Monday, April 12, 2010

Mood Improving; Sonnet "Inferiority"

I ought not to have been surprised, but today I tried to observe my own thought for a minute at a time--which is harder than you think, as self-observation so easily changes one's train of thought--and was horrified at how egocentric my thoughts were, as if I were still dreaming of being a rock star, or worse, as if I were a pre-adolescent wishing to be Batman.   This revelation inspired the sonnet below:


I thought to monitor my thought today,
To watch my thinking from another space
As if I had a mountain hideaway
From which to look down on my hiding place.
I was aghast at how I fantasized
Myself in hero’s garb persistently--
Guru, jazz musician—I super-sized
My ego while observing distantly.
What could I do? The false self must be fed
With tales of heroic intervention.
I’d like to say, “Off with its fucking head!”
But head in hand, it begs for more attention.
Why must a man so amplify his worth?
Self-aggrandizement rises from a dearth.

Meanwhile a change in my medication made on March 31 continues to improve my mood.  I'm still rather fragile but the hollow in my chest has been filled again and I feel human, as if the spirit had been returned to my body. 

Here's a poem from my book, "Unexpected Light," that expresses the joy of recovering from a depression:


I will love myself today.
Here are some fuzzy slippers
and a lollipop,
a warm hug and a wet kiss.
Let me tuck this
old familiar blanket
around my shoulders
and read this poem
before I nap.

Whatever I do today,
I’ll approve.
If I spill milk, I’ll clap.
If I button my shirt wrong
it’s a new style.
If I wet my pants
it was on purpose.

My, how well I walk!
How well I speak!
It’s so good to be
good to myself.
Where have I been
all these sad, long years?

(published in Tryst)

For safety's sake I'm going to rate myself at 1 Kilorat today. 

Over and out,



  1. 1 Kilorat is better, thought I'd rather see you frolicking with the kilobunnies. Tonic is a good description of emergence from the depths, every mundane thing is a surprise without the hollow in your chest. I hope you keep improving.

  2. Yeah, I've read that before. Well done. And glad you're feeling a bit better.

  3. Thanks, Elise and Richard. Let's hope this depression of three months is over. I've been depressed more than I've been euthymic during four years in the most beautiful place I've ever lived, an ideal situation, really. I have friends and activities, my stepson is near, I'm in love with my wife, I have all my needs met, and BLAM! Depression drops out of the sky like a stone and crushes me beneath it. As I like to remind folks, in extreme mood disorders, affect precedes thought. In the blues, or reactive depressions, thought (or event) precedes affect. My mood calibration is separate from reality. That's the real bitch of it, when I have every reason to feel happy but find myself suicidal. Enough said, I'm just going to enjoy today.

    Craig Erick


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