Sunday, February 18, 2007

Not Dead

Not dead. Just felt like I should be part of the time…

Depression sucks. This is in no way a news flash, but damn, I’d thought I was done with it. Granted, every winter I get a bit low, and it takes a lot of energy to make it through til the days get longer. Usually, the excitement surrounding Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years, and my birthday make it possible. It’s hard not to get caught up in the enthusiasm of the first snow, planning surprises and menus, and travel or guests.

But this year…

Snow never arrived until December 20th. The days were dark, gloomy, and short. The nights were long and dry. And something in me died around October 20th – the last vestiges of my ability to find Joy. November was an exercise in survival. December was a daily slog through a sluggish dark jelly of emotionless pain. There was nothing I could tell you, for I was the least interesting person on earth.

I’d go to work. I’d fix dinner when I got home. I’d kiss Boo. But nothing gave me pleasure. I smoked more dope than usual, because it briefly made nothing matter, made it possible to laugh. I drank more than usual, because drinking would immobilize me. It’s a depressant, but if you drink enough, you can’t move, and you can’t move against yourself, which was my terror for most of December. When I started the plotting, the planning, of the least painful method, the least horror for Boo to find, the quickest, the gentlest, the most sure way to make sure I would die, I drank more than ever. The Christmas season passed in a blur of pain – hopeless, endless, cold agony. I hated every sparkling light, every money-grubbing commercial for ChiaPets, every sentimental advertisement for the season. I tried, for Boo’s sake, but I felt nothing but sadness and an endless heavy blackness sucking me daily further into its clutches. It was too warm to freeze to death this year in Minnesota, but inside, my heart had already succumbed.

Too late, I finally called for help. I’ve tried suicide in the past. On January 1st, 1987. On January 5th, 1982. January was coming fast. On December 23rd 2006, I saw my doctor, and he gave me Prozac. It was a surrender and a relief. I’ve not taken an antidepressant since 1991. But the time had clearly arrived.

January has come and gone. I'm still here. I'm still not back to normal. But I'm back.