Taking a look at my life, I've realized that I would make a really good case study in clinical depression. I have spent every year since my early teens with at least a portion of my time depressed to some degree. Some years I've spent more time in such a state than I have in a "normal" (IE non-depressed) frame of mind. Sometimes there is an isolatable trigger event which brings it on, other times it is completely random and nothing appears to be linked as a causal factor. I've learned over the years to work around it, and to (mostly) hide it from easy observation by the general public. There are points when I've been much more successful at hiding it than others.
I have no reason, at the moment, to be depressed. My life is pretty much back on track. The past is the past and there's nothing to be done to correct various mistakes, so there's also very obviously little reason to dwell on them or cry over them. The decisions that needed to be made have been made, and now it's simply a matter of living with the consequences of those decisions and getting on with the act of living. Everyone's life has the occasional hitch in their git-along, so my life is not exceptional in that regard, to dwell on the various current problems or lack thereof.
Why, then, would I have feelings of random despair, hopelessness, dejection, and basic "meh" towards life? It makes no sense, but that is the crux of clinical depression after all. Random, baseless, feelings of ick on the emotional level when things should be looking more up than down.
The rational, cogent brain reminds me frequently at times like this that I have the capacity to bring myself out of such slumps. The other portions of the brain then proceed to whine a bit, crawl into a hole, and flip the bird at that rational, cogent portion.
Depression on this level is a complex and evolving organism which tends to take on a life of it's own. There's never any way to really know what's going to set off the loop. Random thoughts can trigger it even when everything looks positively peachy otherwise. It is, however, a rather nasty downward spiral which is ever widening and which tends to feed upon itself. It affects not only a person's emotional responses to what's going on in their life, but their physical well being. And left long enough, nothing short of serious medication and intensive therapy will pull a person out of the down leaning trend.
In a way, this blog is it's own form of personal therapy. It gives me an opportunity to vent my various frustrations with life in a manner which no one else is Obligated to deal with. It imposes on no one but myself to ever go and read, or re-read, the various ups and downs and personal opinions which I write about. It has no critical voice on the other side of the conversation, telling me to suck it up, or that it's not as bad as it looks - or not as Good as it looks, sometimes - to either worsen or brighten my mood based on the other person's understanding of my drivel. In many ways, it's a much cheaper (and less judgmental) route than going to see a professional, and it precludes me having to explain to a psychiatrist why I'm vehemently opposed to 99% of the medications currently on the market intended to treat my various emotional and mental problems.
No doubt I'll continue to blog, both drivel and opinion, for a long time to come. After all, there's still a lot of crap for me to work my way through in some form or fashion, and this one seems to be working.
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