Thursday, 28 May 2009

Le chagrin et le pygmé jerboa

Urgh, I am so broken today it's just not even funny any more. After reading my survey results and being surprised at how broken and unhappy some of you think I am, I have reacted in my usual twisted way by becoming exactly like that. I am a self-filling prophecy wrapped up in a paradox or something. Paradox burrito!

Exhibit 1

I have yet again slept sufficiently for Margaret Thatcher, but not for actual human beings. Though I was touched to hear that in the few hours of sleep I did get I snored like a tractor. Good. Feckless, useless, incompetent and a perpetual disturbance. The CFO is a lucky man at the moment.

Exhibit 2

I have chest pains. Not cardiac chest pains, craziness chest pains. The kind that are dull and aching rather than the panicky kind. I am always surprised when being sad hurts physically. It's weird. Today's pain feels a bit like the one I used to get in my first year at college when I used to sit in the college library and look at the happy couples snogging and revising together and so on before I trudged off to sit and be sad and despairing on a payphone. I keep poking my chest experimentally to see if I have pulled a muscle or something, but no. I have pulled my brain. Ow. See? There it goes again.

Exhibit 3

I have a chronic case of administrative paralysis, or stupidity, to give it its full technical name. The kind where picking up the phone to try and sort out the children's party (that I booked for this weekend and then forgot about so have invited noone - well played Emma) is like scaling the North Face of the Eiger in Louboutins. The CFO has asked me to go and do something to his sealed box of money in the bank cellar and I said I would but here I still am hoping that some kind of deus ex machina will sweep down from the lowering grey Uccle skies and dash off to ING in my place. There are lots of other things in this part but even thinking about them makes me feel nauseous and chekhovian.

Exhibit 4

I am seriously wondering if I should go back to some kind of therapy. God, it was awful - being bullied by firm but gentle women to do sensible grown up things. AWFUL. Things must be bad if I am even entertaining that thought for a second. But the desire to punch myself quite hard is becoming overwhelming. Or bite each of my fingers really hard in turn. Or dig my nails into my forearm as hard as I can. Perhaps I should talk to this man? He could cure all my ills by hitting me over the head. Hooray!

Exhibit 5

I am talking about how miserable I am on my usually lighthearted weblog which several members of my family read. Hello, family members.

Exhibit 6

I am going to post this even though I should just DELETE EVERYTHING and take a photo of some vegetables, or play 'ugliest European election poster photo'. Shall we play that soon? I can't imagine this long dark ING basement of the soul can last too long.


Here, have a video of the most ridiculous creature I have ever seen. M and I have measured it using our patented animal classification system and found it to be 75% face, 20% ludicrous and 5% bizarrely appealing. It's the least I can do for you.


38 comments:

Laura and Ben said...

Aww... But the election posters should make you feel better, no? There's one in the shop next door to us who looks a lot like the brother from My Name Is Earl.

deililly said...

Oh nooooo! Don't be miserable!

Have a puppy! http://www.flickr.com/photos/deililly/463274345/in/set-308410/ there are kittens over there as well. Do you like kittens?

Or what about a ninja cat? http://www.youtube.com/watch?gl=NL&hl=nl&v=4sKqxtD-9JQ

*flails*

victoriark said...

A little something

http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x4gdg8_clip-supernova-superstar-sinclair_music

xxxx

Matthew said...

I think taking possession of a pygmy jerboa would be sufficient therapy, no?

You could keep it in a small jar and, when things are looking really bad, you could say to yourself "although I may be at least 20% ludicrous, I am certainly more than 5% bizarrely appealing and much less than 75% face".

(I first saw this creature a couple of days ago and it made me feel immeasurably better.)

Kate said...

For a moment there I couldn't tell if the pygmy jerboa was cleaning its tail or eating it like spaghetti. Love the moment when it falls asleep standing up.

The Gossamer Woman said...

You're allowed to be miserable as long as you can be sarcastic about it and allow us a little of the same, but no, I won't taunt you. I don't want you to dig your nails in your arm, that would be painful.

Maybe you're a little bit homesick and you need to breathe in some English countryside air, you know, the kind with all the cow and pig muck and the clouds of vapor from the diesel driven tractors. Or do they run those on gasoline? Maybe you need to shop in London and have high tea there and stuff yourself silly.

