I was on the verge of sending this as an email to Eden, but I pulled back. It is probably not a very good idea ? How could she respond ? 1.)Yes you are depressed, and need psychiatric attention, probably some kind of medication. 2.) You are throwing your life away on Phoebe, and it will never work. Total nonsupport.
I think that it may be useful to have writte it to yourself as a plan, and facing up to your frank state of depression is a good idea. It may be enough to have written this to yourself as a plan. Actually it is the second time that you have done it. You wrote something very similar earlier this week. I think that after a month's anticipation of the PC I am finally facing up to the reality that you can not responsibly go off and leave Phoebe for two years. If you accept this scenario of your life at some point you will have to get a new dream and pursue it, or fall into really paralyzing depression. Right now I am not sure how this process will occur.It may never occur and you can as good as consider your life as you have known it as over. But for the next year at least this does offer you a scenario for life.
I have kept more of a diary than I should have over the past six months and I realize that in fact I am not just depressed this week, I have been depressed for much of the year, and have worried about it before.
I have not liked being in this office, cut off from the world, unneeded, unwanted, reading such paranoid things into what people say. Bartling, who seldom initiates conversations with me commented that he heard I was leaving. C.P.A.C. brushes by me in the hall without speaking. I feel awful here, and really want to leave. I have felt like that since July.
This is what I wrote in July:
"All of a sudden I feel as depressed as I can recall feeling...for no real reason.
I have started thinking seriously about quitting fairly soon. I really don't want to be here. I don't know what I thought this would be like, but alone here in this office I keep hoping that the telephone WON'T ring, that I WON'T get an email, that no one will knock on my door.
It would really seem strange when school is in session...all those people going up and down the hall and to be cloistered" in here."
It is not really realistic for me to just take off leaving you and Phoebe for two years and if my being depressed is just that I would probably recreated these feeling of isolation and rejection whereever I went.
Why did I not think about the implications February 28, when I filled out the online application. It was the day after that terrible meeting with Matthews and Judith when I felt I had to do SOMETHING, ANYTHING. Then in March, April and May there was the period when I did not know if I was going to have a contract, when I realized I was not being promoted...getting the letters of recommendation, the upbeat interview with Michael Jenkins, that Bon Voyage party, getting the dental and medical clearance..the very process...made it feel that I was moving forward, kept me focused on the future while I was avoiding the pain of the moment. Then actually getting the invitatin was a terrific high. It was an accomplishment, it was exhilerating all by itself.
I have already started the "exit" thing with Diane Baca of Human Relations. She photocopied by invitation with the dates and assignment and will get back to me. I want an unpaid leave of absence so the Trustees can vote on my promotion in April, assuming Beth Hammond recommends me and I am recommended further up. Since the Library Promotion Committee is largely made up of the same members who recommended me last year, and the chairman Beth Perry is in my corner, I don't question that I will get their recommendation.
As I told you before, the Peace Corps leaves me a kind of out, a going off not quite like Jocelyn Rankin retiring to become the CDC Librarian and and Leah Chanin to start a new library in Washington DC, but not just leaving, presumably to the "leisure' of retirement. They may even try to give me the standard Mercer rocking chair that I think is so insulting.
In any case what I do need is a plan for next year if I say, go for the staging and 5 weeks training St. Lucia, and then when it comes to swearing in (assuming I am approved)opt out and come home on my own dime.
What is necessary for my sanity is a plan for what happens when I then come back. I have worked out a schedule, much as I have thought of my life in schedules up to now.
8-9 - ?St. Lukes
9-11:30 - PCAC (class and weights)
11:30 - 12:30 - MARTA to Parkwood Lane
Afternoon - music lessons and tutoring for Marti, homework for Jay
am - PCAC
12-2 - Greyhound to Rome
3-5 - YMCA - Bimonthly trainer for Phoebe
5 - 10 Some kind of volunteer work with Phoebe at agencies I would tray to make arrangements with. (I may be dreaming, but would try) Could be the library, one of the two medical centers, the Housing Authority itself, a nearby nursing home. thd food bank.
Tuesday YMCA - am - work out pm GED studies for Phoebe at which I would participate pm later - volunteer work or flea market (I could take a suitcase of dolls each week and see if I could teach Phoebe to sell them. Actually, the intent would not really be to sell them, but to have a venue to display them.) Wednesday
Friday 10-12 Bus to Atlanta pm - PCAC pm - help with Marti and Jay and spend the night
Saturday am - PCAC pm - High Museum, Botanical Gardens, or something like that pm - a play
If you can just support me in this, let me talk about it, and try to build some enthusiam that will take me out of this depression I would be so very grateful.
I have no sense of guilt of taking what is essentially a six weeks sunny vacation at government expense. I will meet some interesting people and see another part of the world. It is the "coming back" that I want to focus on. I know you do not think that I should try to do something for Phoebe, but my guilt about Phoebe is overwhelming. Surely I can manage this time given the resources of Rome...if I am up there full time to manage things.