Posted by: Kate | February 20, 2009

failure with a Lower-Case F

Just to clarify… I don’t feel like I failed, really in any of my current areas of stress.  *I’m* not a failure, and I’ve worked hard to remember that.  It’s the difference, I think, between clinical depression and suicidality.

I worked my ass off at my job.  I gave each and every client my full attention and skill, and I know I changed people’s lives.  I have a vague sense that I was black-balled at the company, and I think I know why – *ahem*Perfect J*ahem* – but that’s beyond me.  I tried hard.  I didn’t fail, it just ended.

We have done everything – trust me, everything – that we could do to get pregnant over the past 15 months.  If I remain un-knocked-up, it’s because of bad luck, or randomness, or biology.  The failure here is with the trial of Clomid.  I haven’t failed, I just haven’t gestated.

I have tried hard to find a new job.  Lots of resumes, lots of cover letters, lots of phone calls.  I haven’t failed, I’m just living in the middle of blue-collar rural New Hampshire and mental health services are just not prioritized like they are elsewhere.

I have spinal arthritis, which means heavy, intense back pain at least 4 days a week, sometimes every day.  It gets bad enough that I have to go lie down at odd moments, like just before dinner or at 10:00 in the morning.  It’s scary, because I know I’m carrying a gene that could lead to much worse spinal problems down the road.  (I learned last night that my uncle has ordered one of those mechanical scooters, because he just can’t get himself out of the house otherwise… I don’t want to ever think about ordering one for myself.)  I have been doing the exercises I learned in physical therapy and taking the medications as prescribed, but it still hurts.  That’s not a failure, though; it’s just genetics.

I hate this house.  Hate.  With a passion unspeakable.  And we’re stuck in it, at least until Willem has an official job offer in writing, which seems a long way off right now.  We can’t sell it for enough to live off the equity, and we can’t get preapproved for a sufficient mortgage to allow a move to a better place right now.  But staying here is not a failure, it’s just an artifact of a crappy economy and the attempt to move from an inexpensive area to a really expensive area.

I’m depressed, in a clinical and potentially dangerous way.  Getting out of bed really is harder than it used to be, and some days I just count the minutes until I can go back to sleep again.  Other days, I lay awake and stare at the line between my dark-red bedroom walls and the white ceiling, waiting for my brain to shut off enough to sleep, just for a little while.  I just went three days without a meal, because I either forgot, wasn’t hungry, or was ill.  Other days, I eat so voraciously that one might suspect I was practicing for a speed-eating contest.  I’ve lost 10 pounds in the last 2 or 3 weeks.  I cry every single day, sometimes for no apparent reason and sometimes because the sheer number of stressors in my life simply overwhelms me.  None of this is a failure; it’s a mental, emotional, and biochemical reaction to more stress and worry than I’ve ever had all at once in my life.  Frankly, I’d worry more if I wasn’t depressed.

I’m not pressuing myself to get over these things, and I’m not beating myself up over their various insufficiencies.  I am sad about them, and am going through a rather intense mourning right now.  I’m having to let go of a lot of hopes and dreams, and having to shelve others until a later time… and so far, I haven’t figured out what will replace them.  I know I need to focus on what I can control, and at this point, aside from keeping the kids alive and maintaining some semblance of order in the house, I don’t feel like I’m in control of very much.  This is a painful and unpleasant reality for someone who has always prided herself on her competence and capability.

It will get better.  Of course it will.  It’s just a matter of time.  I just don’t know how much.


  1. I hope things get better soon. {{HUGS}}.

  2. I ditto the above and add extra {{hugs}}

  3. I am so sorry you are going through this. I’ve been there – severe depression – and know how hard everything can be. Take care of yourself and let me know if there is something I can do to help, even if it is long distance.

  4. Thinking of you …

  5. That is a lot of stressors, and yes, being depressed sounds like a reasonable response. Hang in there. Here’s hoping things lighten up soon.

  6. You’re in my thoughts, Kate.

  7. My first time on this site and it seems you are going through quite some times. And yes I believe things will get better. Maybe not the way you want them to go , but better (depending on your perseption). I’ve very recently started a blog of my own and you have inspired my sharing of my next blog. I will write it this Sunday. Hope you visit it and hope it helps.
    Hope you have a good day.

  8. I hear you on the lack of control of things. I hate that and it’s generally what leads me down a depression path. And it’s hard to be a competent person and have these feelings– if it’s anything like how I feel, you want to feel them but assure people that you know and understand that it’s temporary, that you’ll be ok, that it’s a cycle– which means you (again, if you’re like me) say things like “I’m depressed” and then add the tag line “but I know it will pass, I’m doing what I can, it’s not my fault, it’s biology/circumstances/etc” which then somewhat negates the first part of the statement.
    There’s also nothing another person can really say. So I’ll say that I hear you, I can empathize and I’m here.

  9. Maybe you should tell your MIL not to come. I mean, if you’re in a bad place, that should come first. Just because she’s decided to come, for the first time in whatever…Don’t add to the stress. Call her a day before and tell her you all have explosive diarrhea. That’ll keep her away.

  10. or explosive diarrhea and projectile vomiting. That’d do it for me!

  11. I’m thinking of you darlin’.

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