Move forward.

Dear Tom,

I’ve been trying to remember something, and if I wasn’t so lazy I could easily find it out, but for now, here it is:

I feel pretty certain that if I went back and read every single post I’ve made on this blog–excluding this one (number 191, donchaknow)– that I probably wouldn’t find the word happy or sad or any derivative thereof except maybe a handful of times. And if I did find such instances, it probably had little or nothing to do with how I was feeling when I made the post.

Weird, right? But it’s like I told you: depression, in my world at least, isn’t about feeling sad or miserable or despondent. It’s about not feeling much of anything at all. Wondering which is the best way to die, quickly or slowly, had little to do with how I would feel about dying. It was about which would affect the kids less. The thought of dying didn’t make me happy or sad. It just seemed like it would be a relief, like one less useless burden on the environment. (Yeah, I know I’m a hippie. I think hating the smell of patchouli mitigates it at least somewhat, no?)

I told you that all this time there was only one thing that made me feel happy: having both of the kids with me. There was only one thing that made me feel sad: You.

That sounds so awful when I read it in my head, but it isn’t really like that. I felt sad about you because I couldn’t see any possible way to bridge the growing gulf between us. For now, we seem to have done that, but there are issues.

–We interrupt this broadcast for a word from our Sponsor:

I’m trying to be honest in this blog. Firstly, I need to do this for me. It seems to help. Secondly, someday, when the kids are grown, maybe they want to know more about who their mother really was. I want to give them a faithful portrait, warts and all. What’s that damn Oscar Wilde quote? Something about how first children love their parents, then they judge them, but they rarely forgive them? Well, I fully expect to be judged. That’s just part of the deal. The least I can do is try to give them all the information before they do.

I was going to write all about our issues, but it feels too… exhibitionist. And rude. It’s one thing if I want to expose myself but something else entirely to do so to you without your knowledge or consent.

–We now return you to our program.

So, I guess, in a weird sort of way, the fact that you made me sad should make you feel good. Even at my lowest point I never stopped caring about you.

I felt like the princess in the tower. (Curse you, Disney, for sucking any real life and meaning out of our fairy tales. I hate you, Disney.) Trapped up in there by some evil mother figure (myself, of course), unable to escape on my own (because I was keeping me there), guarded by the dragons of my own subconscious (or by a black dog, if you will).

I’m trying. I’m trying not to let the worst of me have free reign. I’m trying to be more understanding and forgiving and compassionate and all that–with you, with me, with the wide world in general. I’m working harder than anyone would ever believe. I need you to do your part. Please? Help me.

With All My Love,
Jennifer (aka Your Wife)

P.S. Don’t forget to make that phone call.

P.P.S. Did you pick up the vinegar from the store that I asked you for?

P.P.P.S. I do love you, you jerk. I really do.

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10 thoughts on “Move forward.

  1. I reuse to take meds to stabilize my raging mood swings because they make me feel flat… I would rather have the good times and the bad than just be sideways all the time… did that make sense?

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    • Yes, it makes sense. I do know where you’re coming from on that.

      The last time I went through a major depressive episode was about 12 years ago. (Within the space of a year I suffered a miscarriage, lost my Dad to cancer, and got a divorce. Life sucked, yo.) I was put on meds that time, too, and I *hated* it. For the sake of others who might be dealing with depression and read this, I do want to note a couple of things:

      1. My depression did not take the same form then that it has now. Last time, I could not control my emotions at all. I was overly sensitive and weepy. In between crying jags I had almost manic episodes. I was truly living on an emotional roller coaster. My insomnia was even worse then, and I’m sure that contributed. The meds I was on then gave me that “flat”, “sideways” kind of feeling you mentioned. It was awful. Still, it did give me a “break” of sorts, and I think I was able to recover more quickly as a result. Your body needs rest in order to heal, and I think that sometimes the mind does, too.
      2. That was 12 years ago. They seem to have made a lot of progress in those 12 years, in psychology as well as in medications to help those with mood disorders. There are individuals who just don’t respond well to meds, and for others it can take time to get their meds tweaked properly, but they can be extremely helpful for many people.

      I’m very happy with my meds this time around. I’m on the lowest available dose of Cymbalta (actually, it’s the generic: Duloxetine). I just saw the psychiatrist, and we agreed not to make any changes at this time. It even seems to help somewhat with my physical pain. Bonus!

      The main thing to know about meds is this: they are not a cure. It’s not like taking aspirin for a headache. It is a tool in your arsenal. It may or may not work for you, but it’s worth the effort of finding out.

      Sorry for the novel, Art. I just thought it was important.

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Lay it on me.

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