There are a lot of sad women on the internet. That’s the kind of thing you can only learn from the rain.
I don’t want to ignore my friend but I can’t help it today.
My dog, Mordechai, is slamming a phallic dog toy against my lower leg repeatedly and I don’t want to ignore him but I can’t help it. Today.
It’s kind of raining which is worse than raining because I keep watching for the rain. The sky continuously lets me down which is the most ominous form of bullshit: Sky, if you want to burst, just burst and if you can’t burst, get better.
The sky responds with wind. I drink a beer.
I have not worn Kara’s wig in three days. I don’t feel well. I feel anxious. If you’re not sure of the difference between anxiety and nerves, let me clarify without clinical obligation: Nervous is a tingling feeling; Anxiety is a ruinous necrosis, a grasping disease, a nonsense state. It’s a trap.
I don’t like it. I don’t like when my body is taken over. I can’t eat, sleep and the pieces of me that are not ordinarily physically sensitive are screaming, letting out roaring declarations of condemnation: RACHEL YOU DID SOMETHING AND NOW EVERYTHING IS OVER AND IT WILL NEVER BE FIXED.
Do not worry. This happens to me all the time. It’s just something I have to get through. Like a cold. (Full disclosure: I am reading this over the morning after I’ve written it and it feels right to tell you that, after writing myself to sleep, I’m feeling that slightest bit better, lighter, easier. That’s what happens when we play in the mind’s playground. Creativity spawns progress.)
I put Kara’s wig on. She looks sad.
I have to take an Instagram photo of her but she doesn’t look like the stunning representation of Trend that she normally constructs, she looks Sad. I search #Sadness. Might there be a trend in looking sad? Of course there is.
Over four million posts.
I click: On a topless shot-from-just-below-the-breasts woman wearing high-waisted jeans with a noticeably tiny waist and ripped holes in the knees, the knees covered with perfectly stretched fishnet tights, the hashtags flowing out of the caption “Ripped” include #eatingdisorder #bulimia #sadness and then twenty more nouns dripping with raw torture. I’m going to spell the username incorrectly on purpose but it looked something like -slwlydisapring-. Her bio pleads for us not to report her. She needs this, she writes.
I cried, mesmerized as I clicked through sadness hashtags, finding mostly young women posting about their bodies and their lack of trust in hope.
A brilliant beauty emanates from their tragic depictions of mundanity.
A girl smokes a cigarette in the night, captioned “Quit or die not trying”, her hair illuminated by a somehow haloed branch, her eyes flippantly cruel, this is one of over 4 million moments captured, encrypted with #sadness, captioned with effortless cynicism, published by what looks like a sixteen year old. I follow her. Not for her sadness. For her brilliant survival.
I am sad for the sad young writers. They don’t know yet. They don’t know yet that it takes time to find the meaningful reasons for enjoyment. They baffle me with their linguistic sadness traps, captions and captions:
“I like the sad eyes, bad guys, mouth full of bad lies”
“Everyone says I look tired but I’m not only Tired”
“Crack a smile, baby girl”
Teenagers have captured my anxiety. With their Instagram posts.
I feel a little better and then I feel much worse.
I don’t like anxiety. Often paired with depression. If you don’t know the difference between depression and sadness, again, a non-clinical differentiation: Sadness is a bad feeling; Depression is a desperate vortex. Sucking in and sucking in, time and body and reality and suddenly the Now is Now too soon where did Time go and will Time come back because I need to blame her for my lack of engagement and activity and movement and birth.
My dog is crying now. I grab the phallic toy, tug hard, it hits my lower lip, I yell in a barbaric tone I know my neighbours can hear with wonderment, I toss the toy, he gets it, he’s back. This is a game we play. Some call it fetch. I call it OK, MORDY.
This dog is my best friend. He has no idea how I feel about anything. He knows when I’m upset with him but true dark dark things, the things that we think are unique to us when they are laughably common, he doesn’t give a shit about any of that and he’s my best friend and he cries when I ignore him and he might even cry when I’m not here. He misses me instantly. He just wants to love me so that I will love him. #Sadness. Or, no, #Joy. I don’t know. The rain confuses me.
Today I had a job interview and it went well because I walked in and left my grief at the door (that’s actually something I said to myself on the way to the interview, laugh if you need to, I told myself to “leave it at the door”).
I became a working person. I operated. She asked me to describe myself half way through the interview and I used the word Warm and she said “yes, I can feel that, you are warm, you feel warm” and I almost cried but then I didn’t cry because crying in interviews is bad. I just want to be warm and easy. But, I have not been able to stop crying for days.
It took an interview to shirk spastic emotional impulses. It took circumstance to muster control.
I have a vivid memory of being roughly twelve years old, sitting at a family dinner. I was really an unhappy person at the time and I was crying. I don’t remember why. I couldn’t stop crying. I was told to go wash my face and come back when I’ve stopped.
It feels like I still haven’t stopped, I can’t stop. I cried on two dog walks today, I lay on my couch crying in between, I’m crying my way through a beer right now. I have burst and, in bursting, I’ve reached a certain phase of destruction. This is who I am and who I have always been. This is the part where I hide.
