Is it just me, or have you noticed that there appears to be a circus in my head?

Or, to put it a little less delicately….

What the fuck is going on in my three-ring circus of a brain?

And when I use the term “circus”, I don’t mean it in the Cirque du Soleil perfectly choreographed and organized and synchronized and beautiful world of make-believe and love and excitement and wonder and “oh my gawd, that is the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen done with a huge gerbil wheel and motorcycles and sparkly unitards!” type circus.

(which sounds kind of dirty now that I see it in print and, hello, I know exactly what you’re thinking, pervert….)

I mean it in the kind of dusty, faded, circus tent thrown up out at the fairgrounds by inexplicably happy people, somehow holding within it hundreds of clowns and worker-guys and bored girls who spin on those rope/cloth thingies (which, by the way, I always wanted to do, like, as a career) and huge animals who are hot and tired and wondering what the weather is like back home in India and looking for any opportunity to bolt the fuck out of that tent and hightail it to somewhere with a happy hour and air conditioning, for the love of GOD.

That kind of circus.

Oh, and my circus also has extremely loud and falsely chipper music blaring from speakers whose ability to play bass blew out in about 1972, or 73.  And there are at least three rings with lots of sparkly action in each, but no overall coordination most of the time.  Which makes it hard to concentrate.  Also, there is cotton candy here and drippy blue sno-cones (and, anyway, what the fuck flavor is “blue” sno-cone?)(actually that is a dumb question, as all circus sno-cone flavors are SUGAR or SICKLY SWEET + PERMANENT STAIN)

I know what you’re thinking, Doctor Blog Reader, Psy. D.  “Hmmmm, perhaps Kim should rethink her “I’m going off all antidepressants!” strategy, which I, for one, knew was a horrible plan from the very beginning, for the record.”

Thanks Dr. “I have an opinion, after the fact.”  You’re the best….

But I think you are wrong.

The circus is kind of freaking me out. 

There is lots of noise + lots of crying + deep sadness + more crying + bursts of domesticity (YES, you read that right, I’ve been positively domestic, ha ha motherfuckers!) + noticing of  beautiful things + crying at the beauty of  the beautiful things + cringing at the sounds + overwhelming love + something that looks dangerously close to “happiness” + eating like a starving meerkat (you know… jerking my head around at all times to make sure no one is coming to take my food away, just like a meerkat, right?) + intense sugar cravings + at least one whole day without a drop of Diet Coke (but 2 gallons of iced tea, which is fine, because it is sans aspertame) + river kayaking (again, NOT A MISPRINT, and yes, the river was outside, in nature)  + laughing + bursts of creativity (like, ummm, a whole nother blog?!) + reaching out and/or thinking about reaching out + being pissed off at our government + wondering who invented music (who figured out that if you bend wood and stretch some strings on it and pluck at them in different combinations you will get “music”??  seriously, it’s kind of a big deal. that shit didn’t just appear.) + did I mention the crying?

But it’s not like being in and around and under OSCAR.

For one thing, the circus doesn’t hate me as much as Oscar does.

Huge.  Fucking.  Relief.

The crying is a little hard.  It’s starting to feel excessive.

On the other hand, I’m feeling my feelings.  Which is good.

And a lot of those feelings are straight-up sad. Which is what it is, turns out.

 It’s sad when people you love are suffering.  It’s sad when someone says to you “I’m not ready to die” and you have no good response, except “I’m not ready either, please don’t go” and they say, “You’re going to be fine” and you want to scream “I don’t want to be fine without you!” but instead you say “I know.  I’m ok.  Please don’t worry about me.”

 It’s sad to invest 20 years into a career that ultimately left you feeling worn out and exhausted and like you’ve given every single thing you possibly had to give to help people but all your work added up to was relieving a teensy-weensy portion of the awfulness that substance abuse/mental illness/domestic violence wreaks on it’s most helpless victims.  And then you have to defend yourself from criticism for your excessive kindness.  And then you feel like you’re slinking away from your career with your tail between your legs, instead of a sense that you did something that changed people’s lives for the better.  Plus you worked your ass off and you missed out on some pretty important shit in your son’s life and where is all that money you traded off for your son’s childhood?

It’s sad when your baby is suddenly a high school graduate and you can’t remember all the tiny, sweet things about his childhood that you promised yourself you would remember.  And you don’t know if he remembers that you used to be his favorite person in the whole wide world and how he cried when he was five and you told him that you couldn’t go to college and live with him because he only ever wanted to live with you and that was Not Fair.  And then he grows up and he says “I wouldn’t change a thing about you, Mommy” and you feel like your heart will break from happiness.  And then he says “I hate antidepressants, they took you away from me” and you know for a fact that you will die from this irretrievably broken heart.

And there’s more where that came from.

