17 October 2006


Winston Churchill suffered from major depression; he personified his depression by referring to it as his "black dog." I can relate to this. Having depression feels like there's this other entity that tags along with you wherever you go; this entity does as it pleases, tries to lure you down dark paths and is uncontrollable and unpredictable.

I suffer from two different kinds of depression (double whammy): major, persistent depression and winter depression. They're like disgusting growths; I have major, persistent depression that I can control with medication, but not make it go away. By control, I mean I can hide it well enough to get by in regular society without getting too many second glances. It's like I have warts or tumors all over my body, but if you don't look close enough, you won't see them. That's what the medications do; but then there's the fear that the "entity" will rear it's ugly head.

Winter depression is an entirely different beast. I think of winter depression like it's the grim reaper... I always know it's coming and sometime around the middle of September, I sense his swirling, black, smokey presence hovering over me. I attempt to chase him away with my 10,000lux sun lamp! But the darkness is his power and he soon solidifies, enters my life, my person, my everything and has me engulfed in his cape. His filthy, heavy, stifling, black cape. It feels like one of those lead aprons they lay over you when you go in for a CAT scan (or when you get x-rays at the dentist). Not being completely satisfied with making me feel over-powered, he constantly whispers in my ear; debilitating, paranoid, defeating statements. His whispers are so loud! I can't stand being anywhere without a radio or television. I wake up in the middle of the night and cannot drown out the sound. I end up turning on my television at 2:00 in the morning and putting on the sleep timer. Despite this technique, I wake up to my alarm at 6:00 and think of reasons to call in sick. I'm rarely sick, however, and am always glad that I go in to work -- feigning a real life is almost as good as actually having one; and it's certainly better than not having a life at all.

Truly, the worst thing of all is the memory of who I was without either depression. I mourn the me that slept well, got up early, enjoyed life, had goals, had reasons to live, didn't have all that noise interference and could see the path I was on that was leading me to my future. With depression, I have a hard time seeing myself through one day to the next... it's as if being alive has become a 12-step program.

1 comment:

  1. AWESOME post! I know what you mean...I told a friend that depression "takes away your will to live but doesn't have the decency to kill you". It is so awful...I would imagine the holidays coming up don't make it any easier, either. There actually IS a 12-step group for depression, Depression Anonymous, it meets at 1500 at the 12-Step House (7306 Grant) on Saturdays. Will keep you in my prayers,