I was a cute kid. I have the pictures to prove it. My parents’ first child, with my dad’s parents living across the street and Mom’s mother in the next town, I got lots of attention. Mom was a singer, so there was always classical music in the house on the radio, or sometimes Broadway shows on the record player. I was bright, too – how many kids know the second verse of “Deck the Halls” at age 2 ½? I did, and I have proof of that, too.
But I was also born with the seeds of manic depression. Always wanting to be in the spotlight, I was, under that bubbly exterior, horrifically sensitive to being laughed at or otherwise humiliated – something that would worsen severely as the years went by. Continue reading
Feed the cats, rinse the cans and lids, put them in the recycling. Easy. But in depression, the cans simply get tossed into the sink.
Bedtime. Dry my nose, tear the paper off a Breathe-Rite, pull off the adhesive tab covers. Throw the paper and the two little tab strips away in the wastebasket beside the bureau. But now I look at the bureau and there are four sets of papers and tabs there in a neat pile, never thrown away.
Hungry. Just a few days ago, I made myself a hamburger on toast and a bowl of Brussels sprouts. That meal is delicious and takes about 20-25 minutes to make. But now, as depression deepens, that’s too much time. Make a can of Campbell’s bean soup. Five minutes. Too long. Frappucino. Open the top and drink… 15 empty bottles on the desk. Continue reading
Depression turns things upside down, backwards, inside out. Early this afternoon, after accomplishing nothing in the morning, I was trying to push myself to get going – to do housework, to do some garden work or, most important, to do some WORK work. And all I wanted to do was go back to bed. I didn’t even feel sleepy, as has been the case the last few days when I’ve taken naps. I just felt the overwhelming urge to get back in bed.
As I tried to work on myself, the mental message gradually changed. First it was, “I’ve got to get moving.” Then it was, “I’ve got to get moving, but I really want to go to bed.” It moved on to: “I can’t go to bed, I have too much to do!” and then, “I’ve got to stay out of bed…” and finally, “I can’t stay out of bed.” Continue reading