petite anglaise

September 18, 2007


Filed under: navel gazing — petiteanglaiseparis @ 11:09 am

I am surrounded by a dense, dark, oppressive fog. I can’t see it, touch it, smell it, but it is real to me.

I sensed it on the periphery of my day, quietly, ominously gathering force. I pretended it wasn’t there, at first. I blogged about my daughter, made some notes for an interview, bounced flippant messages back and forth with friends on gmail and MSN. I suspect there was a vague undercurrent of hysteria, of volatility in some of those exchanges, but mostly I was successful at cloaking it in humour, denying its existence, even to myself. Until Tadpole was safely in bed, and the evening yawned emptily ahead. I tried to read a book, but the words wouldn’t stick. The walls crowded closer.

Words like “sad” or “depressed” are hopelessly unequal to the task of describing something so visceral. There is a heavy stone in my chest, a shallow shortness of breath, a desperate fluttering in my stomach. My body shifts gears and slips beyond my control. It’s poised for fight or flight, there’s a pent up energy it can’t contain. The overriding – utterly irrational – impulse is to release the pressure by lashing out at someone I love in some petty, spiteful, childish way.

I take a bath and wash my hair. I tidy the kitchen, manically. I pour another glass of wine. Finally, just before I turn off the lights, I reach for my phone and type a text message worthy of a hormonal teenager.

The results are woefully predictable. I provoke anger and incomprehension.

There is no earthly reason for me to succumb to the undertow, right now, when everything in my life is about as perfect as I can conceive of. I have everything I could possibly wish for. This Boy. The Book thing. Financial security. Nine days out of ten I’m happier than I can remember ever feeling. Why is it then that I seem to be hardwired to try, periodically, to destroy everything I touch? When the rational me, the real me, I hope, knows full well that I’m being unreasonable in the extreme. And idiotic. And wrong.

Hunched under the bedclothes, arms around my knees, I press my dry eyes tightly closed, willing it to stop; hating myself with a fierce intensity. Feeling stupid, pathetic and small. Terrified that one day I will go a step too far and exhaust the Boy’s reserves of patience. That he will see even this explanation as an attempt to abdicate responsibility.

When the feelings refuse to recede, I try to drive them away with words. And this helps. Not a lot. But a little.


  1. This makes me sad. :0(

    I hope that you do realize that you deserve complete happiness and perfection (or the closest thing to it). I have a bad habit of sabotaging my relationships or pushing a given love interest’s buttons repeatedly to see just how much he loves me…if he loves me, he won’t leave if I do this…or this…”

    It’s a horrible habit, and I have to force myself to not do it, but it can be difficult.

    Well, anyway, in case you’re doing the same thing that I’ve done, for the same reasons that I’ve done it, I hope you do realize that you deserve perfection and don’t need to question it when it comes your way.

    Comment by Mlle Smith in France — September 18, 2007 @ 11:16 am

  2. I can relate to the feelings, though not the need to lash out. I like to attribute it to Maslow’s heirarchy of needs, that and hormones.
    Basically, after you climb the biggest mountain you can see, you will find that you must climb another, and another, and another – all the while combating estrogen and progesterone. It never seems to end and it’s just not fair.
    I walk instead of picking up the phone. Some weeks I just don’t stop walking.

    Comment by Syd — September 18, 2007 @ 11:25 am

  3. It strikes because it can, and there’s no real defence. If you didn’t have Tadpole I’d recommend the long walk therapy, but as she’s there, you can’t leave the flat. But try to ring an understanding friend, rather than the boy. He’s too new to you.

    Comment by Moses — September 18, 2007 @ 11:35 am

  4. I call it “falling into a hole”.

    Possibly a little dose of SLOTMD might help? It’s a documentary by Stephen Fry.

    Hang in there.

    Comment by Kai Carver — September 18, 2007 @ 11:39 am

  5. I recommend going to see “Hairspray”! It’s such shameless, happy, clappy, singy, dancey, fun: if anything will drag you out the void it will!


    Comment by inspiredbycoffee — September 18, 2007 @ 11:51 am

  6. That which we cannot control makes us who we are. It pays to vent frustrations.

    You may find (if the “boy” is anything like me) that he can see straight through it.

    I once got punched repeatedly in the chest by my other half because I wouldn’t have the fight she wanted to have. That was the most impressive self destruct I have ever seen…

    Comment by Jonathan — September 18, 2007 @ 12:02 pm

  7. This might sound like a strange recommendation but ‘Golf in the Kingdom’ by Michael Murphy has always helped me. There is some advice in there about “wait ’em out” which is all you can do.
    If you’ve never played golf it might not have any resonance but the Eastern philosophical precepts hold good for loads of things.

    Comment by Daddy P — September 18, 2007 @ 12:02 pm


    Just when we are telling ourselves that we have “toutes les cartes en main” that we should be happy for some inexplicable reason we are not, it defies all logic. Why is it that men can be blissfully happy in a relationship without asking all the questions like, where is this going? Does he/she love me? Is this right? Do I love him enough? Will this work? etc…????

    You’re not set to destruct, you’re female. Whenever I feel unrationally unhappy or dissatisfied with what ought to be a perfectly happy situation I do a quick check, what time of the month is it? Is there a chance I may have PMT/S? Is there a chance I may have delayed PMT/S? (if the incident strikes outside of normal PMT period), Am I tired? Am I simply afraid?

    Let’s get this straight, EVERYONE IS AFRAID at some point!! I think a lot of people also want to go and hide under the covers or go running off into the distance until the big bad monster (whatever is getting to us) goes away.

    My advice: Switch mobile phone off (to prevent irrational texting), watch a cheerful dvd or film and/or have a chat with female friend who can understand you’re irrational feelings, or at least try to; prepare nice comforting meal with a nice chocolate dessert; sleep it off and see how you feel til the morning!

    Hope your feeling better soon!!

    Comment by laroseanglaise — September 18, 2007 @ 12:10 pm

  9. I want to say that I love this depressive feeling you are experiencing. At least you are experiencing feelings and experiencing them in Paris! I am back at Stanford now, where there is no change of weather, just drinking and such. You have a real life and I have a fake Stanford life. I have felt like you are feeling right now before and it will pass. Nothing is ever perfect. Happiness is feeling depressive and then happy again. In Paris. With your cute little tadpole! (I’m sorry that I might not be making sense right now, but I just miss the magic of Paris so much. Its happy and depressive magic at the same time.)

