Monica Bielanko
That's What She Said
Just A Junk Drawer Dream
You can also find Monica's writing here:
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Dear Diary And Shit...

Donnie Pizza Sauce and The Surge are cooking up a veritable storm. It's raining tomato sauce. Snowing Parmesan. The boys are in the kitchen, which is as it should be. I'm laying across my bed with Maxer, luxuriating in the air conditioned bedroom. Tomato sauce, garlic and Olive Oil permeate the air with tangy flavor and Frankie Lymon's falsetto is doing it's part to season my apartment with coziness. If Donnie has any say, Dean Martin is certain to follow.

We are having a dinner party and the boys are chopping, slicing, dicing, grilling, baking and every other culinary term you can think of. At the last moment I'll head in and "chop up a salad" as Grandma calls it, and then I'll slice some tomatos and mozzeralla over small hunks of french bread, sprinkle with fresh basil, bake and present my contribution; the appetizer.

Despite the festive dinner party atmosphere I am feeling the same. Shit. Am counting the minutes until I can anesthetize with wine. I am medicating with wine under the guise of "hey, it's a dinner party, I'm not a sad, depressed wino, I'm a cheery party thrower!" But that's exactly what I am - a gloomy alcohol abuser half-heartedly attempting a cheerful countenance.

I will begin taking Zoloft soon in the hope that it will take the edge off. This morning when I woke up I cried. Because I was awake. That can't be good. I hate to even type this shit here. But if I start censoring myself or my depression because of who's reading then what good is this blog? It's chemical, this thing. I WANT to be happy. I try to be. But every day, as I do what needs to be done I wonder what I'm even doing. Why am I even making this fucking bed, I think. It's just going to get unmade. Why sweep up the dog hair? The black bastard just sheds another pound within the next half hour. The fan blows Arizona sized tumbleweeds of the stuff across the hard wood floor.

Sometimes, for kicks, I try to imagine the greatest thing in the world happening to me. A book deal maybe, The Surge's band selling a million records, ANYTHING. It still doesn't cheer me up. I talk to myself while walking Max. Yesterday I realized I'd been saying "somebody help me" over and over again. It's bad. I'm hopeful about the Zoloft.

Reader Comments (69)

God, Monica, I hear you. Loud and clear. I hope the zoloft works for you. Lately I've been lying in bed at night wondering what the point is, anyway... it seems like every day is the same thing over and over, and the good times always pass too quickly and then it's back to shit. And I can't even enjoy the good times because I am too focused on the fact that soon it will be over and then - back to shit again!

In any case, you don't know me from Adam (stupid saying, but it works in this case), but I want you to know that you're not alone. I'd miss your blog too much if you were gone - and my daughter would lose her whole "rock star" connection!

Try the zoloft and give it time to work. And in the interim, keep reading the comments from all your awesome friends and readers who care, and do things that make you happy. (Or at least try.) And keep writing, too!
August 22, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterdasi
You are definitely not alone in your feelings. That, to me, is always good to know when I am feeling some of these same things. "Same Shit Different Day" is what I call most days lately. I have hope for something...just that something to make everything better. Although, I realize that I need to make things better myself. So, I think it's a good thing that you are going to try the Zoloft and looking for something to get excited and happy about. This tells me that you have "the hope," too.

Hope your days get better soon. When you get a book deal, I'll be in line to get one of the first copies. :)
August 22, 2006 | Unregistered Commentervalerie
If you're depressed, you're depressed. This is your blog. Write about whatever is on your mind. I know how it feels to want to feel happy and you can't. Then you feel guilty for feeling unhappy when you see others who have it much worse. Sounds like Zoloft might be the right step. Hang in there. I know the place you are in and it sucks, it really does.
August 22, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterGemma
This is why you have a blog, so you can write about shit that no one cares about. But see, a lot of people do care about it, because you are our outlet and entertainment, and the person we visit numerous times daily. Hang in there Monica, and good luck with the Zoloft.
August 22, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterHales
Your blog should be the one place you don't have to censor yourself. Everyone is going to say a variation on that theme, so there's mine. No small talk with us, here.
August 22, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterEDW
Oh Monica. I felt this one in my gut. I understand the crying in the morning just because you are awake. No advice to give, just wanted to say I get it, I really do. I am glad you are still writing. I really hope Zoloft makes a difference for you.
August 22, 2006 | Unregistered Commenteramy dee
Good luck, sweetie. Hugs from The Island.
August 22, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterHen
Hi Monica,

