Organum Infelix, or, why I am such very bad company now

I’m trying to finish a long-overdue case-study. I got a polite email from my tutor the other day, wondering if, well, frankly if I had died or something, what with there being still no case-study in his in-tray.


I’m not dead, exactly, but I do seem to have broken a vital component. That bit of May which makes her a) want to write and study and do well and solve all the problems of the universe and cure the common cold and run up Ben Nevis every day before breakfast, and b) give a toss.

Unfortunately, I have not broken the component that makes May sit about eating chocolate.


I am sleeping a bit better, thank you for asking, mostly due to the tender ministrations of booze (absinthe, even! Inner Goth is in heaven!) at the weekends. But it does occur to me that I am a leeeeeeeettle depressed. Yes, really, it occurs to me! Did it occur to you too?

We don’t do depressed chez May though. No. We don’t. We were depressed before and didn’t like it one bit and now we fight! fight! fight! and will not be depressed and the insomnia and apathy are symptoms of Modern Urban Living or, possibly, chocolate poisoning. Or so says the Positive Thinking Fairy. Meanwhile, Bitter McTwisted says that she jolly well is depressed and wants to go and live in a cave, prefereably one that she can be sealed into by a sudden rock-fall, complete with bats, and lick damp lichen for sustenance.

Positive Thinking Fairy: But you have nothing to be depressed about! Nothing at all! Everything’s lovely! You have a promotion! You have a nice husband! The family party was fine!

Bitter McTwisted: *points wordlessly at everything that happened between mid-May and mid-June*

PTF: But that was a month ago! And you’re physically all better!

BMcT: Physically better? Physically BETTER? PHYSICALLY? *argh foam thrash flail*

PTF: Well, I know Satsuma is not feeling cooperative these days, but these things take time, and she’s almost certainly doing her best, and it would help if you laid off the refined carbohydrates and did some more exercise, you know…

BMcT: It’s raining. I exercise by walking, and it’s raining. It has rained here in Blighty every bloody day for over a week. Or do you want me to catch double pneumonia, chafe my wet feet raw, and dissolve the contents of my satchel into a fizzy puddle of print and Rennies? (Oh, yes, and the heartburn and indigestion is playing up again).

PTF: There’s that lovely elliptical trainer right there in your living-room! You could even watch telly while you exercise! You just have to take all the clean laundry off it!

BMcT: *vigorous hand-gestures*

PTF: Well, if you’re going to be like that about it, then we shan’t discuss exercise any more.


PTF: Well, why don’t you have a nice chat with your friends? That should cheer you up!

BMcT: I don’t have any friends… *foam thrash flail whimper snivel*

PTF: Oh come now, what nonsense. What about E? And V? And S? And the Internet Weirdo Clan? And the Nice Bloggy People?

BMcT: Oh, alright, I do have a few friends.

PTF: Lots of friends!

BMcT: But I can’t talk to them.

PTF: Whyever not? They’re your friends! They want you to talk to them! They want to be there for you!

BMcT: And all I want to talk about is how much I miss Pikaia, and how badly I want to be pregnant again, and how scared I am of being pregnant again, and how scared I am of never being pregnant again. And YOU were the one who said it’s been well over a month and I should be over it and feeling better by now, and I’m not feeling better at all, and talking to me will be not just a downer but the very pothole of downer and then, and I hate myself for this bit, but still, then, they will change the subject, or tell me to cheer up and look on the bright side, or try to tell me of course I’ll get pregnant again and last time was a fluke and next time will be fine, and some of them will be embarrassed, and some will simply not see why it’s such a big huge fucking deal in the first place, and some will simply not know what to say and will be so sad for me, and I will want my little dark cave and my lichen and my pet bat. After I have beaten the more chirpy ones to bloody pulp, of course.

PTF: But I tell you to cheer up all the time! And you haven’t beaten me to a pulp!

BMcT: Solely because it’s very hard to beat a figment of ones’ imagination to pulp, especially when one is also a figment.

PTF: ….

BMcT: And anyway, there are pregnant ladies out there. I feel like Banquo’s Ghost, shaking my gory locks. If I join in pregnancy/ baby talk but say nothing about Pikaia, I hate myself for acting like it never happened. If I mention Pikaia, I feel like such a fucking gloomy whining downer.

PTF: Then talk about something else! Join in with the other conversations!

BMcT: But I want to talk about Pikaia. I feel like I’m losing her (I always thought of Pikaia as ‘her’) to oblivion. I don’t care that she never really existed. She was there for me, and most of my experience of pregnancy has been loss and sorrow, and it’s all vanishing and becoming increasingly unreal, and I may never be pregnant again, and even if I am, Pikaia was due on the 16th of January 2009, and no other baby I can have ever will be, and the longer this goes on, the more it becomes my personal private delusion and the less existance Pikaia ever had, and I can’t bear it. I can’t.

