Random Thoughts: Kicking Depression’s Ass

Our Generation has had no Great war, no Great Depression. Our war is spiritual. Our depression is our lives.
Chuck Palahniuk

My relationship with depression has been the longest term relationship that I’ve ever had.

I think we’ve been together for 20 years almost. Wow, isn’t that like, the Prozac anniversary?

This cut out would be awesome for hangover days or days where you’d just like to go shopping/fishing. who’s with me?

We commune and argue and separate and return predictably to each other like co-dependent lovers:
Toxic, but intertwined at the cellular level.

I will never be one of those people who decides that because “I’m feeling well, I’m quitting my meds.”
It’s too predictable and precarious a thought to entertain….for me. I’ve seen that train derail enough through family members.

Depression is a constant, albeit unwanted familiar but it reminds me of strength and fortitude.

Because I’ve worked to never let it stop me, I feel that this is a triumph of sorts.

I refuse to give in to the idea that giving up is somehow an option. That’s a ridiculous thought to me.

I’m in a bout right now, so I’m reading poetry and literature, going for walks, talking to my wife, the stuff that’s helpful for me.

Wishing you all good things in your journey, monkiss

“Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.”

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Aaaand down we go

Tomorrow I have an appointment with the doctor and yesterday I got the letter containing the date of my MRI appointment.

*sigh*

Back to reality.

My general practitioner is a great woman – excellent bedside manner, efficient and takes my concerns seriously. I still worry about what the labwork says that she wants to talk about.

I still worry the bone in my foot is not healing properly/quickly enough. I’m reconciling that one of the meds is getting a dose increase.

There is still pain, lots of pain, my feet, knees and back.

My upper body strength has increased exponentially in 3 months, I can get myself up using my arms and hands no problem, and I’m not a waif by any stretch at 5’10 with a tummy.

All these restrictions and painful reminders…down goes my mood, the ever-present depression swoops in like a bird of prey, taking the opportunity of my moment of emotional weakness.

Ah well…we’ll see tomorrow I guess.

 

Sometimes whenI…

Sometimes when I wake up, it’s weird, for a few moments, a few hours, I ‘forget’ the illness.

I feel normal and centred and then, it’s like a muscle memory – you move a certain way;

think a certain thought.

Snap, ouch, that’s right, that pain….you’re still there.

shit.

It is no wonder so many people with mental illnesses are substance abusers.

Wouldn’t it be nice to take a vacation from yourself for a few hours, an evening, a few days if you dare?

I don’t dare…been there, done it, not going to go back, chilling with meditation, saying my chants and being mindful is harder, but there’s no hangover/coming down feeling to make you feel shittier.

Find your “thing” that makes life worth it…for an hour at a time.

Be kind whenever possible 

 

Dreaming toward death

Sometimes, in the midst of depression, my safety devices are writing and my love for my wife.  

I want to be a breath away from fading into the sheets on my bed and into nothing.

Like that movie, A Neverending story, I feel like I’m in the nothing.

Then there’s the knowledge that death is very permanent and only seems like a distant pretty idea. Looks like it might work, looks like an option, but really, it isn’t…not at all…Almost like…communism?

My nails are dragging along the pages and keyboard, if I form them, I will stay, if I type, I am alive, I am here and I will stay.

It’s a sad commentary or the ramblings of a person who has managed chronic depression for 20 years, I have no idea which is more accurate.

It’s a beautiful sunny day – the sun is splitting the rocks, my grandfather would say. It’s 4 celsius but we haven’t seen a beautiful day like this in a long time. It makes my illness that much more, palpable, closer to the surface.

I am here, I am alive and for now, that is enough.

Absence makes the heart…sumthing,sumthing, sumthing

Hi bloggers/folllowers,

It’s been a rough time around the ol family homestead this past week.

I got a nice wallop of depressive episode that decided to rear its’ ugly head and make me wonder what it’s all for. It’s just a case of too much time on my hands and not enough mobility to do much with that time.

