In the grand scheme of things, I could easily live with my bouts of deepest, darkest depression if only I had been blessed with some compensating flights of mania to balance things out. Unfortunately, bi-polar for me has generally meant the distinction between "I'm depressed" and "I'm so fucking unbelievably depressed." With a little bit of mania in my life, I could perhaps maintain a writing schedule worthy of a true obsessive-compulsive, like this or this. As it is, when I'm truly, madly, deeply depressed, coming home after a long day of working with words (both my own and others) to sit down and string together yet more frickin' words just pushes me further into the hole. It's non-communication I crave.
I've been going back and forth on whether or not to re-launch myself into the blog with a discussion of why, exactly, I haven't been doing anything on the blog as of late. Depression is just so played out in so many ways -- too many writers have made the case that depression is this woefully misunderstood and debilitating disease that has to be overcome with a valiant struggle worthy of a book deal or, at the very least, a Lifetime Network movie.
I understand the impulse. Cavin, who proves the whole "opposites attract" thing by being the happiest person I've ever met, spent some time asking me why I didn't just go out and do something to make myself happier. I can't blame him -- in our nearly four years together, this is the first time he's seen me in a really depressed state. And, as I suspect a lot of highly functioning depressives do, I've built some impressive skills for hiding my depression from others. Well, most of it, anyway.
The most frustrating thing about depression, for me, is the knowledge that I simply shouldn't feel this way. Things are good -- work, relationship, family, hobbies, all humming right along. Heck, things are better than ever in some ways, with the magazine continuing to grow and take on some new challenges. Why the hell should I be sitting on the couch, lying in bed, or sitting behind the wheel of the car feeling as if the weight of the world was about to crush me flat?
So, I did finally go out and do something to make myself happy again. I went to my doctor about a week and a half ago and got myself re-upped for some Zoloft. Because three or so months of feeling like this was just too much, and I have too many things I want to do with my life to just be putting up with it. I'm disappointed in some ways. I spent a big chunk of the 1990s on anti-depressants of various makes and models, and I was thrilled when I finally weaned myself off about six years ago. It felt a little bit like failure to be on a pill regimen again.
Of course, now that I've been taking the pills for a few days I feel much better, so screw that shit. It's not as if I'm suddenly happy, happy, happy all the time. But I feel normal again, which is a relief. Good thing, too, given the combination of workload and rapidly approaching holidays. Next week the Le clan is coming over for Thanksgiving, which I can assume means I didn't scare off my in-laws with last year's meal. I could still use a little bit off that mania -- there's a lot of shopping and cleaning and cooking to do in the next few days -- but I suppose I'll manage without.