PTF: Oh, for heaven’s sake. You’re not the only woman to lose a baby. And in the grand scheme of things, one early miscarriage, even with complications, is no big deal. There are so many people out there who’ve borne far worse far more bravely. So cheer the fuck up.

BMcT: See? See? I’ve even broken the Positive Thinking Fairy! I can never go into society ever again! Cave! Lichen! Chocolate! Now!


9 responses to “Organum Infelix, or, why I am such very bad company now

  • Aphra Behn

    Would you prefer lichen-flavoured chocolate or chocolate-flavoured lichen though, or a selection of both with excruciatingly expensive Dutchy Original dark chocolate coveredlichen for luxury?

    My Ma, who was both more intelligent and more sensitive than I give her credit for, was fond of Luke 2:18-20 “But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart”. That’s what women DO. That’s HOW women do what we do. What you are going though is a big deal – give yourself an even break.

    Internet Wierdos love you deeply and worry about you greatly, you know.

    PS – that dialogue sounds impressively healthy and remarkably sane to me.

  • geohde

    Awww, May.

    I’d send some virtual chocolate your way, but will that exacerbate the situation somehow? Can we make all this the fault of cocoa beans and sugar?

    A loss is a loss, early or late.



  • Rita

    can you send me some of that positive thinking fairy for maybe a day or so? And then send the chocolate.

  • Robyn

    There is chocolate and absinthe on tap Chez Kore and am happy to share. While musing about whether I am Internet weirdo or Nice Bloggy Person. Short debate there – weirdo it is.

    As a life long practitioner of talking to think (how do I know what’s in there unless I say everyone) no one was more surprised than me when a series of serious family miseries piled one upon the other in a very short space of time and I totally disappeared into an internal cave for much more time than I care to admit to here.

    In the depths of sadness and loss, comparison with others is useless. Your loss of Pikaia is felt acutely, what has happened to others, better or worse, is just not relevant. There is no simple formula, but my thinking now after all that time in my own bat infested cave, is that that burying the sorrow gives you no chance to heal. Talking or writing about what you’ve lost gives you a way to gain a little insight and compassion, and to receive the kindness that others can give you.

    Forgive the blathering. Sometimes I love the sound of my own typing a little too much. Just know we’re here waiting to listen, no matter what how hard it might be for you to say it. See? Weirdo.

  • Heather

    You should talk about her. If you want to honor her memory that way, do it. Don’t worry about other people, take care of you.

    Please be kind to yourself. There is no time limit on grief, you will miss her forever.

  • Sol

    I also think you should be allowed your full quota of grief for Pikaia. One miscarriage is more than enough.

  • deanna

    I’m thinking (great as she is and all) that the Fairy is being a bit mean, and a bit unrealistic. I understand her caution at wallowing, but sometimes, we all need a good wallow. A month is such a short time to grieve for all the emotional warfare you have been through. Go easy on your heart, hon.


  • Hairy Farmer Family

    Oh, you do make me smile. Even when you’re utterly miserable, you’re rib-hurtingly funny. You’re 100% allowed and entitled to be heartbroken, May. Miscarriages suck.

    I know about the vanishing/unreal thing. I watched my pregnancies disappear into the time-fog behind me with increasing misery, not lessening. When I said something to that effect to the lovely counsellor that the IVF clinic obligingly provided me with, she told me that they would always be my children. It didn’t matter how long they lived, or what the calendar dates are. She somehow got through to me, as even now, I tend to think of Harry as my fourth child, not my first. Your child existed and you loved that child. That’s not something you should need to feel diffident or self-indulgent about. Mention her! You can’t always confine yourself purely to discussion of the happy things in life, it’d be a strange existence if you could.

    And, at the risk of making you clobber more harmless, innocent, defenceless, PROTECTED SPECIES bats… I’m pretty sure that Pikaia won’t be your only pregnancy. Clomid LIKES you. And pregnancy #2 doesn’t make pregnancy #1 any less valid or important. It’ll happen, bab. You’re far too nice for the universe to turn your motherhood application down, even though you have admittedly spent ages being shunted from desk to cosmic desk.

    I’m so, so sorry about the current shitty patch. You do sound horribly in the zone for depression. My GP told me that it’s just as likely to occur post-miscarriage as it is post-partum, but only post-p gets the publicity spotlight. Is there anything I can do? I won’t tell you to cheer up, I promise.

    P.S. What is WITH the fucking WEATHER?! The nights are getting DARKER FFS. I’m COLD!

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