“My recovery from manic depression has been an evolution, not a sudden miracle.” – Patty Duke
All is flux. And moods are no exception. At some point everyone feels “sad” or “blue”. Or “Depressed”. That the word, “depressed”, has been flung about, over-used, and integrated into our language on a colloquial level, does not honor the depths of agony and discomfort that a clinically depressed person experiences. But how do you convey the depressive experience to those who do not know the illness intimately?
The definition of depression can only be realized in the minds and bodies of those who wear the word. But even those, whose emotional keels have been rocked by depression’s unpredictable tempest, may forget the embodiment of depression when the mood pendulum swings toward mania or even just toward ‘normalcy’. This volleying between mood extremes garners a Jekyll and Hyde ordeal. Your ‘depressed’ self is a different ‘you’ than your ‘non-depressed’ self; so much so that each feels as though inhabited by separately contained limbic systems.
Over the years I’ve come to realize that though the depressive swings will continue to swing, I can hold on and ride it out till the clouds roll out again.
Closer to then.
:: poem ::
wet. cotton. heart.
everything turns to plastic
eat with arms crossed
inhale out and exhale in
Written Friday, 8.24.07.
:: journal entries::
I’m 28. I’m 28 and I fear talking to people. I fear that this fear will never go away. My life will forever be lived in my head. In a box. Lonely. Apart.
I feel like a fraud. Like a child. A mute. A spot on the wall. A failure.
How do you back-peddle negative thinking? How can you – can you (?) – take back and relive youth to make the later years more. Just, more of something. Other than this silence. This distance. This fear. This neediness. This paralysis.
Push me back in the womb. Before the existence of cries.
My brain has hardened. Kindness spent. Patience in small doses. Obsession with beauty; have’s and have not’s.
Written Sunday, 8.26.07.
Too much, I’ve spent alone
to enjoy company
What to say
how to be
If I could periscope up
and stay under this blanket
my mental megaphone
would surrender things I want to scream
“You fake happy people.
Don’t you see? Life is a big
black dot. A wet campfire.
Don’t you hate each day
like I do?!”
It’s more difficult to look
away. But I do. I have to.
I fear I might connect
and conversation would reveal
my emptiness. My empty self.
Too many sighs in minutes.
It’s easier to hide away.
Daylight reveals too much.
It’s too bright for my
Written Friday, 10.20.07.
Closer to now.
:: journal entries ::
I’ve been reading blogs written by people who have some sort of mental illness. While I find it comforting to know that what I feel is known by others, I’m disheartened in knowing what lies ahead.
I feel like I’ve always been depressed. I feel like this feeling will never end. It will be slung around my shoulder forever more.
This life feels less like mine. Who is this person? Where did the other one go? The one who got excited about things, people, anything? The one who knew optimism and humor? The one who remembers? The one who could close her eyes and know she’d get a night of rest?
And so I pretend and do what I think I should be doing. Life is devoid of enjoyment for now, anyway. Best keep things in motion, right?
Written Sunday, 12.11.10.
Ten days later… eleven…
Today was my first day back ‘out in the world’.
It’s strange to think that up until yesterday I’ve spent most of my days sleeping. Feet and pieces of limbs in and out of sateen marshmallowy comforter.
I got up around 8:15am. Went to S’s place to get a tour of her house and meet the dogs. Went in to work for a few hours. My anxiety level was low enough that I was able to focus (at least more so than before). I left work early for my initial appointment with Dr. K (I like her). We have a plan for my meds. I’ll stay on the 300mg of Wellbutrin and taper up to 100mg of Sertraline. This will help me with the anxiety. I also scored some Trazedone to help with sleep. Oh sleep, how I’ve missed you.
Had dinner with B. Going to catch up with C on Friday. This is more contact I’ve made in the past couple of weeks.
The desperation and fear have subsided enough for life to happen in real time. When will I know I’m back? How much of this anxiety will stick?
Self esteem – bring it on. Creativity – show me what you’ve got.
Written Wednesday, 12.22.10.
:: poem ::
And just like that
the world tilts back
more firmly into place
I know to tighten the straps
And gag on the stick if I have to.
Written Monday, 7.18.11.
“Remember in the depth and even the agony of despondency, that very shortly you are to feel well again.” – Abraham Lincoln