Is it difficult being married to a Walloon?

Layla said...

this family members thing is a pain. I got a message on facebook from my aunt asking who I'm in love with - and thought, how intrusive, I'm certainly not going to tell you about it - then remembered I had actually shared the news via status updates on twitter and facebook to several hundred people, many of whom I don't even know. Why does it feel intrusive when someone who knows you well listens to the personal things you are telling to strangers?

ps need help with text response to my future paramour - see twitter. Am stumped.

Stevey said...

When I'm having the mean reds, baking makes me feel better. Nothing like beating the hell out of a cake mix. These are particularly good:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/database/americanstylechocola_88413.shtml

(Very) Lost in France said...

Yikes! A head on legs. Surely that little critter MUST make you smile. If not I shall send you pics of my new chicks of whom I am inordinately proud. I think the French knew you were coming. Most of the election posters around here don't have photos. Be miserable. It's good for you. Mwah! VLiF

@eloh said...

What in the sam hill is that thing?

Lulu LaBonne said...

The jerboa makes me smile a lot ...

I'm really sorry you're sad.
x

Elsie said...

Yesterday’s jacobean playlet made me laugh so hard tears washed the contacts right out of my eyes, and I spent the rest of the workday with my nose against the monitor, denting up the plasma – but it was SO worth it. I also am sorry you’re sad – when low I read Dorothy Dunnett’s Lymond series –have found it on many occasions more effective than medication and mindfulness, though anything that brings relief is good. xo

fabhat said...

I used to "know" a man who said that one needed a dance a day, a film a day and a shag (bearing in mind we were at university it all made sense at the time) but I've revised it for normal life to a dance, film or shag a day. Much easier. Start with the film. May I recommend singing in the rain? Or steal a hula hoop off a small urchin and splay with that - always amusing and exhausting which can be good in these moods...

Nimble said...

@ fabhat -- I like the hula hoop suggestion. I can also recommend fake-surfing as a mood changer. Put a long flat piece of fabric on the floor and hop on, flailing arms as though you were riding the curl or whatever they call it. Raybans optional.

It is awful when every day social interactions are so loathsome. I have been there and nothing helps until something changes. So here's to change!

Fanny said...

I can recommend Googling images for "dog costume". Always cheers me up. :)

Lucy Fishwife said...

Poor honey - personal favourite cures for le chagrin include:
Mashed potato (NOT packet mousseline. Real potatoes, real cream, real butter, scrape of nutmeg). Maybe with cheese on top.
A sinfully large martini (let's be honest, neat frozen vodka/gin in a pretty glass).
A bag of Revels - I know you probably can't get them so substitute a box of cheap 'n' nasty chocs, preferably avec toffee et ugly fondant centres.
A long hot bath.
Clean sheets.
At least one of those should help alleviate l'anomie. If not, refer to me for Plan B... xx

Iheartfashion said...

I almost sent you that pygmy jerboa!
And, NO, whatever you do, don't talk to that man. Just looking at him is creeping me out.

Lisa said...

Could you distract yourself with telling me over and over again to get to work? I need guidance. Now.

(I love your funny, broken self.)

Z said...

Oh sweetheart, I'm so sorry. Will the CFO be sympathetic if you tell him how unhappy you are? - I don't mean in regard to the situation you aren't talking about, but about not sleeping and worrying about your brother and all.

I suggest that you try to do one positive thing today - that is, a useful thing - could be the money box or it could be looking in your in tray or buying something halfway nutritious for dinner. And do something kind for someone in the family, and something kind for yourself. If you don't sleep again tonight, have a migraine and stay in bed tomorrow. Do remember how lovely you are.

bevchen said...

You sound like you need chocolate. Do you like German chocolate? If you give me your address I could send Milka.

Or you could eat some mashed potatoes. THE best comfort food there is. The only problem is you have to make them first.