    Comment by Irina — September 18, 2007 @ 12:19 pm

  10. Perhaps it’s precisely because everything is good in your life now : you don’t have to fight anymore, and you’re not used to the idea, or you’re afraid to lose what you have (or the people around you). Happiness can bring its own fear of loss.

    Well, just my two cents. Relax, do go and see Hairspray because it’s good, and anything else that might help.

    Comment by Lola — September 18, 2007 @ 12:20 pm

  11. Churchill called it his “black dog”. His advice “when you are going through hell….keep going”.


    Comment by Insider — September 18, 2007 @ 12:27 pm

  12. Hi,
    let me introduce myself: I’m from Barcelona, but I moved to a new city (1.200 km away) about 11 months ago.
    Although this new city is in Spain, as well, everything looks different here and I know nobody, but my boyfriend. We came here because he found a good job.
    I work at home and I also have a personal blog, where I write both in Catalan and Spanish. I found your blog by chance and I like it very much.
    So, I may link it to mine, if you don’t mind.

    As for your feelings right now, I’d recommend you to read The Female Brain, by Louann Brizendine. Most things have to do with hormones…

    Greetings from Galicia, Spain.

    Comment by Viguetana — September 18, 2007 @ 12:52 pm

  13. Hmmm, consider that your emotions, and subsequently your behaviors and relationships, work in cycles, eg. happy/normal/sad/normal and repeat. If you can learn to ride out the sad emotions and the destructive behaviors, you can avoid messing up those good things you’ve created in your life (er, duh!). How you manage that, writing, chocolate desserts, long walks, friends or funny movies- all tried and true, most excellent suggestions- will be up to you.

    Obviously, this all easier said than done, but I suppose that’s why they call it (cue the shrieks) “maturity.” Hey, if it was easy, everybody’d be doing it.

    Think you are great. Hang in there, Petite!

    Comment by kristenv — September 18, 2007 @ 1:03 pm

  14. PMS???

    Comment by Caroline in Rome — September 18, 2007 @ 1:12 pm

  15. Music can also be good, I turn to things like “Darkness on the Edge of Town” at such times. I’m sure you have the equivalent in your collection. Dig it out, it will help.

    Comment by Jeremy — September 18, 2007 @ 1:15 pm

  16. A: It goes with Paris
    B: It informs your work as a truly gifted writer
    C: Try chocolate pudding, my ex swore by it!

    Comment by Macthomson — September 18, 2007 @ 1:16 pm

  17. You (like me) have the benefit of experience on this matter, having experience is the means to learning a lesson and never repeating the same mistake twice. Experience is a gift to you, remember to use it wisely.

    Look after yourself
    Lee, Scotland

    Comment by Lee — September 18, 2007 @ 1:21 pm

  18. Hey Petite,

    All too common on completion of a major, personal piece of work.

    Relax, take time to rebalance yourself; you’ll be fine.


    Comment by Brennig — September 18, 2007 @ 1:54 pm

  19. Is there some kind of global depression happening at the moment I wonder. So many people I know (myself included) are in a total funk. Be happy you have the Boy and Tadpole. I have no one to lash out at even if I wanted to! I recommend brewing Astragalus herb and drinking it. Can’t get hold of any at the moment here in Dublin.

    Comment by Girl Friday — September 18, 2007 @ 2:03 pm

  20. The black dog. Heel, I yelled at it, but it continued to run away anyway…

    Identify, adapt and overcome. Much easier said than done. Some would argue that it’s a bad thing, others would argue it’s a creative force for good, but on the face of it, when described, it appears bad and concerning. But fear not, some of your greatest insights into who you are will come in your darkest hours, fear not, for there is nothing to fear but fear itself.

    And so you provoke, and you press, and you push, until what? Until you get a reaction, ’til you find new ground. No matter the hurt caused, the harm done. You have found new experience, enriched with positive emotion, but executed in a destructive manner.

    Learn from it, channel it, but don’t ever forget it, because it is part of who you are, an amazing person who deserves the life she craves.

    Chin up kid, and don’t despair, cos those you need, will always be there. ;-)

    Comment by Steve... — September 18, 2007 @ 2:14 pm

  21. The fog is hard to come through, especially when things are “not supposed” to be like that, when everything is “supposed” to be rosy and sunny, like you describe.
    The fact is that the fog wells up inside and has nothing to do with the external circumstances, which may be favourable at the time. Don’t beat yourself up too much.
    Others have said it, long walks do work wonders.
    For the long-term, a good therapist is invaluable. For the short-term, nutella all the way….

    Comment by happyforyou — September 18, 2007 @ 2:45 pm

  22. reminds me of an episode of sex and the city when everything in carries life was going well (she had it all, no missed dentist appointments, no unpaid bills but still waking up in the middle of the night in a panic)

    perhaps bc its the first time its all going so well that youre simply not used to the feeling…

    i get it: sometimes we just dont think we deserve it… youre not alone!

    oh yeah! and youre a woman so that adds to the crazy! ;)

    Comment by kara — September 18, 2007 @ 2:56 pm

  23. Perhaps because you have a little bit of stability and security now, you finally have the chance to lose it. Before when you were fighting your court case and trying to finish the book so you’d have some income, you couldn’t afford to fall apart.

    Is there someone (a good platonic friend) that you can call up at times like these?

    Comment by Sakoro — September 18, 2007 @ 3:01 pm

  24. I think when we’re lucky we kind of imagine ways to self destruct it. It’s the I can’t shoulder all this good luck and happiness thing. And happiness is a responsibility- as with all that goes with it. We kind of toy with the idea of throwing it all away. After all, moaning misery and single mumdom is quite good fun at times.

    Laughing at the kids, and at the milkman for minutes on end. It’s very precious actually. Don’t lose it!

    Comment by fjl — September 18, 2007 @ 3:12 pm

  25. The only thing that helps me is to occupy my mind and not let in the thoughts that deepen the awful feelings…I read out loud, it works…the feelings are not facts and can’t exist without the thoughts.

    Comment by stljoie — September 18, 2007 @ 3:20 pm

  26. I’m with inspired by coffee. Go see Hairspray and challenged yourself not to smile.

    Comment by Sher — September 18, 2007 @ 3:36 pm

  27. I find that when I’m the happiest, I inevitably begin to wonder when the other shoe will drop. That leads to memories of times when it did drop, which leads to a bit of a spiral into that questioning, doubting, fearful place. I think it’s all about fear of losing all of the things making you happy.

