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April 14, 2012

The last few days have been hard–the house is going back on the market, but not without a series of expensive, necessary repairs, and we’ve been living in dust and squalor while demolition gets underway. The thought of the money I’ll have to spend has triggered a kind of generalized panic, and while I know it’s silly, I have recently been miserable in a way I thought I’d moved on from.  I have been filled with dread, dogged by nameless and superstitious anxieties, worried about the metaphorical ground under my feet, haunted by the deeply unnerving suspicion that all my choices in life have been, somehow, wrong. Logic can’t get a foothold on this kind of un-magical thinking; no matter what I tell myself, no matter how I berate myself for being stupid and self-indulgent, I have woken in the grip of bad dreams every night for a week, and spent my days feeling I was right on the razor edge of despair.

I have had the extreme good fortune never to have suffered from depression. My dips into melancholy are just that–the merest of dips, and I always find my way out of them. I’m not angling for sympathy or a pep talk, I’m just giving a bit of background. I went to the computer this morning, thinking I’d finish up my taxes; instead, of course, I found myself clicking around looking for something to distract me, to amuse me, to inspire me.

What I found had me staring into space for a good five minutes. Once in a great while, something you read feels as if it was dragged right out of your murky, voiceless, secret self. This morning, I read the final installment of the Guardian’s column “Diary of a Separation”. This, in part, is what it said:

Whatever transformation I thought separation would wreak has not ensued: things I thought were wrong with our relationship have turned out, chasteningly, to be wrong with me. I haven’t emerged from the cramped cocoon of my relationship to become a beautiful butterfly: rather, I am sitting in the remnants of the dusty cocoon, worrying that wings don’t suit me.

The whole column, and its archives, can be found here.

7 Comments leave one →
  1. April 14, 2012 7:18 pm

    Wow, what an amazing piece of writing. Thanks for sharing.

  2. April 14, 2012 8:52 pm

    Hang in there and thanks for sharing.

  3. endurovet permalink
    April 15, 2012 12:35 pm

    Amen, sister. I can relate all to well to this myself.
    “The common link in all your dysfunctional relationships is YOU” – a joke that’s not so damned funny!

  4. Libby permalink
    April 16, 2012 8:04 pm

    Wow. I just spent most of my work day (in between some actual work) reading this, choking back tears. How sad she is done writing – I loved it. She is brilliant and funny and poignant and heartbreaking, all at the same time.

  5. BrandNewDay permalink
    April 17, 2012 10:55 am

    “Once in a great while, something you read feels as if it was dragged right out of your murky, voiceless, secret self.” This is how I felt when I found your blog. Here’s to brighter days.

  6. alison permalink
    April 18, 2012 9:37 am

    Diary of a Separation was the first bit of the Guardian I turned to every Saturday (I’m in the UK) and, strangely, I often wondered if you read it. That was the quote that jumped out at me too. It seemed to burn off the page. I hope the anonymous writer didn’t get cold feet after the whole Rachel Cusk ‘Aftermath’ furore and that she’s stopping because she genuinely wants to. I hope you keep writing – your write exquisitely.

  7. Kim permalink
    May 3, 2012 6:31 pm

    I am looking forward to reading Diary of a Separation, I am suprised I have never read it. I was living in the UK when I found your blog, over a year ago. I know you posted this a few weeks ago, but I have been in a bit of a “slump” myself lately. I don’t know if it’s the time of year, or just all the emotional turmoil of late catching up with me, but your post really resonated with me. I hope you keep writing, even if it’s just once a month!
    Good luck with the house. Here in my neck of the woods, the market is very busy ( I am in the biz.)

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