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Let's Panic: The Book!

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How to Endure and Possibly Triumph Over the Adorable Tyrant
who Will Ruin Your Body, Destroy Your Life, Liquefy Your Brain,
and Finally Turn You
into a Worthwhile
Human Being.

Written by Alice Bradley and Eden Kennedy

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Sleep Is
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Chicago Review Press

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Let's Panic

The site that inspired the book!

At LET'S PANIC ABOUT BABIES, Eden Kennedy and I share our hard-won wisdom and tell you exactly what to think and feel and do, whether you're about to have a baby or already did and don't know what to do with it.

Lets-Panic.com → 

« Thank you. | Main | I leave for one week, and my son turns into a twelve-year-old. »
Thursday
Jul242008

What's going on.

Readers have asked me to write about Blogher, but I can't. I didn't have the BlogHer experience I wanted to have, and I can't pretend I did, and if I tried to relay my experience I don't think anyone would believe I was at the same conference as all those other amazing people who had such a great time. Because my experience had nothing to do with the conference, it had to do with me. There's something not right in here, and I don't know what the problem is.

What I know is that I'm filled with grief all the time, that I have tried the patience of my friends and family, that I have been less of a mother and wife than I want to be, that I'm terrified that I'm driving away the people I love, that I've barely eaten since I returned. I am sure anyone who saw me at BlogHer will be baffled by this post, because I do an excellent job of hiding in plain sight. But since then something has broken open, and I can't hide. Right now I wish more than anything I could take back the decision to go to this conference, take back the last few months, start over and give you whatever you're here looking for, the anecdote or joke or relief from your day that you probably expect, instead of this sopping mess who's struggling to compose these crappy paragraphs. Even writing this seems awful and self-indulgent, but if I can't be honest here and get this out I will never write here again. I'm barely hanging on, and I'm trying to make sense of what happened to me. Of what's still happening to me.

Please be patient with me as I try to get to the other side of this. I know I will, but getting there means wading through a stunning level of pain and I don't like it one bit.

Reader Comments (324)

No one can rush grieving. It takes its sweet time, and no amount of wanting it to be over makes it over.

I hope that you are getting some help with this - personally, I always try to handle things on my own until I'm so low that I can't make it through another moment.

Those that will go, let them go. Those that remain are here for good, and we'll wait patiently and support you however you are. We can't expect "the old Alice" back, because you'll never be that person again. But hopefully, with time, you can move on to becoming a more comfortable NEW Alice. One we'll all still love reading, because you're still YOU, just not the same.
July 24, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterDre's Sweet Life
Everyone is entitled to feel like that sometimes. We all go through ups and downs. As someone going through a bit of a "down" herself right now, I admire your courage to right about it.
July 24, 2008 | Unregistered Commenternortherngurl
Just take care of yourself. There's a lot of people who care about you and support you.
July 24, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterDory
We love the Alice we have come to know through your writing, and we will be here no matter what. Thinking of you and wishing you well.
July 24, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMandy
I am so tremendously sorry. Much love and healing thoughts coming your way.
July 24, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJen
As someone who has been where you are now my best and only advice is to just feel it all. Cry and scream and hate anyone who says stupid things. Basically, let it all out. Your true friends and your family will still be there when you come out the other side, changed of course, and there is no other way to deal with grief but through it.
July 24, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterSomeone who knows
Alice. Oh, honey. I also hide in plain sight and try to avoid burdening others with what I'm really going through.

I'm tired of feeling this way. I'm so sorry you're going through it, too. Being honest is a huge start.

You don't owe us (or anyone but yourself) anything. Thank you for sharing so openly and here's hoping that mass internet hugs and shared tears help carry some of your burden.
July 24, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMelissa
I love you even when you're sniffely and not funny. I, uhh, virtually snuggle you. Sotospeak.
July 24, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterSonja
Your honesty is not going to drive people away. I would expect the contrary, quite frankly. I, too, am going through something crushingly painful. I am a mess. A disaster. My husband is canceling business trips because he's secretly convinced I'm going to have a nervous breakdown and be unable to care for our child. Of course, he doesn't say so. Not exactly. But I can see it. I can't eat. I can't sleep. But Lordy how I can cry. Alice, we (your readers) understand pain. We might not have experienced exactly what you have, but we understand desperation and heartache and hopelessness. We also like to laugh sometimes, but sometimes we forget how. Just like you do. Please keep posting, even if it's just to say "I feel awful today". Because we relate. And we care.
July 24, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMeegan
Wow. I just started reading here a month ago and had no idea. I'm so sorry that you're going through this and I completely get the feelings. When I was 22, broke, living with my parents (who were also broke, but in denial about it) and secretly engaged to my boyfriend (also broke and living with a broke parent), was not a good time to realize that I was pregnant. I spent most of the time in denial and told no one but my fiance. We didn't know what to do as none of the options seemed doable. When I started cramping at the end of the first trimester and ended up in the ER I felt nothing. I'm sure the demerol contributed to the fog I was in, since I didn't even react when I saw the baby. In fact, I had no reaction until the dr called the next week to tell me that the miscarriage was because the baby had a congenital back defect. I broke down sobbing. It didn't matter that it was the wrong time or any of the other overwhelming factors. It was my baby and I wanted it, fiercely.

