Monday, September 8, 2014

The woman behind the yellow wallpaper

I have been skulking around the house like the woman behind The Yellow Wallpaper.  It's a story about madness.  Have you read it?  It's a damned good story.  I have been a little mad, a little reclusive, hiding behind closed blinds. I have watched all ten seasons of MI-5.  I am the only person I know who has seen all ten seasons.  Everyone else tells me, "It's just too dark.  I had to quit."

It was just the right amount of darkness.

When a person like me feels the darkness coming, she's supposed to pull all her cognitive therapy knowledge into play and be happy(ier) by 1) keeping a gratitude journal, 2) exercising 45 minutes a day, 3) eating healthy foods,  4) writing a short to-do list for the following day, 5) sit under the light lamp or, even better, sit out in the sun, 5) help someone else, 6) whistle a happy tune and so on, 7) meditate or pray to your God.

These are the very things you don't want to do when you live on the dark side.

This was the one list I made:  1) get out of bed.  2) Shower. 3) Get dressed.  And it was HARD, really HARD.

What actually made me feel better:

--Anthony Doerr's wonderful novel, All The Light We Cannot See.  It's the best book of the decade.
--visiting Sue and Cless last weekend and seeing the Milky Way again.  Why doesn't someone put the Milky Way on a list of feel gooders?
--Wednesday night art class
-- a funny therapist
--ate gallons of really good ice cream.  I may just eat ice cream from now on.
--Coca Cola with sugar.  Bring it on.
--I stopped going to church, because it made me feel bad about myself.
--Tom bought me a new, vintage green Fiat.  This might have been his version of electroshock therapy. I've got to say, it really worked.  I have a car.  I can run away from home if I want to.
--friends who have "been there, done that, and know it will go away."






19 comments:

  1. So much for not telling anyone : )

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  2. The Milky Way should definitely be considered an anti-depressant. Same with blogging honestly about the hard parts. I've felt like that woman in The Yellow Wallpaper, too. Bless you, Louise.

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  3. I loved that beautiful novel. I hugged it when I finished. I also love your blog.

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  4. Poop on not going to church!
    Love you.

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  5. I know what you mean about a funny therapist; I had an excellent one in college.

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  6. Come to our ward on Sunday and then give me a ride in the Fiat.

    I love you, 2nd Mom.

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  7. I read that story in college and was so moved by it and the authors life. I also love your list of happy things.

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  8. Blurg. that's what I say. I'm glad you are alive and not inside the wallpaper. I watched all of MI-5 too. I'll never agree to help the government, I learned that it never ends well for the civilian. Ben and Jerry's salted caramel core ice cream.

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    1. No kidding, all the civilians get pummeled.

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  9. I'm not sure what I should call you since you were once my BYU professor, but I googled you today and found your blog that is dripping with your personality. Sorry about your dark cloud. Perhaps it won't help (and I risk sounding sappy), but I think you're wonderful. I loved your class, especially your willingness to say the things everyone thought but were too polite to say. And something must've sunk in and grown inside of me because one of the stories I started in that course was published years ago (as have several others) - partly because of the direction you offered. So thanks!

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    1. You should call me Louise. I'm so glad you're publishing.

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  10. So pleased that you are back. Thank you. I love to read what you are writing.

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  11. when i go to the dark side, i can't bring myself to even look online. Which is sad because I miss posts like this. You are one of my favorite people on the planet. You make me feel normal.

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  12. i sensed the dark force at work. when we couldn't entice you to come party with us, i worried that this was the case. i've lived there long enough in the shadows to know that nothing anyone says really makes much of a dent in the blackness. sounds like what you've been doing (icecream, sleep, new car) is about the right prescription. for what it's worth, i'm all Louise Fan Club happy and think you're divine. miss you, bella! hope we cross paths again soon. by teaching our class, you did a really good thing in the lives of 10 women who have become an indispensable source of goodness and joy for me...i owe you a debt of gratitude for that.

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  13. I think the dark side is everywhere now. The wallpaper. I feel you. I feel you. Good for you for doing exactly what you want and owning it. I think church hurts more than it helps. But I'm glad is helps some folks. I think ice cream is therapeutic. I think new things (even though it's just stuff) can be wins. Life is hard and sometimes we have to go easy on ourselves.

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  14. I read The Yellow Wallpaper today after reading your blog. It is a good story. Mercedes has a little white FIAT and enjoys it too. Do you have a favourite brand or flavour of ice cream?

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  15. Catching up on your blog. I think the first list stinks. It's far too clinical. When I'm in the dark, I do whatever I want. Usually that means staying in bed for a good part of the day. Vanilla Coke helps. And yes, a new car always brings a smile to my face. Congrats on your cute little Fiat!

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