    Lately I just tell myself to hang with it, quietly, until it passes. Which it always does. Hope yours already has.

    Comment by suz — September 18, 2007 @ 3:51 pm

  28. It’s the black dog. Explain? ok….. a quote from the interweb:

    “Black Dog” was Churchill’s name for his depression, and as is true with all metaphors, it speaks volumes. The nickname implies both familiarity and an attempt at mastery, because while that dog may sink his fangs into one’s person every now and then, he’s still, after all, only a dog, and he can be cajoled sometimes and locked up other times.

    Comment by chris — September 18, 2007 @ 4:00 pm

  29. I hope this doesn’t sound glib but I think, as one of the other commenters said, that this is part of living in Paris. After the summer, relaxing on trips abroad, enjoying the nice weather, seeing the sea and meeting people who are generally pleasant and chilled-out, la rentrée come as a bit of a shock. I know I’ve just spent the last week thinking ‘why the hell am I doing in Paris?’ as opposed to Barcelona or Berlin.

    Or possibly, it could be that you have, like me, just flicked through the latest edition of the Bath Uni alumni mag and the gut-wrenching… sorry, heart-warming, stories that people have sent in about their ‘lovely lives’ and their marriages to fellow graduates and how they now raise labradors in hertfordshire…

    Still, in a few days, I’ll be back to being a true Parisian – impatient, unfriendly, rude, etc. Hopefully whatever is dragging you down will soon pass as well.

    Comment by Matthew — September 18, 2007 @ 4:22 pm

  30. I rarely read others’ comments, and never reply, but today I thought I should. Be wary of those who ask you to blame your hormones/biology: essentialism is not required here. PMT may, of course, be a factor, but it will not be the root cause.

    I am in a similar situation to you with regards to ending a long relationship (of 11 years, 12 months ago for me), having a very satisfying job, exciting new fella: an all-round can’t-compain life. However, I too fall into spirals of despair, self-loathing and insecurity like this and mostly I think it’s because of unexplored grief for my ended relationship. However happy I think I am, I realise that sometimes the sheer “new-ness” of my life (a life without my ex) becomes occasionally and shockingly apparent. The new-ness is exciting, fresh, and optimistic – I wouldn’t change it – but it’s also young and fragile.

    The best you can do is accept that sometimes you will feel like this, and the people you love will see you at your worst. However, if they see you like this and still come back for more, then (hopefully) these episodes should become less and less frequent. So don’t give in to the Black Dog – a phrase for morbid depression used by Samuel Johnson in the 1750s, btw – just accept it, rationalise it, and in the best ways you know how, try to bring yourself out of it.

    Comment by Dolly — September 18, 2007 @ 4:56 pm

  31. It’s like an infinite loop, isn’t it? The dark clouds begin to circle over a seemingly near-perfect existence and almost before it starts to rain, you start to beat yourself up about it. This causes the rain to fall heavier and prolonged and suddenly the reason you are unhappy is because you are unhappy. I’ve found that simply acknowledging the fact that we are all made up of a bunch of chemicals helps… Being under the weather does not automatically equal ingratitude or greed or anything like that – it is often simply what it is and not a symptom of some scary underlying thing. I’ve (rightly or wrongly) begun to intellectualise these sudden bad moods, and bring myself out of it by almost unconciously “becoming” the third person looking in. It means I can recognise the despair before it happens and try and warn those close to me – in fact, I tend to lash out less because it somehow gives me more control.

    Anyway, the dark clouds will lift, be sure of that. Look after yourself in small ways. Eat that extra chocolate and don’t feel bad about it. When we have a cold we give ourselves a break – mental colds shouldn’t be any different.

    Ok, I’ve been up for almost 20 hours so I don’t know if that makes much sense but I suppose I just want to impart that I know how you feel!

    – Becs
    (A long time reader, lurker until now and really looking forward to your book)

    Comment by Becs — September 18, 2007 @ 5:13 pm

  32. So you had a little drama. I think French men expect it as they like their woman to be very passionate and emotional. I think they prefer challenging, unpredictable, situations. Its makes life adventurous and interesting.

    Sometimes…we lose interest in things that are too easy. It’s counterintuitive but true, true, true.

    Comment by blueseaurchin — September 18, 2007 @ 5:19 pm

  33. Pretty competent writing but I am not sure, all things considered, that I give two hoots for the characters.

    Comment by douglas mcleod — September 18, 2007 @ 5:29 pm

  34. Hey Petite, You are not alone, I get like this quite regularly and one of my very good friends just looks at me and says calmly “Ride it out” Unfortunatley those damn mobile phones make it very easy to give in to the dark side and send texts that we regret the minute we press send. But what’s done is done and tomorrow will be one of your 9 days where everything is good in the world. As for the boy…i’m pretty sure he will know this was a blip and be cool with it. After all you are a writer and a good one.

    Comment by Maz — September 18, 2007 @ 5:45 pm

  35. Douglas mcleod, don’t you think that was rather unkind? Petite isn’t saying she’s proud of feeling like that but it is incredibly brave of her to describe her despair in a public way. Of course, you can argue that she is, thereby, open to critical remarks but, to me, it seems pretty obvious she needs support.
    Thank goodness most of her readers are more sensitive and understanding.

    Comment by sablonneuse — September 18, 2007 @ 6:03 pm

  36. Oh, boo-hoo, for crisse’s sakes!

    A shot of tequila and off to bed.

    Comment by Bridges — September 18, 2007 @ 6:25 pm

  37. Been there… done that… yes, it sucks… it WILL get better… certainly could be hormones (at least partially)… agree that “Hairspray” is a definite mood-lifter…

    Having said all that in shorthand, I will also say that I understand feelings of “Everything is good so why am I not deliriously happy all the time?” Answer: Because you’re not. When everything in our lives looks good “on paper”, we are naturally happy for a while, and we expect that feeling to go on forever. But this is probably not realistic. Moods come and moods go, and why do we beat ourselves up over it? Unless the dark mood becomes chronic and debilitating (in which case medical intervention might be wise), maybe you ought to just cut yourself some slack. You’re entitled to feel how you feel, you know. “What we resist, persists”, and the more you fight it, the longer it will hang around. What if you were to just let it be and then let it go… instead of going out of your way to create some drama to help justify the mood? Believe me, I’m not criticizing… I just know this type of cycle well.

