Saturday, September 20, 2008

Oven Mitted Life

Edited: I wrote this a few years ago....didn't realize it had posted as yesterday.

For the last twenty three years, I've been depressed off and on. There were temporary breaks. These breaks were almost painful. They were moments of lucidity in an otherwise murky world. I remember the first break came the second time I did acid. I remember thinking to myself over and over..."This is what pure joy feels like." It only happened once on drugs even though I spent some time trying to recapture that moment. Reality was bitingly harsh after that moment. I felt happy sometimes but it was like there was damper over everything I did....that black cloud. Another break came when I meet Horacio, and we were falling love. The moment is captured for me the day we were having a water gun fight...silliness but joy. But it was fleeting that joy, and even though I have known more happiness with him than anyone, I still felt that damper.

I have spent my life seeking out an intensity of emotion that out weighs the depression. Usually it was sex and/or falling in love again and again. I suspect my friends thought I was slightly nuts at the easiness in which I fell in love but you see those first few months of love were intense...just intense enough to ease the cover off of my emotions. To bring a bit of light into the darkness to use a cliche. But of course it was always so disastrous as falling in love at the drop of a hat can be. I used to think I could fall in love with just about anyone. It was desperation but not really desperation for love. I realize now that my life has been blessed with love: the love of friends, my family (no matter how fucked up they may be). No my desperation was for intensity and emotion.

Two years ago I had a summer that was pure joy. I don't know what it was about that summer but it was beautiful. I can still remember how the simplest things made me want to dance or laugh. I remember how the smell of the sun on my children's hair sent me swooning. The days were lazy and spontaneous--parks and pools, bookstores and eating out. For the first time, I felt that my love for Horacio and my children was unbarred. There was nothing dampening the emotion. And then it ended.

Have you ever tried to do anything with one of those mitten like oven mitts? They're a useful tool for handling hot pans but they make doing anything else nearly impossible. You lose all fine motor control. You can't handle anything with delicate precision. All you can do is fumble through the big things. That's my life.

So yesterday I finally called the school health clinic. I have avoided drugs for this my whole life. Over the last few months, I have come to realize how much depression cripples me. It is not a creative outlet like I used to imagine. Depression destroys my ability to function. I sleep during the day because it is the only thing I feel like I can do. I can't write. I can't read. I can't play with my children. I can't feel anything. I feel crushed and destroyed. Every moment is a moment waiting for it to all come apart. So I picked up the phone and made an appointment. I need to see the psychiatrist. I am depressed.

6 comments:

Ros said...

#1 Antidepressants cannot make you a different person. ANTIPSYCHOTICS can make you a different person, but you don't need those. Although in the bigger sense, you without depression would be a new you and thus the meds would be making you a different person.

#2 Different people respond to different meds, don't expect to hit the exact right one/dose the first time out. Expect a doc to tweak meds until your symptoms are gone.

#3 If you're scared of what life is like when you're not depressed, you can take meds and still act depressed whenever you want to.

Ginger As in Green Tea... said...

:P I'll try to maintain my darkside LOL.

Erica said...

Ginger, it is a huge step that one that you just took. Hope you find the help you are looking for.

Sending you a big hug.

John B-R said...

Thank god you are getting help. My wife has suffered from minor depression her whole life. It's been a weight. And my daughter had a complete immobilizing breakdown that lasted about a year. I too have experienced it, as well as anziety and panic attacks. It's a real disease. Ros and Erica are totally right on everything. And never fear, you will retain your dark side. The only difference is it will be yours, you won't be its.

Ginger As in Green Tea... said...

Ahhh...John I loved LOVED how you worded that about the darkside. I remember you talking a bit about this whole issue on E's bored, and how it really made me rethink medicating this. Interestingly, the GP, I saw felt that the anxiety might outweight the depression (although he linked them). I'll keep everyone update on things proceed. Thank you for sharing this. I'm going to keep that phrase in my head. Hugs and love.

Ginger As in Green Tea... said...

Ahhh...John I loved LOVED how you worded that about the darkside. I remember you talking a bit about this whole issue on E's bored, and how it really made me rethink medicating this. Interestingly, the GP, I saw felt that the anxiety might outweight the depression (although he linked them). I'll keep everyone update on things proceed. Thank you for sharing this. I'm going to keep that phrase in my head. Hugs and love.