Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Dark

I just read a very well written piece on depression. You can find it here if you are interested. Normally, I would not think to click on such a link, but it has been a while since things were “normal.” I see parts of myself in the words written there.

Depression is not something that I am used to. Oh, there have been times in my life where I took a downturn. Who hasn’t experienced those? I can think of a couple that were strong enough to perhaps earn the moniker, but as a whole, I would describe myself as a fairly happy person. Till recently, that is.

Now, I understand how someone can wander around in their pajamas all day, and finish up with nothing checked off the “to-do” list. I understand what it is like to be afraid of meeting people, to avoid groups, to retreat to a dark place that wraps around you like a thick and silent blanket. I understand the disfunctionality of depression and it frightens me.

I don’t need more things eating at me from the inside.

Perhaps it is just the time of year. Last Monday was supposed to be the most depressing day of the year according to some Welch doctor who was being interviewed on public radio. I was surprised that they could narrow it down to one. On the flip side, he promised that June 22 would be the happiest day of the year. Pretty gutsy assumption if you ask me. What if you have a rotten June 22? Then where are you? Depressed big time I would think.

I am sitting here struggling with whether to post this or not. To a great extent, this website has served as a personal journal for me as well as a means to communicate with our extended family, but when I fall into these holes, it is much harder to write about the experience and hang it out for the world to see. In truth, I wish I could post entries that were witty and funny, poignant and illuminating, but even if I could, that would not be entirely honest. As it is, I find that I hesitate to talk about the darkest parts.

So I will post this as part of the journal. A marker along the trail if you will, that perhaps can be visited at a later time and seen from a different perspective.

2 Comments:

Blogger lime said...

i have always appreciated that you are simply honest. you seem to define where you are without it swallowing you, if that makes any sense. yes..the signpost analogy is perfect. and here's hoping that the next time you look back at this marker it is from a happier place.

4:24 PM, January 23, 2007  
Blogger Sister Spikey Mace of Desirable Mindfulness said...

I've been thinking about this today, too. Funny that. I've known depression; I went through a 6-monther a few years back. There was no cause I could point to, other than deep misery with my traveling job. But my depression wouldn't listen to all my reasonable arguments about how I had nothing to cry about and everything to be happy about. When I was with people and busy, I was fine. But when I was alone, I was ever on the edge of tears, and felt hopeless. I don't know why I sunk into that depression; I don't know why I came out of it. I just did.

The quality of the depression as the result of grief is different for me, even if the emotionality of it is akin, primarily in that there is a cause, and a big one at that.

I just started Elisabeth Kubler-Ross's last book, On Grief and Grieving, and she talks about depression with bereavement. She talks about how the loss of a loved one IS a depressing situation, and depression is a normal and appropriate response; to not experience would be unusual. Then there’s your own health, and the family drama, too. That doesn't make it fun, but I don't know if it's a call for alarm. Depression with grief slows us down; it forces to not take on more than we can, I think. Sometimes, you just have sit in your pjs. It's self-protective in that sense. It could become clinical depression, and one must be on guard. I am. But it seems in this society no one is allowed to ever feel bad; it must be fixed, immediately. Feeling bad is the direct consequence of bad things happening. You've received more than your share of bad things in a very short time. That’s gonna leave a mark, you know?

9:29 PM, January 23, 2007  

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