Friday, May 22, 2009

Back on the SJW

Black days engulfed me right after that last post. There was no real trigger - is there ever? - I just suddenly found myself back at the bottom. If this is mild depression I can't imagine what those with right proper depression go through.

Money is part of it and it might have been what started down the slide but I really can't blame my middle-class poverty. I think it was probably more of where I put my focus rather than the actual cause. Money's been tight now for, well, over a year but I've been up and down plenty in that time. But it's always good to have an excuse for the negative thoughts, isn't it? Gives one the idea that if it weren't for this one thing everything would be roses.

Besides, what better thing than money to focus on? It is the measuring stick of our culture, isn't it? If I'm going to be depressed and plop on a healthy dollop of low self esteem then there's hardly a better way to justify those feelings than to concentrate on the thing about which society agrees with me - I have no money and colossal debt therefore I am a mean little man.

The amazing thing about my depression - and many others' I'm sure - is that it creeps up on me so subtlety, so stealthy that I don't even know it's there. I can't say when for sure that it started, just that for the last week and a half it's had me under its control. But at the time I simply believed that I was worthless and deserved nothing. Depression didn't occur to me.

The tip off came yesterday. I had two night terror dreams two nights ago. Twice in the pre-dawn hours of the morning I woke up shouting and in a panic. Both times I managed to go back to sleep. And then I slept very late into the morning. I had no reason to - I'm no more or less rested these days than usual I just couldn't stop sleeping. Then once I'd finally rousted myself and was thinking about my chores for the day I thought, 'wouldn't it just be easier to put a gun in my mouth?' I thought about where I could do it that would a) cause the least amount of mess and b) cause my wife the least amount of shock.

Then I realized that I was ticking through the symptoms of depression. The big D was back. So, I took a St. John's Wort capsule at lunch but forgot to at dinner. That's because I fell asleep AGAIN at 6p and slept right up until my wife came home at 8. I was too groggy and distracted by the fact that I'd missed making dinner for us to remember my pill.

Got it in this morning though and, as much as I can, plan to three times a day from here on.

It's so hard but at the same time so comically predictable. I'll get to that herbal week I promised soon but for now I need to climb out of this hole.


Amanda said...


Don't know if it helps, but I've written out my long, painful journey out of the black hole as a blog post.

It took five years and lots of brutally honest, deep inner work, failed meds, therapy, everything...

I found journalling and meditation worked for me. I couldn't hack the meds. My world went grey.

Anyway, I wish you much love and courage. It sounds like you have a wonderful person to stand by you in your wife - which is so very important.

Bell Hamm said...

I use lack of money as an excuse as well at times. My conclusion is that having money can reduce stressors (like paying bills on time or being able to buy that album I want), it certainly doesn't guarantee happiness. In fact, this has been examined by groups who have interviewed lottery winners and have found that many are actually more unhappy after they win than they where before. By suddenly coming into a lot of money people are introduced to a whole new set of stressors they never had before. For me (as you mentioned as well), not having a lot of money is another excuse to fucus my negative thoughts on something and because not having money can cause stress it seems to be a perfectly justifiable thing to do. But when I had more money I was just as miserable. Same with not having a job and having to live off the support of relatives. When I did have a good job I had the same darkness always surrounding me.

Recently I have been thinking about how there is so much misery out there why should just one person's misery (mine) even matter in the scheme of things. Is this a reasonable thought or is it my depression speaking to me? Who knows.

sarah said...

I completely understand how you feel surprisingly. My mom suffers from depression, the ups and downs and the sneaking in of the sadness kills you doesn't it? It's a terrible thing and I wish you nothing but the best. Remember people in this world love you and you live in a beautiful world where there are so many things to appreciate. I know how much of an effect depression can have on a persons live and just know it'll only make you a stronger person. I'm rootin for you.

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