I don’t know

by Marinka on November 7, 2012

I don’t know what’s wrong with me, but something is definitely off. I don’t have my funny. And I know it. I know it. I go through my day and something will happen and I’ll know how my brain is supposed to work, it’s supposed to twist it a little and get some humor out of it, but it’s not happening. I just see life literally and bleakly. I see that I have limited time with my children left and instead of pouring cocktails and rejoicing, I am devastated. I’ve become that mother. I feel broken and I don’t know how to fix it. It’s like I have postpartum depression, fourteen years too late. I never claimed to be a quick study.

I’ve tried medication and for years it was the right solution for me. But then the side-effects made it the wrong solution to me. So I weaned off and I was fine. And I am still fine, but I am missing something. Like happiness. Happiness isn’t a right, though, is it? It’s just something that I was lucky enough to feel for most of my life, but maybe it has run its course.

Blogging has been such a huge part of my identity for the past four or so-who-can-count- years and now it just isn’t. I’m not getting back to sponsors, people who pay me, because I feel like I’ve lost my way. I have no interest in going to BlogHer even though one of my closest friends lives in Chicago. I am not making my writing deadlines and I’m letting people down. I have not touched my memoir for weeks. When I read the last things I’ve written, they read like bad translations.

I know that this will pass. I know that I will see the funny again. That’s how it works, right? But what if it doesn’t. What if this is the rest of my life right here? That scares me so much. So much.

I just wanted to let you know. I’m looking to get back to where I was, but it may take me a while.

Thanks, as always, for your support and your friendship. This sucks.

One year ago ...

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{ 59 comments… read them below or add one }

RebeccaNYC November 7, 2012 at 9:06 am

Oh my goodness. It has been an incredibly stressful time, what with the storm, the election, the coming storm…its just a lot.

I went through the same thing several years ago…I just did not CARE, I was tapped out, depressed… I was sleep walking through my life. When I went to the doctor, Lo and Behold, it was &*^%ing menopause. Many false trys later (lotions, potions and pills oh my) we have found the correct combination and I am back to what ever normal is these days. I feel your pain. Hang in there.


November 7, 2012 at 9:11 am


This was hard to read. I am so sorry.

Like Rebecca says above, there has been *a lot* going on, and while I don’t say that to take away from any very real emotional issues, it can and does exacerbate them.

Take all the time you need; deadlines and “priorities” be damned. Your “funny” will be back, because it’s part of you and hasn’t really gone anywhere. It’s just hibernating.


tracey November 7, 2012 at 9:18 am

I’ve lost my mojo for a while, too. I know it’ll be back, but it’s seeming to take longer than usual this time. Something in the air? Election year? Who knows? Hope you get your mood back soon. Hope I do, too…


Susi November 7, 2012 at 9:20 am

I’m new here and so far have enjoyed reading your stories. I do hope you get your mojo back. Take care of yourself first and everything else will fall into place. Hang in there! Sending hugs…


tracy@sellabitmum November 7, 2012 at 9:48 am

Oh Marinka. I love you. We are here for you. Take time for yourself. Hugs coming from Minnesota…and if you come to BlogHer ’13 I will inappropriately hump you. xoxo


Joanna November 7, 2012 at 9:52 am

I can only imagine that the stress of having to be “on” all the time would also weigh on you. I have been reading you for years and its sad to hear you are hurting. You’ve got a community behind you, even people you have never met.


Phoenix Rising
November 7, 2012 at 9:52 am

When you’re defined as “funny,” sometimes it’s hard to figure out what to do with “not funny.” But know that your “not funny” words pack just as much punch as your “funny.” And, honestly. I needed to read this today. I really needed it. Because I just lost my 11-year old daughter two weeks ago, and I was always the funny one. But right now, I don’t feel it. But I also know that, by the grace of God, one day I’ll feel it again. And I know one day you will, too.


November 7, 2012 at 10:14 am

I am so sorry for your loss. I…just…I am so sorry.


