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I always feel that I have to be the cheerful one, even the life of the party, the one to make everyone else feel at ease. Some days I'm just not up to it, so I take a step back and let others carry the weight. Numbness is a great term for that.

I think numbness is a sign that you have too many things that you can't cope with/can't fix. You back away into numbness to get by. I find myself in numbness when that happens to me. While the big things may not be conquerable immediately, I can focus on achieving the little things that bring a sense of self-worth, enjoyment and capability back to me - like weeding the garden, cleaning out the closet, creating a great healthy meal, helping someone else, exercising (even a long walk), all of which take care of my soul needs. If I take care of myself or others when I am overwhelmed or stressed then I can come out of the numbness more quickly. Love thyself and actively validate your value to the world to be able to feel emotion and emerge from the numbness. It is not instant nor am I always great at doing it. However reading this tells me that I am too numb right now and have to force myself to do these things so I can get past it. Thanks.

My Dad died March 17th after a year of glioblastoma, my mom is currently in hospice with metatasized breast cancer. I go to work, go out with friends, still laugh and take care of my grown children, my husband and house and all of that...including everything to do with my mom - I know I will look back with wonderment on how I survived (& my 4 siblings..) Numbness, thank goodness!

I know the exact feeling. I'm not sure if numbness is positive or a way to stop feeling, so we can ignore the magnitude (positive or negative) of what's happening around us.

I have felt numb about a certain ex boyfriend and his negative affect on my life. In this case, I see it as positive and don't feel diluted. If he still gets upset and tries to rile me up, I'm numb. I'm so used to it and it used to hurt me in the past, but now I'm detached. Maybe it's detachment that creates numbness? Doesn't numbness mean we don't care anymore? Because how can we care so much about something, but not really feel?

Numbness helps me when I'm absolutely hating life but need to function - at some point between, during, or after the deep depression I get so numb I don't feel inclined one way or another, but perform my "duty" at making lists of ways that I could make my life better if things were even marginally peachy-keen.

Then usually I freak out again, but am able to fall back on those lists and climb my way out of some rather dark places.

Numbness has seen me through my mother's battle with multiple sclerosis, my dad's fight against cancers of several kinds, sick animals, death. It helps. Thanks for the post.


Hello! I just learned after 40 years that the price of peace is $587.23 . That is a small price to pay considering that now my Mother (who I love) can't hurt me anymore. I value sentimental things, no matter what the cost, she values money, no matter who it comes from or what it is for. I feel better, I hope she does too.

Yesterday I learned that my Mother/and her husbands "business credit card" identity were stolen. It has a $26,000 credit limit on it. They now have to pay $2,000 to keep the card.
Yet, they tried for several years to buy my youngest daughters "love" so to speak, but that can't be bought anyway!! And now they don't want to buy her anything?? My Mother was frantic on the phone, yet when I called her for help (begged for help) when I had, yet another unknown stalker, (08-05-2009) who had found me and was about to attack me.... she and her husband took all of, literally, one second to decide they couldn't come and get ME, I'm a disabled, totally homebound human being. Mother and hubby drive two new nice vehicles that are paid for and he has a BIG very nice motorcycle not to mention, they own their own home, their parents paid for it buy giving them their inheritence etc. I, among other things, have been a nurse for almost 20 yrs and never charged them for my services, I just did it because that is who I am and I love them no matter what. I have been the one child out of the 6 they had when they married who was ALWAYS there for them and actually saved Mother from colon cancer and her hubby from death to many times to count.... I really don't see the point in why money is so important to people when it means NOTHING compared to having a loved one. Mother, years ago, had a personal Visa unknown to her hubby charged up to $35,000. She said she spent it all on me... LM$O. He accepted that lie and paid it off. I've known for a while she had another Visa card, doubt seriously that hubby knows about it, and very seriously suspect that Mother is afraid of having NO ONE to blame for doing this again..... She remodeled the whole house while he was in the hospital for the better part of this last year... and complained about him not being able to work the whole time LOL. I am not LOL because of any suffering, I just can't believe that some people seem to jump out of the frying pan into the fire and then pee on your leg and tell you it's raining!! These 2 people have caused my family a lot of hurt and pain over many yrs. I am a Christian and forgive and forget. They don't forgive or forget anything, esp. being betrayed, which is hilarious to me since they claim that I disowned them, when my brother stole a clock from their home that was left to him buy our Granddad and they disinherited me along with my brother. He shouldn't do most of what he does either, but I had nothing to do with that either lol ??!! I just smile and am actually very glad to be disinherited because I have dreaded the day both of them died ever since I learned they had a WILL!! I am very soft hearted and sentimental, Mother's hubby sees that as a weakness. He was a Baptist preacher 2 wives and I forget how many kids ago. Great.... I hope nobody sends this to "Jerry Springer".... because it's pathetic!! lol Laughing really is the best medicine for chronic unbearable pain, that and just plain passing out!! LOL Thanks for letting me vent anonomously!! Have a great day everyone!! I plan to!!
God Bless!

