Friday, September 03, 2010

The Book of Depression

Maybe I'll write a book called "The Anatomy of Depression". It could be a sort of user's guide, a daily recording of depression, what sparks them, and when they seem to blow over and when the return.

It's the one thing I could probably write better than anything else, having lived with it for so many years now. I'm minded of it as I go through the ebb and flow of it this week: depressed Monday and Tuesday, happy for half of Wednesday, then sliding back into it on Thursday to (probably) end Friday on it.

If you had to ask me for an impression I'd say a tunnel, a long tunnel with no outlets, no sense of an end. Life almost becomes a series of motions you go through, things you have to do rather than things you participate in and enjoy.

For example: it is 0600 and I have one more day of work until a three day weekend. I can honestly say that right now I have no sense of any excitement or anticipation of anything I will do at work, just things I have to do as I wander through my day. And afterwards? Again, no sense of anything but three days not being at work.

And so it goes: every day a duty, a thing to be moved through rather than a thing to be anticipated and enjoyed. What would it be to anticipate a day? I can barely imagine it - if there is a sense of future and optimism it is generally far from me.

It is so easy for me to hope in others, to see the best in them and their possibilities and their eventual successes yet almost impossible for me to see the same in myself. Why is that?


gordon said...

For me, the way out of that tunnel has always been savoring the small things - a butterfly, horse in a field, the laugh of my child, an elderly person's appreciation of a store door held open for them - those moments of realization that life ITSELF was the purpose of life, which is so easy for me to forget. It took me twenty years to get to that point, to ween myself off the antidepressants via the retraining of my brain to find internal mechanisms to replace the chemical ones, and it's still a battle. But it's one I get better at fighting and winning, little by little.

Toirdhealbheach Beucail said...

Gordon - For myself, I've always been opposed to pharmaceuticals for depression (a byproduct of working in my industry: all drugs have side effects. Every one onf them). It makes it far more difficult, I concur - and am grateful to hear that progress can be made.

It is often hard for me to keep the little things in mind - which is ironic to me, as I find that it is the little things that tend to bring me down as well. It's not that life is bleak overall, it's that the little things tend to eat away at my joy.