Tuesday, September 27, 2011

New Publications

Flowers of Heraclitus in The Flea

Feature (five poems) and essay in Blue Fifth Review

I have been silent a long while while spambots invade this blog. 

My silence has been a reflection of the fact that I have written enough about depression for a lifetime.

I am presently emerging from a near year-long suicidal depression by the grace of God and a fortuitous concatenation of circumstances, of which I can only say, no doctor could explain it, no poet can contain it, it is, simply, a quite irrational miracle.

Carry on!  There is always hope, even when you can't feel it.

Thine as always,

Craig Erick


  1. Anonymous12:57 AM PST

    Dear Dr. Chaffin,

    Anonymous for now. Not sure how this works and you are the first blogger I have ever commented to.

    I want you to know that I understand what you write. In fact, during a 3 yr. extreme depression, I checked your blog almost everyday. You were like a secret friend who knew the cold, dark room I was in and it was important to me for you to give words to what I felt. Thankyou for your bravery. I bet there are thousands out here who are silent but really need you to share your descriptions of what depression is and that it is not just a game but a loss of hope that is so bad, one only sees one way to stop it.

    I refused medication and used over the counter sleeping pills to allow myself the escape of not thinking. I learned to count backwords from 100 quickly and to say the alphabet backwords only to stop the other thoughts that played like a broken record in my mind at 4:30 in the morning.

    To me, I had real reasons for the worries but they were just another way for my panic attacks of over 40 yrs. to take over my pattern of thinking. The depression became habitual.

    My computer was my outlet into the world and I stumbled across your blog and felt an instant friendship with you. I'm nobody really, but I had a career that was cut off because of the panic attacks back in 64. No one even gave them a name, then. I'm a woman who was a music teacher in the Cleveland area schools, married, so I used having a family as an excuse to quit teaching and to stay in my home most of the time.

    Thru the yrs. I had depression and panic quite regularly but the needs of my family gave my mind more to think about and it didn't get really bad until my husband suddenly died, my children were grown, and I was alone with the beast.

    Because I had to, I got over the panic attacks for the most part -- I had to do the shopping, etc. and so my thinking reached outword. But then I started to not be interested in my home, gardening, the upkeep of the home,my local family, etc. I felt abandoned and was truely sick with a kind of blood disorder and other bodily abnormalities.

    I did date and for those periods things seemed to be normal -- again my mind could focus on the outside world.

    But around 2006, the inward concentration began again and I know what you mean that you want it to stop and the more you try to be normal the worse it gets. then I found your blog one evening and please know that it helped a lot. After a move across the country to be near to my daughter and her family -- to live again -- I slowly changed the way I thought. I began to be critical of the outside life -- not just of myself. Everyonce in awhile I would turn to my "favorites" and dig out your site to see how you were doing -- something I did tonight -- and I find that your arch enemy is still alive and well.

    I just want to tell you that you have no idea how many people out there you give voice to, as they stumble around in the dark. Please keep blogging and believing that one day, perhaps very soon, you will see that life is outside of yourself and have the interests that you once had -- find fun in the silliness of life -- feel importance in the unimportant. We need you, Sir. Really need you. I actually have times when I feel a rush of happiness -- not for any particular reason -- it just is. And so I know it is still there and will get me thru future times of closing up.

    I am going to check on you regularly, again, and perhaps comment more if I think it will help you, --- just know that you are needed and we love your creative talents.

    I'm 75, btw, an agnostic, and have 2 wonderful kids, a dog, and live in a small cottage here in CA. So I can relate to you and to your wife and wish you both the very best.

    Pleas keep giving voice to how you are feeling -- we do understand and we do hear.

    I finally realized that "You never know about tomorrow!" (It could be a real winner!)


  2. Dear Eve,

    Thank you so much for commenting and I am thrilled with your recovery. Indeed, getting outside oneself is the key. I hope I can find it the way you have. My brief recovery unfortunately fizzled. But your comment encourages me to go on. Life as a constnnt panic attack is truly unbearable. I don't know how you survived it. I don't know how I survive it. But there must be a way out. I'm so glad you found it!



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