Saturday, January 23, 2010


Sigh. I am in the doldrums, and not a breath of fresh air to fill my sails. I’m trying to just let depression be what it is, since it is an inescapable part of the rhythm of my life. It won’t be here forever and it can huff and puff but thanks to modern medicine it can’t blow the house down. I hope.

But you know, it’s like having a cold. Yeah you can keep going and you aren’t dangerously ill, but your nose is rubbed raw and your throat hurts, nothing tastes good and you have to breathe through your mouth. It’s annoying, in other words, and gets in the way. Who can create a coherent plan when they’re sneezing and dabbing at their nose all the time? And complaining about it to anyone is about as entertaining as droning on about your cold symptoms.

Still. The symptoms drag at your consciousness all day long. They change the context for your goals and desires. Everything seems an enormous bother.

What is my deepest fear, the one that is always stirring the silt at the bottom of the pond? I think it is to be left alone, with no one, all social connections cut, the loss of every person who has helped define me. The fear of lack of desire. That’s horrible, to find yourself devoid of interest, with only the patterns of duty to keep you moving forward. One of the worst things about depression is the way that pleasure falls away, so that there is no particular reason to do any particular thing, and every decision seems an impossible riddle. I suppose this is why I cultivate my little obsessions, these hooks on which to hang my attention.

Sigh. At least the girls keep me anchored in reality.


  1. Alice,

    I can relate. And you're right; you can't really do anything except medicate the edge of it away (and there are various means) and roll with it. It's a rhythm, a part of your life. Fighting it only gives it power. Fuck that. :)

  2. sigh...some days all one can do is take a breath, take a step, then does help to know the cycle and that it will pass, but it still sucks when it's there...

  3. I too relate. Poetry helps, sometimes. Yeats and Hopkins. They knew.

    Also I learned, when I had cancer and realized that I might die, that we all come into this world one at a time and go out one at a time. Everything in between, all the relationships and love and stuff, may help or may let you down, but you are still you. Just you. This doesn't sound very comforting, but somehow it helped me. Nobody else can do my death or take my pain so I have to accept it for myself.

  4. regarding your question on my blog...I'm not visiting, it's an artist community 20 minutes south of where I live in Arizona called Tubac....

  5. I'm glad you have the girls, too. When I was dealing with depression, I remember being told to do the "next" thing but NOT thingS. One think at a time.

    Our new priest would say that the thoughts take on lives by themselves and to help that to stop, say "God is. No power." Over and over. The thoughts do not have power over you--God does.

    I don't know if that would have helped me when I was depressed, but I didn't know about that then.

    Just remember this will NOT last forever.

  6. Thanks, everyone. I'm floating along, appreciating your thoughtful words.

  7. So sorry to read this post Alice. I guess it's now my turn to pass on my best wishes to you. I know yours made such a difference to me so would have you know that my thoughts are with you.

  8. I was really depressed when I struggled with anxiety attacks for a few months, a few years or so ago. I remember just crying and crying and crying all the time.

    But I also remember the little kindnesses that people showed me, like my sister joining me at a summer music festival, grabbing my hand, and saying, "Let's dance! Dancing is good for depresson!" And she was absolutely right. It helped relax me, too.

    So I guess you can try dancing *smiles*...but whatever you do, just remember, as you are trying to remember right now, that this too shall pass...

    I'm saying lots of prayers for you. :)