Within the past few days, I’ve developed the dangerous and unsavory habit of psyching myself out before I write anything. This is a reversal of things; usually I write something, send it out into the world, and then worry about it. That I’ve decided to impair myself mentally before the fact is of some concern, and possibly part of some new, terrifying writing process.
On some level, I’ve tried to resist letting this become a blog about depression, but I decided before that that I was going to let it become whatever it wants to be, the way some people probably feel about their children. So for a while, it seems, that’s what this is going to be-depression and life crises and feminism. One stop shopping.
On Saturday I spent time with J, and we discussed psychopathy, brain functions and teen pregnancy (separately). She is wealth of information about two out of three of these topics (not the pregnancy one), and also an excellent person with whom to indulge mutually embarrassing obsessions. During our discussion about brains, she told me that once a person with depression has experienced a stressor, their threshold drops, making them more vulnerable to smaller stressors, which explains my continuous feeling of never being able to surmount things, because it’s so easy to get knocked down.
Also, we ate Indian food.
Yesterday, I read all of Joanna Lipper’s book Growing Up Fast, which is about six teenage mothers in Pittsfield, Massachusetts,which, incidentally, is about an hour from where I grew up. It’s a great book, not just because I’m fascinated by the way teen pregnancy and parenting has become such a media phenomenon lately, but because it does such an excellent job of explaining the impact of sexuality, gender roles, poverty and abuse on young women. Lipper also made a documentary about the teen mothers, who all graduated from the Teen Parenting Program in Pittsfield.
The book was published in 2003, so the statistics are a bit old, but it’s an interesting and very readable portrayal of teen motherhood in a way that’s not sensationalized.