I know what it’s like to be down, to feel that not much is worth anything, to hide away from the world. I do NOT know what it means for this to go on and on and on for so long and to such an extent that I don’t shower, don’t get out of my bed, don’t eat, lose my job, refuse to see anyone. Not yet anyway. I think certain things would have to happen for this to happen–loss of the only person I care about, or me driving drunk and killing someone come to mind. I don’t drive drunk any more though; that was years ago. My stupidity perhaps isn’t boundless after all. A very bad medical diagnosis might do it. A few more years of no one to talk to at bedtime or on Saturday nights or Sunday mornings might do it.
I feel for those whose depression is that strong, who take the pills that are supposed to quell that pain but still cannot see anything but the cloud of emptiness, of no possibility, in their minds, of anything ever improving, of despair at how futile it is to think they will ever feel like they are of any importance to the world . I consider what I go through to be minor-league compared to that. But it’s there, it’s just not as overwhelming.
I usually can fight it off with caffeine, jokes from work friends, booze-but-not-too-much, seeing my little girl several times a week, blogging, reading, reading myself to sleep, playing hooky from work from time to time.
I also tell myself, and sometimes others, that I’m not depressed at all, just unhappy about a whole bunch of stuff. Money, aging, lack of a dating pool at this age in this part of the world, the ridiculous dissension in politics today, the unbounded, disgustingly selfish greed of anyone with money and the greedy aspirations of many who wish they had it, the rewarding of the talentless and empty-souled, the ignoring of many who are more talented, the headlong race to rape the planet to make obscene amounts of money on dubious mining techniques, the mindnumbing sameness from one workweek to the next.
But it goes over into an actual funk sometimes, when I think of something I’d like to do to actually improve things, but I’m sure it won’t work because nothing ever works, no effort ever really seems to bring any real rewards, it just seems to be good luck and bad luck and that’s all there is to any success, and so why bother. That’s when it spirals down, not all the way to blackness, but a deep deep blue that shuts down for the night, shuts the computer down, shuts off all thought, all input, no need for any mood-altering because too much would still not be enough, could never be enough, and it’s a week night. And it’s the couch and a blanket and a pillow under the head and one over the top of the head because not even the house I live in should be inflicted with having to endure the sight of me because I am absolutely nothing. That’s what mild depression is like.
And then after awhile it’s get up enough energy to get up from the couch and remove the contact lenses and brush and floss, and maybe it’s okay to pick up that latest James Lee Burke mystery and read it till sleep takes over, then it’s get up and start the next day in the morning and go through the motions at work and see the little one after school and ice cream and a snowman and pizza and hugs and maybe it’s okay till the next time that the blue blue semi-dark settles in again and maybe that time wine solves the problem, keeps the nothing crap, the nothing crap that is the world, at bay till next time when the cycle begins again.