I know everyone is different, and their brains work differently, but Zoloft once helped me get out of a really tough time, and I hope it helps you too.
August 22, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterSR
Good god almighty!
I hope you are taking the med's and getting counseling too. That's how I did it. Pills can take the edge off, but there's no substitute for getting at the root of why you aren't happy.
Otherwise you'll just be numb with the same problems.
My absolute best wishes to you!
BTW: You WILL be published, or at the least, known for your artistic ability. It don't take any pills for any of us around this blog to know that!
August 22, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterJoe takes happy pills
Dear, dear Monica---- I've been there. You're doing the right thing, and one day, after the Zoloft has started to work on your brain, you will realize that you are YOU again! (And you might have a slight smile on your face.)

All your readers hope the very best for you. Keep on keepin' on- we're pulling for you!
August 22, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterKaren
I think taking Zoloft is a courageous thing to do. It takes a big person to know when one's shit ain't working.

I've taken Lexapro myself and my only regret is how many years I spent attempting to coax myself into feeling decently which never worked. I wish I had started taking it years ago.

Good luck.
August 22, 2006 | Unregistered Commentersusan
One pill makes you happy... I dissagree completely with taking the meds. You were knocked off you feet but not out of your mind when you lost your job. Cast your net widder and maybe something half way decent might turn up. Magazines are always looking for writers --get your material in their faces! Freelance! My brother lost all of his creative juices the moment he went on Zoloft. He's not yet recovered after a year and to all of us and his friends, he was genius. Please reconsider.
August 22, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterDeirdre
I respect your opinion that Monica should not take medication, but when Depression shows up and takes hold (thus realizing that you're awake, and the crying begins) people really have to find a way to make themselves feel better. An antidepressant is going to allow Monica to feel OK again.
August 22, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterKaren
Hey Mon...

Nothing to contribute, just that I've been there myself and I know your pain and sadness. Good girl for getting some meds. It'll get better over the weeks, slowly. Don't give up. One day you'll just feel ever so subtly normal again. If it doesn't work, don't hesitate to switch them because what works for some doesn't work for others.

August 22, 2006 | Unregistered Commentertab
No small talk here...just keep bringin' on the realness of what you need to say...we here at The Girl Who can take it...whatever helps *or doesn't*!

Zoloft here we come!
August 22, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterRichelle
I'd be more concerned about the depression if I wasn't drooling over here. I want some pizza.

And don't self censor. Or at least try not to. It's your blog, who cares who all is reading, because it is YOUR space to do what you like.
August 22, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterHeather B.
I was a genius before I began taking wellbutrin and I still am.

August 22, 2006 | Unregistered Commentertab
We all have those frozen moments.

You know the guy on the news who started with a red paper clip and traded himself up to a motherf**king house (with the motherf**king snakes)?? The other day my whole world SHUT DOWN because of sandpaper. My to do list (the biggest item of which still involves a real christening for two of my three kids) has all the big stuff like that at the end. Then progressively smaller stuff backing, backing, backing up until Saturday I had it all hinging on the frikkin sandpaper I needed so I could do the first thing on the list. Everything ground to a halt to the point I couldn't sleep at night, stayed up watching all the compelling crap on TV, and couldn't face the day. Could. Not. Move. All my delaying tactics had overloaded.

I wanted to,,. Couldn't. And it was stupid. But I'd so backed myself up with my "but first I have to do"s that I couldn't move. Finally, Sunday afternoon at 4, I got the damn sandpaper... of course it was too late to get anything done, but WTF, it's a start.

