Tag Archives: depression

All growth

2016 was a tough year.  The defining event was the loss of our dog, which continues to be very painful.  Sure, I got even more done than usual, but I get tireder every year and the list stretches out in front of me to the horizon like a never-ending road.

There is every reason to be completely incapacitated by depression.  Natural systems and species are being destroyed, Syria is being destroyed by war, nations are falling apart, and society as a whole seems more incompetent than ever at correcting the course.  I’ve been frightened for our fate, that feeling seems pretty darn appropriate, and I can’t do a whole lot about it.

And so, this sentiment, embroidered by my new friend (one bright light of my 2016), that about sums up the year.  All Growth does not Take Place in Sunlight.  My new favourite phrase.

And a quote:

“You must not lose faith in humanity.  Humanity is an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty.”  -Gandhi

Depression

The thing about depression is that when depressed it’s extremely, mortally, difficult to do things.  Motivation is a notion- a theory of a feeling.  What you are capable of gets smaller, and smaller, and more difficult, until you are barely, with great suffering, managing to do the minimum to survive.

Your focus, and attention, contracts like an aperture into tunnel vision, and when all your energy is devoted to methodically plodding one foot in front of the other, then you tend to just keep staring out your narrow tunnel like a hopeless blinkered horse.

Looking from side to side takes energy.  Big picture? Gone.

When you can just force yourself to do the one thing in front of you you have to do, then everything optional is hopeless.  And more and more becomes optional.  Writing is out of the question.  Reading is a chore.  Ditto eating, hygiene, walking to the next room.  Hmm, I think this is not necessary to my continued miserable existence.  Staying put.

The irony is that you can’t blog about being miserably, horribly depressed.  Not at the time (see above). You can only announce it in retrospect.

If you’re unlucky, like me, you do retain awareness of having been different, awareness of the decline, so that a small piece at the back of your mind screams on about how dangerously mentally ill you are becoming, but without the helpful memory of what to do to recover, or the energy to do anything about it.  For a while I got a blip of comfort out of thinking “at least I remember; at least I’m aware”.  But really, it just added sadness and inadequacy, and made me more aware of the divide between present misery and past health.

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