and fears and insecurities over and over again, but he remains patient and supportive. After that, things begin to feel okay. Speaking of that, I’m a gigantic fan of “I’m okay you’re okay” and the whole P-A-C Parent Adult Child model. When our inner child doesn’t feel safe, or if our inner parent is too condemning, then our adult logical senses can be wounded. Bear sounds like such an adult. My hubs is a highly rated A too. Hope and optimism are so elusive during depression. Yet the win is that it’s so empowering to rise out of the ashes… climb out of the hole into the sunshine again.

    You are a survivor and a champion, Kate and all who prevail over and over again. Thank you to each who have shared.

  39. Danielle responded on 30 Nov 2011 at 9:32 pm #

    Thank you for this story. I feel like it’s my story. I think I’m failing right now. I left my amazing family,a cute little apartment, a job that I loved and was respected (and let’s face it, adored) to move to Australia with my boyfriend. We’ve been here for 2 months. And it’s been wonderful. And it’s been hard. I can’t find a job. I’ve applied for about 50. I’m starting to forget that I ever had something to offer, that I’m employable at all. I’m failing. I feel like we should just go home. But then that means we failed ever more. My Gentleman Caller tells me to stop being mean to myself. I’m just scared and lonely…

  40. Claire Allison responded on 30 Nov 2011 at 9:36 pm #

    I made the mistake of seeing Hot Tub Time Machine. Easily one of the most sexist and misogynistic movies I’ve seen in a long time. But I had just quit my abusive job and had a week before my freelance gig picked up and was trying to be all empowered and confident by being brave enough to go to the movies all by myself. So it was Hot Tub Time Machine or the Miley Cyrus movie.

    And you know, the Miley Cyrus movie probably would have been sexist and misogynistic in it’s own creepy way…

  41. Mara responded on 30 Nov 2011 at 11:27 pm #

    I’m glad the people you loved shoved that huge wardrobe off of you. (Seriously, I’m pretty sure you were feeling the weight of Narnia on your back.)
    I feel like a bad egg when I reread stuff that I’ve written– stories, usually. I feel like my choppy sentences and excessive dialogue are taking a glance at my dream of being a novelist and having a good hard laugh.
    Also, when I think about college I get that way. The whole situation of finding one, getting scholarships, deciding what I want to do seems so confusing that I just don’t know what to do. I feel like I’m just going to let everything tumble out of my hands and end up cowering behind my covers in a tearful puddle.
    Anyway. Love your blog. Reading this gives always gives me thoughtfood, and usually brightens my day somehow. :)

  42. Melanie responded on 30 Nov 2011 at 11:56 pm #

    I’ve been feeling like this a lot lately. Job hunting for the past half year, moving countries, moving back in with parents, being in another country to my beloved has really been taking its toll on me.
    I feel like a bad egg all the time. So I know how it feels and believe me when I say, I’m so glad it lifted for you. I know it comes and goes for everyone at different speeds. Here’s hoping you, me and all your commenters find what we need to make us feel whole again.

  43. Deb responded on 01 Dec 2011 at 12:57 am #

    My husband is a Pastor & when I get depressed I often feel like maybe the reason he didn’t get that promotion he was going for or the reason some people may not like him is all actually my fault. That me just being me is holding him back. I have this thought a lot & it can be pretty suffocating. :(

  44. Don’t worry – you won’t feel a thing. : Diary of a 30 Something Wednesday's Child responded on 01 Dec 2011 at 3:21 am #

    [...] I read something today that completely resonated with me. A post on one of my favourite blogs called “Eat the Damn Cake” (check it out – [...]

  45. Ezz responded on 01 Dec 2011 at 3:26 am #

    You have so many comments – all telling you how much you touched people’s lives with that post. You probably won’t even notice another. But I love your blog (and have done so for ages). I rarely comment – stupidly because I never know what I should say. Today though – I had to say something. Because even though the whole “You’re not alone” line is comforting to some, to me, it’s a cliche’. I hate cliche’s.

    But no-one has ever put it quite the way you have. And that’s the way that resonates with me. So I wrote this: http://diaryofa30somethingwednesdayschild.com/?p=918

    Don’t ever not post about this stuff. You can reach more people than if you don’t. xo

  46. sadie responded on 01 Dec 2011 at 10:51 am #

    Oh my gosh, you could be describing my life! So well put into words. Thank you for sharing this. Ugh, the depression, then the guilt for feeling terrible, then the embarrassment when say it out loud.. all of it, but then facing it, naming it, it gets smaller. I still see it at the periphery too, but I’m stronger than it, and you are too.

