Tuesday, June 17, 2008


At 12:30 PM I decide to walk to the Commons to get lunch. Walking on the spine, I make eye contact and smile to the few people I cross paths with. The lady ahead of me in line is ordering a very healthy stir fry dish, tofu, veggies, steamed rice, ginger, no sauce. I greet the cook at the pasta bar warmly. He is always very friendly to me. The lady ahead of me glances in my direction as I talk to the cook in Spanish. Whatever. I get meatballs, noodles, mushrooms, and a mix of Alfredo and marinara sauces. Take that, b*tch.

The cafeteria is packed. A sea of tables, with small groups of two and three people per table, pecking at their food, chattering endlessly, watching the news on TV. This is it, I am trapped in a perverse, Fortune 500 version of high school. I resist the strong impulse to drop my bowl of pasta and run the hell out of there. Instead, I busy myself with packing my lunch to go, taking care to include plastic utensils, napkins, a straw. On my way out of the cafeteria, someone calls out to me. It's an old coworker from LA. We exchange greetings. He has a cold, so I wish him a speedy recovery before saying goodbye.

On my way back to my cube, someone I don't know says hi to me and I smile. I congratulate myself on staying in control. Bad idea. Congratulations are not in order. It took a tremendous effort just to get lunch. What is worse, I am painfully aware that keeping my sanity is entirely my responsibility. I can't just have a breakdown. My husband has enough on his hands, he would have a hard time dealing with a three year-old and a crazy wife. Plus he is heavily influenced by my moods; if I go wacky, he may plunge into depression himself. My mom would not be much help either. For starters, she is 2,000 miles across the ocean from where I stand. And she doesn't know how to deal with this kind of stuff.

My doctor, I am seeing her tomorrow. Maybe I can finally put myself in someone's hands and let them take over my care. Please fix me, doctor, I am stuck like a broken record. But she can't help me unless I drive myself there. She can't fix me unless I tell her what is wrong. Not to mention I need to hand out my insurance copay.

Ultimately, it is still up to me to help myself.

Somewhere in the middle of the spine, my chest gets tight and my eyes water. I force the tears back and sing a song in my head to get my mind off track. There is no use crying in such a public place.


  1. I love you girl and I've sooooo been right where you are. Handing it over to the Dr. is a huge great step and I am keeping everything crossed that they find you a good med and you can spend your summer on the upswing.

    Your friend,

  2. i have no clue where you work,, but you sound like you have a pretty upscale office job,, and i am willing to bet they will have to give you time off for a mental break (or what ever the politically correct term is for that)if your doctor prescribes it... just think.. paula is in PR isabelle can go to day care or school or where ever it is she goes when you are at work.. gabe can go to work,, and you can be alone,, with no pressure no people no real responsibilities all day long... damn girl.. give yourself a break... its only money,, and you cannot put a price on sanity....

    don't plan anything don't deep clean your house .. just hang out with you for a while... you will be surprised how much easier life is to handle if you have a handle on you....

  3. Thanks for the suggestion, Paisley. We'll see what my doctor says. I have been in similar states before, and it's been at those times that I have taken antidepressants. I hate being medicated, but it seems like the time has come.

  4. Hi Ingrid, I just got your comment on my post at bipolarspeaks2u.blogspot.com. Thank you so much!
    It is hard to give in to medications. I fought it for so long. Ultimately, it was the only thing I could do. But *I* did it, I was in control.
    I hope you know that you are, too.
    All the best.
    Terra @

  5. It's true. We do the best we can and then we do what we have to.

  6. Thank you,Kulia. That means a lot to me.

    Thank you, Terra. I now have your blog address and will be visiting your blog in the future.

    Amanda, that's it. We do what we have to do. In my case, a lot more is needed than regulating my mood. I have been very irresponsible with the care of myself. But controlling the mood is the main concern for me now.

  7. That sounds a lot like genuine Panic Attack. I think you need to take a medical/mental health leave of absence. STAT