Hey, guess what? My kitten is dying.
At what point should I have started to take things personally? When my marriage died? My Dad died? My cat died? Or now, while I’m watching the kitten (bought to replace the dead cat) die too?
Is now the time to give up on a lifetime of atheism, accept that there’s a God, and that he FUCKING HATES ME?
The worst thing about it all is that there’s no-one to give me a hug. It’s not The Boy’s job to comfort his mother, so I am comforting him as he rocks the ginger kitten in his arms to ‘make him better’.
But I’d quite like someone to rock me in their arms and make me better. I don’t mean a man. Fuck no. Just someone who loves me. Because I am strong. All of this stuff can keep on coming and I’ll weeble and wobble but I won’t fall down, because I can’t, because I’m a mother.
But it is very, very hard to stay strong. It’s a brittle strength. I feel like I could snap at any time, and yes, I’ll mend, but honestly, it’s getting really fucking boring now, all of this FUCKING mending. I’m still treading water, still just trying to stay alive and on top of work and The Boy and the house and my own sanity. There’s no space to move forwards. I’m stuck, in a tedious cycle of sink then swim, sink then swim. If it wasn’t for The Boy, I’d gladly stay sunk. It’s easier. It’s muffled and murky and warm down there, like the warmth when you’ve wet yourself. It’s wrong, but right. Up here, everything is sharp and bright, and it hurts when you breathe in – cold and sharp.
They say depression distorts your view of the world, and this is true. But some things are better when they’re a little blurry around the edges and slightly pear-shaped. Some things are just too hard to look at, as they really are.
There isn’t anyone to hug me. Family and friends are too far away, all the huggy people at work have gone. So, this is a heartfelt plea to the universe: if the things closest to me could STOP FUCKING DYING, that would be really fucking ace.
I haven’t written for a while. Mostly because nothing much has changed, and I am starting to bore myself.
Well maybe that’s not quite true. The boring myself bit is. I could bore for England. But something has changed. I don’t think I’m depressed any more. Clinically, I mean. I am deflated, crushed, retreating within myself – I am those meanings of the word ‘depressed’. But chemically imbalanced and without perspective? No. I have perspective.
On one level, I have a great life. I really do. I have a good, well-paid job. It’s reasonably secure, or as secure as jobs in my industry get. Complacency would be dangerous.
My son is amazing. He’s shaping up to be a funny, curious, caring, intelligent little boy. He’s good fun. He’s good.
I have my own house, savings in the bank, some very good friends.
I have blessings, and I can count them, and feel very lucky.
But I don’t especially feel like I’m living my life. I find it very hard to engage with any of it. It’s happening to me. I’m going through the motions. I can’t think back far enough to the last time I felt like the first person narrator. It’s all third person.
I read that back and hmmm. I sound depressed. Maybe I’m just *less* depressed. I’m not an expert, this hasn’t happened to me before, but maybe you come back up in stages. Maybe I’m decompressing – I can see the surface and I’m desperate to gasp for it, but I can’t rush. I have to take my time, take it in stages. I am certainly in a better place than I was 6 months ago, or a year. Let’s cling to that.
Because the surface I’m gasping for? I don’t know what it is. I can’t see the future. I know no-one can, but don’t you have a direction? An idea of the direction of travel? I don’t have that any more. I can’t begin to imagine what the future holds, and for someone like me that’s scary, not liberating. Not knowing what’s round the corner is, for me, like living in a horror film – constantly on edge, suspecting the worst, tense, cautious. I can’t relax.
I wonder why I can’t imagine good things round the corner. I suppose because the run of bad things has been so epic and unrelenting. The things I have lost… The people, the confidence, the world order. It’s all gone.
But I am dealing with it better. Small steps.
I know I write about this a lot, but this is what I do. It’s how my head works. It can’t let things go if there isn’t a satisfactory answer. I NEED answers in my life. If HWSNBN had ended it properly – by saying *anything*, however hurtful – I’d have just licked my wounds and moved on. But not knowing things – well, that drives me totally insane. Why? WHY? WHHHHHHYYYYYYY did you leave me? (Yes. I know. Because I’m fucking mental. Moving on…)
So I’m going to stuff this post full of the following keywords: Anal sex. Single mum. Depression. And I’ve created a new anal sex category and tagged nicely and everything.
And if you land here because you’ve used any of these keywords, you have to leave a comment and tell me why.
I’m not joking.
First, I really, really, REALLY need to know why so many of you are searching for ‘anal sex single mum’. I want you to tell me – explicitly if you like, I need to get my thrills where I can these days – exactly what you are looking for when you type ‘anal sex single mum’. Pictures? Single mothers offering their back passages for some action?
AND WHY SINGLE MUMS? What is it about anal sex and single motherhood, specifically, that you want to know? Is it because you think we’ll be more willing? Less up for it? I won’t judge you. Promise. I’ve done some kinky shit in my time, and I’m not averse to anal sex in the right situation.
It’s not a judgement thing. It’s an ‘if I don’t find out I will actually physically burst’ thing.
Similarly, anal sex and depression. Are you searching because you think anal sex causes depression? Because you think it can relieve depression – do you spunk Citalopram? Do you think it would help to give us something real to moan about – haemorrhoids, for say? What, exactly, is the relationship in your mind between depression and anal sex? Spell it out for me. Link to pictures if you like. I’m not easily offended.
Because while I was once amused by the fact that the vast bulk of my traffic comes from a combination of anal sex, single mother and depression, I am now bewildered beyond the point of comfort.
