What is this deep gloom, this creeping listlessness, they call Depression? I have never known depression, at least the chronic kind, before. Mine seems to lighten up after a few days, or when the circumstances change or I’m sufficiently distracted. Suddenly I will notice one day, I’m Back. I’m solid. Maybe even there’s a lilt in my step. My thoughts are playing peacefully again.
People with ADD are much more likely to get depressed, statistically speaking. I can imagine why. There are the circumstances of life and Functioning and earning a living and all the other facets of being a fully participatuing subject in a capitalist society with 9-5 work hours which just don’t gel with the chaotic, the disorganized, the eccentrically-minded. And then there is the demonizing of those who don’t Function in the way they’re supposed to. Stupid! Lazy! Not Contributing to society.
It is a mindfuck these days to think that being is contribution enough. Breathing, living, existing is enough to make you valuable. I certainly don’t believe it. From the age of 14 I clamoured for a job, hitting the streets with my faux-sophistication and baby-faced naivety and my CV. I wanted a job because I wanted independence, desperately. And I also wanted to prove to myself I could survive. Surviving has always been a point of great pride. I have a friend of a gloomy disposition who is in touch with her pain (I think only too well.) While I am a good friend to her, supportive, part of my mind is always thinking “buck-up, why don’t you? Get it together! You are privileged to the end of your toes.” Which I realize is very much addressed to myself.
What is this thing called depression? My best friend and first love had it, for years. I kept on thinking if I could get her to eat enough fresh fruit and hug her enough, it would pass. It didn’t. What is this thing called depression? A surrendering of control.
Last weekend I had It, it came in waves of rollicking pain and puffy face and red tears. It was about not being able to be an activist in the way I wanted to be, at a squat eviction for refugees. I couldn’t go there, I couldn’t help. I couldn’t be there in the way I thought I should, I would. Anger and rage at that failiure mixed with despair at the mounds of unfolded clothes on the floor, the dirty kitchen, the living room strewn with stuff, the deadlines for writing which had gone flying by, the sheer uncontrollable-ness of it all.
Then days following of blankness and lethargy and internet and internet and internet TV.
And today…I’m back, solid. Hello again, I missed you.