Would it make you feel better if I told you I have a moth flying around my flat... or at least one, I've seen it 3 times so it could well have been three different moths. I can't work out whether it's the food variety or the clothing variety but either way I do NOT want it in my flat. Urgh! Totally freaking out right now.

screamish said...

i think you need a mental health day. take the kids to gulag/babysitting and then go home again...dont blog, sleep...dont even turn on the computer. drink tea, write poems,

failing that be really spontaneously nice to someone- they've proved that altruism and generosity fire up the happy chemicals in our brains. I know its true, its worked for me in the moments when you're well and truly on what my best frined and i call the Worthless Wagon.

screamish said...

friend not frined.

I dont know what my best frined is, some part of my body with gristle by the sound of it.

jeeez sorry for tone of advice giving too...I'm not really that bossy

katyboo1 said...

mashed potato has been mentioned several times, but that is for a reason. It is very good for the doldrums.

Lucy Fishwife's clean sheet's suggestion is always very good.

I like to sit in the bottom of the shower and weep. That way I feel clean inside and out.

Very sorry about your sadness. Come and see my EFT lady with me tomorrow. We can weep together.

how bizarre. The wv is sorowers

Mya said...

I shut myself in the greenhouse and shout abusive things at the plants - they don't seem to mind, and it makes me feel better.But there is just one Lobelia cardinalis that's got a real attitude, a real mouthy fucker. I might accidently shut it in with a famished snail...
New underwear often gives one a boost - especially if it's as tired and institutional as mine. My word, I've just read what I have written, and I sound as if I am writing from the inside of a secure unit.I'll start talking about basketry next.
I'm sorry you're feeling sad - feeling sad is a tough one. Sometimes you just have to surrender to it for a while. Usually just writing about how you feel, lifts the clouds slightly, no? Maybe that's just me.Poke the weepette, that usually cheers you up.Go out and buy every type of cake Mr Kipling has ever made. Take all your clothes off and streak around the block, screaming at the top of your voice.See if anyone says anything.Cuddle someone with two legs.

Mya x

GingerB said...

I am here to vote for mashed potatoes, but barring the effort to make them, really one can go pretty far with just buttered toast, or cheese toast. Everyone knows carbs lift your spirits but they stay up longer with some salty fat. And then maybe a bath with a nice smelling something, then totally get the sleep on clean sheets when noone else is home. I can email you a video of baby giggling. Do you want us to give you directions on taking care of yourself, instead of just cheering up? I hate that you are sad, my Waffle. You can do it, Emma.

redfox said...

I love that pygmy jerboa very much, and have been watching him a lot these past couple of days. I especially love him circa second 34. It is so hard to be sad, it makes everything else so much harder, and then that is sad too. I wish I could send you gorgeous weather, soothing books (Miss Read, perhaps), hot buttered toast, and the repose to enjoy them all, followed by an extremely long and uninterrupted sleep in a beautifully clean and comfortable bed. Perhaps then you could be awakened by a gentle nuzzle from a passing wombat and begin all over again.

A Woman Of No Importance said...

Nothing funny to add, JW - you write like a siren, luring us all to your aide...

Two words about your pain - ~Unresolved grief...

Been there, had it, thought it was going to kill me, but it didn't - Therapy not wholly necessary, but some kind of acknowledgement of not being wholly healed was... I got tapes from my doctor to listen to, made by people with similar issues... I began to heal in time, changed jobs, moved to another area for work, away from negative colleagues... All this helped... And finally, you turn the corner... Blessings to you x

Jessica K said...

I am sorry you are sad, but I admire you for your honesty about it.
Food, sleep, reading = all good cures and alone time as needed.

tragicanon said...

WHAT IS IT?! i want one... it looks like a cross between a chick and a field mouse...
i'm so sorry you're feeling down, i get that once every year on my birthday; hello today! it's gonna be as insanely awful as ever, i can tell...
anyway - look after yourself, because you are a very important lady and without a doubt one of the sanest/funniest/brilliant people i have come across...
oh and i don't have any helpful advice like all the clever people here, but when i get chest-achey low, i tend to enjoy indulging in it for a while, see how long i can teeter on the edge of the abyss before pulling myself in and being 'sensible' - but as i said, probably not the best idea x

Anonymous said...

Emma!! Don't be sad, darling! You're bloody charming and you've achieved a lot. Remember that and REJOICE. Meagre consolation when one feels down, but had to point it.