    We need to name this more and not feel embarrassed or like we are failures because we are not ‘okay’ all the time. We’re far from it sometimes. But it also makes me celebrate and have gratitude ten times more for the times I am not depressed and actually feeling ‘okay’ and dare I say successful.

  47. Barbra responded on 01 Dec 2011 at 11:40 am #

    I’m just starting to come to terms with the fact that I probably actually have some low-grade depression. I spent about two months this year not every having fun, not enjoying anything, no matter what it was. I was sad and moody.
    And, I was in denial. I had several things in my life that could have legitimately caused those feelings. But it wasn’t those situations. It was depression.
    So, then, I felt like a failure. My partner is a happy-go-lucky, really fun person. Why can’t I just be like that? Why can’t I just be happy? I definitely had all of those bad-egg feelings, which of course didn’t make anything better.
    And then, the depression lifted. Because generally, depression is episodic. Now, I’m trying to find the balance between just accepting myself for not being perfect, not feeling guilty about the depression, and also working on those things that can prevent it from happening again. I’ve been working self-talk and cognitive techniques to correct negative thinking. You know, stuff I should already be doing, seeing as I am a therapist.
    Oops–there it is! The bad-egg thinking again! Hitting the brakes now.
    I just took an insane number of words to say, yes. I also have bad-egg times. You are not alone. :)

  48. Jeremiah responded on 01 Dec 2011 at 12:15 pm #

    The only people who don’t feel depressed at least occasionally aren’t paying attention to what’s going on in the world

  49. jeanne responded on 01 Dec 2011 at 12:31 pm #

    This entry could not have come at a better time for me. I have been feeling like a failure and a burden to people for the last few months, nay, years.

    I live with chronic pain and two autoimmune diseases, as well as fibromyalgia. My life for the last five or six years years has been primarily about doctor visits, procedures, diagnostics, tweaking drug regimens, physical therapy, deciphering bloodwork and deciding where to go from there. It seems my career and my creative and enjoyable pursuits have taken a backseat to how I am feeling day to day. I have little social life to speak of, I don’t date. Living like this tends to wear one down and makes one ask “Why can’t I just be NORMAL?”

    On the upside I have a few close friends and live with a sister who is extremely supportive and practical, which is exactly what I need. Still- I find that most of the time I feel rather low and it is very hard to see the good in things.

    I learned some very bad work-related news yesterday. Of course, the first things that ran through my head were “You’re going to wind up having no job. Again.”, and “You’ve shot yourself in the foot, as usual. You need to stop being mired in stupid, insignificant things and focus on what is important (i.e., your job)”. It is not to say that I am bad at my job. I am VERY good at my job. So good that I let my perfectionism hold me back from just GETTING THINGS DONE. I am so focused on micromanaging all the little details that I miss big things, like deadlines. I am so afraid of failure that I will avoid things purposefully so as not to be faced with my own disappointment. Being so perfection-driven and OCD about everything has led me to let other aspects fall to the wayside. I used to mentally punish myself for getting something less than a “B+” on a report card. No length of time being grounded or stern parental lectures could eclipse my own sense of guilt, even to this day.

    You have shown me that I have been so concerned with achieving perfect health (which will never happen), perfection in my work (which is near impossible), and that not achieving these does not make me a failure.

    Yes, I do make missteps and they are of my own doing. I can punish and judge myself worse than anyone for it, and worry holes in my stomach about what others think of me. But I’m only human. We make mistakes and learn from them. I will have to learn from this. And I have realized it is time to lift the heavy burden of guilt and depression off of myself and get on with life. Thank you.

  50. Katie responded on 01 Dec 2011 at 1:18 pm #

    Oh my god, this was like reading the inside of my brain, but more eloquent. I have so much bad egg syndrome going on, it’s crazy. And all the calculations! Story of my life!
    Thank you so much for posting this.
    God bless Bear for being wonderful.
    And bless you for being courageous.