    Comment by The Bold Soul — September 18, 2007 @ 6:27 pm

  38. I agree with the comments about the ‘black dog’. My own black dog is now (mostly) chemically chained. For a while I gave storm warnings to my husband on really bad days, until he convinced me that there were other ways.

    It may not be necessary for you, but you should know that it IS a chemical change in the brain that causes it. Just the knowledge that it’s not your fault is enough sometimes.

    That and really good, really dark chocolate (70%+ cocoa)

    Comment by Alice — September 18, 2007 @ 7:00 pm

  39. I call it the dark cloud. I like this “black dog” metaphor, though.

    I always know it’s at its worst when not even a good book tempts me. I recommend Bach’s Rescue Remedy for mood maintenance, as well as comfort food. :) Unfortunately, as I’m sure you well know, we each have to get through these times essentially on our own. Sending you good thoughts!

    Comment by Allie — September 18, 2007 @ 7:28 pm

  40. I have the black dog too, and it arrived yesterday. I only became aware of it towards the evening, but the people around me had noticed earlier. No particularly good reason for it, so I wonder if it might be connected with the sudden shift towards autumnal weather.

    St John’s Wort (hypericum) helps, in my experience, and works quickly. Just my tuppence worth.

    Comment by Claire — September 18, 2007 @ 7:47 pm

  41. This felt like I was reading something about myself.
    It’s debiliating at times.
    I’m sorry.
    I have no answers. :(
    Perhaps just human nature to want to mess things up when they are too comfortable, especially when one has been so used to fighting daily (in whichever way that may be).

    Comment by Karma — September 18, 2007 @ 8:12 pm

  42. oh my, that was certainly a different tone… I suggest Hairspray too… and some wine… keep your chin up !

    Comment by magillicuddy — September 18, 2007 @ 9:27 pm

  43. This wouldn’t have anything to do with time would it? As in the difference between male and female time as it relates to relationships. i.e. women want things to happen on their time and men seem to “daudle”… not quite go that same speed as women do?

    This is not a slight against women or men but just something I seem to see in many relationships. But, maybe what you are going through has nothing to do with this and I have completely missed the mark. But then, I do have the excuse that I am a man… ;-)

    Hope the “fog” clears soon and it bright and sunny once more.


    Comment by David — September 18, 2007 @ 9:48 pm

  44. What about talking to a real therapist?

    Comment by Passante — September 18, 2007 @ 10:04 pm

  45. P.S. Bad thing to do when depressed is drink. Alcohol’s a depressant so it just makes you feel worse.

    Comment by Passante — September 18, 2007 @ 10:05 pm

  46. Woof! Ouah ouah! 40 kind and supportive comments (and mostly, oh delight, spelt perfectly and in rather good English, you are all right my little English chum! From Chavland (Barnet ;o) with love and fat little pink fairies twirling in the sunshine, this too will pass :o)

    Comment by Gorgeousophie — September 18, 2007 @ 10:15 pm

  47. The only time you ever feel like this is when you feel you have something to lose – remember all the switched off times when you were closing yourself off just to get through the crappy stuff. Hooray that you have something you care enough to act so crazy about.

    It is hard, but you’re feeling it lady – that means you’re awake again.

    And stop hating yourself because you have a rubbish day – they happen, no matter how happy you are or how rosy it all is. It’s not some terrible character flaw to let it get to you – stop trying to convince yourself that it is.

    And a little over-dramatic teengae behaviour never hurt anybody – as long as you take the time to say sorry and mean it, and to suitably mock yourself afterwards!

    Gosh – sorry, mum-sounding lecture over! Have some wine and somebody who makes you giggle – lovely.


    Comment by Little Miss A — September 18, 2007 @ 10:30 pm

  48. Sounds almost like PTSD I had when I got back from Vietnam. I called it the rat eating away at my sanity. Believe me when I say I feel for you–it’s not a thing I would wish on anyone. It’s so damned debilitating and invasive. It is sometimes more severe than run of the mill depression. and It eats away at one’s core. Take some time to get out of the apt. I found that just walking, stopping in at my fav bar and having a beer would help to alleviate the pain. Because that is what it is: pain, heart-sick pain and it’s so damned fierce in its intensity that at times I didn’t know if I’d ever be whole again.
    Take car m’dear–big hugs to you from me

    Comment by Beau — September 18, 2007 @ 10:51 pm

  49. I can only concur with the two other people who suggested talking to a therapist, speaking from personal experience. The trick is finding a good one, though (not one who will let you go after 30mn with a prescription). It takes a long time, at least a couple of years, but it’s worth it.

    Comment by Guillaume Laurent — September 18, 2007 @ 11:25 pm

  50. What you need is an alter-ego. Yes, we know, you already have this one, but really you need to have an email address that is you, but not the bright and shiny you. It’s like the idea of writing a letter expressing all your misery to an ex, and then NOT mailing it. Well, you email/text this other you, and keep it all to yourself but get the relief of having written and sent the pain and anguish on its way.

    Comment by Cee — September 18, 2007 @ 11:35 pm

  51. Petite, my sympathies to you. I know that sensation of teetering on a very thin bridge over a void of despair very well. If you’ve suffered from depression, and clearly you have, it means a storm is coming, and that’s a terrifying feeling.

    Many people have given you good advice. However I think, quite a few of those people are underestimating how scared you are because they haven’t experienced the utterly destructive power of a depressive episode.

    May I also add some advice? Do try acupuncture. It has been a revelation for me. I feel robust, calm, more energised and sometimes even happy.

    It’s so hard to make yourself do something positive for yourself when you feel the way you do, much easier to pour another glass of wine, which actually harms more than it salves. I had to be dragged to acupuncture by my husband, and the only reason I went was because he cracked and begged me to do something, and I realised how close he was to leaving because he couldn’t cope with living with me in my depressed state anymore. Anyway, long story short, it really worked and I recommend it highly.

    Comment by Samphire — September 19, 2007 @ 1:36 am

  52. I hope this post was mostly fictional, and just another demonstration of how well you write about life. If you are really this low, on the other hand, I hope you can take comfort in the good things around you. (Tadpole, the Boy, and your readers, for a start.)

    I call my black-dog monster the Cloud of Gloom, but “fog” is actually a better description. You take a step forward, not knowing if you are going to crash into a tree, or out of the mess. As someone else commented here, the only way out is through.

