This is a huge week at work, and I’m not going to have time to write. Not writing is like not eating. Or like eating capsicums or something that I hate. When I don’t write, my brain feels full and cloudy. The moral of the story is, if you hang around until the end of the week, you can cop the brunt of my full cloudiness. I’m so good to you.
I arrive at the clinic and feel the blood drain from my face. I want to be done with it, to feel relief and freedom, and I hate myself for it. Gaz has been agitated with me from the early morning, and to not feel his warm hands around me exacerbates how empty I feel.
This is the third time I’ve been to the clinic in the past month. I take my patient information form and try sitting in a different corner of the waiting room. I am crippled by terror and I make a desperate call to another clinic. - Please, I’m desperate, do you have any places today? - I’m sorry, I don’t think we do. – I’m already at the other clinic and I just can’t do it, help me. – Come in at 1 and we’ll see if we can squeeze you in.
I run from the clinic to Gaz, who is sitting on the ground next to my car with a cigarette. He is lit up like a bushfire. He doesn’t look at me. My phone rings. – Hello, we’ve had a cancellation. Can you come in now? – Yes.
This morning I sat inside a cliche and breathed the air: a pond with floating Mallard ducks, a weeping maple and a half rotten park bench with a dedication to someone’s lost love. I wasn’t late for work, but I knew I could be. I was trapped in the soft sunrise, sleepy but kept awake by the crispness of the daybreak.
I was vaguely aware of the garbage truck in the street and the traffic on Wattletree Road, pummelling and punching its way to the city. I scratched my head at the “NO WEDDING PHOTOS” sign, wondering if the City of Stonnington had something against women with silly parasols and slightly uglier but not so ugly that they ruined the overall look bridesmaids. I chose not to worry about it. I had an hour before I was due at work and felt determined to spend it being slow.
I decided to notice things in a deliberate and measured way. I considered the Japanese Maple to my left, tangled in knots, its barren arms smooth and gleaming. Its red leaves had mostly dropped in the colder weather, but they were nowhere to be seen – a gardener must have raked them. I imagined an enormous zen garden rake grabbing and shifting the cultural stereotypes. I felt the impending stress of my day begin to seep away.
In the quiet stillness of the park, my brain began to talk to me.
What time is it?
It’s not even 8, I said. Plenty of time to be slow.
Did you write the presentation?
Don’t be silly, it’s not a presentation. I’m just going to talk for a few minutes.
What if they think it’s a presentation, and then you just talk and you haven’t done anything in Powerpoint at all?
Fine, it’s a presentation. I can wing it.
Did you remember to give the kids money for the cake stall?
What about Lily’s runners? I bet you cleaned the dog poo off, right?
Are you serious? There was dog poo on them? She’s gone to school with dog poo on her?
Yeah, but don’t worry, at least you got to slow down for a few minutes.
Warning: this is an update post about my Pozible project and you shouldn’t read it if you don’t want to.
Sometimes, when you have depression and anxiety, things are a bit like this:
“WHY AM I EVEN BOTHERING EVERYONE WITH ALL MY SHIT THEY DON’T CARE I’M INSULTING THEM BY EVEN THINKING THAT THEY MIGHT CARE DON’T WORRY I WILL JUST SEE MYSELF OUT OF THE PLANET.”
You guys, the most incredible thing happened this morning. I’m struggling to process it even now, several hours later.
Someone else took my children to school.
This is how beautiful the sky looks when you get out of bed and no one says “Mum, I spilled the contents of the fridge on my last clean uniform, even that yoghurt that was the only thing you were looking forward to about your entire day!”
I felt like a new person with my clothes all on straight and my phone all fully charged and I shot out into the day like a pig from a gate.
Only being responsible for yourself turns those couple of morning hours into days. Here are some of the kinds of things I have accomplished this morning.
1. Buying fresh bread and eating it while steering with my knees
2. Going to the car wash and finally finding the tooth Georgia lost under her seat three weeks ago
3. Cutting somebody off without worrying about setting a good example
4. Reading about Schapelle Corby in the newspaper and murmuring opinions based on my limited knowledge of her situation
Is your free time utilised as well as mine? I doubt it, but tell me anyway.
P.S. Thanks mum, you’re a total legend. One day I will take your children to things.
I was suckered in, like many others, by Pinterest’s proverbial flashing lights and spinning wheels, by which I mean its pictures of things more beautiful than anything I could ever hope to have in my own house. The beauty of it was simple: if I pinned these photos to some kind of public space wherein others could see what good taste I had, and then never invited any of those people to my actual house, I could maintain a fairly healthy illusion that my pinboard was a reflection of my proper, beautiful life.