I don't even know when I came out of the depression. It was gradual and eventually it just got better. It has been 16 years and I've had two wonderful children and one more miscarriage (much earlier tho). I still mourn the loss and every once in a while I think of what that first baby would be doing now, if things had been different.

Yes, we will keep reading. I come to your blog because you are bright, articulate, and absorbing. Just remember that if it helps to write about what you're going through, then do it. ANything that helps get you through the murky times is a good thing.
July 24, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMichelle
Sweet Alice,I wish for you an excellent and gentle pedicure, cashmere pants, a glass of chardonnay, and an expensive piece of chocolate. Even just momentarily.With delurker love,MFab
July 24, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMFab
Write whatever you want to write, Alice, whatever you need to write. I'll be here to read it.

And it'll be wonderful and honest and one of the bright spots in my day.

Take your time working through your grief. I hope you find your way through it soon.
July 24, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterjoey
Oh, Alice, honey. . . we're here for you, no matter what. Please don't let your blog or any sense of duty to your readers become yet another burden to bear--do what you need to do during this time.

Sending healing thoughts and love your way. (((Hugs)))
July 24, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterTara
I'm not going anywhere, either. Please don't worry about others' expectations of what you should do, and do what is right for you and your family. Take care.
July 24, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterCeline
Many of us know how you feel, and many of us know that it's possible to feel the way that you do and then, later, feel a way that does not hurt as much. It's okay to feel bad, and it's okay to stop feeling bad. You'll have loyal readers however you feel - we know you'll get there too.
July 24, 2008 | Unregistered Commentermtb
I think that the way you're feeling right now shows that you're human - because the lost life of your child is worth grieving. I remember wondering (when it happened to me), how long with this grief take? It's taking too long. And somebody told me, "Grief takes as long as it takes." The simplicity of that comforted me. I was not on a deadline to heal. A doctor could not tell me my time was up - even I couldn't tell MYSELF my time was up. The grief will take as long as it takes. And the important thing to know now is that it WILL seriously taper at some point. And the important thing to know THEN is that you will not dishonor your lost child by grieving less.

Peace to you - now, and then.
July 24, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterLiz
Just wanted to comment (a rarity though I'm a regular reader) you have every right to be emotionally raw and traumitized right now. You are still grieving & no one can tell you when it is time to get over anything. Wishing you understanding ears (even if you have to pay to visit an impartial party so you don't feel guilty for upsetting those close to you by saying things aren't peachy keen) and better times ahead.

July 24, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterkimblahg
I'll keep you in my prayers. I know you'll start to feel better, bit by bit.
July 24, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJoanne
I've never commented before but I have to now. I read a lot of blogs, some to make me laugh, some to remind me others have trials too, some because I identify with the blogger's life. I can honestly say I know how you're feeling and it sucks. This is your space to be you and no one should ever criticize that. I personally woul love for someone to be open and honest about going through this. You will be one of the bloggers I identify with and maybe some of us can help you through this. You're in my thoughts.
July 24, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJenn
Dear Alice,I don't know about others, but I come to visit you here because I'm looking for a connection, and I never fail to feel that through your writing. You are one of those people who make the Internet feel more human and less like just a bunch of 1's and 0's. So no matter what you're going through, just know that you aren't alone. I suspect that most of your readers also come here not necessarily for a laugh or a retreat (though you also treat us with those things), but just to experience you being you. If you're happy, we'll smile with you, and if you're sad, we'll cry alongside you. You are loved, not only by your gorgeous family, but by your myriad readers. Even ones like me who lurk forever before commenting.Yours,Rachel
July 24, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterRachel
You can't go around it, you have to go through it--and those of us who look forward to reading what you have to say aren't only looking to laugh, we're looking to see the world through your eyes. My heart is breaking for you, and I am so grateful that you are willing to let us see that part of you. Most all of us are "hiding in plain sight," and are too freakin' chicken to admit it. At least you are brave and honest and willing to be broken. At my lowest point, a dear friend told me that she treasures broken people because she believes they are most in need of God and of our love. It takes balls to be broken, Alice. No need to apologize.
July 24, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterPretty Jane
Alice: I doubt you're very much inclined to wade through 180+ comments, but just in case- please take care of you. Please take a break in whatever way you need, and please know that your own health and happiness MUST come first.
July 24, 2008 | Unregistered Commenternadarine
Wishing you the peace that you need.

Do whatever you need to do for you to find a way to begin to heal. We'll always be here.
July 24, 2008 | Unregistered Commentercarrie
Alice ... I'm sorry you are feeling so bad. But don't apologize. I met you at blogher at that party in the purse department at Macy's (weird). Anyway ... it was a thrill for me.

I (and everyone else who reads this) want you to write what you feel ... whatever that may be. Or don't write. We'll be here... I hope you start to feel better soon.
July 24, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAngela
Alice, if anyone is expecting you to write anecdotes or jokes after what you're going through, then they are smoking crack.

The definition of blog is "an online diary; a personal chronological log of thoughts published on a web page."

And that's that.

We are along for the ride.

July 24, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJulie

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