  51. Kate responded on 01 Dec 2011 at 1:35 pm #

    Note: Remember how, in these comments, I asked the universe to send me someone who knew how to thread comments? Her name is Hannah.
    And OK, maybe she was reading these comments all along. But still. It counts.
    So that was awesome. A public thank you, Hannah!!
    But the sad news is, I think this particular blog might be resistant to that particular change, in the end. I might just need to pick a new theme and start over one day. But hooray for Hannah!

  52. Heather responded on 01 Dec 2011 at 4:02 pm #

    I think you’ve helped a lot of people by writing so honestly about this. It’s a dark feeling that many feel we alone carry. Thanks for helping build bonds around it.

  53. Kate responded on 01 Dec 2011 at 4:16 pm #

    @Ezz
    I definitely notice.

  54. P Flooers responded on 01 Dec 2011 at 5:48 pm #

    Many things help. One helpful thing is surprising: saturated fat, and lots of it. But without the sugar. So, a big meaty sandwich. Toast with MORE butter. Salmon dripping in garlic butter. Roast beef with mashed potatoes with cream. A Reuben. Shrimp dipped in hot butter. A bowl of olive oil, french bread, an orgy. You get the idea.

    A lot of important vitamins and hormonal precursors are carried in good healthy saturated FAT. (Praise All That’s Holy!) And most of us don’t get enough of it.

    Seriously. For real. Eat the damn fat!

  55. Kate responded on 01 Dec 2011 at 5:50 pm #

    @P Flooers
    This is the best advice ever. No problem! I’m on it!

  56. kate-in-cleveland responded on 01 Dec 2011 at 5:58 pm #

    Oh my bad egg time – I was just about finished with graduate school in Chicago. And then these things happened, in this order: 1) my boyfriend decided he no longer loved and definitely did not want to be with me; 2) i could not get any job in Chicago that would have supported me enough financially to live on my own, and at the time, I had no one there that I could be roomates with; 3) I had to move back to Cleveland; 4) I could only get temp jobs in Cleveland; and 5) I had to finish writing my Master’s thesis long distance.

    Any time I wasn’t working one of these terrible jobs, I laid on my old bunk bed in my old bedroom with the lights off and was silent. I didn’t talk to anyone at any of these temp jobs. And it stopped, but it took three months.

    It is such a good thing to talk about this – it was around that time that my brother finally looked into going to a counselor, because he would have days where he would just take to his room too!

  57. Amy responded on 01 Dec 2011 at 8:04 pm #

    I was there very recently myself. I found out a month ago that I’m pregnant. Everyone rejoices when they hear this news, everyone but me. I have no reason not to be happy about this. Stable home life, no financial concerns, supportive (and also excited) husband, good health, not even any morning sickness to make me miserable. I should be thrilled. I’m not. I had no idea that I would feel this way. We consciously made the decision to stop birth control and “see what happened”. I didn’t fully grasp that this is what could happen.

    I feel like I’m already an awful mother. I’m terrified that I have lost all control over my life. Everything I do has to be looked at through the baby lens. I feel fairly confident that I will be totally in love with the baby but even that total all consuming love absolutely scares the shit out of me, and yet the possibility of not feeling that way also scares the shit out of me. I have a father who does not have the emotions of a normal parent, doesn’t feel that sort of love. This no doubt has impacted me.

    I feel like I’m ruining this experience for my husband and my mother because I don’t want to talk about it obsessively. I want to know that I am more than a mother. I don’t want this to be my defining identity. I want to be a mom, I want to be a professional, I want to be pretty and now I’m not sure I will do any of these well because I want them all. I feel vain for worrying about how much weight I will gain and how log it will take me to lose it. I feel selfish for being more worried about my own sense of identity than being a good mother. I feel broken for not feeling as excited or more excited than everyone else.

    This all came to a head last week when I was home for the holiday and was surrounded by very excited people. I’ve felt better since I’ve been back to work but I know fully it’s because I’m distracted by the business of life and work. I’m trying harder not to be so worried and to go easier on myself. It’s a challenge. I feel like women will read this a judge me, but I almost don’t care anymore. The more I talk about it, like you, the better I feel.

    Thanks for sharing, it also helped me feel better.