K-Line November 7, 2012 at 11:43 am

There are no words to say in instances such as these but I am so sorry for your loss – I am praying for you and your family.


Megan November 7, 2012 at 12:10 pm

Oh, darling. I’m so sorry for your loss.


Marinka November 7, 2012 at 12:32 pm

I am sending so much love your way. xox


Karen November 7, 2012 at 4:35 pm

So sorry for your loss.


Tinne from Tantrums and Tomatoes November 8, 2012 at 4:00 pm

Oh my dear… I’m so sorry.


sdl November 7, 2012 at 9:55 am

I am with RebeccaNYC. Menopause is way harder than we realize it’s going to be, and it just throws everything chemically off. And then it times itself to be right when life is handing you some other fun stuff to deal with like children (while growing into interesting, wonderful people) not being adorable in the same ways anymore. Then there are tiny little details like storms wreaking human and material devastation around you, and it’s just hard to do the things that might make you feel better.

It is times like these when people adopt puppies, just to get a little more joy in their lives. I am truly confident you will begin to feel better…and it will happen slowly so you don’t notice it right away.


November 7, 2012 at 10:08 am

I know all too well what you’re talking about. Take care of yourself.


Stacie M. November 7, 2012 at 10:12 am

You are not alone Marinka. I could have written your post almost exactly. The funk that was gone out of my life, somehow crept back when I least expected it. And you’re right–it sucks!

Hang in there and I hope you get your groove back soon because you crack-me-the-hell-up.


November 7, 2012 at 10:15 am

Marinka, I was just thinking about SAD. I know it can contribute to this feeling. I think Alice (Finslippy) has blogged about her box light. Could this be an option for you?


andy November 7, 2012 at 10:23 am

Hang in there… your funny will find you soon.


joeinvegas November 7, 2012 at 10:32 am

Come out to Vegas and party a bit – might cheer you up. Or perhaps a lie in on the sands of a tropical island. At least get out and do something different.


Liz November 7, 2012 at 10:34 am

So sorry – been there and it’s shitty.

Remember what The Bloggess wisely says: “Depression lies.”


anna see November 7, 2012 at 10:44 am

I smell what you’re stepping in, Sister. Been there. Am there. Love you.


b a seagull
November 7, 2012 at 10:45 am

You’re loved by your real family and adored by your virtual one.


Loukia November 7, 2012 at 10:47 am

I think you’re one of the funniest people I know, truly, and I tell everyone about you in my ‘real world’.
I know what you’re feeling, now, though, except for me it’s like, a constant. I have best friend who are always happy and neve worry and I’m like, HOW? How can you be that way? Whereas with me, I worry about everything, about every day, every car ride, every cough, every everything. After the stabbing in NYC I have felt numb because I can’t not think about that, and how this family feels, and that leads me to start thinking about everyone else who is suffering this way, and then I start worrying about ME and how I am going to die and please God not until my kids are older, and I also worry because my kids DO love me A LOT and I sometimes with they didn’t because it would be easier if I died, if they didn’t love me this much, and no one ever told me having kids would be the best and most worrisome thing EVER. I tell my mom all the time that I just want my kids to be 50 years old so I can die. Does that sound morbid? Yes, I have fun, day to day, but the worry is always there and yes, I do still have to make that call to book a therapist. SIGH. Sorry. I’m rambling.
Just wanted you to know that you’re not alone, and you’ll certainly find your funny again.
After all, hello… @PaulRyanGosling?


Stan November 7, 2012 at 10:50 am

Hang in there, Marinka. Stress has an awful habit of just sneaking up on us and building up until suddenly it overwhelms us and we’re not sure why. With all that has happened it isn’t surprising that it’s hard to find the funny right now. Just ride this out and it will still be there when you are ready to get back to it.


