have you ever been depressed? i don't mean "shit, i gained five pounds, i am SO depressed," i mean the real thing. the clinical thing. the diagnosed (or misdiagnosed) thing. the medicated thing. the thing in the brain that, having made its appearance twice in your life already, has a pretty damn high probability of recurring (yeah, tell a depressed person that. it really helps.)
well have you?
i have. i got over it both times. once thanks to something stupid i did that seemed to do the trick, for no reason i can even now possibly think of. the second time it was little pills. not happy pills, no. just no-longer-thinking-of-ways-to-cease-existing pills. slowly-starting-to-be-able-to-function-again-without-weeping pills.
the thing that was hard that noone ever told me about was the post-depression time, when a blue day, a pms day, a sad and gloomy day seemed like standing at the gates of hell again. i had to train myself, tell myself that it was just a day. one day. everyone has bad days. this is just one of them. i had to learn that one sad day did not mean the return of the monster.
do you know what monster i mean? the one that sits just at the xiphoid process, right where the ribs come together. its weight was always there, preventing me from breathing right - shallow little gasps, underoxygenated brain, panic and despair. aaaah, depression.
i am working hard at not going there again. popping st. john's wort, practising my yoga breathing, hoping that the deep ocean sound at the back of my throat will sufficiently oxygenate not just my brain but also my soul, keep the goddamn monster at bay.
there is also a lot of talking to oneself involved in this process. you know something is wrong in your life when you find yourself saying "breathe" a lot. i honestly find myself forgetting, slipping into the panicked shallow little gasps of a fish. i also tell myself that everything is ok. that all will pass. that things are not so bad. the bbc world news come in handy for that particular exercise - how can one honestly bemoan one's sad sad fate when listening to tales of mothers in refugee camps (pick a continent, any continent)?
then again the amygdala, that little bitter almond of fear, is not so good with the logic. it tends to do much much better with the screaming and the running away.
thanks for listening.