In a few days I will be out of it again I know, clawing my way with stubborn and relentless optimism and the help of my wife and some good drugs –the legal kind 😀

Happy Monday!

monkiss

 

Balance

“…you have to use your failures as stepping-stones to success. You have to maintain a fine balance between hope and despair. In the end it’s all a question of balance.”
― Rohinton Mistry, A Fine Balance

I am wading, shin deep, in a hardening concrete called depression and the past couple of days, it has been dangling me over its gaping maw.

The harder I fight against it, the more momentum I lose and thus, no posts come – just tears.

No one succumbs to losing control of their life in small fragments or suddenly either I suppose.

Secretly chanting mantras in my head is helpful:

I go to the Buddha for refuge

Control is an illusion and clinging to desires is the cause of suffering, says the Buddha, things that give me peace.

If all I have is this moment, if I trust my beliefs that the consistent and dependable entity of life is change, then I chant…

This too shall pass.

It is difficult to wait for money, to wait for x-rays, to wait for help, to mark the days that melt into each other like a Dali painting.

But it is not the most difficult thing.

It isn’t that difficult in the timeline of my life, even in the past month, forget about the last 33 years.

Knowing this, bowing to the small shrine, with incense burning, to my small Buddha on the shelf gives me comfort, like any spiritual ritual.

So knowing that my mind is convincing my heart and my body to let my head be pulled
under the water and into hopelessness,
I will be compassionate to myself
and read the words of a great man:

Most important is knowing how to ride the waves of impermanence, smiling as one who knows he has never been born and will never die. -Thich Nhat Hanh

Diss-Ability

“But I don’t want to go among mad people,” Alice remarked. “Oh, you can’t help that,” said the Cat. “We’re all mad here. I’m mad. You’re mad.” “How do you know I’m mad?” said Alice. “You must be,” said the Cat. “or you wouldn’t have come here.” –Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

I laid in bed this early morning (it’s 4 am in my neck of the woods) thinking about the summer I turned nine.

There’s no real reason for it except I drank too much cola at supper and couldn’t sleep. Yes, sometimes I do things a six year old would do….Perhaps it’s just plain ol insomnia.

It was a pretty big year.

My little brother and I spent alot of time with my grandparents in a small Newfoundland town, doing what kids do: playing on the beach, spotlight in the forest, swimming, baseball games, it was pretty idyllic. And then it wasn’t too.

It would have been 1987 and our parents were divorcing and it was the first time I could remember visiting my mother in a psychiatric hospital.

She was moving half speed and seemed unable to keep her eyes open.

A while later she would show me the scar on her neck where she tried to hang herself and was unsuccessful. Our relationship was always turbulent, to say the least. I loved her and she suffered alot, it seemed through the eyes of her child.

Then there’s me, I was not left alone either.

My entire life, I cannot remember a time when I didn’t feel a persistent undercurrent of depression. Not just ‘blue’ a ‘funk’ or ‘the blahs’ but a persistent, to quote Melvin in As Good As It Gets, ‘what if this is as good as it gets?’

I tried so hard to run, to try a non-prescription, holistic method, then the alcohol and illegal drug method, the bury it method, the eat my feelings method, the meditation, exercise, vegetarian method, talk therapy, and the final, worst taboo for me = anti-depressants.

Some people think doctors give these meds out as though they kept them in a bubblegum machine in their offices. That’s ok. I’m not here to rail against others’ preconceptions.

For me, it was the last confirmation, I was indeed, ‘crazy’ like my mom, her mom, all the siblings, my brother, the entire clan.

I was brainwashed into believing it was a personal weakness, a flaw of character if you will. But medication…medication saved my life.

Before then, I thought the people I met saw me the way I saw myself, socially awkward, shy, weird, ugly, unlikeable, too quiet, maybe too loud, unworthy of friendship or sometimes, even respect.

This past couple of years has been the best of my life. I accepted medication, to take it daily, no matter how excellent or horrible I feel and it was the best decision I have ever made.

If there’s someone you know, maybe it’s you that’s scared that you’ll be thrown into the cuckoo’s nest or checking into the funny farm, I strongly recommend, when you’re ready, when you’re strong enough, ask for help, see a doctor, be your own hero.

monkiss