There are two major issues I can see with this:
1. If I have time to pin all these things, I probably have time to have an actual, legitimately beautiful life
2. No one cares if I have an actual, legitimately beautiful life
My Pinned Kitchen was white and clean and had a Kitchenaid mixer and it smelled equally of sea breezes and mountain air and there were definitely no dogs dropping their fucking filthy hair everywhere.
My Pinned Study had a long table with many ideas written on handmade paper and a floor to ceiling window that overlooked all the streets of Paris and definitely didn’t have chip packets and toner stains everywhere.
I had pinned breakfasts and pinned desserts and pinned hobbies and pinned careers and pinned families.
I had pinned about 50 things before I realised that I was actually browsing the web to find things to pin, rather than browsing the web because that’s a normal part of my day and then pinning them to share with a waiting audience. I was using Pinterest in reverse, pretending that my life was so genuinely fabulous that I couldn’t help but stumble cross glorious kitchens and gorgeous food and everything is just so relaxing in my life.
In reality, I was frantically clicking everywhere, visiting blogs that I knew would have beautiful things on them that I could pin despite having no real opinion of them. I was visiting other people’s boards and just repinning their entire lives because they were more beautiful than mine.
Then I realised.
I pinned a photo of my own breakfast.
I pinned a photo of my own dog.
I pinned a photo of my own study.
It looked pretty good, really. It wasn’t quite the pages of Gourmet Traveller or Vogue Living, but it wasn’t terrible. I pinned a few more things from my real, slightly less beautiful life.
And then I stopped pinning, and went and participated in it* instead.
* wrote this post
“Yep, I’ll be there!” I say with the kind of conviction that wavers on a gut feeling. 2:30pm Friday. “I … think?” Surely nothing could be happening then. I must have it confused with some other day when important things that I must go to happen. I drive home. My brain jumps up and down, shouting at me to remember where the conflict is, the reason I need to skip out from work early tomorrow and can’t actually make 2:30pm.
I get to the door and struggle with the groceries because what I’m trying to remember is just out of reach and I can’t do two things at once because I am a Bad Parent.
“Oh, hello!” I say to my daughters, because it couldn’t possibly be related to them or anything I need to do for them.
“Mum!” the big one says, “look here in the newsletter! It’s the Mother’s Day afternoon tea tomorrow!”
Sometimes I write things. Often, actually. I’m an oversharer. I write things on the internet that are personal and difficult to articulate. But instead of people telling me I’m being whiny and getting all in their face, they tell me they understand. We find common ground. People read the things that I write and open up about their own things that they might not have written.
Earlier this year, I wrote one of those things. It was a blog entry about emotional abuse and domestic violence. It’s not something I enjoy writing about, but it has been part of my life and I write what I know. People seemed quite moved by it. They were supportive. They rallied. There were some nights after that that were really lonely, but these people were there with me.
After that, people – including a couple of agents – told me I should write a book. “Oh, stop it!” I said, because I think arrogance is unbecoming. “I can’t write a book! It would be self indulgent tripe! Not to mention all the crying!”
But I haven’t stopped thinking about it for even one second. If my story can help others to get through their story, or to promote understanding, or to be moderately interesting for a few minutes, then I want to write it. Besides that, I bloody love writing and would do pretty much anything (yes, even that) for the opportunity to really work at it.
This project is about my story of being in an emotionally manipulative relationship, dealing with a partner who has bipolar disorder and raising two kids through love and loss. It’s an existing work in progress. If you would like to read a portion of it before pledging, you can email me at anna at annaspargoryan d0t c0m and ask.
What your funds will do
Your support will see this story come to fruition. I will overshare with you. You might even like it.
I’m not asking for anyone to pay for me to sit in my pyjamas and do SFA on the couch while eating lollies. The money raised from this project will go towards:
- Committing effective time and resource to writing this story
- Paying to have the manuscript professionally assessed and edited
- Having it typeset and published in e-book format
- Resources for pitching and publicising the finished product
Things to read
The blog post in question can be read at http://blog.annaspargoryan.com/2012/04/should-i-publish/
My blog that you’re already reading contains many examples of my writing, my style and my bloodied, bruised heart.
My award winning blog (WINNER 2012 Outstanding New Blog, Sydney Writers’ Centre; FINALIST 2012 Saveur Best Food Blog Awards) can be found at http://www.judgingyourbreakfast.com/
Additional misery can be seen at http://www.mamamia.com.au/relationships/miscarriage-no-abortion-and-no-child/