Good-bye July 2010. May you never pass my way again.
I rebooted my blog a few weeks ago, only to have it derailed once again by a Thing. I cannot get into details about the Thing right now because it involves other people. But it is a big Thing. It has been -- especially the last three weeks -- an all-consuming, life-altering, soul-crushing (non-health-related) Thing, and it is going to take a long time to get through it, recover and move along. As time goes on, I will likely get into details about the Thing, but for now, let's just call it a Thing.
Since I've been faced with this Thing, I've been looking for ways to cope that don't involve hard liquor, binge-eating, the Dark Arts, major property damage, randomly screaming at unsuspecting strangers or calling a distant cousin to find out if he can help me hire someone "to take care of it" for me.
I don't know if it is because I am a writer or because I'm weird (and really, is there much of a difference?) but so far, the best therapy has been over-sharing my drama in long, detailed emails to my closest friends and family. I started out writing to explain what happened, just looking to vent and for a shoulder to cry on via email. But without consciously realizing it, I was also writing my story, from my point of view and shaping the narrative so that it makes sense, both to me and my friends (who, at this point, are probably cringing every time they see another message from me in their inboxes.)
I've also, in a way, become a character in my story. (Hopefully, by the time story is over, I'll be "the hero," but that remains to be seen. I certainly don't feel like one right now.) I've been thinking a lot about some of my favorite fictional characters and, when depressed, overwhelmed or if I suddenly find tears welling up at inappropriate moments, I try to get through it by channeling the sexy confidence of Joan Holloway, the free spirit of Mona Ramsey, the hilarious spunk of Mary Richards, the kick-ass sense of duty of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and the fuck-it-all-I'll-do-it-myself action hero attitude of Lt. Ripley in "Aliens."
By doing something I love to do anyway, I'm coming up with ways of finding my long-lost mojo. If nothing else -- as I've already said to my friends -- this situation has been a goldmine of comedy. I've lost 10 lbs. in three weeks on the High Anxiety Diet. If Richard Pryor can set his head on fire and turn it into one of stand-up comedy's greatest performances, I should be able to -- at the very least -- get a book deal out of this.
I came across a quote a couple of weeks ago (that I have since been unable to find). The gist of it was: people read and tell stories because it helps them practice how to live their lives. Not to get all self-help-gooey and group-huggy, but it is my favorite stories that have helped me through so far, and retelling my own in a way that is helping me see all the possible endings. So I will write, and read, and watch, and deal. And the Thing is not going to stop me.