Because Blogger's "Adult warning" often goes into a perpetual loop (isn't working properly), I will be making all new posts at my WordPress blog. You can follow it even if you do not have a WordPress Account. There're also my Twitter and my Tumblr blog, my Facebook and my Google+ page and my group.
(Update: Blogger hasn't fixed its problem with the "adult warning". Will go back to posting at my WordPress blog)

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Depression and sadness

I've seen several commentaries and discussions which treat depression and sadness as the same thing.  They are not.

Sadness is an intensity of feeling.  It's akin to grief and sorrow and loss.  It hurts.  It has colour and depth.

Depression is the absence of feeling.  It's greyness.  Indifference.  Akin to exhaustion and tiredness and weariness.  Nothing seems to matter.  Everything is too much trouble.  Life is flat and dreary.

Of course, sadness and its brothers grief and loss can lead to depression, as they did in my case. Over a period of a year  or so, someone I thought loved me as a friend dropped me; my best friend's wife died; my father-in-law died.  I lost some illusions and I grieve for them still.

As time when by, my grief lessened, but my disillusion deepened.  It came to seem to me that people I had trusted had betrayed me, that those who appeared to love me did not in truth, and those who were truly fond of me were dead.  To add to my depression, I had to take a massive pay cut at work (one still not reversed).

Gradually my depression eased too.  But still it is there, lurking just out of sight, and sometimes, it returns though, thankfully, never as bad as it was at the worst.  However, the cynicism and doubt engendered by the behaviour of my "friends" and of the universe have not left me, and I have to work hard to keep going.  When you are depressed, you do what you have to and what you can.  And everything else slips by the wayside.

So, like Lord Peter Wimsey as he worked through his post-war shell-shock, I play patience.  Endlessly, hour after hour.  And I read and reread old familiar books (Dorothy Sayers among them)  and watch old familiar films on DVD (Miss Marple, Star Wars, Poirot).  Drink helped get me through the evening, but I'm not drinking now. Sometimes I have enough energy to write.  To play my clarinet or sax.  But often I don't.

Well, what I suffer is no more than what millions of others have endured, and here I am after all, surviving.

I make a point of being grateful for something every day.  I make little lists of things to be glad about.  This makeshift philosophy works.  Sometimes.

At any rate, tonight is one of the nights when I just don't want to do anything.  I'm reading Lois Bujold with enjoyment, and when I've reread all her books, I will move on to Mary Stewart.  Or Miss Marple.  Or Star Wars.  And glad it is I am that I have even those distractions.

Onwards and upwards.

No comments: