Like Sunshine On A Cloudy Day

I apologise for not being around for so long. I am very sorry if anyone was worried. I have been having a bit of a bad time and just haven’t had the heart to blog. Even now I am finding it difficult to write this.

Over the past few weeks I thought my marriage was over. It doesn’t matter about the details. I guess all that matters is that I feel betrayed by my best friend and the love of my life. Whether or not I technically was betrayed remains in that most hated, most inconclusive place – the grey area – it is possible I might never know for sure.

Last week I seriously thought I was having a nervous breakdown. It was a weird, almost welcome feeling like I was suspended in jelly. I think I know now what it must be like to be an actor in a Tim Burton movie – it’s like the whole world is a climate-controlled water bed.

When I was a kid I didn’t understand the term nervous breakdown. I thought it was a really nervous breakdancer who just couldn’t master the hang glide freeze. Admittedly, the hang glide freeze is an extremely difficult move and not for the faint-hearted bboy; but it is nowhere near as difficult as the dead halo freeze. I mean, just the name of that move alone would make even the most experienced bboy lose the beat. With all those stabs and slides and Brooklyn Rocks I can understand why breakdancers get nervous.

I mean, anybody would.

When I was a kid I also confused a breakdown with breaking it down. Break it down –  as in a singer going all a cappella in the middle of a song and ditching the band.

I was confused a lot as a child because everbody knows a breakdown of the nervous kind has nothing to do with how many vocal arpeggios you can fit into a chorus.

In truth, I haven’t actually had a breakdown but I am really fed up. One morning when everyone had gone to work or school I just lay on the floor of the bedroom for over an hour. It was quite nice because I have a Persian rug in the bedroom and it is very soft and comfy. It is one of my treasures with its mixture of reds and golds and blues. It makes me thinks of those coffee houses you see in places in the Middle East where the coffee is served in those beautiful cups with jewels on them. Imagine drinking coffee from those every day. It might just transform you.

As I lay there on my Persian rug I felt really bad but I also was laughing a bit. The whole situation was quite ludicrous. I was torn between wailing like a princess diva type or getting all Jersey Shore on anyone at close enough range.

Instead I noticed the rich life under my bed. The land of lost things. There was a pen under there I haven’t seen for a few years, a five cent piece (which I now call my lucky coin), the button from my favourite black shirt and a ball of dust that I believe had its own ecosystem.

I amused myself for an entire hour alternating between ranting at the universe for kicking me while I was down and by making up stories about the creatures who lived in the dust ball.

I am feeling slightly better now but I am still having trouble getting through the day. I am so bloomin’, blinkin’, about to burst a gasket mad. And bad. And dangerous to know. Just like Byron but without the lacy collars and excessive drug use.

So I am sorry if you were worried. You are my dearest friends. I want you to know that. You are literally like sunshine on a cloudy day, just like The Temptations said.

Thank you for your concern. It means the world to me.

30 thoughts on “Like Sunshine On A Cloudy Day

  1. um, long-time reader, first-time commenter. Hi.

    You will go on, because that’s what we do. Thoughts are with you, with love and with kindness.


  2. don’t we all have these moments of subtle madness? I say subtle because sometimes it turns into nothing. and sometimes it does but I think you’ll make it through this tough time. you are strong and smart and there’s nothing you cannot get through. if you feel like screaming, you should go ahead. I think letting out some steam is good for anyone.

    or just lay low for a few days, have some coffee, have some tea, have some chocolate or something very sweet or the opposite if that’s what you feel like it – I consider all breakdowns small or big to be something that needs to happen even in little doses.

    I like how you seem to want to write as you lay on your rug about the dust creature – perhaps you’ll end up with a story or two? I suppose one does think of odd things when laying on the ground. heck, if I see a place that seemed to accumulate stuff such as under the bed, I’ll probably end up cleaning it, too.

    p.s. of cause, I say all these things in haste, so feel free not to listen


  3. I love you, Selma — hope your days keep getting better and better.

    Also, this made me bust out laughing: “… and a ball of dust that I believe had its own ecosystem.” 🙂


  4. Oh what a relief to see a bolded Selma link in my RSS this morning. I was beginning to think I would have to scoot up to Sydney and find you…

    I’m sorry Sel, dearest. I know a tiny bit of that anger, and fed-upness, and I once spent 3 days unable to drag myself out of bed until late afternoon while my body and mind went numb to try and protect me and allow me to process things in my own time.