I discovered your blog recently. I can't tell you how much I love it. I arrived via Liberty London Girl, via Miss Malcontent seeks Truth in Beauty ("Danielle Steel, the first novelist to launch her own fragrance. Everything you need to know is encapsulated in the previous sentence". He he...I think I was first googling for matte eyeshadow).

Then started reading a cluster of wonderful blogs and now I'm hooked. I devoured LLG and now I'm here, where I've laughed and cried with your posts. You're great, and so are commenters!

Well, it's late, I'm tired and my wisecrackism is poor, so I better stop. Take care of yourself like a proper Tennembaum, have some chicken soup and CHIN UP, Ms. Waffle! You are very much loved.

The Anonymous Spic

karenmc said...

I suspect you have very very good days, when everything goes your way and everything else is hilariously ridiculous anyway. And then you have very very dark days. Or maybe I'm just projecting myself onto you. I've done the medication and the therapy, but the best thing for me is thinking of it as a balancing act - you can't have the very very good days WITHOUT the opposite. And the very very good days are worth it, because the alternative is mediocrity, and that is not an appealing option.

The jerboa is completely ridiculous - thank you :)

Anonymous said...

I agree with all the comments above especially those concerning buttery carbs . You have been there for me in some of my darkest hours, so we are all here for you, our Empress of the Waffle.

Your brother's situation could certainly cause you pain and sadness . And thats ok. How about online therapy or phone therapy. Or retail therapy...oh sorry..

But,seriously, listen to the wisdom of someone older than you-decisions about where you live are not permanent. I sense that your Belgian life may longer be working for you, but perhaps against you -I know about the credit crunch, you made the choice to move there etc blah blah blah blah .

You are NOT the first person or couple to take a risk, make a change a move etc and then determine it was not the right one for you. It takes some initial courage to admit a mistake or make a course correction when you think it might be seen as going back ward, but the pain quickly passes and I have never seen anyone regret taking action to correct an ill fitting situation,though I have seen people regret wasted years. Some thoughts for you to mull over... perhaps I am completely out of line and if so, I beg the Holy T's forgiveness and take my humble leave, Empress. Remember you are much loved and cared for!

rainsinger said...

I second the notion of keeping the pygmy jerboa in a jar and taking it out whenever doldrums come calling. I only wish I had its grace when falling backwards into space.

I suppose I have a different perspective about therapy than you, because I am a therapist and before then I had a lot of input from a man who transformed my life (but he didn't bully, or judge, he was kind mostly and he kicked my ass a little when I needed it and he helped hold and pick up the pieces of me until I learned how I wanted my life to be).

Being a grown up is tiring and I suffer from administrative paralysis myself which leads me into a viscious circle of stupdity and feelings of worthlessness associated with inability to return goddamn emails/phonecalls/sae envelopes (oh the SAE!) Some people are just more incompetent than others, or more phobic about the post (I need to steel myself to open the damn things and always feels such an intense rush of anxiety beforehand).

I find you intensely charming as you are, but if you feel that you are unhappy with the way things are, then perhaps you should consider therapy (bearing in mind that there are many many therapists and many many therapy styles) and that it would be worthwhile to research the differences between them - psychodynamic draws its roots from pscyhoanalysis (I'm not a fan, although it was amusing to be classified as both hostile and resistant on account of disagreeing with something the therapist said, but it works for some people). There's approaches like Cognitive Behavioural/Brief Therapy which are essentially solution focused where you come with a particular 'negative behaviour' and then work to change patterns of thought around it and there are approaches like the systemic (which is what I practise, so what I know most about) where I'm interested in the person's social world (what beliefs they get from their social world, what network of relationships/social differences is around them). But there are many more than this, and many different therapists, and if you don't genuinely like the one you are with (and they don't have a sense of humour) it's probably worth looking for another one.

(Although obviously only if you think it could benefit you in the first place).

Jaywalker said...

Laura and Ben - some of them are amazing! Have you seen the man who had his pic taken in front of the BLUE BRAIN?

Deililly - Thank you, baby animals ALWAYS help. Always.

