I listened to an 'associated Ted talk' (what the fuck does that mean, IDK) and it was unpopular at the time (gauged by the audience's tepid response and lack of applause) because the speaker is saying depression is often not a mental disorder, and we treat to many varied groups of symptoms as depression when they are not. now i am someone with a family history of mental illness, who takes Zoloft. so i can speak. i say that he has a point, but that he didn't address the shades of grey, at least not well enough, and that's crucial in this discussion. but his point, even as someone who takes a medication and who is extremely glad i can and do, has validity in our culture, where if you are deeply sad medication is usually the first resort. this doctor was speaking to the depressions that we experience as a message from our inside to our out, saying
SOMETHING IS WRONG AND NOW YOU WILL FEEL IT, LEARN ABOUT IT, BECOME INTIMATE WITH IT AND PROPERLY ADDRESS WHAT IS WRONG INSTEAD OF A BUNCH OF POSSIBLY RELATED THINGS THAT AREN"T REALLY THE ISSUE
because let's be honest. How do we change? Pain. Discomfort. Misery. Most human beings are completely disinclined to change things if they aren't actively causing pain.
My shoulder, for instance. It's been bugging me for a year. Maybe more. And it's probably getting worse, and if I don't do anything, it will probably become some big, painful fuck that I'll have to address. But I haven't done anything. Because it's not. that. bad. And because it is a pain in the ass to do something about it. Money I don't have. Time I don't want to allocate. Money. Oh I said that already.
Also reasons why I myself avoid, off the top of my head, are:
I have no idea what to do about 'it'
I am scared of what 'it' might be
I am scared of what I might have to do if I deal with 'it'
I am scared of disappointing other people
I am scared of hurting someone
I am scared of making someone angry
I am scared of failing
I am afraid of losing something
I am afraid of possibly unearthing deeper, more profound pain and prefer to simmer in pain-lite
I've been seriously depressed for two months and as I listened to this sort of Ted talk, it was immediately clear to me that although I have a prediliction toward mood disorders, this one wasn't 'out of the blue' or because the weather changed or because i'm low on iron or because my dog keeps pooping on the carpet or because I'm worried about my novel.
There is a 'reason'.
I have no idea what to do about it.
I am scared of what I might have to do to deal with it.
I am scared of hurting someone, making them angry, losing someone, failing, and pretty much of my own shadow some days.
But guess what.
I have felt a little bit better since I admitted to myself why I can barely get out of bed, why I can barely eat, why I cry everytime I'm alone, why I feel dead inside, why even my most favorite things hold no allure or comfort, why I can't stop picking at my skin, why I look old and tired, why my body aches, why I feel so deeply alone and afraid.
I have felt a little bit clearer.
This weekend I stayed offline all weekend, as I usually try to do from Friday afternoon on. The last week I have done off and on all day meditations. For me, a meditation looks like this:
I take Ever to the park, she plays and I sit under the trees and listen to the birds and watch the trees move and the water move and feel the sun on my skin and do not force my mind to think or not think of anything and I do this for long stretches of half-hour or so.
Or I do this in my backyard. Or on a walk.
I focus on these things:
What I am doing and not how I am feeling.
Manual labor, like gardening and cleaning and organizing.
Taking care of my children.
Caring for my physical and spiritual health.
I am depressed and I am seeing my psychiatrist this week. But when she offers to up my meds or try new ones, I will say nicely, let's wait. Let's wait a little bit.
And then I will tell her what is wrong.
And then I will tell her what is wrong.