    I wonder if you were struck as I was by the comment from #25, because it seemed to echo what you said in your last sentence. #25 said, “the only thing that helps me is to occupy my mind and not let in the thoughts that deepen the awful feelings. I read out loud, it works, the feelings are not facts and can’t exist without the thoughts.”

    It echoes your saying that words drive away the bad feelings, a little. I wonder if you mean that you talk, text, or write to drive the baddies away.

    Words help me stifle my demons, too. I, like #25, read, even aloud, because it helps. If the book at hand doesn’t work, I get a different one! Worst case, I sing. (husband has earplugs.)


    Comment by PJ Carz — September 19, 2007 @ 1:39 am

  53. I love all the comments. Sometimes, (Douglas) the comments say so much more about the one who makes them, than the thing they speak of. I think you are happy, actually, as you said with life. It’s good. How many times has life been good though, and POOF, something blind sides you? Someone says goodbye, someone jerks your financial security out from under you. If you push the boy away first when feeling miserable, he can’t push you away can he? If he stays, he’s proven his love. I feel the same a lot petite. I’ve been married 20 years! For me, it truly is a bit of hormones, of which everyone else can see before me! Doesn’t mean that is the case with you. I don’t think anyone ever promised that life would FEEL perfect all days, even if it has all the ingredients of perfect. Somedays it just sucks. Tomorrow is always a new day. Tadpole will always have a smile for you. There is good. Seek it out.

    Comment by beaunejewels — September 19, 2007 @ 2:30 am

  54. People who don’t have depression can’t conceive of it. I know what you mean, Petite. Been there.

    Comment by Molly — September 19, 2007 @ 2:35 am

  55. Music always works for me. Headphones on, in a dark room – and remember, if you never get depressed, you probably feel ecstasy, either. Can’t have one without the other.

    And PMS? always a grain of truth in what I feel, only amplified.

    Comment by Anne — September 19, 2007 @ 2:37 am

  56. I had the same feelings when I had been with my boy about the same amount of time you’ve been with yours. I guess I was so scared of my suddenly perfect life falling to pieces I started going out of my mind over-analysing and almost sabotaging the very thing I had always dreamed of. I was so petrified that maybe I didn’t love him, I forgot about all the reasons I do love him. It does come back to us worrying that we don’t deserve things to be so good, but we do. We can’t expect things to be perfect all the time though. Cos then nothing would be perfect ever, I guess.

    Comment by Ella C — September 19, 2007 @ 3:22 am

  57. Wow, Kai, thanks for posting that Youtube link! I had no idea Stephen Fry was suffering so! What a public service it is for him to make that show.

    Comment by purple — September 19, 2007 @ 4:21 am

  58. I’m with passante. If it’s something you’re tired of and would like to learn to cope with differently, but aren’t sure how, talking to a therapist may be of use (not one of those drs. who just prescribes something).

    Comment by nan — September 19, 2007 @ 4:52 am

  59. I know exactly what u mean..been there so many times…
    But remember this: Real awakening comes only through pain!!
    Be good!

    Comment by LION — September 19, 2007 @ 8:49 am

  60. They do say that artists are difficult to live with.
    At the risk of curtailing your neurotic creativity, I would suggest that you have to come to terms with your self-obsession and resolve an apparent lack of self-worth stemming from the fact that you were given up for adoption. I think you need to see an analyst who can work this out with you. This blog is only a substitute.

    Comment by parkin pig — September 19, 2007 @ 10:02 am

  61. I love your writing, Petite, but agree with No. 53 that reading the comments it provokes is pretty interesting too. I am amazed at the variety of advice you are given about what seems to me a completely natural mood, though not a pleasant one! All this talk of ‘depressive episodes’, counselling, medication etc. alarms me slightly.

    Look at it this way: how could being contented, happy, joyous, peaceful, satisfied, grateful etc. ever be recognised as such if we existed in that space all the time? Surely, we all have to recognise (as I know you do) that life is all about ups and downs and moods, some obviously triggered by an extrinsic source, others coming inexplicably from within?

    My GP, also a counsellor, advises ‘surfing the wave’ which I interpret to mean ‘go with the flow, this too shall pass’. You don’t need to go under, nor does running away help, the wave is inevitable. Take comfort in the support of your readers and carry on sharing what I see as an evocative and descriptive passage about a part of your life, rather than a cri de coeur.

    So glad to hear that you had such a lovely holiday (perhaps you’re suffering a bit from post-holiday blues too, as I would, after what looked to be such a perfect break from reality)?! x

    Comment by Lindy — September 19, 2007 @ 11:30 am

  62. Parkin Pig: Just what I would have liked to have said but lack the way with words and was afraid to be attacked by the sycophants.

    Comment by P in France — September 19, 2007 @ 12:08 pm

  63. @Lindy – I agree.

    Post holiday, post book one, pre publicity merry-go-round, coupled with anxiety about getting started on next book (which will only be alleviated by getting stuck in).

    These panic attack episodes are, in my experience, short and sharp and do pass. I write about them to help myself, not really seeking advice from my readers and I take most of these comments with a (very large) pinch of salt…

    Comment by petite — September 19, 2007 @ 12:08 pm

  64. Hello Petite. I’ve commented on your blog before under another name, but I’ve used my own this time. I’m an Australian medical student, a year from qualifying. Here is my medical perspective. It’s long and it sounds a bit preachy, which I don’t like, but that happens in comment boxes where one can’t express body language. I hope that it won’t offend you in any way, and understand if you don’t publish it.

    If this is a behaviour that you recognise as being present all your adult life, and probably in your teens too, then we call it a personality trait. Traits are characteristic ways you respond to certain situations, and we’ve all got dozens and dozens of them, but occasionally they’re socially maladaptive – such as when you behave in a way you know might just drive away someone you love.

    If you recognise a trait as being maladaptive, you could take it as a suggestion that the opinion of a psychiatrist or psychologist would be useful.

    Over the years you’ve described mood swings you think are excessive (wonderful highs whose trade-off are despondant lows), panic attacks and times when you felt generally anxious for weeks. From what you wrote here, you dealt with the panic attacks well, but I’m afraid I can’t remember if you saw anyone for an opinion or help about them.

    The point I’m trying to get to is that you can greatly improve both anxiety and personality traits through Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. A psychologist teaches you to recognise behaviours you don’t like, change them, and in so doing reinforce more adaptive thoughts. It also has the secondary function that people close to you are better able to appreciate why you behave in ways you don’t want to. And it really does work; it isn’t “therapy” as it’s portrayed on American television.

