Depression Is A Drag

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.”

Yeah.  Thanks.

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.

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  1. God right there with you, have the light box, went to try tms only to discover I was not a canidate. Trying to stay out of inpatient. Did four weeks of outpatient and I swear I just came out more depressed with no anxiety. Currently doing ketamine infusions. Done two with some hope. Supposed to do six initial then maintenance. Right now distracting myself with sports with my husband.

    • I’m sorry. Is the ketamine doing anything at all? I don’t know if it’s safe for bipolar depression. So many things will just set off mania. Do you have unipolar or bipolar depression?

  2. I noticed. always thinking of you my friend. I am sorry the depression is sucking the life out of you. I wish there was something I could do for you but all I can do is send you love and hugs. You matter to me.

  3. i wonder what will happen too…i guess just showing up every day gets us closer to finding out..(i hope).

  4. The Grundlands

     /  January 1, 2017

    if and when you make it to toronto again you’ve got a home base with us. always here for you in any way i can. xo

  5. I feel your pain. I’ve been feeling that way too lately. I don’t know what the solution is… I’m thinking of you tonight as my own mind is dancing down a darn road to hell… Hugs ❤️❤️❤️

  6. I don’t know if this will help. Many, many years ago, when I was going to group therapy, I learned to dread that particular “look” on the therapist’s face when there was an empty chair in the room. It must have happened four or five times during the years I was in outpatient group therapy. I learned to respect the illness. I learned to never think I was “beyond” suicide myself. And I learned to say to myself “Thank God I’m alive to feel this shitty.”

    I never wanted to actually be dead. I just wanted the pain to stop. I wanted out of the mess I was in. Somewhere deep inside of me I carried the conviction that my answers – and my blessings – were on this side of the River Jordan. I just had to live long enough to get there, or so I thought.

    Anyway, it really helped to say, “Thank God I’m alive to feel this shitty.”
    And I did live long enough to find my blessings in the land of the living.

    Depression is still a potent threat, but I have a solid foundation of knowing I can persevere and outlast it.

    • Thank you for your kind words, Sande. I hope your remission is durable…I hope you always have this good perspective! Even better, I hope your brain is healthy enough to leave feeling shitty behind, and live a happy, satisfying life. Blessings ❤

  7. I’m with you in spirit (thankfully not in stench). I know it doesn’t help you any, but you’re not alone. I’ve had a sinking feeling morphing into a kick in the gut that I just can’t shake. It hasn’t been a sudden drop so much as a steady decline. I keep “threatening” to see a psychiatrist, but I just can’t be bothered. Nothing is about the only thing I can do well. That’s all we need is one thing to live for, no matter how trivial it may seem.

    • Janis Joplin said, “You only have to do one thing well.”

      I agree with that. But what happens when you run out of things you can do at all?

      I think about Stephen Hawking. A prodigious brain inhabiting a ruined body, but with immense activity and purpose. Hey there, what’s the deal? My body is a bit banged up, but I can still get from Point A to Point B…but the brain, the brain! It keeps pulling the plug on itself. What’s that all about???

      Kara, with what you’ve been through the many???…months, if you weren’t depressed, I’d be taking your fucking pulse. Not merely watching your husband suffering…nor simply enduring your own suffering while you suffer with MC…but mostly living in the acid rain shadow of the most poisonous bitch I have ever heard of, constantly under attack in the most vile personal way…soul-killing!!! I could not have stood it. You are a much, much stronger person than I.

      That said, I’m sorry you’ve got the blacks. That’s a few notches down from “the blues.” The blacks suck even worse than the blues because you can’t see any end to them.

      Since I’m in a condition where I can’t see my way out of the dark myself, all I can do is send you a hug ❤ and know I’m thinking about you…..and I hope the darkness passes quickly for you….

  8. Laura,

    Since you’d like to volunteer, how about offering medical advice online? You;d be providing a very useful service for people who can’t afford healthcare. Here are some sites I came across:

    All the best, Larry

  1. Depression: Tired | odd little rants

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