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Friday, June 13, 2003

Here We Go Again  
Well, that was the worst depression I've had in at least 10, and maybe even 15, years. They always start slow, imperceptibly slipping into dreariness. At first it seems that the feelings are real, that I truly feel sad. Then it gets worse and I become aware that it's a false sadness, brought on by no life circumstance. I realize that the fights are over nothing, the crying is for nothing, the despair is an illusion. The tough part is to not make any major decisions. I recite my mantra, "don't do anything crazy, just hang on", over and over. Because at the time, it seems that everything is wrong - my job, my marriage, my apartment, my education - my whole life is wrong, dirty and wrong, and it's all a horrible mistake. I feel a terrible need to escape, to get out of this life, run away and start over with a clean slate. It's very hard to remind myself that these feelings are not authentic, and that in a little while it will clear up and I'll be okay. I have to just hold on, don't quit your job, don't ruin your marriage, don't drop out of school, don't make any decisions, just wait. As frightening as it is for me, it's so much more so for my husband. He's left helpless, watching me fall and struggle. All he can do is hold me while I cry. It's so hard to watch someone you love struggle with this and be completely unable to do anything about it. He says it's like I'm possessed. And then suddenly, it's over. I laugh, and recognize my laugh, remember it. I smile and joke, and remember what that feels like. I remember what my voice sounds like, the things I used to say. Kind of like when you travel and then come home, how that first night back in your own bed feels. I'm back in my own skin.

The picture I have in my head is of a marching band, and one of the players is just slightly out of step, gradually becoming more and more discordant, and then stuttering back into step.