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Step 1

Right this instant I have a brisket with southwest seasonings doing tantalizing things in my slow cooker and the smell is driving me crazy because I keep finding myself drawn from the office to the kitchen, my hand reaching for the lid so I can stir things around and get a healthier whiff of the stuff, but NO!  I need to leave the lid in place and just let the magic happen.

It’s a test of will I have going on over here, and I only have… oh… 8 hours to go.


I’m hoping the end result, southwest chipotle brisket tacos, will be worth the turmoil in my already unbalanced psyche.

Speaking of unbalanced psyches (how’s that for a segue?), my moods have been all over the place lately.  And by “lately,” I mean like the last 3 years.  But especially recently.

One minute I’ll feel elated, high as James Franco at the 2011 Oscars, infused with anticipation and joy from the plethora of choices I could make with my life, the friends I have, the places I’ve been and have yet to see.

And then I’ll be down.  So, so far down inside this rocky hole, and I climb out every time, but there’s nothing to stop my fingers from bleeding from the effort.  Because right now – not in the end, but right now – I’m a 28-year-old waitress with a college degree.  I’m essentially a stay-at-home mom without the “mom” part and what does that leave?  And, aside from the occasional decent dinner, I’m not even good at the stay-at-home part.  No matter what I do, the house always seems dirty, the laundry baskets are always full, the junk just keeps collecting everywhere, and the dogs are being so horrific today that part of me wants to leave the back gate open and be done with it.

Not that I would ever do that.

But I think it.

Does that make me a bad person?

I realize what I’m describing sounds like some type of horrific bipolar disorder that can only be satiated with drugs and extreme psychotherapy, but bear with me for a minute.

Maybe – just maybe – I’m not alone in my “crazy” thoughts.

Maybe we all have our ups and our downs, our moments when our subconscious is trying to tell us something is terribly wrong but we continue to ignore that voice because listening to voices really is crazy, but is it?

And before you call the nice young men in their clean white coats, hear me out.

I’m not talking about voices voices, but your subconscious.  Your you.  The thing you’re referring to in the rare quiet moment when you’re all alone and you ask yourself,

Who am I?

The thing that makes the hairs on the back of your neck stand up when the creepy man across the street is watching you a little too closely, or the thing that makes you feel bad when you say something mean to another person.

I’m pretty sure we all have it.  This internal voice we sometimes find ourselves arguing with but most often ignoring because I certainly know better than myself, right?  Who cares if myself is telling me that something doesn’t feel right and maybe I should get help?  Myself isn’t a doctor.  Myself doesn’t know what she’s talking about.

But maybe she does.

Because, whether I’d like to admit it or not, she knows me better than anyone.

If you’re still reading at this point and haven’t rushed off to unsubscribe, thank you.

I have a point.

And I think it’s this:

We all have a self.  A conscious.  A soul.  Whatever you want to call it.  It’s the thing that makes you, you and not me.  And, for whatever reason, we’ve trained ourselves not to listen when it’s trying to tell us something.

And we certainly don’t talk about it.

We’re afraid what others might think.  I’m afraid of what you think.

But I’m saying it now because maybe these “issues” aren’t really issues at all.  Maybe these bouts of depression/anxiety/self-doubt are something we’re all capable of contracting if we ignore the voice for too long.  At this point, I have nothing to lose – except maybe a bunch of blog readers I love – by admitting it.  But, maybe explaining my process of dealing with it could help someone else.

I have my second appointment with a counselor tomorrow.

Sure, I could just pop a couple of prescription happy pills (which I’m sure I’d have no trouble getting at this point) and go on acting like everything’s peachy, but living life in a fog and suppressing the one voice I know is 100% on my side doesn’t really seem like a way to live.

At least not for me.

I need to know why I feel the way I feel and then figure out a way to fix it.  I think this counselor might be able to help me with that.

Don’t get me wrong.  What you “hear” in this post isn’t the real me.  It’s not my normal tone.  I’m mostly a pretty positive person.  My inclination is to be happy.  My laugh lines are real.  I smile all the time.  Except lately, a little less.  I know that the wrinkles, the sagging skin, the spots on my hands are inevitable eventualities of getting older.  It’s going to happen one day, whether I like it or not.

But my happiness?  That is something I can control, even though lately it feels like I’m losing that control.  I know it’s a choice I can make.

So I’m making it now.

*I promise this blog will still have my usual posts – recipes, random humor, rants… it’s still me.  But I’m choosing to “go public” with this other issue and will refer to it on occasion because I think it’s important.  Some people need to see that the healthy way of dealing with emotional problems is not to ignore them.  We all experience them from time to time, and sometimes we heal naturally, and sometimes we need a little help.  You can judge me if you want for putting this out there and making everyone feel uncomfortable, but if it brings comfort to one person, I’ll consider it worth it.  And don’t be afraid of me.  I’m not going to break.  I thrive on feedback.  So, if you have thoughts about depression and the ways people deal with it, I’d love to read ’em.  UPDATE:  Click here to read Step 2.


