Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Still at 3 Kilorats

Yesterday was pretty damn bad. I was fragile and frightened, almost unable to make any decisions. Nevertheless I drove Kathleen to work at 5:30 AM, went online at a coffee shop in order to download updates, washed the car and vacuumed inside, picked up a fuse for my amplifier and bought a pair of used overalls at the car parts store, made sun tea, did the dishes, fussed around the garden, picked Kathleen up from work, went shopping with her (choosing types of bread was pretty overwhelming), renewed a book at the library and returned two others, prepared and mailed off child support documents to have my false arrears reduced by $2500, and sent two more essays off to a print journal that just took one. Afterwards watched part of the All-Star game at my neighbor's, interspersed with the movie, "Playing God," which diverted me. (We don't have TV and we need one for my mental health.)

These don't quite sound like the activities of a depressed person, do they? But that's the point. No one knows unless I tell them. Just like a light-skinned black in the 50s, I'm "passing." But "If my thought dreams could be seen, they'd probably put my head in a guillotine." --Dylan

I am an alien but I look human. I come from the land of deep darkness where shadows pass for light. The tail of my whirlpool has no end, it just gets smaller and smaller. My cells are dying as I speak. I am death walking. I am a mannequin propelled by tears. But I pass. One thing I do is to avoid eye contact; I find that extremely daunting. I don't want anyone to look in my eyes and vice-versa. "The eye is the window to the soul," quoth Jesus.

I won't commit suicide no matter how many people despise this blog. Because they couldn't despise it more than I do.




  1. Hi.. I am working hard too... Glad to hear that you are still publishing. :-)

  2. Hang in there,

    I think I share in that same condition. Sometimes, it enhances my writing, sometimes not. But in any case, you're not alone.

    Dave Barber

  3. Anonymous8:52 PM PDT

    what print pub took your essay CE?


  4. Anonymous4:05 AM PDT

    By the way, I just heard from a bipolar poet friend of mine that he is on a brand new med, something entirely new for bipolar illness, lamotrigine, which is not an antidepressant at all, but an anti-epileptic Rx. Anyway, he reports he's never felt better in his entire life and I believe he's in his mid-50's.

    Hey you're the doc and I'm not prescribing, just passing along a bit of news.

    take care

  5. I really hope you can find a med that works for you. I empathize what you are going through, and wouldn't wish it on anyone. I congratulate you for at least going through the motions. That isn't easy to do in that state.
    Congrats on the essay getting published. I doubt you are even really feeling the joy of that right now, unfortunately.
    I think it is great that you are putting your feelings into words so beautifully. It will help others.

  6. I began a leave of absence from work yesterday to begin in-patient therapy and ECT for depression, and I stumbled on your blog as part of my preparation for treatment. I find your posts very insightful, eloquent, and helpful. They capture much of my own experience. I don't identify with your manic stages, but your description of depression is right on target with how I feel.

    I was considering blogging about my own experience and treatment progress - perhaps even including some poetry - but now I'm not so sure. You seem to have already voiced much of what I might have covered, and you have done it with beautiful, witty language. I would rather read your posts than struggle with my own, which would seem like a poorly written version with copied themes!

    Thanks for laying out so much of yourself. You have helped me. I will be an avid reader in the coming weeks if I have access to the web from the hospital.

    Here's what I wrote during one of the suicidal periods leading up to my current situation. Part of it is about my job, which involves a lot of analysis and report writing for clients.

    Always and all ways, sand extends unbroken,
    Scorched, parched, and bleak.
    My canteen is dry and I no longer care,
    No longer bother,
    Searching high and low for something now long lost.

    I care just enough to notice some
    Who have hope, who find water.
    They puzzle me.
    They drink at cool spots
    Where I find only sand.
    They offer. I say yes, I say no, nothing changes.
    I admire or envy at times, but at dusk I feel pity.
    How naïve – can’t they see it’s sand?
    That is the worst of all.

    To stay alive, I do their bidding,
    Stacking camel dung
    In precise piles of equal height,
    No gaps and no mess,
    So they can do whatever people do with camel dung.
    Is it worth the work?

  7. Norm-- I've been on lamotrigine since it first came out. It was all I was on for a while--until this cycle. The journal is The Redwood Review, a little quarterly put out here in the redwoods by friends of the library, although the writing therein is pretty good.

    Startdancing, so good to hear from you, I've had ECT and it worked a miracle. Your poem is properly desolate as well.

    What many don't understand about this disease is that you can be maintained for a long while on minimal meds and then, inexplicably and suddenly, go completely south. It's like being snakebit. So now, in addition to the lamotrigine, I'm taking four other meds.

    But I need just one more. Ka-Ching!


  8. I do understand, CE, I just wish it weren't so!
    PS Today I got to meet up with a wonderful woman/poet/friend I met online at Inside the Writers' Studio. Much of our conversation was about bipolar disorder. As I mentioned to you before, I am fairly convinced I have it. She also has it and is open about it...helpful to others going through it. I wrote a little bit about our meeting (but not much about the bipolar part) at my blog today.


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