Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Sonnet, "Anxiety;" Depression Worsens


You know it in your stomach when you wake,
Almost like hunger but a different feel--
Like being driven by the winds of hell
Forward and forward and forward until you break
Or want to break, but anxiety won’t allow
A total breakdown, it would lose its grip.
Content yourself with the almost trembling lip.
Know you can live in any time but now.
Time future runs ahead, you eat its dust;
Time past is pure regret, paralysis.
And all your hours of self-analysis
Can never re-create a basic trust.
You wonder if as an infant it was better;
Not if your mother raised you by the letter.

Three steps forward, two steps back, so it is in my sputtering depression. Yesterday I took a turn for the worse. I don’t know why. My medications didn’t change. I suspect the change to standard time had something to do with it, as contrary to the usual symptoms of depression, which get better at night, mine got worse. Driving home from my html class I really felt like weeping but what for? For bad chemicals? They don’t deserve my tears.

I had planned to go fishing today but don’t feel safe in leaving home. It’s good to be near Kathleen. Oh, I can take the heroic route and force myself to fish, but there would be no pleasure in it save the knowledge that I can do nearly anything while depressed, but I know that already. It’s just a matter of the psychic price one must pay. Often an activity can briefly lift you out of yourself, which is good, but my computer class last night filled me with anxiety about all the things I don’t know and how hopeless it appeared that I shall ever be able to construct a rudimentary web page.

I’m tired, I’m confused, I fear falling down the mineshaft again. I’ve never had such a rocky recovery from depression. Usually I just flip out of it when the meds kick in. I’m tired of living with it. I’m tired of anxiety and hopelessness. I’m tired of getting my head above water for a few days and being dunked back into it. Depression truly sucks.

I know it’s Halloween today, which marks the end of the month, a month in which I’ve written a sonnet nearly every day as part of my mental toilette. Perhaps an interested reader can suggest whether I ought to persist in sonnets or change the form for November. I am not trying to write great poetry, simply a sonnet a day to bolster my sanity.

At 3 Kilorats,

Craig Erick


  1. Craig Erick,

    I was very disheartened to read your latest title.

    I have been enjoying your latest sonnets. This is an area in which you excel, as attested by the apparent ease of creation. I suppose, in line with most connoisseurs, it must be tempting to break out of the mould once in a while. A change is as good as a rest. It is good to see that you are taking an interest in new skills. This is probably the best therapy to appease those kilorats.

    I feel your pain so well as I have recently experienced exactly the same traumas, albeit, second-hand.


  2. Craig:

    I couldn’t help wondering if perhaps this most recent downturn wasn’t in some way related to your recent poetry submission for the T.S. Elliot prize. Perhaps it has something to do with putting yourself out there in a way which makes you vulnerable. And now you’re feeling the accompanying self-loathing that follows for some of us when we take ego-risks. Just a thought. Actually, more of a sensation that came to me as I read today’s post. My apologies if I’m being presumptuous.

  3. Don't know what to say. All seems possible and valid. I do not. Thanks.

  4. Katee (my daughter with bipolar disorder) has a really hard time this time of year. She's usually in the hospital right around now. It looks like she might not have to be this year.
    Hang in there. If html class is over whelming how about if you keep going but realize you might have to take more classes? I admire you taking up that subject. I don't even want to tackle that right now that's why I like the blogging format so well.
    Is there something you do really well that you can knock out a complete one? Something without words? You know paint by numbers, fuzzy posters, something goofy and fun and child like that will allow you to relax and just play? I'm on vacation this week and that's what I'm trying to do.

  5. Craig Erick,

    Everything is possible. Do not say ‘if’ but ‘when’ with regard to your deserved forthcoming merits. ALL your feelings ARE valid. You have the right to harsh self-assessment but those opinions don’t reflect the opinions that others may have of you.

    You are obviously happiest when helping others. You could still pursue what really drives you, but initially in a low-key advisory capacity, as opposed to employing hands-on support. I am using fairly guarded language here, but I think you can read between the lines well enough.

    Wishing you a better day.


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  7. You are all very kind, and although I am enfolded in depression, all your suggestions are good. However, I find there are two problems with behavioral suggestions when clinically depressed. First, the anxiety of being held to a performance. Second, the certain knowledge that such activities will not alter your mood in any way. Their chief benefit, if they work at all, is a momentary distraction from the mood pain.

    I seem to do best when I'm forced into conversations with strangers, like grocery checkers. Then I can behave like my affable, outgoing self, and it almost feels genuine.


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