Forgnot has dumped some pretty serious ideas into my brain, and made me realize how many of my mental muscles have atrophied in the last couple of years. What if, he suggests, my depression isn’t all chemical, but there’s something I can get to the bottom of, and maybe do something about?
I want to say up-front, I don’t have all the answers, and I’m not advocating specific actions or treatment methods, or aligning myself or supporting or denying anything. Your own experience is your own and you have to find out what works for you. My experience is my own and I really have very little idea what it is that’s actually going on between my ears anyway, so what the hell, let’s check this out.
After actively discarding the notions that my depression is strictly chemical and that there’s nothing I can do about it, there are two things that have made themselves apparent: the larger one is guilt. Listening to myself think more carefully, I hear myself remembering embarrassing moments or times I did things I think I shouldn’t have. These moments of remembrance are fleeting, and I notice myself shushing them immediately. And then the depression shows up.
It’s gotten to the point that, most of the time, if the sensation of depression shows up, I can trace back my steps and find out what thought happened to bring it up. It’s frankly infuriating how easy this is.
Also infuriating is that this doesn’t fix anything. Understanding why or how it is, doesn’t change it. A step in the right direction, I suppose.
I said there are two things. The other occurs much less frequently. It is a very specific kind of longing, or loneliness. Once in a while I will have a dream about a hypothetical boyfriend / partner / husband. The dream is wonderful. The waking realization that, not only is it over, but it never actually was, is extremely bitter. I know we have a choice in life to be grateful that something was, or sad that it’s over, but dammit, it’s not that easy or that simple. We’re not computers. We go back and forth, we experience both sensations simultaneously. My experience is, unfortunately, that the grief is so much more acute than the gratitude… But I digress.
The point is this: Depression has seemed an insoluble problem for an awfully long time, but I’m wondering now, can I solve it? It seems possible now.