Archive for the 'being sad' Category

Yeah, so I’m a crier. You got a problem?

I used to think it was cool to be tough. I still think that, a little. I used to want to be described as “fiery,” and “stubborn,” and even “difficult,” because that sounded like someone who might disguise herself as a boy and train to be a knight in the king’s court, or tame dragons, or, even in this world, be pretty kickass.

(um, yes! That armor might be a little tight on me, but I could definitely do the cloak)

The last thing I wanted to be described as was “nice.” And the last thing I wanted to do was cry.

It turns out, I’m pretty nice. At least, as far as I can tell. And I cry all the time these days.

Crying has always felt like quitting, to me. Crying happens at the very end, when all else fails. It’s sort of shameful.

Crying is girly, and girly didn’t feel like me.

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Kate on March 28th 2012 in being different, being sad

rejection letter

I want to write something fantastic today, but honestly, I’m sitting here staring into the yawning mouth of my ancient printer, wondering about the meaning of life. In other words: I just got a rejection letter.

I get rejection letters all the time. I’m a writer. This one hurt in particular because the editor had written to me first, rather than the other way around. She requested a specific piece. She named an amount of money that was larger than any amount of money I’ve ever been offered for anything I’ve written. And she suggested that the process to publication would be smooth.

Nothing had been signed. Nothing was formally formalized, but she sounded so certain that I felt so certain that I did the thing I shouldn’t have done: I told my parents.

Look how well I’m doing! This big deal magazine came to ME!

We were in the kitchen, at their house. They were so excited for me. They said a lot of things about how things are finally coming together for me. How my hard work is paying off.

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Kate on March 22nd 2012 in being sad, fear, writing

This is what I do when I feel bad about myself

First I go on Facebook. I always look at the same three people’s profiles. I disagree with their life choices. I shake my head and sigh and roll my eyes and feel superior. Seriously? You call that a status update? Are you insane? But I can’t stop checking. I know the inner working of these people’s lives better than I know anything about the way my own country’s government functions. Better than I know how to bake cookies. Better than I understand basic biology. Not as well as I know New York real estate, or grilled cheeses, or the game SET, but pretty close.

(they may call it a “family game,” but there’s nothing familial about the way I play it. I am ruthless. I take no prisoners. source)

Then I check Twitter. Two more people have followed me. That’s good. I think I have a reasonable number of followers. I’m not sure it’s the right amount. I check to see how many followers The Bloggess has. Holy shit. 215,301. I click over to her blog. She is being funny, in this sort of complicated, dry, extremely clever way. How does she keep doing it, all the time? Who else is a famous blogger? I locate a few. Damn, here’s a post with three-hundred comments under it. THREE-HUNDRED.

Who else is famous in general? There’s always some really young writer whose book just got an incredibly favorable review in the Times. I check out the review. Really? “Frolicking, phantasmic prose”? Can that be a thing? God. I am so lazy. My prose almost never frolics. I don’t have a chance, do I? Probably not.

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Kate on February 21st 2012 in being sad, fear, life

in bed with chronic illness

Bear woke up at 2 am. “It’s burning hot in here,” he said. “I have to turn on the air conditioner.” The giant floor unit wheezed to life as he fiddled with it.

“I have to open a window,” he said.

I was barely awake. “Just not too much,” I mumbled. “Minute…” I didn’t want the cat to jump out the window. Do cats even do that?

Bear was lumbering around, sleep-haired and bleary-eyed. “I need cold water,” he said. “I need really cold water.”

“OK, honey, OK,” I said, pulling myself out of bed. “There’s water on the counter.”

“I need it to be COLD.” He sounded desperate.

“There’s ice in the freezer…”

He was already opening a bottle of fizzy water, and I knew it would spray everywhere, because the last one had. “Wai–” I said. It exploded. He jumped back, making a furious sound.

Great. Here it comes.

“Why can NOTHING go right?” he cried. “Why is everything terrible?”

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Kate on February 8th 2012 in being sad, family, marriage, relationships

the thing that marriage doesn’t do

Feeling 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 while. And then suddenly, it’s back. It can come back ferocious, hungry, clawing, like it just broke out of prison, where it had plenty of time to think about how to destroy me.

And then I feel sorry for Bear.

I feel apologetic. I feel sorry about marriage not solving all of my problems, as though if only I could just calm down and let it, it would. I feel like I’ve let marriage down.

Sometimes I think that marriage actually makes it worse. I mean, being safe and secure and loved and sexed and having my man dream come true makes it clearer that this is not all there is. Before I had Bear, when I was in a relationship with a guy who was being tormented by what seemed like an army of his own personal demons, I could feel bad about that. It was obvious what I was supposed to feel bad about. I also felt like I really needed to get good grades in college or my life might be terrible, but that feeling was secondary to the emotional trauma of my romantic relationship.

In a way, that’s what relationships were for. To distract me from the things I was really worried about. To distract me from the fact that I might feel bad, anyway, even if they were gone or great.

After being tormented by the tormented guy, I was in a relationship with a guy I wasn’t in love with, and I felt conflicted and anxious and stubborn and frustrated and helpless about that.

And later, whenever I felt bad during the time I was single, I felt scared and tiny and hopeless, because there was a chance I would never find someone.

There was always such an easy reason. Such a plain target.

And now, I have checked so many boxes. I have things I never thought I would get a chance at. I stare at my own reality in dumbstruck wonderment. I pinch myself. I stare some more.

But then, when I feel bad, it isn’t as easy to find a place to put it. So the badness rushes to my career. You’re failing! You haven’t accomplished anything in the past year! Everyone in the world is more successful than you! And they have better hair! And your teeth look a little yellow! And you’re not making enough money because you are a failure!

I feel sorry for Bear because I want to be happy for him. I feel like that was part of the arrangement. We were going to make each other happy ALL THE TIME. That was going to be marriage. When I’m unhappy, it makes him unhappy, and sometimes this feels like pressure to be happy.

(we should always look like this. especially the red hat)

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Kate on January 13th 2012 in being sad, fear, life, marriage, relationships

bad egg


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.

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Kate on November 30th 2011 in being sad, fear

red lipstain

(Note: Scroll down to the bottom of this post for new cake shots from readers! They continue to be amazing)

I’ve been depressed for the last two days. The kind of depressed where Bear is like, “What’s wrong?” and I’m like “Nothing.” Because everything feels wrong, even the tiniest, most stupidly meaningless things, and it would be impossible to describe and I don’t understand anything and “nothing” is the only word I can even remember how to say.

“But seriously, what’s wrong?”

“Nothing.” My mind is a black hole. It’s amazing, really, that this word has surfaced from the depths. Good job, mind. Someone should give me a prize. Someone should put me back in front of the TV so I can watch yet another episode of Terra Nova and continue to wonder vaguely why everyone in the future is white. Except for the evil tribal leader who lives out in the jungle. She’s black.

I was going out last night. I had a thing at 7:00. So I decided to get serious. To stare the black hole in its black hole face. I went out and bought some red lipstain. Yeah. I did.

So now you know that I didn’t have any before. I had red lipstick, but that always ends up on my teeth.

It cost nine dollars. Isn’t that a lot? I always think that makeup is way more expensive than it should be.

I  felt like I looked stupid buying it. I was depressed. I was wearing jeans and a sweatshirt that had something to do with football that I’d stolen from my dad. My dad is a very broad, muscular man. I am not. I felt like the woman behind the counter was judging me. She might have been thinking, “Seriously, honey? Good luck with  that…”

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Kate on November 9th 2011 in beauty, being sad