The big shit's easy, Monica. It's the "little things" that bind you up. You'll get there. In the meantime, have some wine. I'm cracking open a Corona.
August 22, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterWry Bri
PS Hiya Heather!
August 22, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterWry Bri
i don't know if other people have said this or not ... to be honest i don't really read through your 1000s of your avid readers' comments, but i just want you to know that you aren't alone in suffering from depression. i have it, i have friends who have it, and tom cruise doesn't know shit about it.

lexapro worked wonders for me and quitting drinking for a year helped too. but everyone is different and sometimes it takes a few different drugs before you get it right. and sometimes you just need to talk to someone who will listen to you analyze everything. whatever works.

i hope you get it sorted, but more importantly i hope you realize that there are people everywhere suffering from what you have, and they are willing to talk. if you ever need someone to talk to, i'd be more that happy.

Good luck!
August 22, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterCharlotte
I'm so sorry about how you're feeling, but it's great that you're being open about it, to yourself and to others, and that you're doing what you need to do to try to make it better.

It may not seem like it now but you won't feel this way forever. Either medication and/or therapy will help. If you really know it's a chemical problem, some pill will help, maybe not the first one you try, but one will. If you have only become more depressed lately, it might be situational and therapy might help more.

Either way, I'm hoping you get the help you need soon and feel much better soon. A few of my friends are struggling with depression right now too, and I have in the past as well, it's very common and I think it's good to talk about it. Keeping it to yourself makes the depression even worse and makes one feel even more isolated. Plus, like everyone has said of course we all want to know what's really going on with you, that's why we come here.

I hope things get better for you soon and I know lots of other people are hoping the same thing.
August 22, 2006 | Unregistered Commentermm
I'm on 100 milligrams of Zoloft a day and I've retained my genius for sure. And I'm not talking a little Zoloft pick me up either...I've been on it for years and years. I am fucking DOPED UP!

Speaking only for myself, I am very much myself on Zoloft with the exception of missing out on incapacitating depression. There's often side effects in the first few weeks of taking it, which kind of sucks because some folks opting to take it have to wade through the side effects only to find out that they need to alter the dosage endlessly or take another drug or other life changes have to be made. Look, I am all about some talk therapy, too. If you're taking Zoloft for depression you need both in the beginning.

And let me end with this judicious and insightful statement that comes from well balanced serotonin levels. "Monica is awesome"
August 22, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterZoe Strauss
Thank you (again) for your honesty. As you can tell from the comments you are not at all alone. Many many many people feel as you do. I can relate in ways I don't want to go into here as this is your blog, not mine and I don't want to hijack it with talk of my constant battle with chronic depression, but if you ever want to talk to someone who's been there done that, feel free to e-mail or call me. It may not be terribly original, but ... One day at a time ...
August 23, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterLaura everyone above I wish you all the best dear Monica:) big hug for you! and if you need Zoloft and that's the best chance for you so probably you're right...but maybe before you should consult a doctor about the right medicine...

...shit feeling, yeah, i think, hard time stiff everyone in their whole life not only is flying so fast and sometimes it's difficulte to run with the same speed... when depression catch me I try to organize myself and work a lots... change my diet, take vitamins, go for a walk, cinema or swimming-pool or joga, anythink to stop me think so dull about myself, ...just do as much as I can to avoid drugs...maybe it's a bit naive but work, sport helps...maybe try this first!!! best regards
August 23, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterana
p.s. and I agree with you, boys = kitchen as it should be:), you've got great bucht of friends!!!
August 23, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterana
Hi Monica, I won't pretend to know what it's like to suffer from depression, but I've had close friends who have... they have all managed to work through their problems with combinations of both medicationa and therapy. All I can say is try to focus on the good things... husband, dog, NYC etc... I'm thinking of ya!!
August 23, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterDan
Hi Monica,
just sending you a hug. You will get out of it! And we are listening :-)
August 23, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterkiaora
Why do most Americans think that they have to take a pill if they don't feel happy? Life just sucks sometimes or we just get into a runt once in a while. A pill isn't going to change anything. It'll just mask your feelings and make you feel dependent on it. You're a young, healthy girl and you are just feeling down because you are in between jobs. I know that some people really do need some help and pills can help give them a boost so that they function better. But i think you need to try to get a hold of your life rather than take a pill, which seems like and easy solution right now but it's really the most complicated one. At this time, I would not consider you to be a candidate for this or any drug.
August 23, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterJoan
Do what you need to do Monica, I hope the Zoloft works for you. I admire your ability to be so open about this and wish you the very best.