Please, put me out of my misery. Tell me what it is about anal sex, single motherhood and depression that you are looking for. Heck, if I knew, I could create the kind of content you’re looking for.
And then I could monetise my blog based on the increased traffic and followers I’d get. I could start having sidebar ads for lube and St. John’s Wort and single parent dating sites. I could totally get rich from your fascination with anal sex.
Because honestly, I could do with a break. Read my blog. It’s basically one long catalogue of woe, with one single solitary mention of anal sex that started this whole mindboggling trend. If you read my blog, surely you won’t be able to deny me an answer…
I just want an answer. Thank you.
If you want to feel like your life serves some greater purpose, I don’t recommend becoming an advertising copywriter.
If, however, you have a way with words and don’t mind whoring it out to develop three distinct tones of voice for a chicken burger, it could well be your dream job.
Three different voices. For a chicken burger.
A plain chicken burger. No breadcrumbs. No marinade. No salad. No spice. NO FUCKING FLAVOUR.
It is a measure of how lost I am in what I do that I was proud of myself at the end of the project.
There was the voice that was all about friendly flavour. (It’s too late when they’ve bought the burger and realised it’s essentially tasteless. My work here is done.)
There was the one that was all about speed and convenience.
And there was the one that combined flavour, speed and convenience.
OK. I cheated a bit. But come on. Three different personalities for a plain chicken burger? I did good.
In other news, I might not be depressed any more. It’s hard to tell. I’m still pretty miserable, but it feels within the realms of normally miserable. I’m doing work on the garden, looking forward to things again. It might be OK.
I (quite unintentionally but very pointedly) hurt HWSNBM’s feelings, disparaged and diminished his best business efforts and basically emasculated him to the point where I think it’s safe to say I will never hear from him again. This is a very good thing in the round, though if I was going to mortally offend him, I wish I’d done it on purpose. (Or do I? It’s not really in my nature to be deliberately cruel…)
I was just trying to be helpful. You know when someone’s doing something and it’s all wrong and you could do it a million times better, and they ask your opinion and you don’t lie and you forget to use your nice words in the rush to be all helpful?
In my defence, I was right. But still.
She: “You could try listening to me for once, and understanding. I don’t know why I feel like this. I don’t want to feel like this. And you banging on about how we don’t have sex any more really isn’t helping. Just… try and be a bit more understanding, could you?”
5 days later…
He: “I’ve done a bit of Googling, love. About the way you’ve been feeling.”
She: “Really? Wow. Thank you…”
He: “Yeah – it says that taking it up the shitter is fucking BRILLIANT for depression…”
He: *big hopeful eyes*
The conversations that I imagine happened around my new favourite search referral…
So I collected the cat today. The Boy won – her name is Kitty. Which suits her down to the ground. It’s just a shame she’s a sodding cat. Anyway.
The RSPCA took great care to explain that it could take her up to a month to settle in, that she might not even come out of her cat carrier today, that she probably won’t eat much for a few days.
She stalked straight out of the carrier and prowled around the room rubbing against stuff and purring. Then she spied the cat bowl in the kitchen and went and sat in front of it, staring pointedly at me until I filled it for her. She is ridiculously affectionate, surprisingly untimid and has taken up residence in the circus tent in The Boy’s bedroom, lying resplendent on a green satin cushion.
He is overjoyed that she has chosen his room for her bed, and went to bed uncomplainingly for the first time in ages tonight. She hasn’t come down all night. I am trying to be cool about it all, give her space, let her explore at her own pace – but I am itching to go up and scoop her up, bring her down here for a good lap session.
Her breathing really is bad. You don’t hear it in the cattery, with all the other noise. She sounds like she’s purring all the time, and her little shoulders go up and down with the effort of breathing. She’d better carry on doing it for a bit longer yet…
I went to a writing workshop run by one of my clients last week. Writers and account managers from 4 creative agencies, all of us there to pick up their new tone of voice guidelines.
I thought it would be a listening/taking notes kind of thing. Oh no. We had to do live writing exercises. Ugh. I am not a performing monkey. I craft, I consider (at work, at least – you guys get the stream of consciousness shit). And I HATE reading my work out loud to others. Double ugh.
So I did it, and then in the car on the way home, I indulged in a good half hour of self-loathing. WHY did I say that? Why did I behave like THAT? My copy was shit – and had to read it out to all of those PEOPLE! WHY am I doing this job? I am shit at it. God I was ANNOYING in that meeting. Why can’t I be less… ME?
I just wanted to crawl out of my own skin and die.
One of my friends has just started seeing an account manager from one of the other agencies there that day. I’d never met her before the workshop, and my friend and I caught up on the phone earlier this week.
“So you finally met X, then… She said you came across really well in that meeting. She really liked the way you tackled the copy exercises, the fact that you took a different approach, that you obviously thought about it. She really liked you – and she was impressed.”
It’s entirely possible she was being kind. Or that we were in different meetings. Or that she muddled me up with someone else.
I used to be confident about my pure writing skills. The conceptual side of my job always brings out the self-doubter/hater in me, but the writing comes easily. Which means it’s not something I’m especially proud of. There’s no effort involved, it doesn’t really stretch me.
And when you lose confidence in something that’s always come effortlessly to you, well… that’s bad.
I hope X was right.
PS. The cat survived her surgery. She only has 4 teeth left now though. Eep. She comes home next Tuesday…