  58. Joni responded on 01 Dec 2011 at 9:12 pm #

    Just read your post after a not so great day and cried. Sometimes I feel like my furniture doesn’t ever move, it just shifts a little and the weight decreases just a tiny bit. I have good days too, like you are having now, and I try to make the most of them but sometimes out of nowhere the furniture decides its time to be back. I have my own “Bear” and I just sent him the link to your post hoping that he will get a better understanding of all the things I sometimes cannot put into words. Thanks for sharing :) !

  59. P Flooers responded on 01 Dec 2011 at 9:43 pm #

    @Kate, I forgot to add: Brie, omelettes with sour cream, guacamole in a big bowl with a spoon, cream cheese all over everything –maybe warmed up. OH, I know! Crab in melted cream cheese. And don’t forget coconut oil. And chocolate is full of fat (obvs). There ya go!

    You know, just making a list of fat food is rather cheerful.

    Another surprising thing that can sometimes help: reading children’s books to yourself. There’s a lot of good fundamental life perspective in children’s books. A lot of what actually matters.

  60. It’s December, Christmas Card Swap update, Wind energy…. « coffeetableconversations responded on 01 Dec 2011 at 10:12 pm #

    [...] just read a post titled “Bad Egg” at Eat the Damn Cake and if you suffer from depression and you do not know how to explain [...]

  61. Laura responded on 02 Dec 2011 at 8:53 am #

    It’s funny (in an ironic, non ha-ha kind of way) that depression has the ability to make us feel oh-so-isolated, while just the sheer number of comments and “Me, too!’s” here show how that wrong idea is.

    That big piece of furniture lives in my house, too. It comes and goes, but it’s been either stalking me or directly on top of me for about 6 months now. I’ve got a roommate who cares about me unconditionally, but I get to the point where I think, “she doesn’t want to hear about the same damn thing again…”.

    Of course, talking about it, getting it out in the open, making it seem less overwhelming and scary — that’s what helps. The light of day sometimes can help me see that I’m not as awful a person as my mind likes to make me believe. The darkness of holding it inside — thinking that I shouldn’t burden someone with the same old stupid problem, that, perhaps even, I’m not worth the time or energy someone would have to spend listening to me — makes it multiply. The bright light seems to help dry it up and wither a little bit, though.

    Thanks for writing so candidly about this. It really does help to remember that I’m not alone.

  62. Annie responded on 03 Dec 2011 at 12:25 am #

    Thank you for writing this. My boyfriend (who I also frequently call Bear, oddly enough) frequently suffers from depression and is suffering from the large-furniture-crush right now. I always find it humbling (not sure that is the right word choice?) and comforting to read about other people’s bouts with depression. It reminds me that he isn’t alone and that I’m not either and that there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

    Anyway, thank you again and (even though this is my first time commenting so I’m kind of just creepin’ in out of the blue) so glad to hear you’re feeling better about things these days. :)

  63. JessB responded on 03 Dec 2011 at 4:09 am #

    Oh gosh, I feel like I’m a bad egg all the time. I have a thing that I’m the only single gal amongst my group of friends. I think it’s because I’m a bad egg. People just don’t want to be with me.

    And just the other day, I got out of the car when my mum was screaming at me, and it wasn’t safe for me to still be there. But now I feel like I’m a bad egg-daughter.

    I feel like a rotten person sometimes.

    But then I remember that I’m actually a good person, I care about other people, and that I will find someone soon, or they will find me. I’m not a rotten egg, sometimes things are just a bit rotten around us.

    I’m really glad you got through it Kate, I’m so proud that you didn’t give up and you kept working through it. Loads of love.

  64. Beth responded on 04 Dec 2011 at 9:52 am #

    A few days ago I (finally) wrote about my last month of curled-up-on-the-couchness. A major school project totally stymied me–something that rarely happens–and that, of course, turned in to how can I not be satisfied with my life, as I get to study and do exactly what I want etc etc etc.

    Oddly enough, explaining it all to my wonderful boyfriend–who listened, concerned but somewhat unable to do anything from the other side of the country–helped bring it all back under control. While I always prickle at the “me male, tell me problems, I provide answers,” at that point it was exactly what I needed. Just talking about it brought things back into perspective.

    But no. Obviously, you’re not alone.

  65. tirzahrene responded on 04 Dec 2011 at 8:28 pm #

    I find that having a pound of bacon for dinner helps too. Uh-huh.