August 23, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterKDS
"This morning when I woke up I cried. Because I was awake."

That is how I've been feeling for the last two weeks.
August 23, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterMaria
I'll tell you Monica that my husband was depressed like that for a long time and it took quite a toll on our marriage. Then he started taking Paxil and it turned our life around. The best thing that ever happened to us..good luck!
August 23, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterkat
Zoe's comments convince me that there is no danger of losing any creativity being on Zoloft. Joan, read up on depression before giving an uninformed opinion. Depression can be very serious and is classified as a disease. Most Americans (as well as a lot of damn foreigners) do not think that they can just take a pill to be happy, which is why so many people try to tough it out, suffering intensely, instead of seeking medical and therapeutic help.
August 23, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterStarsky
I really hope the zoloft helps. It was a life saver with me. I have been on some sort of anti-depressant since my last year in college. The problem is that women are controlled by their hormones and sometimes they just don't want to cooperate. The anti-depressants have increased the quality of my life and I have no problem taking them. Just remember that if the zoloft doesn't do the trick for you there are plenty more out there that you can try to see what works with your system better.
On another note....Prozac is now in generic form and much cheaper than all the others. It is called Fluoxatine (sp?). If you have crappy insurance or no insurance at all it is a good way to go.

Monica...big hug to you from the South!! I respect and appreciate your honesty about what is going on in your life and admire you for sharing in such an artistic way. I am completely addicted to your blog.
August 23, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterJustified
I apologize for my glib response to Joan’s comments, because re-reading it makes me think that she was looking to provoke such a response.

Monica, based only on your blogs about your depression, it is clear that you would benefit from therapy and medication to take the edge off. The medication will make the talk therapy easier and more effective. Stick with it and the dark clouds will clear so you can enjoy your life more.
August 23, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterStarsky
You sound just like I did a few years ago, after months of counseling. I started on Zoloft, and it took 6 weeks before I felt any different (the average is 3-4 weeks), but I remember the exact day I finally felt happy. I used to pray that I'd never wake up, and I also would talk to myself with "Somebody help me" running over and over in my head. I do hope that you get some counseling while you take the medication. While the pills help you get chemically balanced, the therapy helps you learn how to deal with your problems better. I've done a lot of research on it, and after reading and talking to a lot of people, it seems that the medication is much more effective in the long run when counseling is utilized. Keep in mind that SSRIs, the class of drugs containing Zoloft, Lexapro, Celexa, Prozac, etc, all have the common side effect of weight gain. Exercise will help with that, and it also has the bonus effect of releasing endorphins, thus helping you feel better. I know I rarely feel like exercising, especially when I'm really depressed, but after a week or so, I start to feel really good with the exercising.

Oh, and one other note, after you start, don't stop the medication without workign with your doctor. The withdrawal is worse than the original depression. There is both a physical and mental withdrawal, and that can be prevented by decreasing it slowly with a doctor's help.

Good luck and I hope you're able to find the real you again soon!
August 23, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterA
I used to wake up crying, every morning. I went on anti-depressants, and it became even worse. I didn't listen to my doctor, and I drank heavily while on anti-depressants. It turned out the cause for my depression was alcoholism, so I quit the meds and I stopped drinking. Nearly two years later, I'm a very happy girl. Take the Zoloft, because it will help, if you do it right. I hope you feel better. You are such a huge talent, and I love reading you.
August 23, 2006 | Unregistered Commenteramy
Just joining in the cacophony to say:

ZOLOFT! Hell yeah!!!! It WILL work. And if it doesn't, don't give up until you find one that does.

