Thursday, November 03, 2005


I'm fortunate to have good friends. I must say, having left most of them behind in Berkeley has been a trying experience. Like any long distance relationship, communication lags, understanding wanes and availability is an issue.

One problem I've had to deal with is finding the means of appropriately discussing my unhappiness with them. I'm no longer an integral part of their lives. I don't know about their broken down car, their new sofa that won't fit through the door and the like. I often struggle to discuss my personal matters without feeling intrusive or creating a burden.

I have to be honest. I am as depressed as I've ever been. Several factors are contributing to this downward spiral. The loss in locality of my friends has been a major one. Sure, I've met a few people here. Still, I can't seem to find time to meet too many. Normally, if my experiment wasn't working, I could simply walk across the hall or down a flight of stairs and talk shop with my friends. I'm clearly not in that type of situation now.

It's all rather sad. Two close friends have come to visit me from Berkeley. I picked them up from the airport. As they approached my car, I nearly burst out in tears. My lacrimals were at work for two reasons. On one hand, I was elated to see them. On the other, I was already sad that they'll be leaving soon. I'm not planning on deeply discussing my personal problems with them while they're here. I really want them to simply have fun and relax.

It's interesting, even my blog numbers sag when I discuss my misery. Nobody likes a wet blanket. Unfortunately, when dealing with me these days that's all I seem to be able to offer.


Anonymous Your man at LA said...

Just try to enjoy the visist and not think about work. Did you ever get that vacation Bigshot promised after the move. I bet not. Well remember there is always camping even if it at a 4 star resort on Maui. My phone has half power today so give me a call. Or tommorrow on my day off if you need to talk.

11:00 AM  
Blogger Megan said...

I don't think it is that you are a wet blanket...I think people want to say the right thing and make you happy.

But we can't. There is no "right" thing to say and there is certainly no magic phrase that will make everything roses. I wish there was. Too many people in my life feel exactly like you feel and I have no idea how to help them either.

I am not advocating this for everyone. I am not even aadvocating it for you in particular. But in my own experience...fluoxetine saved my life.

11:34 AM  
Blogger Denise said...

You should take your friends to SoundBites in Somerville for breakfast tomorrow. It's on Medford St. That will help lift your spirits, albeit temporarily.

I know what you mean about being a wet blanket. I get that impression too from people. It became clear to me when I was very young that people don't tolerate the blues from others very well. That's why I always cringe when people say, "How are you?" I don't think it helps that you work with people who are petty and mean.

Practicing being in the moment has really helped me lately. Do you do that?

11:48 AM  
Blogger Vavoom said...

Denise: That's the only thing that's keeping me alive.

11:59 AM  
Blogger Bar Bar A said...


I don't think of you as a wet blanket at all and even if I did, I'd read you even more often because wet blankets need love too.
As a person who has suffered from depression for a lifetime, I can relate to that feeling of despair.

Can I ask if your on meds? Meds saved my life, literally. Lexapro and Welbutrin.

I know it's not the same thing having your friends close by but the fact that they came to visit means they care about you. Are you sure you don't want to open up to them? I know I'd be hurt if I found out my friend was going through a hard time and did not tell me. I'd want to know so I could be there for him/her. Just a thought.

If you ever need a friend in So. Cal. I am here :)

7:14 PM  
Blogger Teri said...

Vavoom, it is a difficult situation. Not only do you have to deal with the change of moving across country, but you also have to work with a bunch of crappy people (pun intended). I think you really need to focus on the good things in your life like your family and your amazing wife. Take solice in the comfort and the great advice they give you.

We are here for you, us dedicated bloggers... please do not feel like a wet blanket. We might not know you as well as your friends coming to visit, but we are here for you and hope we can help you get through this tough time.

8:32 PM  
Blogger Fred said...

The hell with your blog numbers. Vent. Feel better. We're you're friends, too.

Things will get better. It's only a matter of time, V.

9:09 PM  
Blogger mis_nomer said...

Hey, chin up V, I enjoy your posts and can always find something in them that makes me smile even when you're depressed. Like this: " I don't know about their broken down car, their new sofa that won't fit through the door and the like." :)

Hang in there.

9:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


It's probably little solace, but I think that the majority of people that attend grad school in the sciences go through some similar things. I know I have.

On the other hand, I'd like to reiterate some advice that I first gave you: give some thought to switching groups! I'll admit that I dont' know your personal situation very well, so I hope you don't think I'm being intrusive. Also I realize that you left Berkeley probably for the sole reason of working on the project you're working on now. However, I don't think any project could be worth what you have to deal with, in terms of group dynamics. I really think that your group is the cause of your misery, and that switching groups could really help.

Just an impertinant thought from a fellow grad student.

10:12 PM  
Blogger An80sNut said...

You have good reason to feel depressed. Your support system is a shadow of its former self, your peers see you as a threat and your boss seems to be watching your bathroom habits. I understand the lack of support very well from when I lived in Reno. I stuck out the rest of the semester and feel like I really accomplished a lot in learning about myself and what I can endure. I'm hoping that you will be able to look back on your time at FancyPants U at some point as where you discovered your resolve or something you didn't know you had. Be strong, Mr. Vavoom.

1:55 AM  
Blogger Vavoom said...

Wow. I'm overwhelmed by the kindness and support you've all offered here.

Thank you.

10:06 AM  
Blogger Camphor said...

We're freinds too.
True, you may not be able to talk shop with us. But you can vent, and we'll be a sympathetic, albiet electronic shoulder.

Your blog numbers will dip. Yes, some people avoid wet blankets. Friends here won't. But since you aren't physically with us, if we are away for some other reason - RL, for instance, you wouldn't know.

Just keep writing, and concentrate on enjoying yourself. If your friends are close enough... well, maybe you can talk too. :)

10:41 AM  
Blogger Mr. Snitch said...

Actually, I appreciate your frankness. Depression is part of life, not something to try and avoid (makes things worse). See it through with us.

4:22 AM  

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