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Emails to my Therapist

Angry Sad?

angry sadDear Nicholas, I’m in a state of mind that’s new to me: angry and sad at the same time. Angry sad! I don’t like it. The triggers seem to be: mortality and the fact that I’m ┬ánow taking 25 mg less of my mental health OCD medication, which perhaps makes mortality harder to deal with.

I suppose I could consider this mood energizing. I’m not in a slump. Not depressed.

Or maybe this is mild depression turned inside out. Intellectually that would make sense, since depression tends to be anger turned inward and feels instead like leaden sadness.

Dropping the 25 milligrams was a good thing, because the full dose had started making me a little more forgetful than I like. Memory is back up to speed. Disposition has taken a dive. Feeling just a trifle antisocial.

Options for what to do:

*ride it out, sticking with usual routine

*spend the rest of today digging holes in the yard (also called planting bulbs)



*do yoga

*trust that this day-long angry sadness is not the new norm

*stop working for a while and do nothing but dig holes

*sit here and stew

Except for blog and gripe and sit and stew, I haven’t decided.

More later,


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  • Amey Miller
    March 11, 2019 at 9:10 pm Reply

    Great! This is exactly what I am right now! Mortality is involved too! Love the picture of the grumpy child. I am that girl! There’s more about this, but I’ll just stick with this post for now. . . Amey

    • Peggy Payne
      March 12, 2019 at 12:06 am Reply

      I hope it’s getting better, Amey. Sorry about your mortality situation. I went home and dug holes, myself.

  • March 12, 2019 at 2:57 pm Reply

    You have precisely described my intermittent state of being. Sad seems to just fall on me and the anger is part of that. But what is the cause? I do not know. I think a bit much about mortality but sometimes that brings me out of it, knowing that nothing is permanent — good or bad. I believe it does help when I remind myself that in five minutes I might not feel the same. Sometimes it’s five minutes, sometimes it hangs in longer — when I tune into it and pay attention to it for a short time, it starts to feel less pervasive. It helps if I take a walk or work on something that requires my total focus. Did the bulb planting help?

    • Peggy Payne
      March 12, 2019 at 5:12 pm Reply

      You have several good strategies, Robin. Thank you. Bulb planting was at least distracting. This morning, I fell asleep for two hours while sitting up. That seems to have helped. Need to put aside the feeling that I’m wasting time.

  • Lee Grohse
    March 12, 2019 at 9:02 pm Reply

    I have a suggestion. Turn on Netflix and watch the British series Flowers. It has the wonderful Olivia Colman and the equally brillant Julian Barrratt and Will Sharpe as part of a family so sunk in the muck of madness (in both senses of the word) and sadness that only their oblivious eccentricity and inherent sweetness keep them from just falling off the edge of the world. It is a real pig wallow in giving into life at its most helpless, hopeless and ridiculous. I think the writer in you may just find it cathartic.

    • Peggy Payne
      March 12, 2019 at 9:05 pm Reply

      What a great suggestion, Lee. I will do it. I have to order the DVD because we don’t have streaming band-width, but will put it on my queue straight away! I’m a huge fan of Olivia Colman.

  • March 12, 2019 at 10:47 pm Reply

    I made a comment I don’t see – something like – Grieving a big personal loss usually ngages 3 sets of feelings, sometimes overlapping: appreciations, resentments and regrets. Waat you describe seems to be part of all 3. I’d call it normal grieving., which is Very painful. I hate that your mom’s gone.

    • Peggy Payne
      March 12, 2019 at 10:57 pm Reply

      Thanks, Bob

  • melbia mccain
    March 23, 2019 at 2:29 pm Reply

    Hi Peggy. I am a newcomer to your blog and look forward to future posts. The option above “to keep digging holes” struck me funny because my late dad used to do this continuously in our long u-shaped driveway. He would actually wear out shovels! And as a result of his continuous digging, moving dirt & rocks, one side of the drive was blocked. Just a funny memory I had of him! I’m convinced now this was his therapy.

    • Peggy Payne
      March 23, 2019 at 5:42 pm Reply

      Welcome, Melbia, and thanks for your funny memory. I’m sure you’re right about digging therapy. Weeding is also wonderful, I find. Amazing that he wore out shovels! That’s serious digging.

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