Thursday, October 22, 2009


Pretty soon you’re going to drop me from your list of work time-wasters, if you haven’t already. I have an excuse, although it’s not one I’m happy about. My head is in a fog. Any energy I have for thinking goes into my job, and the rest of the time you’d be forgiven for wondering if maybe I’d been in a car accident or something since the last time you saw me. I just don’t feel that right in my head.

I hope it’s all simply attributable to the now 8 months of horribly interrupted sleep, and not to the anti-crazy pills I am on. Because while the bone-tiredness hopefully one day will be gone, I really, really don’t want to give up my happy candy. However, if it means exchanges like the following also go away, then maybe OK:

Kate, in an email: “They were supposedly happiedly married. I can't remember how to spell happiedly. Is that a word?”

Kate’s Friend: “Uh, do you mean “happily’”?

Kate: “Mmm. Perhaps.”

And everything about my head is like that now. When I drive to work and hear an interesting story on NPR, I think I should write about it that day. By the time I am at the office I have very little memory of what I heard or what sort of opinion I should have about it. My mind is like the floating tentacles of a jellyfish, pale and ephemeral and sort of prehistorically unchanging below the ocean’s surface. Shit, that doesn’t work, because with jellyfish you’re expecting that diaphanous, billowing creature to suddenly tense up and sting the crap out of you. There’s no caffeinated spark behind the marshmallow fluff that passes for my brain these days.

Although, the more I write here the more I feel reassured it’s just the exhaustion and not the potentially lobotomizing antidepressants. I can almost feel my brain tuning up below the fog; like a pencil sharpened with one of those old-fashioned, hand-cranked sharpeners.

I sound nuts, but for somebody who considers herself pretty sharp normally, it feels so strange. I don’t think about the future anymore, and I rarely think about the past. Everything is very much “now” – as in, “now” we are going to the park, and “now” I will be feeding you dinner and “now” I will be cleaning the kitchen for the 4th time today and “now” I will be tucking you in and reading you stories and giving you the requested “up-hug.” Part of that is not so bad; I have wasted way too much time in my life not living in the moment and instead obsessing about what should be different that would make me happy. Well, now I actually am happy, and I know it because when Ian asks me every day, “Mommy, are you happy?” I am able to honestly reply to him that I am. Even when I see myself in the mirror and I see that I am finally starting to look my age; that all this is taking a physical toll on me, I’m still happy. Just a little concerned about when I am going to get an important part of my brain back.


Mel said...

sounds like you're over-cooked -- happens to the best of us. take care of yourself and rest up!

Cindy said...

Even in your fog, you write with more clarity and insight than most of them. And if I may point out the totally obvious, you have two small kids, very close in age. Notice how most people put a little more space between them? Not that you should have, but they do that for a reason: What you're doing is really HARD. I think you're doing an amazing job of keeping it together. Just know that it gets easier. One Saturday, you will notice your house is empty and realize that your kids are off at someone else's house and you are alone. You'll whoop with joy but then wonder wistfully when they are all coming home--because you miss them. It's a beautiful thing. Give it another eight years.

julie said...

oh kate. i can relate. i use inappropriate words in my own personal mind-losing. not dirty or nasty words, but, for instance, will substitute coat for shoe. very 'the man who mistook his wife for a hat' stylee. like my visual brain is a few thousand steps in front of my verbal brain. or, like a huge chunk of my head is missing, or buried under almost three years of poop vapors. i've considered getting my own happy pills many times in the recent now. you say you like 'em?