K-Line November 7, 2012 at 11:41 am

M: As someone who’s been going through an uncharacteristically bad phase in her own right, I completely empathize with your situation. I’m wishing you some peace and space so that you can rediscover your equilibrium. I’m confident you will do so. I only hope it happens as fast as possible because depression sucks. Keep in mind, also, that your city has gone through a super stressful and horrible time. It would be unusual, all things being equal, not to be feeling the emotional and psychic fallout from that. Try not to be hard on yourself and definitely mood-alter with some cake. xo


Alexandra November 7, 2012 at 11:53 am

Marinka, we love you the whole of you — this, and the funny that comes out naturally.

It’ll be there, it’ll never go away: you will always have that spark.

Right now, it’s the thought of how quickly time passes. And I think I’ll stop there before I have running to the corner for a bottle of Wild Turkey for yourself.

But–I know. It’s beyond hard.

My oldest leaves next year. And I keep wishing and wishing, to have that first year back with him.

Just one day of it, that’s all.

Whoo, boy, let me log off now …. I’m not helping ANYBODY.

I love you for all of you–especially posts like this.

xo (not even kidding)

One more thing: don’t go out there today if you don’t have to. I came back from working the book fair at school and there was so much negativity (which is too polite a word, by the way)

So much hate, so little faith–people, please–support our wonderful country.


Megan November 7, 2012 at 12:13 pm

I cannot for the life of me imagine why you wouldn’t be yourself. One tiny little storm and the upheaval and pain it’s caused, plus a silly little election and the time change and fall and whatever else. Couldn’t be that, could it?

Be kind to yourself. Roll with it. You’ll get your groove back. Sooner rather than later if you allow yourself to feel whatever you’re feeling. xo


jonathan November 7, 2012 at 12:24 pm

You are very smart and that can be a curse sometimes where it sometimes causes you to think too much and take things literally and that can be a burden. I am sorry you are feeling this way, but like you said, you will get back to where you were. You have had a lot going on in the last month, so it is no wonder you are distracted and feeling low. And now the days will be dark early for the next couple months which doesn’t help. Sometimes it helps to take a low dose of meds for a month or two just to take the edge off. You might want to ask your doctor. But don’t worry about not getting back to your creativity because it is natural for you.


magpie November 7, 2012 at 12:34 pm

i hear you.
see you soon?


Ed Lemon November 7, 2012 at 1:01 pm

Dear Marinka,

I think we’ve all been there at one time or another. You WILL come out of it. I don’t think you can even help being funny when you’re down.

Hang in there – we love you!



Heather November 7, 2012 at 1:22 pm

You don’t have to be funny for us to tune in here. You just have to be you. And if you don’t feel like being you on paper (or the interwebs or whatever) for a while, then we’ll wait and be happy with the crumbs we find.

Also, the first person who mentioned peri-menopause as a possible cause of my depression is still on friendship probation, a year later. But people keep bringing it up and I’m running out of friends – and doctors.


RebeccaNYC November 7, 2012 at 8:21 pm

yeah, the first time someone suggested that my mood change might be attributed to peri-menopause I screamed at them. oops.


deb November 7, 2012 at 1:34 pm

i think it was the pooping in the bag. that’d break anyone!

but really, writing, whether funny, or inspiring, or just grammatically correct(!) is so much about energy (you know, the whole muse thing). Sometimes the muse gets busy with other stuff, like maybe a big storm where people die and normal life gets turned upside down in a longterm kind of way. i don’t think this is a bad thing. like a dog that ran away, or a teen that doesn’t want to hang out with his or her parents, it will come home when it’s ready. 🙂


November 7, 2012 at 1:56 pm

I get this friend. I get this. I’m so sorry you are there right now. Maybe the world is too much and you need a break from it all for a month or two? Sigh. I hate to suggest that. But sometimes a blogging/writing/FB/Twitter break is needed. It helps remember why we liked it in the first place.


Karen November 7, 2012 at 4:44 pm

Hugs to you my friend. As someone running a little ahead of you in the kid game, I can assure you that although it changes, you never lose them. If anything the evolving relationship is even more satisfying in many many ways once they’re “grown”. You have a lot more perks with less of the drawbacks IMO. I’m sorry you’re feeling sad-ish.


