The lovely Lindsay, one of the friends in my computer who says nice things on Twitter and blogs, sent this my way, so I thought I’d do it for fun. My brain is fried from the antibiotics I’m taking to kill the darn bladder infection. I think they’re killing brain cells, too. I feel like I’m just waking up from a nap for 98% of the day. I was supposed to answer 11 of these questions. I think I answered more.
1. Why do you blog? What inspired you to start?
My inspiration: I went looking for help when I knew I wanted to have a baby but didn’t know how to set up a mental health safety net. My history with severe anxiety and, less often, depression puts me at a really high risk for antenatal and postpartum emotional complications. I also had no idea how to get off my meds. I got lucky and learned a lot from my psychiatrist, who immediately expressed both his willingness to try slowly tapering my meds before conception and his concerns about my safety if I were to go unmedicated for so long. I say “I got lucky” because he’s a lot more knowledgable about this stuff than most psychiatrists and helped me find true experts to answer any questions he couldn’t. The whole thing was so complicated that I felt compelled to write about it.
Why I blog: When I looked for help in bookstores and online and found, I found one book. One. (The truly awesome and readable Pregnant on Prozac, by Dr. Shoshana Felman.) Everything online just said, at best, to get off meds and ask a doctor. Um, I’m not stupid, thankyouverymuch. I was stunned, because there are all kinds of books and blogs about pregnancy, all kinds of books and blogs about postpartum mental health, I just expected that there would be something there for women who knew in advance that they were at risk. There’s lots online about being pregnant and anxious and depressed and what to do if you find yourself pregnant while on medication (mostly terrible, uninformed advice). Where is the help for planning in advance? I feel obligated to share my own journey so that I contribute to a public conversation about mental health and motherhood. I have heard from and about so many women who have been told or just assume that they should “tough it out.” I blog in order to add to the growing number of women who are demanding the care they need in order to make educated choices about our own health.
2. What are you proudest of in your life right now?
I just started writing for other sites in the last six weeks, because I am finding the courage to write to editors and say “Hey, I have this idea, what do you think?” Now, if I can just convince someone to pay me to write…
3. What trait do you admire most in others? Why?
The ability to listen well. My husband consistently inspires with the kindest gestures he comes up with based on some little thing I often don’t remember saying. The day I started my latest job as a nanny, he made me my favorite breakfast; he went to the grocery store the night before and even remembered to get orange juice with vitamin D! (I’m deficient.) It’s what makes him my best friend, and it’s how I fell in love with him.
4. If you could meet one “big” or “famous” blogger in real life, who would it be?
I would love to spend an afternoon at the home of Jenny Lawson, aka The Bloggess. Her blog makes this sound like one of the most entertaining experiences ever. Plus, she has a cardboard Tardis. And I wanna play, too!
5. How do you balance blogging and social media with the rest of your life?
I’m pretty terrible at this one. My phone is always in my hand. I believe it’s safe to say I have a bit of an addiction.
6. What is the biggest source of support in your life? How did you find it?
My husband; nothing else comes close. I found him on Match.com. For real!
7. When you were a kid, what did you say you wanted to be when you grew up?
An actress. I would sometimes vary it by dreaming of other kinds of careers in the arts, like figure skating (fail) or writing. It took only one theater class in college to kill my illusions about acting! I switched to English and even wrote a full-length play. My kid-self would have been thrilled to know that she would one day write a play, but probably also disappointed that it didn’t go to Broadway.
8. What would you do for fun or self care, if you could do anything you wanted?
I read. Often, I “read”– audiobooks can be really therapeutic for my anxiety, because they distract me, but it only works because stories have always captivated me so completely. And I love to bake.
9. If you could bring just one book with you to a desert island, what book would it be?
Persuasion. Jane Austen. I never get sick of it, and I always spot something new. Nothing I’ve read has topped it, and I spent three years studying English lit in a PhD program, so that’s really saying something!
10. Do you prefer cake or pie?
Pie! Have you seen Waitress? A pie can by anything, so many flavors. It can be unexpected. Cake is, well, always cake. Delicious! But the texture and flavors are not as varied. Also, I’m really proud of my homemade pie crusts.
11. What is your favorite word? Why?
Lately? “Swoon.” I have this huge girl crush on Diana at Hormonal Imbalances, and she uses it all the time to describe things that are, well, just that wonderful. I’ve picked it up–it’s like a song she got stuck in my head.
12. What is a book you’ve read that changed your life or affected you strongly in some way?
The Waves by Virginia Woolf. I’m not trying to impress anyone with an obscure choice–after I read it, I spent my professor’s office hours trying to understand some of it, and from that moment (Spring 2004) until January 2011, I was determined to become an English professor, specializing in Virginia Woolf. I was convinced that was my path in life.
13. What are your favorite things to do when the kids are at grandmas/friends/away for several hours or the night?
14. What are your top 3 movies?
15. What do you have in your purse right now that you cannot live without?
16. Where were you the last time you sent someone a postcard?
January, 2012. A college friend and fellow English literature nerd sent me a Christina Rossetti poem written on a Penguin vintage book cover postcard. It’s on the fridge, now.
17. Which goal for yourself are you most proud of accomplishing?
Getting a full-time job as a childcare provider. I was a student for so long that I have never before had a full-time, 9-5 (8:30-6:30 but who’s counting?) real job. It is a huge deal for me to get out of the house every morning and show up for work. I’m even more proud that I feel happy be going. I spent years being unreliable, because I felt too anxious to leave the house.
18. If you could only hire one, which would you rather have – a cook, a maid or a nanny?
Maid. We are dirty. Seriously, we don’t even let my mother-in-law come inside anymore. I have no idea how we’re going to manage once we have a kid.
19. What do you hope your child or children remember from their childhood?
Since we’re trying to conceive, I have thought about this a lot, even though we don’t have kids yet. And I want them to remember laughing a lot. That’s my favorite thing about our family so far! We make each other laugh all the time. When they remember Home, I want them to smile.
20. Where or how did you meet your husband or significant other?
21. What do you do to pamper yourself after a tough day?
22. What is your favorite holiday and why?
Mardi Gras is a close second.
To change it up a bit, choose the 11 questions you’d like to answer from the 22 I answered.
The rules (yes, I broke one or two- deal with it):
I didn’t understand them. Sorry. You should go back to Lindsay for the real thing!