    But yeah. I have the super annoying brain chemistry that keeps me generally the OPPOSITE of depressed – I have a hard time not seeing the good things if I try – and I still have a piece of me that’s always terrified that I’m broken, that I’m not okay, that someday my awesome people will realize I don’t actually have a thing to offer and they’ll leave me far behind. It doesn’t help that I’m recently divorced, lost my stepkids of ten years’ loving, and I’m a student – I feel like I’m back at square one only ten years older and with nothing to show for it. I’m single and childless where I’ve never wanted to be either. I hold onto my faith that my awesome people prove that I’m awesome too and I do my best to OWN myself so no one can ever catch me off guard or unawares and hurt me.

    And I eat bacon, because it’s good for my soul. And the good days come around again. (Actually, for me, it’s more in timelines of blood sugar swings.)

  66. Kate responded on 05 Dec 2011 at 2:29 pm #

    @tirzahrene
    Seems like a good time to have happy brain chemistry! I will wait until your life gets back on track before I attempt to steal your brain :-)

    But seriously, I’m so sorry about the situation and I hope your life improves soon and you find a way to maintain your relationship with your stepkids.

    I’m pretty sure your awesome people think you’re awesome. People who have your attitude almost always strike me as awesome.

  67. tirzahrene responded on 07 Dec 2011 at 3:37 pm #

    @Kate, thanks. I keep in touch with my stepkids (ex-stepkids? whatever. my babies) as I can. I lucked out getting people that fabulous for my stepkids, they’ve all been so good to me.

    I’m pretty sure my awesome people think I’m awesome too, and they’re generally smart about people so I’m believing them. My life rocks in general, there’s just some rough stuff too.

  68. Sage responded on 08 Dec 2011 at 12:28 am #

    Thats funny. (well its not, but let me explain.). I’ve been reading your blog for awhile now and I was always thinking “Kate is so cool, she was homeschooled and is all creative and is writing for a living and she’s actually really beautiful because she doesn’t think she is, and she lives in New York. New York.” And basically my whole opinion of you from reading your blog was that you’re awesome and kicking ass at your life. And I was thinking to myself, simultaneously “God, I’m so unimportant and I have a blog and no one reads it and my boyfriend never goes on hikes with me and we live in a small town and I could never make money writing and why THE HELL DON’T I LIVE IN NEW YORK!!!”

    Anyway, I think its funny because our perceptions of ourselves are so different from what everyone else thinks of us.

    PS. I was kinda unschooled too. I believe fully in the philosophy and found school restricting, but unfortunately I don’t come from a home that was particularly good at nurturing a learning adolescent, so I moved out at sixteen, and now I’m just living. Or something.

    Anyway, I love your blog and I’m happy you post so often.

    PPS. How do you make a living writing? Its almost like an urban myth. Or the legend of the successful scribe. hehehe

  69. Dawn responded on 09 Dec 2011 at 5:10 pm #

    Dear Kate,
    I think your arms are awesome. I come back time and again to see what you’ve got to say…because I enjoy it. Your balance is outstanding.

    And I don’t think you are a bad egg. I think those are called “devil’d eggs”. You are far more colorful…like an Easter egg.

  70. Kate responded on 09 Dec 2011 at 5:14 pm #

    @Dawn
    I love that you just called me an Easter egg. I’ll take it!

  71. Miriam responded on 21 Dec 2011 at 10:14 pm #

    Thank you Kate for sharing this with us. I thank you as someone who has experienced depression, panic attacks and the shame that comes with having those feelings. Some days I feel like there should be a t-shirt for people who are experiencing what they are. Maybe the more awareness there is, the less shame there would be? Who knows. Then again no one could possible want to hang around a depressed person. Anyways, I related to your post totally and for that I thank you.

  72. Eat the Damn Cake » the thing that marriage doesn’t do responded on 13 Jan 2012 at 2:39 am #

    [...] bad the way I do sometimes– the bad egg kind of bad- it doesn’t go away completely. It just lies dormant under the surface for a [...]

  73. Eat the Damn Cake » a funny thing happened at yoga responded on 26 Jan 2012 at 3:07 pm #

    [...] bad egg darkness tries to squirm [...]

  74. Eat the Damn Cake » rejection letter responded on 22 Mar 2012 at 11:55 am #

    [...] writing, taking little tiny steps, getting little tiny sips of success. The inevitable plummet into the panic attack on the couch. The sense that I am always slipping behind. The itching sensation my Master’s degree causes, [...]