    I want to let you know the name of a book you might benefit from reading; I will email you this afternoon.

    Know that it is possible for things to improve, even if it is only your own perspective that changes.

    Love ya hun.


  5. I am SO glad to see you are ok…well… by ok I mean still here breathing. I had an episode not unlike yours this past week, the rage I mean and the feeling of betrayal. I get it for sure, sometimes the rage is too big to talk about, that if you start, you won’t be able to stop kinda feeling. All I can do is offer an ear and a hug, or email if you need to vent.
    We got your back hon. xo


  6. Oh, dear… I’m so sorry. I thought you were silent due to NaNoWriMo, not because the Universe was busy taking a dump in the middle of your life.

    While I was reading your description of the Persian rug, and drinking coffee from jeweled cups, I thought (quite selfishly) that we should dump all of our baggage, quit our jobs, meet up in a coffee shop, and spend our days living by our wits and turning it into a best selling book that keeps us in coffee and adventure for the rest of our lives.

    Also, dust balls that have their own ecosystem are ok, it’s the ones that develop their own gravity fields that you need to watch out for.

    Love you, sweetie. Like Cathy says, we got your back.


  7. I love you. Anybody who can reference a dead halo freeze, creatures living on a dustball and Lord Byron in the SAME POST…well, let’s just say I’m betting on you, lady.


  8. Hi FEMME:
    I am so pleased you commented. Welcome. And thank you for reading. That means so much to me. I will go on – you are right, we all do. Your comment has made my day. Thank you.

    Hi JONAS:
    It is hard to know what to say at these moments. And it can be hard to define what we hope for. I guess what I really hope for is to emerge from this a better person with my sense of humour intact. That will get me through anything.

    Hi LISSA:
    You have hit on a very important point – sometimes a kind of breakdown needs to happen. It can be a way of initiating change. In this case I think it is a good thing, that change is a good thing. And you just never know what stories could be written as a result.

    Hi KATE:
    I do believe it did have its own ecosystem. It was so well-established under there. Hahaha. You are awesome. Love you too.

    Hi DAOINE:
    Oh, I know all about that dragging yourself out of bed feeling. It’s as if your body is made of iron and you just can’t hold yourself up. I am sorry you went through that. It is a relief when it passes. I will read anything that helps at the moment. Thank you for thinking of me. Love you too.

    Hi CATHY:
    I am sorry for what you went through last week. You’re right – the rage is a tough one. Sort of self-propelling. It can be difficult to focus on anything positive. I think what I need to do is just take control of things and of myself – maybe be a little selfish because being selfless isn’t really working that well – and focus on moving forward. It is so comforting to know you are there XX

    Hi KAREN:
    That sounds fantastic. We could be wandering storytellers enchanting people with our tales for a living. Wouldn’t it be amazing? We could make a film about it as we went along.

    A dust ball with a gravity field takes things to a whole new level. That is hilarious. Thanks for being there, Karen. Love you too xx


  9. Even when you are having the worst year you still write brilliantly! You don’t have to explain when you have a break from blogging though – blogging without obligation 🙂 I knew you were still lurking around via twitter, so I wasn’t too worried. You remind me of myself sometimes when you do things like lying on the bedroom floor looking at the stuff under the bed. I would do that when I am in a funny space in my head. Hope you feel better soon – this has been a shocking year I think – bring on 2011.


  10. Hi HEATHER:
    Hahaha. Now that you mention it those references are pretty quirky. For me the quirkiness helps. The truth is everyone has crap they have to deal with and I think if you can hold on to your sense of humour it makes all the difference as to whether you overcome the bad stuff or not. It also helps knowing people like you who truly keep me going. What would I do without you?

