Wednesday, March 21, 2007

don't sneak up on me

bw eyes closed
Originally uploaded by gkp.
I will admit it- I love to be depressed.

In small doses, under my control, usually self-administered by way of memory-laden music, I love to be transported to a well of feeling I haven't sipped from in a while. I've often felt like this practice was my release valve, my way to circumvent any potentially serious problems by periodically skimming the accumulated fat off the surface of my psyche.

I love to sit up late at night and reminisce about how good it was, and how bad it was, and sway to dark brooding chords, and maybe have a good cry.

And then I fall into bed, snuggled on one side by my sweet husband and on the other by my sweet Lab, and I sleep peacefully, my appetite for sadness successfully appeased for another day, week, month.

Except when it's not, and it sneaks up on me for no reason- sometimes memories of being done wrong, but mostly just memories of doing wrong, and things that turned out wrong, and why and whether things now are being done right...sometimes it's just wondering where that old friend went and why did I ever let him or her get away, and now that part of my life is lost...lost like I feel.

I would not change a thing, as I love where and who I am today...but I can't get rid of these feelings. It's okay when I indulge myself on purpose, but more than I would like to admit, these feelings seep up unbidden, sometimes slowly as a funk that turns into a slowly rolling cold front, but more often like a volcano that lies silent and dormant, only to burst and spew lava everywhere, immobilizing everything in its tracks...

I've tried it all- quitting meat, alcohol, sad music, tearjerker movies, and Kodak commercials...and it still attacks me by surprise. Well, I've tried almost everything...everything but pharmacuticals. There's absolutely nothing wrong with rx- many people are able to function excellently due to the many fine medications that are on the market today. I feel no stigma attached to these meds, it's just that I'm not sure that it's what I need. Most of the time, I'm fine. Except when I'm not.

Maybe I'm overthinking, but I feel like this is a more existential issue...the essential human sorrow that is barely hidden behind the facade of our daily lives...or maybe I'm just afraid to go to a shrink and find out there's really something wrong with me. With a family history of mental illness, I am a bit gun shy, I'll admit.

For now, I am practicing watchful waiting...luckily, I live with a pretty good seismologist- if the tremors get too bad, I trust him to step in and warn me before it gets to the point that he has to give evacuation orders.


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