Here we go again

Depression messes with your head. Everything gets out of balance. Little things become too important and really important things get forgotten. Coping skills and capabilities evaporate. So I worry about the ecological and climate change crises, and all the inequities of the world. I can't muster the energy, or the will, to go to work to make other people rich at the expense of the poor.

Is this not reality, rather than depression, you ask? Well, yes... but normally I go on working, trying to live compassionately, trying to help people see a new way. Yet suddenly I have no energy, no patience, no tolerance, and no will left. Except... it's not sudden. The exhaustion and dissatisfaction has been brewing for months, helped along by a job where the rules keep changing, and the task is unclear.

Depression makes cynicism more strident and less accurate about the nature of life, but the old cry of "Stop the world!- I want to get off!" seems more and more appropriate. Everything is going faster. I cannot see how it will all keep going. Even without the political and ecological crises of the world, I cannot see how the pace of life can be maintained. These questions are always here for us, but depression magnifies them beyond being manageable. It throttles my ability to cope, as they grow out of all proportion to reality. Slowly I stop functioning, coping, responding, and simply stop still. I am sick. Part of me does not work. I can walk the dog. I laugh at jokes, cook a meal, go to the shops, but at work I am a liability, my stress dragging colleagues down, my exhaustion misinterpreted by clients as hostility, my judgement off key, the simplest tasks becoming too complex. I sit "spinning my wheels" with fear of the future and loss of my job, eating further into my confidence. I cease being able to do the job. In the next stage, this loss of life leeches into life at home. Even cooking will be too hard.

Am I doing something dumb like drinking too much? Am I putting myself under pressure with rash decisions? No. Am I making silly purchases and going into debt? Or staying up all night reading, or watching TV, eating badly, getting no exercise, not relaxing? Am I simply a lazy slacker? None of these things. Something simply will not work in my brain. I am not able to ''just get on with it." I can see what I have to do, but something won't work, and I can't do it. Will power is either not enough, or non existent.

I am doing all the right things, exercise, prayer, sleep, meditation, and reluctantly, more drugs. But my world feels like it is closing in on me. I can feel the pressure. It will be a close thing.

Posted May 1 2007



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