Tuesday, September 16, 2008

So, So Sad

I have (officially) been dealing with depression for 18 years. That's almost two decades. That's three Presidents -- two of whom actually gave people a reason to be depressed. That's long enough for things that were initially in fashion to come back in fashion as "retro." And yet, for all the time that I have been dealing with this "illness" (I prefer to call it a "mind fuck"), taking pills, seeing therapists, and trying to keep an even keel, I am always shocked at how it can still really knock me on my ass.

I don't like talking about my depression because it just feels like I'm bitching about something everyone has to deal with -- or at least everyone with a blog. It's like talking about how difficult it is to breathe or stay hydrated. The only problem with that is when I am depressed it's pretty much all I can think, or write, about. Then I read what I've written about depression and feel even worse, because then I feel depressed and pathetic. Then I have to pound my head into a wall. And that's only one of the things that really sucks... Here are the other five.

1. I narrate. I always have some kind of internal dialog going on in my head, but when I am depressed it kicks into overdrive, and into overview. No longer am I am thinking about the situation I am in, but I am thinking about myself in that situation. "Libby walked to the door," or "Libby curled up in a ball in the fetal position," or 'Libby wondered if five bottles of wine would be enough for the evening." If that isn't bad enough I also find myself stage directing. I wonder if I should cry, or run, or scream to make the moment more "authentic." Wait, or is that ridiculous?

2. I spit venom. According to a documentary I saw on the "Discovery Channel" the whip scorpion shoots highly acidic vinegar out of it's butt when it feels threatened. It doesn't even aim -- it just tries to hit anything and everything around it. I can relate. The deeper I get into depression, the meaner I get. I say things I don't even mean, and sometimes I think I say them for dramatic effect (see number one). I'm sure I could try to write it off as "wanting other people to hurt the way I do," but really I think I just become an asshole. Ryan usually gets the worst of it, which is why he always carries with him 40 dollars and the name of a good shelter. I just worry that one day he'll use it.

3. I wallow. It's a strange phenomenon, but when I am depressed, and feeling absolutely horrible, I don't really want to feel better. It's like I'm wearing my favorite pajamas, and they may be ugly, but I know how they fit and I don't want to change out of them. Usually, I am also literally wearing my favorite ugly pajamas, so at least my outsides match my insides.

4. I don't concentrate.
All minor details go out the window when I am depressed. I don't spell check, I don't re-read, I don't remember to put on deodorant, and then I freak out when I stink. Just recently I put moisturizer in my hair instead of on my face. At least it was "non-greasy." The only good thing about this facet of depression is when I am finally feeling better I become a hurricane of order, and cleanliness.

5. I never remember. It doesn't matter how many times I go through this, I always forget how I get into it, or how I get out of it. It's like idiotic amnesia. I just go through the same horrible patterns, thinking they are all new, but knowing that they aren't. Over the years (all 18 of them) I have learned numerous coping strategies, but they all go out the window when I am actually in the midst of it. It's really fair.

So, that is my Internet opus on depression. It's almost as facinating as male pattern baldness. Ooooh, maybe I can worry about male pattern baldness the next time I get depressed. That would at least add a new wrinkle to it. I can just see it now: "Libby wiped away tears, searching through her hair for signs of thinning" Now, that would make depression worth writing about. No less pathetic feeling, but more interesting.


Cate said...

You know dad's hair is thinning a bit and baldness is genetic.

Sarah Bellum said...

It could be worse. You could be Sarah Palin.

jen said...

I Miss you!!! And Luke will always love you best..even without toys r us

Amanda said...

Jen, Luke loves you too - because you took him to Beans & Brews. My son, the nascent hipster.

Dunc said...

Thanks for sharing this - I would imagine that it can be a bit hard to put it all out there and blog about it....but it's good that you're continuing to seek help.

YoYo said...

You have no idea how hard I have been trying to find a way to say what you just said. Every last bit of it. Thank you thank you thank you!