Since writing this blog, since working on Kara, I’ve learned the impulse To Be Seen and I’ve tried really hard to follow the guidelines for attention-seeking: Wear Makeup, Smile, Laugh, Stay Open, Be Warm, Attract People To You, Take Part in Social Occasion, Look People In The Eye, or, simply “own yourself” (as it was recommended to me yesterday by a dear friend with regards to my date).
I’ve done that and I’ve learned a lot of bravery but it’s partnered with a lot of fear. I am anxious. I am sad. Diseased by grief, only momentarily and it happens to me all the time so I deal with it, but right now it is right now and when its right now its explosive, it is fire, it is just pure defeat. That’s the nature of a mood disruption, it explodes, it breaks everything, it takes time to clean up.
It is unclear what I am worried about. A few things. Some too personal to write. The triggering incident, too personal to write or, rather, too entangled in the personal lives of other people. I’ll write about anything so long as it doesn’t hurt anyone. I am not anxious about sharing and being vulnerable, not at all. Rather, I think I am anxious about being so open with so many of you and then misunderstanding how to continue to do that in my physical life.
I could sit here and write to you all day. I am a writer. But, do you ever feel like the thing you’re best at is suddenly poisoning you? I’m a writer, I’m a writer, I’m a writer, it nearly kills my ability to do anything else. I am a writer but I can’t really figure out relationships. I’m a writer but I can’t really figure out occupational tasks. I am a writer but it’s killed my soul and spirit’s engagement in anything non-writing. But, I am a writer. I want to write to you every day about the hardest Easy Things we can’t seem to get through. It eases everything. But then, everything else makes me sick.
So, what do we do? I want to know what to do. Do I really hide in this room with this computer, once in a while play with my dog on a rainy day and wait for a job interview to propel me into this contrived I Am A Warm Person state of being? I want to know what to do when I’m not writing.
I don’t want to put on Kara’s wig again because I feel sad and I don’t know what she does when she feels sad. I don’t want her to feel sad because she’s supposed to be this shallow plastic person with no real feelings and no sensitivities. I can’t ruin her with my disease and my explosion. I don’t want to put on that wig and suddenly be transformed into a Happy Person, take off the wig and go back to sadness like some really out of her mind woman with issues regarding repressed identity and emotion. I don’t want to worry about worrying to the point of an incredibly restricted spectrum of activity, to the point where I can only write about it, where I can only deal with it by voicing it to you and by revealing my later recovery. I don’t know if I want to only know safety through revelation. Or maybe that is what I want.
I think it might be all I want.
My dog is lying on the ground now. He’s closed his eyes. Rainy days make him sleepy. The pressure seems to just keep his eyes closed. I want to bake a pie for no reason at all. My stomach can’t handle anything I eat but I want to go out and buy pie things and bake a pie because regardless of innate sadness and nerves, regardless of the explosive disease version of those words, and I know many of you know these diseases well, I did really well today:
I basically have the job I interviewed for. This website is reaching record-breaking views everyday thanks to all of you. I am sober (until this beer but that’s nothing). I’ve only spoken to people I love today. Other than the sky bursting, because it finally has, and my frequent bursts throughout the day, other than the not knowing and the dizzy physical hell developed around shame, guilt, grief, I did really well today. I got a job. I wrote impactfully. What else is there?
I’m going to bake this pie and I don’t know if any of you like pie but it will probably be in my freezer for a while if you want to come by and have some. I can’t eat it because I can’t digest anything properly lately because this is how I deal with things: Through the gut.
It’s just a day. It’s just today, you know.
I like rainy days. Ultimately. I like the way foggy clouds make everything appear more distant, make the city seem bigger, make the night seem darker, make people stay inside. I like today when I write about it. It’s just when I’m not writing: What then?
I’ll have to put on the wig.
Maybe Kara will write.
I don’t know how to do anything else but write and I somehow know that’s probably true of her too.
Do you know, the easiest way to deal with a sad person is to just let them be sad in front of you. I’ll have to let Kara do that. She’ll just have to be sad today.
A teenage girl stands in front of a bush blossomed with white flowers, she holds one, she stares at the camera, the setting sun highlighting her young forehead and cheekbones with effortless kindness, she writes “do you ever feel you’re not friends with your friends” and the hashtags listed imply that she’s struggling with at least the impression of dark thoughts, #sadness. Hashtag, a lot of things. One comment from someone I hope knows her and then again, I hope doesn’t know her: “lol :)”.
You know we hear you, right? Just know that we hear you. We hear you right. If you’re writing out of anguish, if you’re writing to be heard, you have to know that people hear you. If they don’t hear you: Decide that someone does. And then write more. We aren’t far from each other, we just aren’t sure of each other and sometimes, on rainy nights with young dogs, twitching eyes and a roaring stomach, it pays off to believe that someone can hear you. Wake up and be heard again. That’s at least how I get through.
Thank you with tireless gratitude for reading. There’s so much more to come from this project. I literally look forward to continuous writing.
This blog is updated daily, detailing my transformation into a fictional character who is being crafted for a larger theatrical project. If you like it, please share to social media, follow the blog and come back soon
You can read Kara’s blog at http://www.okkarablog.wordpress.com
or follow her on Instagram @karakarrara