I don’t know if anyone else has noticed, but I haven’t been posting with the clock-like regulatory of previous days/years. I just haven’t felt like it. I haven’t felt like anything.
I’ve been inhabited by the demon Depression. It’s sucked the life out of me. I have no interest in anything at all.
If it weren’t for my dog I’d certainly be dead by now. Sometimes I get frustrated by that. It’s not like this is some passing cloud. I’ve felt this way since childhood, with a few manic episodes thrown in so I could get something done and piss off everyone in my environment in the process.
I’ve ruined two childhoods (my own and my child’s), decimated two marriages, gained and lost more than one profession, and now slog through each day putting one foot in front of the other. Just taking up space on the planet.
I used to volunteer, feeding people less fortunate than I. It made me feel good to be of service. Now that my skeleton has betrayed me, I can barely lift my coffee cup, let alone sling hash.
I think about doing some kind of phone hotline thing, like a suicide prevention line. Stupid. How can I help someone else who’s in crisis, when I myself dream of going to Belgium, where euthanasia for intractable mental pain is legal?
I isolate myself. Depression is not something to chat about.
“Good morning, how are you?”
“Fuck off. I’m depressed.”
Or how about this one:
“How are we today?”
“We feel like shit. How about y’all?”
“Oh, is it depressed? Don’t wallow in it! Put on a happy face! The sun will come out soon.”
And other well-meaning drivel.
“Oh, my (sister, friend, whatever) got depressed after her sixth baby, and they said it was a chemical imbalance, and she took, what’s the name of that stuff that begins with a “P,” for a whole week, and it was like magic! You really ought to try that stuff.”
Really, the suggestions make me insane.
“Why don’t you go get some more of those magnetic brain treatments?” –Mom
Because I get them in Canada. My brain would freeze to the pavement right now. If I’m still alive in the spring, I’ll brave the headache and get some more TMS.
(Yes, I know it’s available in the U.S. A very low-voltage wimpy version that barely surpasses placebo. Thanks for the suggestion.)
“Why don’t you get one of those SAD lights?”–I forget whose helpful suggestion this was.
I’m in Arizona. The light here is so bright it hurts my eyes even through sunglasses. Do you really think a SAD light is going to help? I have one, somewhere in one of my three storage buildings, each of which contains the relics of past lives.
The first one is 10 x 20 ft. It contains my life from 1972 or so through 2002. My own art, millions of family photos, my medical books (now obsolete), my general library (molded), tons of relics, memorabilia, horse stuff, VHS tapes, who the fuck knows.
Then there is the 10 x 10 foot unit with my life from Israel in it: plastic tubs full of gorgeous clothes that I used to wear every day, but in the casual States would look absurd everywhere except perhaps NYC; boxes of more books, religious; more art; and assorted personal effects.
Now there’s a new one, since my mother had all my stuff from my father’s former studio, where I lived until 3/4/15, boxed up and deposited in a brand new storage unit, so she could rent the studio out. This one has my very personal effects in it, such as my Israeli I.D. documents, my jewelry, stuff I really wasn’t prepared to have dumped unceremoniously into boxes and carted away.
Clearly this is a thorn in my side, but it’s not the cause of my depression.
I have my family to thank for that.
My mother’s mother was in and out of the hospital because of depression, her entire life. She suffered hundreds of ECT treatments. Many of these were given at home. My mother and her sister were tasked with holding their mother down while she convulsed.
My father’s father was paralyzed with depression. Like me, he tried to outrun it a few times. His doctor recommended he move to Florida, for the sunshine. He did better there, except when he was overtaken by bouts of paranoia that precipitated episodes of going on the lam. He would move my grandmother and himself from one seedy Jewish residential hotel to another, keeping ahead of some imaginary threat. Eventually my grandmother would manage to put in a call to my father, and he would fly to Miami and somehow catch up with the fugitives. Getting Grandpa to open the door and let him in was another matter.
There are suicides on both sides of the family. It’s quite a genetic load.
No one told me any of this until I was sitting in my bare room during my first hospitalization, trying to make sense out of this enormously intimate and awkward conversation, painfully aware of the fact that I had a roommate who was trying to be respectful of my non-existent privacy. My father came to visit me just once. He was too “shook up” seeing me in that condition. My mother, who is always up for drama no matter what the cause, came every day, for the first two days. After that it ceased to be exciting. She is easily bored.
I’m not sure how long I can keep this up. I don’t want to traumatize my son and my ancient mother. Even more, I don’t want to leave my Biggess Doggess to suffer who knows what kind of fate. She’s got failing kidneys and other health issues, despite being a young lass of 2 10/12. I can’t bear the thought of someone not taking care of her.
I guess I’m not ready to die yet. I still have what to live for, even if it’s not a love for life itself. Even if I have outlived most of my purpose. I wonder what will happen.