    (Anxiety also responds to some medications, but frankly CBT is more effective and can kill the 2 birds with one stone.)

    A maladaptive personality trait is distressing for you, and can be pretty distressing for your loved ones too. I suppose the point I’m trying to make is that Guillaume Laurent is right in saying that behaviours can be changed, and that it’s worth it.

    My two disclaimers are: that I realise you might all ready have seen a psychiatrist and know all this, meaning I’m not being useful at all; and that medical advice from the internet ether, however well meant, might be very unwelcome to you. If either is the case I’d like to appologise, and wish you all the best. I hope, however, that I have been useful.

    Comment by Nicole — September 19, 2007 @ 12:16 pm

  65. Oh, and look – since I typed all that you’ve addressed the anxiety in the comments anyway. I stand by my view that a visit to a psychiatrist never goes amiss in such cases, though. It can be very settling.

    Comment by Nicole — September 19, 2007 @ 12:18 pm

  66. #63: I write about them to help myself, not really seeking advice from my readers and I take most of these comments with a (very large) pinch of salt.

    That’s a relief, since there are a lot of self-appointed psychotherapists out there!

    Comment by Passante — September 19, 2007 @ 3:49 pm

  67. You’ve gotten a ton of good advice. I think it’s very normal also- it might be also because you are at the end of the 1st writing project and now it is going out there- that must be a little scary.

    I always say let yourself have those dark feelings when they come along. But maybe that is my using it as an excuse to eat an entire chocolate cake.

    If however you think that you have depression- please do go see someone. Even if you aren’t clinically depressed there is a really interesting book you may like -The Noonday Demon:An atlas of depression.

    (My ex was a depressive and I read more on the subject than I care to admit)

    Take care of yourself.

    Comment by Nicole — September 19, 2007 @ 3:54 pm

  68. Hello Petite,

    I hope you’re feeling better now. Jeremy is right in saying that music can often help (especially if it’s from ‘back in the day’!) I can’t offer any useful advice as I know that sometimes nothing that anyone says/does makes much difference and you just have to ride it out. I understand how difficult it is to just leave things alone and not send that text or make that comment when you’ve got a bee in your bonnet about something – even though if you were to advise a friend on the same subject you would say ‘don’t do it’!! When this kind of thing has happened to me I’ve tried listening to music and/or phoning a friend and have felt calmer but then have still not been able to resist making that poisonous remark no matter how naughty I know it is. Oh well, hard lines – the guys will have to take the rough with the smooth. Besides we’re not like this all the time, we are fabulous most of the time.

    I hope it helps you to know that many women feel the same from time to time so you’re not alone in acting as mad as a box of frogs whenever there’s a full moon.


    Comment by Claire-a-belle — September 19, 2007 @ 4:27 pm

  69. Well, for one thing, you should stop copying from the best 19th century english literature!
    That was my first comment while reading this post.
    Then, I thought maybe you didn’t copy… Woaw! Your publisher may have found the new JK Rowling!
    PS: I don’t really know the best 19th cent. lit. but I’m sure it would look like that.

    Comment by David — September 19, 2007 @ 5:42 pm

  70. Gawd, what a lot of words – it’s quite depressing.

    Comment by Daddypapersurfer — September 19, 2007 @ 6:21 pm

  71. Comment 69!!! – must mean something but I’ve forgotten.

    Comment by Daddypapersurfer — September 19, 2007 @ 6:22 pm

  72. Exactly, that’s what you need, a pinch of salt, a squeeze of lime and a shot of tequila – repeat to fade.

    Comment by rhino75 — September 19, 2007 @ 6:30 pm

  73. By the way Nicole, did you REALLY eat a WHOLE chocolate cake???! Get some help!!

    Comment by rhino75 — September 19, 2007 @ 6:31 pm

  74. Hi Petite,
    I’ve always been very independent but being with my last long term boyf made me very, very happy. He was also a safe harbour after quite a few tumultuous years. I think even when we’re really happy it’s hard to escape the subconsious fear that it might not be forever. I tested him occasionally, usually after a drink. I’ve just about learnt the art of ‘happy on my own now’, but if I’m really truthful I’d love to have the chance again to be with someone I love as much as I loved him…and this time to not test that love for me. Look at all you’ve achieved on your own. If the worst comes to the worst you will survive on your own again. In the meantime enjoy the fact that you have someone to share life with. Love is precious.

    Comment by Sister Louise — September 19, 2007 @ 8:25 pm

  75. I know that feeling well, everything going so well but there’s something deep inside that almost seems to want to destroy it? I can’t tell you how to get rid of that feeling – I don’t really know myself but I know that it takes a hell of a lot of effort to fight it, to keep reminding yourself that you’re in there somewhere and keeping that internal hand from slamming onto the self-destruct button! If all else fails, I’ve found that writing dark, soul searching poetry often works!

    It won’t last long, stay strong xxx

    Comment by Louisa — September 19, 2007 @ 8:29 pm

  76. Dear girl,

    Just ride those bad patches out. The miseries suck in the extreme but they do go away. Its just that when they show up, you feel like you’re never going to be happy again. It is safer under the duvet so you were right to go there. One should never text when in that state. It is always regretted later.

    Comment by Peggy — September 19, 2007 @ 9:23 pm

  77. I am soooooooooo glad to hear that I’m not the only one who feels this way and does these things!!!

    Comment by Leona — September 19, 2007 @ 10:05 pm

  78. I agree that music helps–I can be feeling really low and I’ll put Anna Netrebko on the CD player and bingo I feel better within seconds, Veronique Gens does the same thing for me as do Mozart and The Boss. In the end it always comes down to what works best for any individual–for you P’tite it’s writing, for others a walk in the sun or music–whatever it takes.

    Comment by Beau — September 19, 2007 @ 10:59 pm

  79. Hey there Petite

    Like others who commented here, I’m a long time reader and first time commenter.

    It’s late and therefore I am less than coherent, but I read your post this morning on the way to work and had it in my mind to come back and say something now.

    What you wrote rang true with me too. Everything can seem pretty good, but that weird annoying girl habit baits you into poking it just to test it out. And this bizarre black cloud that descends can confuse everything.

    I’m not about to suggest an answer, mainly because I’m exhausted from a long day of corporate nonsense, but I just wanted to say, I understand. It perplexes me, and yet I encounter exactly the same thing from time to time … I guess knowing yourself, recognising the signs, and not repeating earlier mistakes that led to misunderstanding or worse is the key. If that’s at all possible!!

