First, a kilobunny sent to me by a rabbit fancier, Jennifer:
Now for today's sonnet:
I take so many medications that
I am a walking pharmacy, and still
I am no better. I’m suicidally fat
And anxious. I would delegate
My pain to someone else if only I could.
Jesus invites it, but could he name the pill
I am or am not taking that would put
A grin upon my face, laugh in my gut?
He is no pharmacist. He took my sin
Supposedly, but melancholy’s no sin
Unless it end in sloth. I’m in a rut.
When I was young religion took me in
And made me worse, but granted me a meaning;
Now I don’t know if I am sick or sinning.
It’s Sunday, Kathleen’s sleeping, and I woke up early enough to try a new church. But I didn’t, as in the state of depression religion merely heaps more guilt upon me. As I’ve before stated, I feel no relationship with God; I pray he has one with me. At 52 I’ve learned a number of things, but I think the most important of them is endurance. Sometimes you must simply hold on to the edge of the life raft and hope for land before hypothermia does you in. Sometimes that is your only choice. So I hold on, so I’ve held on before.
If circumstances dictated my mood I would be happy. I have an adequate income. I am married to the one true love of my life, someone whose sleeping face gives me joy when I am well. I live where I’ve always wanted to live: on the northern California coast near the redwoods. As much as my back permits, I have time to write and fish.
The fact that I’m depressed in the midst of such luck helps elucidate the difference between unhappiness and depression. Depression can strike when you’re on top of the world. It is no respecter of persons or circumstances. It is a failure of the primitive portions of the brain to sustain the necessary neurotransmitters that make a sense of happiness possible. Let me repeat that: It is a failure of the primitive portions of the brain to sustain the necessary neurotransmitters that make a sense of happiness possible. It is not a sin, it is not a retreat, it is not an avoidant behavior pattern from childhood, it is not a lack of courage, it is not a reaction to loss, it is a physical failure of the brain, better compared to a seizure than anything else. When in the grip of it you can only try not to hate yourself too much, avoid suicidal thinking, and continue to venture out into the world to stay in practice in case you return to it some day.
Underneath my skin I am sure people are angry at me. I think Kathleen must be angry at me. When I meet people I think they can see through me, but I know they can’t, and I fake normality with the best of them. How else did I get by as a doctor for 20 years? The depressive must pretend to be normal in order to avoid the sting of misdirected sympathy from those who do not know the difference between the blues and clinical depression.
There, I’ve said enough for one day. I hope I haven’t worn this topic out and that the reader is not angry with me for my not getting better.
At 2.5 Kilorats,