I have become uncomfortably numb. Which is, at the core of it all, due to my common-law spouse being unemployed for the last three years and all the financial and emotional baggage that comes with it. People will say why not leave this situation, I don't know think it's that easy. The numbness has helped me cope/ignore/get through all this mess but I think it's time for the numbness to subside. How does one go about doing that?

Anyways, I'm really piping in only to say that 1) I can relate to this post, if not on the more depressing side of things and 2) that even though I'm in a long term (9 years in January) relationship, I too have have some starfish envy. Our current financial and relationship situation makes having children a very difficult decision (we don't have any and am seriously running out of time to decide).

Numbness is the only way of making it through a kitchen remodel without becoming an actual drunk. (not that there's anything wrong with that)

We are all in the position of the farmer. If we plant a good seed, we reap a good harvest. If our seed is poor and full of weeds, we reap a useless crop. If we plant nothing at all, we harvest nothing at all.

Hello there Sarah:
I want to reach out across the internet to say that finding your blog has made me feel so much better. It feels a lot like finding a friend. I'm 37, single, and I just got a fabulous but stressful promotion. I have two ancient dogs, one with crippling arthritis and one with lung cancer. I have a half-renovated house that I alternately love and hate. I decided to have a child on my own only to be told that I have "reduced ovarian reserve" and I should consider more "aggressive" fertility treatments. Hey, want to go for coffee?
Anyway, I have been feeling so numb. I think it's a coping mechanism. If I wasn't numb, I'd be really really upset, and I wouldn't be able to get out of bed, and go to work, and give my dogs their pills, and go to the gym, and just keep going. So -- I think numbness is a good thing. But it also makes me sad because I used to be much more open and emotional. I feel like I am shutting down. And all my friends have children or are pregnant and are trying so hard to be supportive. But it's hard not to hear their support as pity. The other day a friend (pregnant with her second) said to me that maybe I should give up alcohol for the sake of my fertility. "But ----," I replied, "alcohol is the only thing that is getting me through the day." Not true, by the way. I was just being snarky, and resentful that she gets to go home to a family, and I get to go home to sick dogs and a nice glass of wine. And she's saying I should give up the wine... Anyway, off topic, but I just wanted to say what a relief it was to find this blog and to find someone I can truly relate to. It helps more than I can express.

I am so miserable I want to say mean things here just to spite you and the rest of the world. I know that is not going to change anything about my life. Please assume that I have said so many bad things here and please feel hurt.

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My Books (with Elizabeth Craft)

  • 'Bass Ackwards and Belly Up' and 'Footfree and Fancyloose' tell the story of four best friends who commit the ultimate suburban sin: putting off college to pursue their dreams.

    Publisher's Weekly said: "Full of romance and adventure, laughter and tears, the story is a reminder that veering from the straight and narrow road doesn't always lead to a dead end."

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    What is Starfish Envy??

    • L.A. 2009. I’m stuck in traffic on the 101 freeway, listening to Isabella Rosselini on NPR. Isabella, for some reason, mentions that starfish are one of those rare species that can reproduce asexually, and I realize that if I could do that, I wouldn't have to worry about finding a boyfriend/husband. I wouldn’t have to internet date! I wouldn't have to figure out if I want to/can/should have a baby/adopt a baby/child on my own. I wouldn't have to stress about things like FSH levels, or weigh my feelings on in vitro versus adoption. I would just have a baby. Thus began my starfish envy.
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