    Comment by Confuddled — September 20, 2007 @ 12:15 am

  80. Relax, calm and reboot, just like a computer crash. It’s all relative, think about what you really want and go get it. Moods are moods but there’s no need to succumb to aggressive texts. BUT, if he’s worth keeping he’ll ride over them. Good luck petite!

    Comment by Paris Lights — September 20, 2007 @ 12:23 am

  81. Try not relying so much on men to bolster you up. I would say a good dive into your upbringing might help you. Daddy issues I am guessing.

    Call the therapist – call the girlfriends. Men can take only so much of the “damsel in distress” routine.

    Looks like this is a pattern with you. Why not break it?

    Comment by AB — September 20, 2007 @ 2:51 am

  82. hang in there.

    Comment by une fille triste — September 20, 2007 @ 5:51 am

  83. Therapy may be an answer – but choose your therapist carefully. Rooting around in dark thoughts tends to intensify them (if you keep reliving something you make it more real). Choose someone who will help you make small changes, and focus on the positive (solution focused therapy is good).

    It is funny (not) but I know many people who have guilt or some other poisoned thing deep inside them. Whenever things go well this thing tells them they do not deserve it somehow – and then their doubts and other assorted mindmess begin to effect behaviour, which in turn fulfils the prophecy because they start to bugger things up with others and then they can say “hey! I was right all along – I am an arsehole”.

    Good things happen to good people (mostly) – so you do deserve the book and the boy, and all the other stuff too.

    But we know that: it’s the thing inside you, you have to convince.

    Comment by Humpbuckle Hylton — September 20, 2007 @ 1:17 pm

  84. Just keep pushing through – the fog will clear.

    Comment by Damian — September 20, 2007 @ 1:32 pm

  85. Everytime I look in, which isnt very often, PA is being urged to lift her chin. I suspect Jimmy Hills’ chin will recede into a pimple before that happens though.

    (From one who has more than his fair share of chins).

    Comment by douglas mcleod — September 20, 2007 @ 2:27 pm

  86. You’ve had a busy year.

    You are probably tired. exhausted from everything that has happened. And now you are reacting a bit.

    Get some sleep and try to relax!

    Comment by Sally Lomax — September 20, 2007 @ 3:50 pm

  87. Why do I get the feeling that you want him and yet cannot have him? That you got so close to touching perfection and it has been snatched away? That you always need MORE…. And the mother in you feels guilty because you have a daughter that you try to give all the things to you feel that you now need? Sometimes being a mother isn’t enough. In fact, it can make it even harder.
    If I’m right, you’re hopelessly in love – or ‘in need’ as I call it.
    Perhaps there is no therapy, no cure, except possible, for you, a regular existence with work and friends, bosses and routines. Or a solid relationship. Not being a romantic and a writer. But you will come through. You may have before you read this. I hope so. Don’t stop writing about your truth. It is a good truth and so sometimes a sad one. But only sometimes.

    Andrew :)

    Comment by andrew — September 20, 2007 @ 7:41 pm

  88. I bet JK Rowling’s ex wishes he’d been more tolerant of her black dog days!

    Comment by McAllen — September 20, 2007 @ 9:35 pm

  89. “Fuir le bonheur de peur qu’il ne se sauve”, do you know this song? By the “Frenchest” of all British ladies: Jane Birkin, words and music by the great (although very self-destructive) Gainsbourg…

    Comment by fun-size — September 20, 2007 @ 9:46 pm

  90. It’s a strange one. I get these too. They only ever last for a few days but it feels like there’s a massive black stone in my chest and nothing I do will remove it. Its comforting to know that it happens to others also! I am amazed by the amount of advice you have recieved over this, and the good intentions people have. It’s so nice to know that people have taken time out to add their advice over something that is rarely talked openly about.

    Comment by Sharon — September 20, 2007 @ 10:05 pm

  91. In these desperate moments, I listen “Hotel california” (the eagles). I don’t know why but this song has the strange particularity to give my strengh go back into myself.

    hope it can help…

    Comment by antivirus — September 20, 2007 @ 10:38 pm

  92. this is very likely the best description of depression i’ve ever read. I suffer from it – found out last year – and have tried to explain it, to articulate it, and you did it. All i know is that it does/will get better. the Boy will stay through your world because he loves you. i said to mine not long ago that I appreciated him sticking by me and he just looked at me like he was stunned that I even would say that to him. but it’s a constant worry – that he would bail or get frustrated by me. it’s all good… you’ll be ok. we both will.

    Comment by colleen — September 21, 2007 @ 9:35 am

  93. I used to do this a lot – I would persist until I provoked a negative reaction. Happily, my husband treated it as a bad habit – something he hated but could put up with. Over the years, it happens less often – I guess as I feel more secure. Accept that good things do happen. And you do deserve them.

    Comment by annie — September 21, 2007 @ 10:09 am

  94. it’s insecurity and i believe that you have to learn to let go of your irrational and childish fears, and learn to put more trust into another person again.

    (i know i’m not helping) but there is a limit to (any)one’s patience and if one day, you do push beyond that, before you know it, there’d be no turning back.

    believe you deserve the happiness, petite anglaise, and just submit to it!

    Comment by K — September 21, 2007 @ 11:33 am

  95. …And what’s so special about that boy, anyway??? What makes him so precious that you don’t want to hurt/offend/displease him??? From this point, it sounds like you’re hanging on to him just for the bloody sake of it. Put some meat around the bone, PA!

    Comment by Bridges — September 21, 2007 @ 5:08 pm

  96. rhino75 said:

    “By the way Nicole, did you REALLY eat a WHOLE chocolate cake???! Get some help!!!”

    :) Yes. I’ve been to a cake psychologist. I may write a self-help book on the subject as well.

    Comment by Nicole — September 21, 2007 @ 5:27 pm

  97. One of the most professional pieces of writing that I have ever seen on a Blog. No wonder that you had your book published (and with advanced orders being taken by Amazon). Well done Petite. I hope that it is all sorted soon and that it has a happy ending!

    Comment by Stute — September 21, 2007 @ 7:37 pm

  98. Bridges: what’s so special about him–he’s with her and there’s love and that what’s so special. It’s not that love grows on every damn bush you pass–it’s rare and sometimes damned hard to come by. It’s not a one night quickie. So give her a break will ya!