Living with Oscar is like trying to hear underwater — everything is muffled and you aren’t sure which direction it is coming from.  He is doom and gloom and pointlessness and guilt and second-guessing and loving but never allowing love and paralysis and ruminating and hide, hide, hide and never stand up for yourself because whatever it is, you deserve it (as long as it is bad) and sure you can laugh about things but behind every self-deprecating joke is the truth because you are the joke and the disappointment and the fear and the need that never gets filled.  And there is no music.  At all.  Ever.

The circus is a whole different deal.

The music is fabulous, even when it is awful and tinny and too loud.  The circus isn’t perfect, but it tries to be sparkly and alive and other-worldly and daring and take-your-breath-away-ish and there is family.  Huge family.   The circus is  kind of everywhere at once, but it’s also contained and everyone sees the tent differently.  It’s faded!  It’s fabulous!  It’s playful and whimsy and furiously happy, even when the storms rage outside.  It’s home and it isn’t.  It says “show up!” and “sparkle your pants off!” instead of “hide hide hide” and “don’t say a word!”  It has space for the sad.  Without judgment.  And it seems to coax the happy.  The jokes come from a different place — one that doesn’t believe in your utter awfulness.  The circus has hope.  Sometimes it crumples down on it’s knees, but then the inexplicably happy people come and put it back up.  There is always another show and it doesn’t have to be just like that last show.  Things can get better.  Applause helps.  I’m still concerned about the animals, though.


It may not be Cirque du Soleil in my head these days, but it’s starting to feel a lot more like “living” than it has in a long time.




p.s.  Mom started a clinical trial of a new cancer drug yesterday and we were all “OMG will we ever get to leave this fucking hospital?” but we learned today that at least two other ovarian cancer patients are on the trial and their tumors are shrinking!!!!  So we’re bitching a little less.

p.s.s.  I’m torn about the theme.  I love it, but it seems too busy.  Ugh.  Back to the drawing board.

p.s.s.   Is it weird that I started another blog?  Is it weird that it is anonymous?  What if I want to be a big deal on the internet?  Can you do that with two very different blogs?  What if I don’t care and just want to write like a motherfucker?

p.s.s.s.  Turns out there is a fat lady in my circus….ME…seriously!  Mom thinks I’m retaining water.  I think I’m retaining fat.  Either way it isn’t making anything easier, fyi.

bye again!


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6 responses to “Is it just me, or have you noticed that there appears to be a circus in my head?

  1. kim

    OMG y’all, I kind of love this fancy theme more than the one with all the colors and the original one…… thoughts? feedback? I really need to pick one and stick with it, I know…………………………………….still………………………????


  2. I have been silent for a long time. I may not be as eloquent as you but I am celebrating your incredible progress and knowing Marguerite is so lucky to have you with her in this journey. I am heartened to hear other patient’s tumors are shrinking. Your Mom’s will too – I just know it. And you are feeling again! Without Aspartame or drugs- or because of no aspartame or drugs. Who cares which. Just enjoy the feeling.

    As I follow you, your mom and your writing I see you are coming along nicely. I hope your blog gives you as much hope as it will other’s that are just starting their journey to leave the meds behind. Give yourself a big hug and FEEL the love. You deserve it. You deserve it without the need to do anything brilliant. You deserve all the love because you are alive. And caring. And growing. And loving. Keep on – as they say – onwards and upwards. Hop up on the elephant in that circus and enjoy the ride! Much love to you and your Mom—Linda Rhea

  3. Pingback: Sadness of Being Helpless « geminigirlspeaks

  4. km

    There’s no such thing as too much caring or too much kindness, but some of us forget it’s okay to allow ourselves to feel as well. Or we don’t know how.

    I thought it was a luxury. I’d watch my patients and their families fall apart and wonder, “How do they do that?” I can’t fall apart. I have three kids to raise, a job, my family is far away, no back-up…. and I suck at feeling vulnerable.

    Life can be sad. For a long time. Meds can help us get over the hump, if we can’t sleep or eat or want to hide, hide, hide….if we get stuck.

    I cry every day. Every day. I take little breaks to let it all out and if my kids catch me I tell them each tear that falls makes room for more “happy” because that’s what I believe. When I laugh it’s from deep in my belly, strong and true. I have hope. I know it’s all going to be okay.

    One more thing, outside is good. Start walking thirty minutes a day, no iPod, just walk, and breathe, a moving meditation. Good for the soul 🙂

    ps. maybe a little color in your new theme?

  5. irene

    kimmers!! this theme, all of this writing is wonderful! i love ‘every tent has a different theme’, ALL the sparkly stuff and your humor!! O M GAWD! and am thrilled to hear the news of the clinical trials. . . we HAVE to get together SOON! love you, irene
    p.s. and hi to your mom for me please!

  6. Pingback: Book of Me: On Interacting with the Real Live Monster + Decontamination Plan « avoiding my Brilliant Writing Career

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