Posted by: Kate | December 29, 2009

A Longer Way to Fall

The down-side of having had several consecutive months of, overall, good news and contentment and simple happiness?  When enough things add up to shake your tree, it creates a much longer fall than if you were already feeling down and it was just a case of one more miserable thing on any given day.

Because things, really, have been good for me, for many months now.  I like our apartment, and more, I like what the move symbolizes: returning to Massachusetts means Willem is setting off on his much worked-for and wished-for career.  I love being pregnant, even when the process is a stressful, high-risk sort of thing, so when it’s as smooth as this one has been, it’s just lovely.  The kids are doing well in their new school, and they’re having just enough struggles in adjusting to the new place, new school, new baby, to reassure me that they’re normal kids, but not enough to have me stressed out.  And so on, and so forth.  I’m not living a Disney movie, I’m just gliding along on a low-grade-but-fundamental contentment, and that makes it just a little (and, sometimes, a lot) easier to cope with the inevitable stresses and frustrations of daily life.

So, it had been a while since I’ve felt that dark, overwhelmed, stressed-out feeling.  Turns out, I didn’t miss it when it was gone and I didn’t welcome its return.  And it hasn’t returned, in the kind of enveloping, huge, awful way that it was with me for the first several months of 2009.  It’s just a day or two of stress in which I feel like I’m struggling with more bad stuff than good, playing referee more than player or spectator, feeling buffeted about by circumstances beyond my control.  Most of it will pass quickly, and that which won’t, I’ll feel more able to handle once the other stuff passes.  But until then…

I know, I’m just babbling, not making an abundance of sense.  I could go through an itemize the stresses, but that’s just details.  Emily, after many months of progress and positive change, had a backslide in her behavior over the past few days that leaves me baffled and frustrated.  Money is beyond-tight, due to the one-two punch of paying two mortgages and passing the one-year point on my unemployment checks; the theory is that I can file for an emergency extension, but maintaining homes in two states makes that more complicated than I’m willing to attempt.  Several of the people nearest and dearest to me are struggling with tremendous problems, some of which are literally life-and-death sorts of issues and others are an accumulation of mundane things that have piled up until they’re over their heads in it all.  And so on, and so forth.

I’m still fine; my health is as good as it gets, the baby is growing and kicking and developing like it’s supposed to, I have a family and home life that keeps me busy and hobbies that interest me.  So I know that I’m not facing what I had a year ago, that crawling sense of unhealth and darkness and hopelessness in every direction; this is a case of the core remaining stable while the shell takes some extra hits.

But still.  It’s a crappy thing, to go, within a week or so, from blissfully unruffled to crying jags behind closed doors.  I’m hoping the bliss settles back in sooner rather than later.



  1. The combination of stress, hormones, bad things happening to people we like/love, kids misbehaving… it’s a lot when you take it all together. I’m sorry you’re feeling down.

  2. Kate I’m not sure it’s any consolation but you are definitely not alone. We all want to throttle our kids occasionally, sit and have a good cry and become immensely frustrated at the lack of cashflow. Focus on the good stuff. Hard call I know but it does help.

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