A case of the mean reds

Remember this exchange between the elegant Audrey Hepburn (as Holly Golightly) and scrumptious George Peppard (Paul Varjack) from Breakfast at Tiffany's?

"Listen...you know those days when you get the mean reds?" --Holly

"The mean reds? You mean like the blues?" --Fred (Paul)

"No... the blues are because you're getting fat or because it's been raining too long. You're just sad, that's all. The mean reds are horrible. Suddenly you're afraid and you don't know what you're afraid of. Do you ever get that feeling?" --Holly

"Sure." --Fred (Paul)

"When I get it the only thing that does any good is to jump into a cab and go to Tiffany's. Calms me down right away. If I could find a real life place to make me feel like Tiffany's, then I'd buy some furniture and give the cat a name." --Holly

I'm whatever lies beyond Depressed. Depressed is when you're getting fat (been there, done that) or because it's been raining too long. What I am now is afraid, and that fear is paralyzing. I have oodles of things I need to do and yet showering is a huge commitment. (I didn't shower from Saturday afternoon when I read TCB's email about his cancelled vacation until last night when a friend from work mentioned he would drop by to see how I was doing. You have no idea how offensive you can look and feel after only three days without a shower.) There is this oppressive darkness everywhere I look and I can't figure out how to let it out (or let me out - I'm not clear on whether I'm trapped inside or it's trapped inside me).

Eating huge amounts of food isn't working. Well, it's works for the 15 minutes that it takes to eat and perhaps for 5 minutes afterwards, and then the darkness comes again.

Shopping isn't working. I have a gift card from my engagement party for $350 to be spent at the Marine Corps Exchange (like a department store). I went to the Exchange on Saturday, found a gorgeous Coach bag that I really like (25% off retail price), and didn't buy it. When I thought about buying it, I realized that it wouldn't bring my husband home (nothing will) and that I didn't need another purse. I have gift cards for all sorts of places and they sit in my purse, wilting with neglect.

I want my husband. I am so lonely that it feels as though I'm the only person left in the world. No one calls, no one suggests going out for dinner and a movie...just silence.

It would be better if I had books to read. (There's not a darned thing worth watching on TV right now.) All of my books are packed in various (about 10) boxes in the garage that I need to sort through one of these days. (You know, when I'm feeling energetic.) Is it a bad thing that I'm thinking of re-buying them just to have something to occupy my mind at night?

It would also be better if I were sleeping. Like at all. Seriously, I haven't had more than a 20 minute nap's worth of rest since Saturday's email. I lie awake all night wanting to sleep...praying to sleep...screaming into my pillow with the frustration of not sleeping. I yawn but sleep doesn't come. I took Tylenol PM on Sunday - it always works for me! - and it did nothing. Actually, that's not true...I felt more amped out after taking the PM than I did before. (Charming.)

I'm eating like a junk food addict just released from prison after 10 years without junk, and that's not helping anything. I feel nauseous and sweaty for the first 45 minutes after I get up in the morning and I swear that I'll do better with my eating today. "As God is my witness, I'll never binge again." And then I do. I was watching You Are What You Eat on BBC yesterday and thinking to myself, "I could do that. I could totally do that. I have the same symptoms as that girl did and look how happy she is now." Of course, if I could control my eating in any way, shape, or fashion, this journal wouldn't exist, so you know where this is probably heading.

I feel duty-bound to end on a more positive note so I'll tell you that I've been chosen to speak on a panel discussion about Emerging Issues at the Association of Junior Leagues International Annual Conference next month. I'll be discussing the California Leagues' work to create Transition Mentors for emancipating foster youth - what I like to call Alcott's Law - as well as urging every state represented to create Advocacy programs to support their community projects. There is a belief among some that advocating is not something that a not-for-profit ought to be doing, but my belief is that, if we - the volunteers who are in the trenches with these projects and know them from the ground up - don't stand up and try to effect changes to benefit those that cannot speak for themselves, who will? If we only lend our time to the projects and not our voices to the issues and roadblocks that they face, then we've missed an opportunity.

I might need a new purse to go to the conference...stay tuned.


lisah said…
You are breaking my heart here! I am so sorry that things are lousy. I wish I could think of something to cheer you up but if a Coach bag at 25% off can cheer you up how ever can I! All I can offer is that you should take care of yourself.

Lori G. said…
Denise, I'm so sorry you have the mean reds.

There's no real solution except to get yourself out of your head and that's not an easy thing to do when you are that sad, depressed and lonely.

Can you get any friends to go out and do something interesting with you? I know they are not TBL but still. Or any sort of military support group?

(It's funny you use the same barometer that I use to determine if I'm sick. Mine is, "If someone gave me $200 to go shopping, could I get out of bed and do it?" If I can, I'm not that sick. If I can't, I'm probably going to die. LOL)

No, you don't want Jillian form "You Are What You Eat" in your life; she'd just make you feel bad. You don't need that.
I hope you feel better, Denise.
I'm about an hour away...we could do something? Go for a walk? Balboa park? I'm up in Pine Valley...you could come out and we could hike? Not a big one, I'm out of shape, but something. hee hee. I dealt with having my man away for a long time, so I can empathize.
polkadot said…
Just found your blog -- let's be best friends! I would love to go out and let you chat my ear off about military wife-life. Makes me feel guilty for complaining that my husband doesn't get home until 6pm!!!

Seriously, I'm in California, if you're ever in town.

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