    I know. I just don’t like people to worry. You know how it is.

    It is weird about lying on the floor. I do things like that a lot – focus on seemingly irrelevant things to alleviate stress. It’s a strange technique but it does seem to help.

    I’m sure I’ll be OK but you’re right – it has been a shocker of a year. 2011 certainly couldn’t get any worse unless of course, the zombie apocalypse actually happens. Haha.


  11. Good post Selma 🙂
    Sometimes there are no solutions to life’s problems so you just have to accept that and move on.
    As others here have said you do have a lovely way of putting things which is why I love reading your blog;)


  12. Hi Selma,
    My heart goes out to you, I have to admit I was a bit worried there… I can’t say that I know exactly how you are feeling, but I have been there on the edge of that breakdown not knowing if I should scream, cry etc… Sometimes a good cry would help other times it didn’t, but I kept saying tomorrow is another day and would push myself to think positive and smile. So if you have to scream or cry just do it – let it all out. Everything happens for a reason… I used to question that saying these past 2 years, but with things slowly falling into place I am seeing how everything happened for a reason!

    sending you all the positive energy I have and huge bear hugs!!!!


  13. Hi IAIN:
    How lovely to hear from you. I really appreciate you saying that. Moving on is always good. It clears the mind and the air!!

    Hi TBALL:
    I never used to believe it but now I know everything does happen for a reason even if we can’t see it at the time. Thank you for all the awesome hugs. They have made me feel so much better 😀


  14. Some of my most enlightened moments have occurred on the floor. Most of them actually.

    I was kind of worried. Still am, a little. But I do hear an “okay-ness” in your voice. I’m so glad you’re a writer. Write the anger, and then burn it or something. I just know you’ll come out on the upside however you approach this thing.

    In the meantime, warm hugs. For what it’s worth, I really missed you. So did lots of others, as you know. But take the time you need – we’ll all be here.


  15. I don’t know what to say, so I shan’t say anything.

    I bear in mind the words of the instructor on a counselling course I once attended.

    ‘Speak only when you must; don’t condemn; don’t commiserate; don’t offer unasked-for advice> The most important thing you can do is LISTEN.’

    We can’t listen to you, but we can read … and we’re always here,

    Take care XX


  16. Well you can count me in the worried group. I certainly was Sel and then was soooo very glad to hear from you and now to read this post. I am sorry for all your sadness and for the pain you have gone through, on so many fronts. Life WILL get better, it will. I know it in my heart. We all go through hell for whatever reasons, too many times in life. But we can’t give up or give in. The alternatives stink. Knowing that people truly cared has sustained me again and again. It’s obvious that so many, many people care about you Sel and you can always count me in on that group too.

    Thinking of you. Hugs a plenty and hang in there, G


  17. Sorry I haven’t been by often. I’ve been busier than frog trying to escape a blender related tragedy. It’s rather difficult to spend much time blog hopping when the world keeps spinning so fast!

    I am praying for you, Selma. I truly hope that trust can rebuilt and can flourish in your marriage, but it sounds like it will be a long road. There will be many crazy emotions and false starts, but there IS healing and there IS help. Hang in there!

    By the way, I suggest you name the dustbunny and keep in a little basket in a prominent place in your home. And please name it. We have been missing Marvin lately and are thinking of growing another…


  18. Selma,
    From the outpouring of support that you get from all of us who are fortunate enough to read your blog, you know that there are many people out there who love you as you are. People from all walks of life, with different experiences, who have been drawn to this blog by you – your inner narrative as it were is not only something that brings people here – it ensures that they stay.
    Look at it like this – despite things being so difficult and dark, you were still able to inject humor into your post. Humor that made us laugh, despite the seriousness and sadness that you were conveying. That, to us, says it all. It means that you are a strong human being, a survivor – someone who has the ability (whether she realizes it or not!) to look up, even when she is down. Not all of us can say that we do that. Myself included!
    Anyway, please do lie on that soft, comfortable rug, look up at your world and breathe in the aroma of middle eastern coffee houses with their bejeweled cups and watch the ecosystem under your bed flourish while quoting Byron! In essence – be you! We’ve all got your back! Things will only get better. (You know that I am serious when I am using song titles from the early ’90s! {D:Ream})
    Take care!


