In the darkness the trees are full of starlight (henwy) wrote,
In the darkness the trees are full of starlight

Hello Darkness, my old friend

We start with stars in our eyes.
We start believing that we belong,
But every sun doesn't rise,

And no one tells you where you went wrong.
-"Waving Through A Window" Evan Hansen

I've always had a complicated relationship with depression. There's always been a part of me that has never been sure it really exists. I mean, I'm sure it exists for other people and as a condition in and of itself, but I've really known myself if I'm actually clinically depressed or simply a ruminative whiner in my own head. It was always the demons in my own head and the SSRI (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor) craze of the 90's that got me interested in Psychology and Psychopharmacology in the first place. My motto has always been to never trust a Psychology major. I think all of those people must be broken in some way and they're drawn to the study of other broken people, not to learn or even to heal, but to figure out what's wrong with themselves. I've never gotten a definitive answer either. I remember taking tests like the Beck Depression Inventory, but what good is self report when you know you're probably smart enough to lie to yourself? When you grade your own paper, it's pretty hard to get an objective answer.

Regardless of whether it was real or not, I spent a good chunk of my teen and 20's displaying a lot of the internal symptoms of clinical depression. Of course, if you think about it, I probably had a lot of things to be depressed about. The issues with grad school certainly made nothing easy and at the time all the chronic pain issues were starting to kick in. Add all of that together and a depressed mood and suicidal ideation doesn't seem like all that unusual an experience. This went on for years and I dealt with it as best I could without ever seeking any help or intervention. And in the end, I guess it wasn't necessary. Even though the surgeries and the pain and the other issues were endless, I never seemed to fall back in the pit once I had climbed out. There were ups and downs but eventuially I entered a point in my life where depression wasn't status quo. There wasn't any good external reason for it and I chalked it up at the time to an unexpected fringe benefit from acceptance. The buddhists believe that all suffering comes from desire. We suffer when our desires are thwarted, either those things we want or things we want to avoid. If that's the case than the answer is to expect nothing and accept everything as it comes and for years my life felt like a sort of endless groundhog day.

Perhaps it's a point of irony that things have seldom been better than they are right now. With the exception of the kidney issues, I'm probably in better physical condition now than at any point since college. It's sometimes hard to remember just how much better I am right now compared to the days when I was forced to pop opiates like candy and even then being unable to sit or walk more than 50 feet without needing to lean up against something. I have a mobility I haven't had in years and add to it the weight loss I never would have believed I could achieve. All of that should be a net positive but I've somehow stumbled my way back into the pit of depression again. Thoughts of putting a bullet in my head occupy my thoughts and other dark ruminations I can't seem to let go. There's simply an emptiness inside and it pulls at me. I don't think there's actually any imminent danger I'd end up doing something about it and maybe it'll pass like it came, without rhyme or reason. Till then, I don't think there's anything to do but ride out the storm and see if there's something on the other side.

Tags: depression

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