November 7, 2012 at 5:03 pm

I totally get this. It’s weird, knowing that normally you could make a situation sound funny, yet something’s missing and you can’t. Like there’s this wall in the way that you can’t jump over any more. I don’t know if it was menopause or my teen daughter or both, but I went through this. And really, I don’t know how anyone goes through life without EVER being able to find the funny.

I once mentioned to Suzy Soro that there is no such thing as a Jew who is not funny. She said, “Oh, yes, there is. They’re called Catholics.” So maybe you should make sure no one secretly baptized you in your sleep.


christy November 7, 2012 at 6:13 pm

Oh honey! Talk to your doctor. Try a different medication. FORCE yourself to get outside and exercise regularly. Even if it’s just walking. Seriously. And tell yourself it’s OKAY to talk a blogging break! Write a generic ‘I’ll get back to you soon” email to your sponsors and send it out to each of them. Tell yourself you don’t need to blog. You don’t need to see the funny. Right now, spend time with your kids when they’ll let you, and take care of you. Whatever that means. Manicures, pedicures, meals or coffee with the friends you can stand to be around. IF you can afford it easily, go ahead and buy the blogher ticket today – because the price goes up $100 tomorrow, and you will ALWAYS be able to sell it. I know – I did that last year. I hope you’re able to treat yourself with the same kindness and gentleness you’d hope your friends would do if they were in the same situation as you right now. HUGS. xoxo


Amelia November 7, 2012 at 6:37 pm

Delurking to send light and love to you. We’ll be here for you no matter what.


Zee November 7, 2012 at 7:03 pm

Oh Marinka. I’ve been there too. This last month has been a shit sundae. Even though time fixes things, its sometimes hard to wait. But time will fix it. Thankfully feelings are just feelings and not necessarily the truth.

And you don’t have to be funny to be the wonderful and valuable person you are.


November 7, 2012 at 7:12 pm



kimberly November 7, 2012 at 9:26 pm

Some advice – get your hormones checked. I did, they were fine. Checked again 2 months later, not fine. When progesterone bottomed out on me, my mood bottomed out. It’s like a happy pill for me.


Fairly Odd Mother
November 7, 2012 at 10:25 pm

You know, I love your writing even when it isn’t funny.

I think it must be so incredibly hard to be expected to be funny/witty/droll/sarcastic, when you really don’t feel it. Makes me glad that I’m not so funny—I don’t have so far to fall!

But, in all seriousness—either take a break or just do what makes you happy! Or do something totally different, like posting photos instead of word-filled commentary. Whatever you decide to do, when you come back, so many of us will be here. Hugs.

(and I hear you on the “kids leaving” thing . My oldest is only 11, but—man—times are changing fast. But, my son tells me he’s going to go to college locally and then move back in and live with me forever. Is that supposed to sound better??? Yikes. I’ll be doing a 30 year old man’s laundry!)


the mama bird diaries
November 7, 2012 at 10:51 pm

You won’t feel like this forever, even though it feels like that right now. And I only had to read the post below to know you haven’t lost one bit of funny. xo


Leigh Ann
November 7, 2012 at 11:02 pm

There’s been a lot going on, especially in your neck of the woods. We’ll all be here when you’re ready.


Roshni November 8, 2012 at 1:01 am

I’m so sad now….I cannot imagine blogland without seeing a new post from you pop up in my reader. I was actually thinking that you would be ecstatic right now with the Obama win and was expecting a post about that.
Anyway, I’m really sorry that you are going through a bad patch. I wish you the best and really hope you will get back. I really don’t care if you write anything funny or not, as long as you write!!


MsC November 8, 2012 at 2:19 am


I’m on the other side of the world to you but I totally understand how you feel. I go through phases occasionally when I too feel exactly the way you describe. I know it’s easy to say but hang in there. As the old saying goes, ‘This too shall pass’.
You’ll get there. Just don’t put too much pressure on yourself. It’s okay not to be ‘happy’ all of the time. Thinking of y


Lady Jennie November 8, 2012 at 9:46 am

Marinka, my heart aches reading this. I’m still on medication (hate the weight gain) and have been for about 20 years. And still, even with that? I can go through long periods of low.

