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.

6 comments:

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!