Posted by: emjb | January 16, 2006

Caution: Optimism

So the last few days since my last post have been…surprisingly good. As in, the anxiety has lifted, or lessened (it would be weird if my move didn’t cause me some anxiety). But the feeling of all-consuming dread has taken itself off for the present. I’m hoping that’s my hormones adjusting and my moods sorting themselves out. I know something’s up with the old hormones, because I am having teenager acne breakouts all of a sudden.

I am doing all I can to encourage this situation (the good mood, not the acne). When sadness looms, I am attacking it at once and driving it off as much as I can. Or at least labeling it “birth-related crap that I am still dealing with” so that it seems less overwhelming.

But it is nice to remember my old self, the person who was not curled into a little ball weeping, mentally speaking, all the damn time. It may be that the link doctormama sent me to someone who had been through real depression helped too…I recognized some of what Tertia described, but also realized that my depression had not reached those depths. And that it had gotten better lately. Which gave me hope.

Is there is such a thing as good denial, you think? The kind that says, fuck it, I’m going to be hopeful no matter how many articles I read on How We are All Doomed or how sad/anxious/confused I feel about various parts of my life? That’s what it feels like to be optimistic for me. If we are, in fact All Doomed, or if it’s just me who is doomed, my reasoning goes, well there ain’t much I can do about it anyway, might as well enjoy myself as long as I can. And hope that I’m not actually doomed, of course. Plenty of time to be doomed later.

I still need to join a support group, because I still have a lot of sorting out to do. Right now, is my feeling of humiliation over my c-section, after being such a vocal natural/vaginal birth advocate. I am trying to balance my feelings that I was a victim of a system stacked against me with my feelings that I have some personal responsibility as well, for not being as aggressive and smart about my options and my rights as I should have been. Lots of wistful thoughts about how I could have done more, fought harder, fought smarter, etc.

I knew the system was stacked against me, but I didn’t want to believe it, is what I think now. I didn’t want to be that paranoid, I wanted to believe the best, because it was easier and I was overwhelmed with the whole pregnancy thing anyway. I was too passive. I didn’t want to fight, and it may be that reluctance that cost me the birth I wanted. I can’t be sure of course, but I would feel better if I had at least fought harder, even if the outcome was the same. I don’t like the part of myself that caves in to authority so easily, that is too lazy or scared to fight. I’m not proud of that part of myself, at all. It’s not enough to be able to endure the pain of childbirth; you have to be prepared for battle when you give birth in a hospital, and I wasn’t.

Still, even while I’ve still got all these kinds of thoughts in my head, the mental weather is a lot clearer the last 2 days.

Today I went to Central Park to tell it goodbye, to tell New York goodbye, really. I thought about all the good things and bad things about living here, and decided that what it boiled down to is this: New York for me is like dating a nice, good-looking intelligent person with whom you have no chemistry at all. You can go along a long time and even enjoy each other’s company, but there’s no passion there. I never felt a passion for this place, though I got a lot out of it. And I can see why other people love it. But for me, finding a place that feels like home is still something ongoing. Guess we’ll see how Austin and I do in a few months.



  1. “Is there is such a thing as good denial?”

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