Friday, May 20, 2005

Brain, cabbage. Sometimes it's hard to tell...

I could write endless pages on my bouts with depression. I don’t. I won’t.

When I’m struggling through one I’m too far ‘in’ to write well. It’s too much mad ravings, too random and too already better done by Poe, Blake and others of raving eloquence I can’t begin to approach.
But it seems to me that writing about depression (here, in this journal) must be done while I’m in it.
Anything else seems cowardly.

So, okay. This really sucks.

Tools like therapy and logic and reason help to lessen the effect. Sometimes. Some medications have made it go away for months or even years. But they close doors in my brain I’d really prefer to leave open. Self-medication helps sometimes, but I’m told it’s dangerous. (I believe it.) Alcohol has never helped and in fact has made me feel much worse. Pot can help, sometimes, but is unpredictable and imprecise. I believe a lot of research should be done here. I realize this is not a popular opinion. After all, we can’t have people getting help from something that grows freely all over the planet…
I know, I’m a dreamer. But...

An unexpected hug from a three-year-old can work temporary wonders, or an encouraging word from the spouse or a note from a friend. Those are good.

Even still, the bad days are…bad.

I’ve learned that I can still work within limits. I can make toys. I can draw.

I feel as though I’m made of lead. My face doesn’t feel familiar.

A bird perches on the windowsill. The bird makes me want to cry.
I imagine throwing a rock at it.

Today I don’t like my studio, or my reflection and I won’t talk on the phone.
But I can answer email and make a toy here at the table in a room that smells of coffee and toast.
The studio is not a place for the faint-hearted, even on the best of days.

The temperature is 105 F outside. The sun is an evil hammer. Rain would feel better. I hate this desert today.

I can hear Orion playing in the next room. He is Samurai Jack. This helps more than coffee.

Tomorrow is another day. Tomorrow I might not wake up feeling like someone who is hopeless, someone who is not me. Or I might try making another toy.


Jason Erik Lundberg said...

Hang in there, Lisa. I'm sending good thoughts your way.

Anonymous said...

I always feel that the worst part about the depression is how it makes me not the myself I imagine myself to be. I admire you pushing through it to work. On bad days I just want to curl up and think nothing and do nothing and be nothing.
I wish you better days to come.

jordan's mom said...

There is no place more alone to be than depression, no activity more exhausting, no process more all-consuming. One of the most helpful suggestions I've heard is to remember to be kind to yourself. Treat yourself as you would if you had the flu. Most people don't get mad at themselves for having flu, but will beat themselves mercilessly for being in a depressed state. If a child or friend or lover were suffering the same way, most of us would try to be gentle and supportive while they wrestled with the Beast, because the alternatives usually make things worse. So it makes sense that the same should be true for the self - clear away the clutter, put aside everything that isn't absolutely essential, lower self expectations for a bit. Read, sleep (if you can), let yourself be cradled and loved,.....make a toy. Cool.

Anonymous said...

Sending peaceful and loving wishes-tho the depths are hell to go thru, from my experience, nothing makes the good parts of life so rich and appreciated, and the happy bits so much more valued. In a way, I feel sorry for those who don't experience the full range of human emotion, and agree that meds tend to flatten everything. Ride it out and feel better soon, make toys, play gently....

Pixie LaRouge said...

It's hard. That's all that can be said, I guess. Such a tiny phrase that sums up how I feel about depression and the weight that goes with it.

I hope a sunbeam dances on your face. I hope Orion's laughter dances in your heart. I hope it eases quickly and gives you a chance to breathe deeply before returning.

Carl V. Anderson said...

words seem really inadequate. You're in my thoughts.

Gregg P. said...

Hey Lisa, Hold on and wait for the sun to break through. I'm lucky in that I've never suffered from depression as debilitating as others I've known, but I can imagine how hard it must be to wait ... wait ... wait for things to get better. Sending lots of love and feelings of peace your way.


P.S. Check out the latest entry in my blog -- I book tagged you! Maybe it'll give you something to focus on that will help alleviate some of your depression for a bit...