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I’m proud of you for posting this. You’re not a bad person and you’re right you shouldn’t always ignore your “voice”. There’s no doubt in my mind that things will work themselves out and you will still be the fabulous Katie that I know. We need to drink soon. <3 you!


Thanks, Leslie. Drinks for sure! (THAT definitely hasn’t changed.) I less-than three you too. ;)


Stellar mental health is not something my family was blessed with. My sis is a certifiable nutcase(though you didn’t hear it from me,) I’m very up & down, and my little brother is more so. Every winter he’s very, very down. Like stick your head in the oven down. One winter when he was living in our basement, I had to drag him out of bed each day and make him eat. When he was in an apt across town, I’d call him on a winter day, and find that he hadn’t gone into work and was just going to spend the next week on the couch with Buster(his dog,) and I’d force him to eat and go to work.

This is a life of the party guy. An epic ideas & celebrations kind of guy. Also a very down guy. It turns out he needs sunlight. He has a great support system, and he has a light lamp now that helps. My brother insisted that there was nothing wrong for years. It’s great that you’re getting counseling and that you’re shedding a light on a topic that doesn’t get talked about in polite circumstances. Thanks for sharing.


It’s great that your brother is getting help, because he sounds like an awesome person! I think SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) definitely has its merits. I notice my mood greatly improves inside when I’m getting sunshine and warmth outside.

I also know it’s difficult when other people in your family seem to be suffering. It’s hard when you have to put your own needs aside to assist people you think have it worse, but the truth is, you can’t really help them if you don’t help yourself. It’s like what they tell you about those oxygen masks on an airplane – put your own mask on first, because you can’t help anyone if you’re dead from asphyxiation. Or something like that. ;)


Most people will say it’s not a bad sign to talk to yourself. You should only be worried when you answer back. (Quiet Matthew…no one must know I exist!).

I hit my monthly lulls and it’s only natural. We have things we want, things we expected would maybe be different at this stage in life.

In my eyes, part of me would love to be in your shoes right now (metaphorically of course, my feet are probably way too big, my legs can’t pull off heels and it would be weird sharing a bed with the Hubs).


You know, part of me loves being in my shoes right now, too. Most people aren’t lucky enough to have every opportunity handed to them on a silver platter, right there for them to pursue, with the full support of their spouse. But there are certain things… namely guilt… for not contributing more, for feeling depressed, for not being the person he married… that make it a lot harder to reach those goals.

But I’m working on it. :)


Hey girlie! I think it is good to listen to your inner voice. Like you said you know yourself best – all others can do is listen and support but in the end you will have to do what is right for you. No one can make a decision for you. Hang in there! The counselor will help you find perspective. Don’t be down about the job thing either. So many people put a great deal of value in defining who they are by what they do and it really doesn’t mean anything-unless you are doing something to save mankind or something earth shattering like that. Otherwise it is just a way to pay bills and if you’re lucky go on vacation! :)


You’re absolutely right, Mindy. I always thought I was analytical enough to handle my own problems, and when I couldn’t do it, I had plenty of friends who are more than willing to listen and hand out sound advice over a glass of wine, and I honestly thought for the longest time that was enough. But sometimes you need someone completely unbiased – someone who doesn’t know you at all – to get you to see what you haven’t been able to grasp.

And thanks for the comment about the job. I know you’re right, but it still helps to see someone say it. :)


sends thoughts of support for such a personal and well articulated post .


Thank you. I will be fine. It’s just that sometimes you have to get that stuff out there, you know? :)

I’m glad you’re still reading!


of course i am your a great person with a great blog and are very skilled and enjoyable writer.. II apologize If my some what silence making you think other wise . I will attempt to comment more even if its just to say great post :) …which is a given for you because all of them are :) . I am looking forward to your spain blogs.


Great post. I see nothing wrong at all with talking with someone, in fact it was the smartest thing I did right after my breakup. Sometimes it helps to hear another perspective, and sometimes it just helps that you can say whatever you are feeling without fear of judgment. I don’t think any of your readers mind you talking about this stuff – I personally appreciate it because it shows me that my highs and lows are more normal than I thought. Thanks!!


I’m glad it helped, Catherine. I think it’s always good to know that no matter how alone we might feel, we don’t have to experience everything by ourselves. :)

There Will Be Vespas. - Domestiphobia

[…] uncomfortable bits, like the time I accidentally made my head look like a greased-up piglet and that other time I got really, really depressed. I want to be exactly what I am. A normal person trying to figure it all out, and then showing you […]

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