Wednesday, March 07, 2007

A note on recovering from depression..

Today is not the best day to try to describe the change in consciousness from depressed to normal--at least as normal as I know of normality--as I did not sleep well, it's raining, and I'm recovering from a cold.

To tell the truth, I don't know if I really can describe what it is like to be depressed and then not depressed. My first thought is: "What a miracle! I'm not depressed!" And then I go running about starting new projects and trying to make up for lost time, as if, in not being depressed, I should immediately demand something of myself. What I really need to do is to enjoy not being depressed--the taste of good food, the love of my wife, laughter, good literature, music and all the rest.

Though I am not capable yet of describing the process, I can give examples.

While depressed I could barely read the paper. Now I'm reading Thoreau, Dostoevsky, Tolstoy and poetry. While depressed my only real writing was this blog; I could do nothing else. Now I've written two good essays, one already accepted, and had three poems accepted (and one just published) while resuming work on my thriller novel. Not only that, I've applied to audition for several music venues. This is what I do when I'm not depressed. I've been much more sociable as well. Kathleen says I can be very charming. Me! Imagine!

What is the difference? First and foremost I don't think about myself all the time, I'm not lost in a conversation about all my deficits, shortcomings, failures, wasted life, and all the other melancholy inhabitants of a diseased mind. Now if I find I'm starting to have a conversation with myself, I tell myself to shut up, and it works. Previously my brain told me to shut up and I couldn't help but listen to the endless, pointless conversation about myself.

I look different. I make jokes. I feel stronger physically. I'm quicker physically. Depression is a very physical disease, and bodily changes are striking. From old photographs my friends can easily see when I was depressed and when not.

That's a beginning. I'll try more when I'm feeling a bit better.

CE

3 comments:

  1. Hope things continue in the same positive note, CE.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Likewise. I have seen my husband go through all of those changes and back.

    ReplyDelete
  3. You go, C.E Chaffin. Enjoy it.

    ReplyDelete

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