    Comment by Beau — September 21, 2007 @ 11:57 pm

  99. “Hunting and Gathering” (Anna Gavalda) distracted me from a recent funk – a charming fairytale!

    Keep your head up girl!

    Comment by el — September 22, 2007 @ 6:25 am

  100. Those immortal words ring true for me:
    “Tomorrow is another day”

    Running Thread

    Comment by running thread — September 22, 2007 @ 12:23 pm

  101. As someone that has spent the last 3 months under a doona, hybernating and licking my wounds and mourning the death of my Father, I can definately relate to your poignant description of depression.

    I’m happy to say that I am now in remission and no longer rely on my doona “cocoon” or a family block of chocolate to get through the day.

    Petite, there is a 3 part treatment plan that I’ve tried and tested:

    Top notch psychologist/psychiatrist.
    Pray/spiritual belief/higher meaning.
    Exercise, exercise, exercise.

    Good Luck xxxxxxxxxxxxxx

    Comment by Cinderella — September 22, 2007 @ 5:35 pm

  102. I stubled upon your blog some time ago, and have bookmarked it as a favorite of mine, and read it ever so often. This post of yours has really cut to my bone, and describes the depression feeling very well.

    All I can tell you is what my daughter once told me, Mom, she said, remember these words. “This too shall pass” and she was right.

    so Petite Anglaise, remember, “this too shall pass”

    Comment by suzanne — September 22, 2007 @ 9:54 pm

  103. this struck a chord with me…probably because i can relate and you write it so well.

    i feel like sometimes the big picture is too much to take in…it helps to try to focus on the little things – good wine, good friends, good writing. lifes too short. when i feel the pressure – i usually tell myself to just be easy…and the weight lifts a little. be well!

    Comment by srock — September 22, 2007 @ 11:03 pm

  104. Petite…I mean…Beau…From a reader’s point, the character of “the boy” is quite er…how shall I say…absent. Surely, for people who know personaly PA, I’m sure things are much clearer and therefore it is easier to understand the anguish that comes with a loving relationship…it would be easier to relate to PA’s existantial demise if we actually knew what she sees in this young lad apart from the fact that er, he’s there…From our point, i.e. the reader’s, the only thing we know about “the boy” is that he is younger than PA, he goes to raves and takes ecstasy,(yes, some people had time to read that post)goofs around on the computer whilst with PA and enraging her for it, forgets to turn on the morning alarm before they catch a flight to go on vacation…hardly anything to make him likable… up until now he’s just been the main source of PA’s emotional dependancy crisis (will he stil love me? Will he put up with me? I’m such a crazy girl, oh dear, oh my, look at me I’m a nutcase yet he’s still hanging around), why, WE HAVE NO IDEA, because he is non existant, he has no voice. I’m sure in “real life” love, as you say, is enough (who said romance is dead)but on the page, mate, it’s hard to give a hoot’s about the boy. As for the one night quickie…I think everyone came up to the conclusion, say, 2 months ago. DUH. So PA, I think I can understand why you don’t talk about him…don’t want to ruin the relationship by saying things he will read here…fair enough. It’s understandable. But it makes it hard to care when, as readers, we can only go by one side of the drama…I guess writing about your personnal life in your own name is, I’m afraid, impossible. The personnal insight, the secret we all shared as readers whilst you were anonymous is gone. From a personnal standpoint, I totally understand. But from a writing standpoint, sorry, I don’t see it (the point). It’s either writing or living. Can’t do both at the same time without screwing up the other one. It’s just one of those things, I guess.

    Comment by Bridges — September 22, 2007 @ 11:16 pm

  105. #104 sums up the problem of blogging about a loving breathing relationship rather well. You can’t do both, blog and love, not if you give a damn. That’s what diaries are for and a blog is not a diary. It’s a conversation with myriad others (and inevitably amongst them, too). So its public, while a diary is private. Blogging about a relationship is destructive and makes sense only if personal catharsis is more important than the relationship. Blogging is about “getting over” relationships, not for building them. So you don’t blog about a lover if you care about them. Blogging changes the power relationship over your shared experience. It skews the public/private boundaries – ‘what do I reveal or conceal about this person?’ – it undoes love and trust and it pre-empts intimacy…

    …but I think Petite’s last post is about loneliness and fear of abandonment.

    Comment by andrew — September 24, 2007 @ 2:34 am

  106. Me too. Everything’g going well, I’ve jjust come back from a great hol, and yet I’m fighting dark thoughts.

    Years ago I had a counsellor who I’m afraid was utterly rubbish in most respects, but he did say one helpful thing which I’ve never forgotten. I was telling him how depressed I’d been feeling at sporadic intervals, and my subtext was that I found this worrying. Which I did, because my mother and grandmother had both been debilitated by long periods of catatonic depression in the past, and I was worried it might happen to me too.

    He said that maybe I was just prone to small chunks of depression, and that’s all there was to it. That it was part of the cycle of being me, and I should just accept it and put up with it and not fight it or worry about it. I found it immensely cheering.

    The thing is, no matter how objectively wonderful someone’s life might be, I don’t think anyone can be unremittingly happy. Life ebbs and flows, and the colour comes from the contrast between the highs and the lows. The low points come, and then they go away again. Like the sea. And of course we all have hormones. I’m not assuming your low was hormonal, but whether it was or not, it’s never a bad idea to warn those closest to us that at times we may be irrational, and at those times the best strategy is to give us a hug but apart from that pay as little attention as poss and try not to take it personally.

    Comment by Clare — September 24, 2007 @ 3:40 pm

  107. Years ago I was in St. Corentin’s Cathedral Quimper.

    On one of the leaflets there was a quote from Louis Jestin the resident priest : “You are taller than you think.”

    You just need to remember that and perhaps that’s why we are here – to remind you …

    Comment by Mark — September 24, 2007 @ 6:38 pm

  108. I hate those black dog days when my partner tries to destroy everything good between us; in fact I keep closer tabs on her cycle than she does.

    I have done a lot of reading up on causes and solutions, including dietary influences. One study I came across recently recommended a high Calcium, low fat diet. The down side was that you also needed to eat a tin of oily fish a day (for its Vitamin D) and I don’t see this happening in my case as her sense of smell is heightened at the same time :(

    Comment by Touched — September 25, 2007 @ 1:53 am

  109. Try eating a reasonably large quantity of black grapes when you feel depressed. Don’t knock it until you have tried it.

    Comment by eleanor mitchell — September 27, 2007 @ 8:57 am

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