Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Depressives Eat More Chocolate?

A study that just came out says that depressives eat more chocolate. Not me. I barely have one serving of chocolate per month. Chicken and beer are my comfort foods. How about you? Do you find comfort in a particular food?

Saturday, April 24, 2010

A Word about Comments and Emails

I am constantly and deeply touched by the thoughtful comments and emails that you send my way. Frankly, I think that this blog should be no more than annoying to anyone who doesn’t live inside my head. So, when you read it and give it enough thought to respond with advice or words of encouragement, I’m filled with gratitude.

Although I read every response, I rarely reply. Most of the time there’s nothing to say. I’ve said my bit; you said yours and we move on. I hope that you’re not offended or distressed by this.

Anyway, that’s all I had to say this time around. After that post I published last night, I popped on to check my email. I had a surprising number of emails and post comments so I thought that a blanket statement would be apropos. Thanks, everyone, for caring and I wish you all the very best on each of your journeys.

And now this blog will return to its regular programming. Coming up: more whining, self-loathing and avoiding the obvious. Stay tuned!

Is Self-Help Even Possible for a Depressive?

I don't know if that question can be accurately answered as a general rule, but I'm starting to come to the conclusion that, at least for this depressive, the answer is no.

The last few months have been a bad time for me. I want to say the worst ever but its hard to compare a current period with those of the past. I tend to lie to myself and can usually convince myself that things were better than they were. So, it could be that things now are just as bad as they ever have been but just now, down here in this pit, I can't imagine that they were ever worse.

One thing's for certain. I'm self-medicating with alcohol a lot more than usual. Comes with the territory, I suppose, of being a work at home writer. To a certain degree it doesn't matter if I drink, professionally speaking. Nevertheless, I need to slow down in that regard. I have no specific plans as to how I'll slow down but I need to. Maybe I'll cut out spirits at home. That should probably put me back where I need to be. Okay, I'm saying this now. No more distilled alcohol at home. Beer and wine will continue to be okay; booze by the bottle is out. Hold me to that.

But that doesn't address the larger problem. These days I really, really hate myself. I don't know if low self-esteem and self-loathing naturally come with depression but in my case they are part of the same lovely package. And these days the self-hate is very strong within me. Some days I wake up and am instantly overwhelmed with a grand, undefined disappointment in myself. By mid-morning it festers into a real, seething hatred that leaves me shuffling around the house, grumbling to myself about how horrible I am.

And my marriage isn't doing great either. No surprise there, I suppose. How lovable can I be, slurping down booze and grumbling about how much I suck? My wife remains mostly upbeat about life - more about that later - but she can't seem to stand to touch me. I don't really need to say more than that, do I?

Professionally, things continue to improve, which is kind of a surprise. Being a freelancer takes a certain amount of self-sales. It doesn't track that I could sell something which I so totally loathe but I do. Gigs continue to roll in and, I don't think I've mentioned it here yet, I got a book deal a few months back. I know how annoying this must be if there are any aspiring writers that read this blog - how can I have a book deal but spend my time whining? Well, I think that's part of the problem.

I've discussed this before; the more responsibility I have, the more incapable I feel. Trust me, being under contract to write a whole book is a heaping helping of responsibility. Even though I'm working on it apace, more or less, I still feel panicky the closer I get to the deadline. That's partially why I'm up blogging at 2:30 in the morning instead of sleeping - I woke up worrying about the book. So, the more incapable I feel, the more I hate myself and the more I hate myself the more depressed I get.

But there's one possible bit of light at the end of the tunnel. Like many writers, I'm on my spouse's health insurance. She recently started a new job so we get new health insurance in June. I haven't seen the policy yet but I'm hoping that it will cover mental health - something we've never had before. If it does, I think its time I seek professional help.

Typing that out loud for the first time made me cry just a little. Pathetic.

Anyway, yes, I'm ready to give up on self-help. DIY solutions take a certain amount of motivation and depression is a great killer of motivation. Self-help depression therapy seems like a self-defeating proposition. At least, I think it is for me.

So, here's hoping the new insurance policy will cover my brain. I'm not sure what I'll do if it doesn't.