Oh, you guys. The relief of that last post, from the processing that always comes with writing to the way every kind comment and email feels like another support beam holding me upright. I cannot begin to thank you enough.

What a strange, unhappy week it’s been. Like many of you, I am sad and worried about what’s to come over the next four years. I read this phrase recently, You cannot hold back the tide, so you may as well work on building a better boat, and I have been carrying that, cupped in my hand like a bird. What’s done is done, and we must all find a way to live in this new reality. It’s like getting sober: the past is over, the future hasn’t happened yet. So what can I do today, to reinforce the vessel that will carry me through the waves? Maybe even make it strong enough to someday help others who may be getting pulled under?

I realize leftover Halloween candy is not necessarily a great long term building strategy for this endeavor, but I am for sure allowing myself a few shoddy materials this week.

In the non-chocolate-based self-care department, after years of eye-rolling the influx of adult coloring books that seem to have taken over the publishing industry I now find myself drawn — oh ho HO! — to them. I finally just printed a page online and have been studiously beavering away with my Crayola fine-tips, and I’m not sure if I like the activity or not. There’s something undeniably pleasant about the mindless concentration involved, but it also starts feeling like a task with no end in sight: like, am I ever going to be done with this thing?

I nearly trashed my page after realizing that completion would take hours and I didn’t much like the colors I’d used and honestly the laundry’s piling up while I sit here coloring like a preschooler, but I’d picked one of those chirpy motivational message designs. I imagined the relief of tossing it out … followed by the Et tu, universe? feeling of knowing what was lying in the recycling: a piece of paper printed with intricate swirls and patterns, and partially-colored letters that read “NEVER GIVE UP.”


11 Responses to “So anyway I guess I need more pens now”

  1. Pete on November 11th, 2016 3:01 pm

    “Never give up, never surrender” – Space Quest

  2. Judith Rosa on November 11th, 2016 7:24 pm

    Coloring books got me through law school stress (in Eugene, Oregon no less.)

    The other “thing” I’m still processing. The worst part is that under extreme emotional distress I laugh like a hyena and people confuse it with happiness.

  3. Donna Brubach on November 11th, 2016 7:57 pm

    Yeah. Wednesday Trump was president, I had a one year old die on me, (it finally hit me and I fell apart all by myself on Thursday thinking about her little pink earrings) and the next call was 3rd degree burns. I’ve been eating crap and cleaning since I got home Wednesday night.
    I’ve got coloring books. I should do that instead. Mindless sounds amazing.

  4. Lisa on November 11th, 2016 10:19 pm

    Oh, Thank GOD someone finally caved to the fucking coloring books, too. I really thought I was truly losing my damn mind when I started scribbling away!

  5. Oregoncoastgirl/ Stephanie on November 11th, 2016 10:28 pm

    Dude. Yes.

  6. Kim on November 12th, 2016 8:10 am

    I have a few of them and share your mixed feelings about them. They help me curb nighttime TV eating which I do because I can’t take the edge off with other substances anymore.
    But I sob-guffawed at the visual at the end of this post so thank you for that.

  7. Anonymous on November 13th, 2016 12:19 pm

    I am pulling for you, Linda. Your last post was so raw and real. You can do this. You are worth it. You are loved.

  8. Martha on November 13th, 2016 12:20 pm

    ^I did not mean to leave an anonymous comment. It’s me, Martha from NH.

  9. Kristi on November 14th, 2016 7:28 am

    Seriously, adult coloring books? I much prefer the shitty pictures my kids leave in their books, you know the ugly ones no one wants to color anyway? Works for me and they are usually hideous enough that you cant tell when I fudge em all up anyway. The road will level out for you, just be patient.

  10. Sara on November 14th, 2016 7:46 am

    I hate unfinished adult coloring pages. I color with my 6-year old instead so I can be like THERE. DONE. And feel good about it for just one little second before I think about the giant piles of un-done lurking all around me.
    So much love to you. Color away, lady.

  11. Megan on December 27th, 2016 7:54 pm

    Okay, this is going to sound so dumb and I bet you have heard it before, but I swear, reframing my thinking by reading one of Alan Carr’s books really helped me. I’m not going to say here what I was struggling with, but I bet all his books are about the same. It was like $8 and not written like a great novel or anything, but re-framing how I was thinking about stopping what I was doing really helped me. I know you have been in really good rehab places, so maybe what is in his books is already part of your treatment, but lands, it really helped me. I’ve heard that his weight loss one is not great and his writing is so repetitive, but shoot, for $8 I figured why not? The one I read focused on the freedom I would have and it addressed all of the reasons I had in my head about why I couldn’t stop. Anyway, I’m a long time reader, not a robot. And I’m not a salesperson or anything. It just helped me a lot.

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