Don't knock any of them until you tried them. For reals.

Feel good soon, OK? ;-)

August 23, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterrosie
While I usually avoid quoting lyrics as a commentary on life, lest I sound like a junior high school student, a couple of Brooklyn via Philly boys sing a song that fits awfully well in this situation. And my favorite lyric is:

Fallin' out of favor was my favorite thing
‘Til I took the pill that made you real

I think we've all probably spent plenty of time falling out of favor in one way or another. Tumbling farther until nothing seems real or attainable. Stuck in our heads, french-kissing the old "Demon". And while it's nice to find a way out all on our own, a lot of the time it just ain't possible. I hope you can find the pill that will make things better, make things real. Because there is some spectacular shit going on in this world and there is no reason that should keep you from seeing it.

August 23, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterereiberg
You may have to play with the meds to find out which is best for you. I tried several before the right cocktail was discovered. I currently take effexor and wellbutrin (very small doses) and feel a hell of alot better than I did when I was medicating myself with wine every night. My marriage is so much better and my children like me now. Good luck to you and know that you are not alone.
August 23, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterkaren h
Here is why I like your blog. You don't create some persona flitting around New York City, name dropping people and clothing brands (although you could). You just tell it like it is. Thank you for this post. To read all the comments and know that we're all dealing with the same crap in our different corners of the world helps beyond measure.
August 23, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterAimee
I just realized I said eveything that was said in your previous comments. Normally I don't read the comments. Sorry about that.Ignore Joan's advice. Ignorance is almost as bad as depression.
August 23, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterkaren h
Hmmmm, so i am NOT allowed to tell the girl who to NOT to take pills? I like Monica but this is what I can't stand about her blog. People can't write anything other than what is ALLOWED. This has happened to me here before and i think it's weird! Is this blog censored? As for my opinion being UNINFORMED, is someone supporting taking pills more informed just because i would like Monica to stick it out a little? I can state my own opinion just as anyone else can. Monica, HANG in there. Things will get better but if you think it's really that bad, of course you should consult a professional about your feelings and they will OF COURSE prescribe a happy pill for you.
August 23, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterJoan
Joan, If you can't stand it, go away. We would appreciate that.
August 23, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterMonica's Fans
Yes,I am with Starsky on "Joan's" comments. Forgive me.
August 23, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterMonica's Fans
wait. are we doing pills now? *puts away jack daniels and crack pipe*

Why am I always the last to know?

What would happen if I took viagra?
August 23, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterSicksadworld
I think Joan is perfectly entitled to her opinion. Just because some of us don't agree with her doesn't mean she should go away. I also think she meant well with what she said. Monica herself said she welcomes all comments and even likes a good debate. Judging by the comments and even my own experience, I think pills are for some people and not others depending on their reaction to them.
August 23, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterGemma
Joan, you are not only uninformed, you are anti-American and I won't stand for it.

Isn't this an indictment of our entire American society? Well, you can do whatever you want to us, but we're not going to sit here and listen to you badmouth the United States of America. Gentlemen!

For the record, Mr. Cruise, I do not believe in taking drugs without necessity. However, if you were to READ about depression and who benefits from treatment and you READ Monica's blog entries about depression, you will see that she will most likely benefit. There is no need for her to continue to suffer if a DOCTOR prescribes happy pills.
August 23, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterStarsky
I think Joan misinterpreted criticism with censorship. Maybe there's a pill she could take that would help her figure out the difference - hopefully developed by a non-American pharmaceutical company, tho.


August 23, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterjls
Joan, I know Monica appreciates all opinions..Every one. Don't be offended. Continue reading and writing. It's all good.
August 23, 2006 | Unregistered Commentermama
A big, big hug for you, Monica and I hope you'll feel better soon. I just want you to know that I'm here almost everyday waiting for your posts, enjoying your writing - so please don't stop. I'll keep my fingers crossed for you.
August 23, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterKate

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