Is yours related to the storm? Or did it start before the storm? Because as much as you are funny, it’s always been very clear to me that you have a tender mushy heart (yes, I’m trying to provoke a little funny out of you by saying that). But it’s true. And something like that can take a swing at you.

Your readers don’t like you just because you’re funny you know. At least not the ones who are worth their salt. So no pressure ducky.


November 8, 2012 at 11:10 am

I love you. I get you. This will not last forever. And the funny that lives within you, that you breathe in and out so naturally, will never be extinguished. But it is okay if there are moments in your life when it needs to take a back seat to the pressing conflicts of consciousness, the weight of thoughts, the subtle grief that settles with every passing day as life’s road gets longer behind us. Lean into the sisterhood you’ve built around you, and let us lift you up until you feel ready again. That’s what I’m doing, have been doing, for years, and I’m still here, giving it my all. In no small part, thanks to you. And many of the voices in this comment stream. Sending hugs, and challah. And I have a bottle of sauvignon blanc in the fridge if you want to come over and not be funny with me. xoxo


dusty earth mother November 8, 2012 at 11:42 am

I love you, M.


Tinne from Tantrums and Tomatoes November 8, 2012 at 3:58 pm

Oh Marinka, I wish could hop on a plane and fly to you just to give you a hug.
Instead I’m reduced to giving you a virtual hug. Not the same, I know.
Take all the time you need. We the internet-people will always be there for you.


Joel November 8, 2012 at 6:01 pm

from a long-time reader, first time commenter

Your blog has always brightened my life.
Thanks and Best wishes


Anna Lefler
November 8, 2012 at 8:35 pm

This will pass, Marinka. Funny or not, we all have to slog through that darkness during certain periods of our lives. You will use these dark emotions in your art just as you have used the light ones. Be good to yourself while you’re making your way through it. For what it’s worth, this is a favorite of mine (from Phyllis Diller, I believe):

Comedy = Tragedy + Time

It won’t always feel like this.




Jenn @ Juggling Life November 8, 2012 at 9:39 pm

It might pass without medication, but it also might not. In my (fairly) informed opinion, it takes a lot less medication to get one squared away if you get on it early rather than waiting. If what you have is actual clinical depression, time will not help.

I hope I’m not overstepping, but it seems like you feel your “Marinka-ness” slipping away and that’s never a good thing. I wish you the best of luck dealing with this whatever path you take.


Kelly November 8, 2012 at 10:11 pm

Best wishes, please know you have a lot of readers rooting for you.


November 9, 2012 at 10:52 am

I love reading your words happy, sad, in between. We can’t always be happy all the time. At least I’ve never been able to. It will get better though. It will.


November 9, 2012 at 3:16 pm

I hate to disagree with everyone, but the solution is so clearly obvious: adopt another cat. Duh.


November 9, 2012 at 10:59 pm

I’m late to this party because mom was staying with me and I spent most of her visit trying not to commit suicide.

You know I’m a stand-up comedian. Have been for 29 years. Ask me how much of that time is spent thinking, “Well thank GOD I’m funny.” HOW ABOUT NONE OF IT? How about DEAR GOD MAKE THE DARKNESS STOP.

Funny people, like you, are tougher on themselves than non-funny people. Take it as a sign that you are funny, no matter what you feel. People who aren’t funny always think they are.


November 11, 2012 at 2:08 am

Fuck funny. You can write funny things. You have a good sense of humor. You look a little funny. But you’re not that funny. I’ve met you. Your son is funny.


anymommy November 11, 2012 at 12:20 pm

I think some people diagnosed you with menopause?! You’ll have to find your way out of the funk just to prove them wrong! Or maybe get pregnant? That might be the answer your looking for. (It’s possible that contemplating the horror of a newborn will allow you to see the joy of your current newborn-free state.)

In seriousness: I love you. I rarely laugh out loud at something I read and it happens regularly here, which is awesome, but not required because I love your dark side too.


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