Victoriark - you know just how to raise my spirits. Lovely, lovely Sinclair. Mmm.

Matthew - that did make me laugh. I am definitely less than 75% face, you are right. But where to obtain one? I don't actually believe it's real anyway.

Kate - pygmé! You are eating your own tail! Even the weepette doesn't do that.

Gossamer - he's French French actually. And terribly snobbish about Walloon accents... I hate the countryside. I would rather breathe in delicious bus emissions from London Town, but thank you..

Layla - there seems to have been GREAT progress, but I need more info on the significance of dried beans...

Stevey - Well, it worked for Sylvia Plat.. oh wait. No, it didn't really. But yes, cake is an excellent thing.

VLiF - YES. SEND ME CHICKS. CHEEEEEECKS.

@eloh - I really have no idea. it looks like something dr seuss might have invented. BUT I WANT ONE.

Lulu - thank you lovely one. I am already better because the good people of the internet are unreservedly wonderful and kind.

Must go to gulag. Back to thank the rest of you for your HUGE kindess shortly.

Laura Jane said...

Oh Emma

I like the thought of mashed potato, with cheese.

But I really wish I could come and make it for you, and some excellent and nutritious food, and change your bed for you, and send you to a hot bath I had run for you, and then cuddled you dry, fed you and keep you in bed for a day.

Then, I think the therapist/doctor might be a good plan to check in for some support and stabilising for all this Stuff that is happening.

I repeat, is the CFO blind? I gather you have never made the vows, so he hasn't (strictly speaking) promised the in sickness and health, for better or worse deal, but this is the time to honour such things. To suck it up and support one's partner in the time of need. Not to mention the support needed by the offspring when their Mama is so debilitated.

Failing that, baby animals and giggling babies will help for a little bit.

But that pygmy jerboa? What the? I swear Photoshop has been involved.

Hope you get to safely fall in a heap soon. In the meantime, the day-to-day descriptions of the impending train wreck are required, and very entertaining, reading! Even in extremis, you've got it girl!

Jaywalker said...

Elsie ha, the playlet was fun. I like fun, there should be much much more of it.

fabhat - hula hooping is beyond me, but I could probably manage the St trinians films box set. Yes. good idea.

Nimble - you are much more lively in your sorrowful moments than me. I can barely imagine filling the kettle.

Lucy - I like yours. I like them a LOT. Especially revels and vodka.

Iheart - I promise I wouldn't do anything of the kind. I just enjoyed laughing at him. He was a gift from Mrs Trefusis, who knows how to cheer a girl.

Lisa - I totally could. GET TO WORK.

Z - you are lovely and full of cleverness. The CFO really hasn't noticed anything, since I tend to get struck down during the day and .

Bevchen - thank you so much, but importing chocolate into Belgium is a criminal offence. Poor you with the moths! I hope it's just a stray..

screamish - oooh I wish I was capable of that. I am not good at switching off, which is why I end up twitching in front of the computer at 2am.

Fanny - yes. YES. Genius Idea. I
am off to do exactly that.

Katyboo - bottom of the shower you say? Must try it.

Mya - I will try each of those in turn and when I get arrested I will give them your name. thanks lovely one. xx

GingerB - It was a little better already as soon as I posted it. And you are all so lovely and caring it is even better.

redfox - I want to be woken by a gentle nuzzle from a passing wombat! I want it NOW!

Woman - hum. But bottling it all up is the british way. What to do?

Jessica K - AND you sent me a video too. Lovely you.

tragicanon - we can teeter together. It will be fine.

Anonymous Spic - thank you so much. I am better already.


KarenMcC - yes, you are quite right, lots of days are rather wonderful, actually, then occasionally I end up in the dark ING basement of the soul. Balance indeed.

Anon - you are not at all out of line. It is definitely worth thought, though I do in fact love Belgium very much.

rainsinger - I have been down the CBT route in the past very successfully and have a lot of time for it (I was just being flippant in the post). I would absolutely not rule it out in future, I am just wallowing at present...

Laura Jane - as often, the things you say are so lovely and consoling and kind that I just want you to come and do exactly that. Shame about the other side of the world thing, but virtually it does all manner of good. Thank you, you are wonderful.

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