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Today's Lesson...

Okay boys and girls...today's lesson is all about Clinical Depression. Can we say those words together? Cliiiiiiinicaaaaaaaal Deeeepresssssssssion. Good.

So, where do you begin to describe this to someone who doesn't suffer from it? Imagine deep down inside you is a little monster. He's got big nasty saliva dripping fangs, he's ugly, lumpy and he runs around all day with a little cheese grater. It's his objective to hit every nerve in your body with the little grater, just rubbin' on it until everything is nice and raw and bleeding. But nobody can see this monster. You just feel it. Some days...it's not so bad. The monster has combed his hair, brushed his teeth and maybe even put on a nice tie. But he's there. Some days the monster wakes up feeling really ugly and lazy, so he's looking his absolute nastiest. Maybe he's even put on a few pounds. And those teeth? Well, one's got an abscessed cavity so he's extra special crabby. And off he goes with his cheese grater, working extra hard on those nerves. So you scream. But you only scream on the inside, where no one can hear it. I'd like to introduce you to my monster.

The funniest part of this is, it's so easy to fool people. PT Barnum was close..you can fool all of the people all of the time, if you just keep a smile on your face. People see that and assume all is golden and right in your world and everything is cool. And the whole time your crying out for someone to see, someone to understand how bad it is, and to make it go away, even for a little while. But because you're so good at smiling through all of this, nobody does. You can't tell them, and even if you did..there's no way for them to make it better. All you succeed in doing is making them upset too, which the little monster loves, so you just end up feeling worse, because now you've made someone else sad too.

Yeah, I've got a monster. And lately he's just been a bitch on wheels in there. Things that should just roll off tend to pierce and stay for a long time. I think in addition to a cheese grater, mine has installed a roller coaster for my emotional center. One minute things are okay, the screaming is fairly quiet and then the next it's so loud everything gets drowned out. Doesn't take much to get the blues the past few months.

I've done the treatment thing. Took three different kinds of pills trying to regulate my seratonin, what ever that is. The only problem is they a) mess with my sleep cycles in myriad and bizarre ways and b) flat line my emotions so that there's very little "good" either. Neither of these was acceptable to me. Trust me, I can't keep up with the three bursts of energy called my kids when I'm awake all night and near comatose during daylight. Personally I'd rather deal with the depression when I have to rather than not be able to be excited about the things that should be happy and joyful. But someday I'll find the right rock to drop on my own depression monster and finally kill it for good. I hope so anyway.

So why am I writing this all down? I don't really know. To sick it up maybe, or expose it a little to the light of day. Maybe depression monsters are like vampires and will dry up when left out in the sun. It worked once for me, a giant eruption of pain on an AOL newsgroup frequented by some amazing people who let me know I wasn't alone. That's when I went for treatment the first time. It helped, sorta.

If there's someone in your life with their own monster...just be there for them. Don't think it's your fault (it's not), or that you can do the thing that will fix it (you can't.) Just be there. Let them talk, be quiet, cry...whatever they need to do to find their way through it. There are people who think if someone says that people who talk about suicide won't do it. That's bunk. If they talk about it, they *are* thinking about it. Trust me. Note to John: Before you read this and say "Liiiiiiiisa, you got some 'splainin' to do, I'm okay, it's not that bad, just pointing out how this really feels, k hon? (Which reminds me, call hairdresser for hair coloring appointment.)

So I'm dealing. I'm doing better on some days then others. I do try and focus on the good things I have, and they are bountiful. My husband for one, my family...watching good things happening to Rick, who next to John is probably the most important person I've ever had in my life...the fact that the bills *did* get paid for another month. There's lots to be happy about, it's just that sometimes it doesn't matter. That's when everything becomes too much to handle, and the little things become large. The mess that gets left behind on a daily basis for *me* to deal with, the harsh word that I didn't expect, the inability to help someone else with their problems (that one's the worst)...but I get through it. And a little bit of me dies off in the process. I force myself to do what's expected...and a little bit dies. I laugh and smile when I want to run away....and a little bit dies. I don't say out loud what I'm feeling inside...and a little bit dies.

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Copyright 2002 Adjustable Wench AKA Lisa Salim

This is mine. It belongs to me.
Steal my ideas, thoughts or images and I shall unleash a plague upon your house. I know people ya know.
Really mean people.
With guns.