  75. Jenny responded on 29 Apr 2012 at 5:56 am #

    I thought this was just me! (Cliche, yes. But I had this big scientific explanation worked out about my bad genes inherited from my depressed grandmother that would doom me to a life of chronically low levels of dopamine or serotonin or whatever, and long bouts of self-hatred and apathy.) You made me feel better (: and you are too eloquent and funny to be a bad egg. But I have a question for all you experienced-in-the-ways-of-life commenters: is there a quick fix for these bad spells? Like, going on a detox diet and shedding a few pounds… instant self-esteem boost, boom, back to loving life? Or is the best way to just keep plugging away, trying to keep up good habits (like yoga class and gumbo) and know that eventually you will come out of it?

  76. Eat the Damn Cake » You only think the bullies are helpful responded on 30 Apr 2012 at 3:32 pm #

    [...] way it goes is you get used to thinking mean, bullying thoughts about yourself. You get used to picking on yourself and your poor, confused arms that never actually did anything [...]

  77. May responded on 01 May 2012 at 6:42 am #

    I just wanted to say thank you to Kate and all the posters for sharing your stories.

    I just got a rejection letter (another one) this morning for a job I really wanted and was really qualified for (don’t those suck the most? When you feel like “but I can do this!!”), and the letter actually said “we didn’t find any suitable candidates”. So I replied saying maybe they can give me an interview (on Skype!! It doesn’t even cost anything!!!). And they said no.

    At this point that big ol’ piece of furniture dropped.

    It’s just so hard right now, you know? I think it’s hard all around, and especially for our generation, because we just can’t measure up. Because when I have this image of success it’s not even about what I want but about what I think I should want. It’s not about what would make me happy but about what would boost my status. And I get so confused by the whole thing that I just end up feeling inadequate. Because, as you say, technically speaking I am so much better off than other people, and I shouldn’t be this unhappy.

    That’s my rant.

    But then, through some stroke of faith I found this blog post with all these comments and it made me feel better to know that I really am not so alone and exclusively deficient as I thought.

    So thank you.

    (also subscribing now!)

  78. Eat the Damn Cake » why you should fail at things a lot responded on 11 Jul 2012 at 1:02 pm #

    [...] I decided to be a writer, you know, as a real thing, I was about to enter a very dark period of total failure. I didn’t know it then, but it would last for well over a year. Which is a long time to be [...]

  79. Eat the Damn Cake » horrible fragility responded on 14 Sep 2012 at 1:00 pm #

    [...] some days, I wake up fragile anyway. Inexplicably. I wake up innocent, thin-skinned, helpless. I am knocked off balance by everything. I can’t believe that he is dead, for one. A man who knew everything, who knew what everyone [...]

  80. Eat the Damn Cake » 26 and already pregnant responded on 04 Jun 2013 at 9:07 am #

    [...] soon I was working part time and writing every spare moment. I was nervous. I wanted this so badly. Actually, I was nervous all the time. I was also the meanest boss I’ve ever had. I berated myself for not being more productive, for [...]

  81. Kate responded on 09 Jan 2014 at 10:58 am #

    A few years back I used to always be getting upset with myself, but now, I dunno. I’m only sixteen and I’m pretty content with myself. The only times I ever really get sad is for someone else who’s going through a rough time or when something sad is happening in a video game or TV show or something. I have it pretty good and I’ve done some things I still feel guilty about but I’ve kind of accepted that I can’t change them and dwelling on it is only going to make me feel worse. I try to make it up if I can, and if I can’t, well, less work for me! (Aha wow me. Wow.)
    I guess my secret is that I’m just happy to be who I am, how I am, with what I’ve got and accepted the crap I’ve done that can’t be changed.
    And when I’m feeling down a little water and a little vent to a friend or seventeen perks me right back up. (I’m dealing with fears and things currently. (Ghosts are nasty things to be terrified of, just so you know))

  82. Eat the Damn Cake » stop analyzing your single friends responded on 07 May 2014 at 9:20 am #

    [...] we’re at the top, succeeding and self-actualized and fabulously vivacious, others of us find love when we’re at our absolute worst. A lot of us find it somewhere in the middle. And then we grow with our partners and we hopefully [...]