  19. Oh Selma! I am not a counsellor so will make no pretence about not giving advice- it would be against my nature. You’re sensible and will listen to anything that you need and discard that which is crap.

    Being married nearly 20 years I have had moments just like yours. Humans are complex. Relationships ebb and flow. Things change. And sometimes they can be fixed and sometimes they can’t. I read the most wonderful poem the other day about how divorce lets two spirits free to make lives elsewhere. It shouldn’t be feared, it should be embraced if that is what is needed. I have no idea if it is. Only you will know that answer. Relationships are a constant work in progress with no rule book.

    What I do know is that you need to do everything to take care of you. I’ve never bought the line that selfishness is a bad thing. Who will take care of us if we don’t? Everyone is selfish and anyone who denies that is lying. If you need to lay on the floor the whole day- do it! Heal you.

    I’m the worst with betrayal because I am hound-dog loyal and just cannot understand people who are not. I could almost feel your pain as you wrote this. And I was one of the worried ones. In my numerous computer crashes I lost your email and couldn’t find you. Please send it if you can. I even searched for you over at Willow’s Bar. 🙂

    Please Selma take care of you. Heal you. Find the way that is best for you.


  20. Hi JENNIFER:
    As you know, writing is so therapeutic. It saves me time and time again. I am okay. Really. It means so much to me that you care ♥

    A hug is better than words in so many ways XX

    I agree. Listening is quite underrated. It has a comforting power all of its own. Thank you so much. You are such a great friend to me.

    Hi MELEAH:
    I don’t know how to thank you for saying that. THANK YOU. I Love you too xxx

    Knowing people care makes all the difference because sometimes when we are experiencing bad stuff we feel so alone. I appreciate you being there for me so much. You are an amazing person!

    Hi GROOVY:
    You don’t ever need to apologise – we are all so busy – it is great to hear from you at any time. It’ll be a bit of a hard road for me, for sure, but I will give it a go and see what happens.

    I think I will name the dust bunny. It needs a special, old-fashioned kind of name like Cyril or Cuthbert. Haha.


  21. Hi TYKA:
    Lovely to meet you. I am really glad you visited. Thank you so much for the hug!

    I really must thank you for saying that because to me humour is very important. We all deal with very negative things from time to time and it is important to maintain perspective. And anyone who quotes 90s song titles definitely means business. LOLZ! You are the best X

    Hi LAURI:
    I feel bad for making you worry. You are a very dear friend of mine. I will be okay. I can feel it. Like you I am extremely loyal – it would never occur to me not to be and disloyalty (as well as dishonesty) are two of the things that hurt me the most.

    But sometimes these things happen to test us or clear the air or point us in the right direction. I firmly believe that. The bad stuff can be a reminder that a new day is just around the corner. Here’s a good Aussie one for you – LUV YA HEAPS XXXX


  22. Not knowing the full details, I can’t say much other than be strong, be yourself. Take some of the Scottish spirit and hold your head up in defiance. You know we all support & love you. You are a hero to people like me. Love u lots.


  23. Oh crikey, Selma, I am soo sorry. I have been such an intermittent blogger that I have only just seen this.

    Uncertainty is the worst. I really hope you work out what needs to happen or get some clarity and peace.

    I don’t have any words, Selma, but I am thinking of you and send you big big hugs.


  24. HI ROSHAN:
    You are such a sweetie. Things are improving, which is good. I believe most things can be sorted out if you can talk about things. I love you too. You are a dear, dear friend.

    Great to hear from you. I have missed you so much. Oh yeah, uncertainty sucks. Don’t give someone like me an imagination stimulator – the result is never going to be good. Thank you for your kind words. They mean a lot.


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