For you, the dress code is casual.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

It's Just So Weird

I wouldn't have thought my mindset could do a 180 as fast as it has. I'm pretty stunned by the change in headspace, and though I know I'll have moments when the darkness creeps back, I'm just enthralled by the sight of any light at all. That there's as much light as there is just has me slack-jawed and baffled. Not that I'm looking a gift-horse in the mouth, now.

Depression can be a gift sometimes. It's that rare opportunity you get where you have absolutely nothing to lose by confronting all that's wrong with yourself. I mean, you despise yourself and your life anyhow, so what's the risk, right?

I think I've dealt with this right. By forcing myself to write almost every spare moment I had, I've more or less really opened up some observations for me to tackle now. Even better than the writing are some of the moments I spent podcasting-practicing on the weekend. Listening to the tracks over again, and recording without script, I was surprised at some of the insight I'd spoken.

Not that any of you will ever hear any of it. I think the lion's share of that is going to remain as spoken journals, squirrelled away for some year down the road when I want to sit back to hear myself as I once was. I really laid myself bare in that audio and it took me by surprise, as much of my past week has. Something about spoken word seems more raw and stripped than writing can ever be, and I've been caught unaware in just how honest I was able to be.

I was scared of that. I was scared of speaking truth and being honest. I didn't know what I would learn of myself, and I guess what I've learned is that I'm better at finding an inch and taking a mile from it than I thought I'd be.

(I'm realizing now that the depression has been around since last August, nearly a year. This whole year has been pretty intense. There was a short reprieve, when I met someone I liked and enjoyed being with, and I was able to pretend for a while that I really was myself. I think I was lying to myself then, but that the relationship -- as many of them have a tendency to do -- allowed me to pretend my life and myself were better than I secretly knew them to be. This mindset was present before the relationship, and as soon as trials and tribulations rained down, it returned with a vengeance. That's the reality. And now I'm getting the clarity that allows me to see that, instead of just throwing blame on whoever gets in my way. Another one of my many faults.)

I had decided at some point last week that the only way I'd see my way through this was through accomplishing things I'd had my mind on for some time, but it took me a couple of days to get into that groove. Now, whether it's a weekday or otherwise, the first thing I do when I get up is Things. I get shit done, then I take a bit of time for myself, and then I move on. Before, I'd get up, and sit down. That was it. I'd think of all I had to do, then I'd be weighed down by it.

How stupidly simple it finally seems to be. Do things, feel better. Wha--? Huh? It's that easy? But no, it's not just that, it's my chemistry returning to normal, too. I'm ramping up on vitamins, making sure I get 7 hours a night of sleep, and fighting hard to keep some time to myself. I think I was doing some of this before. The odd thing is, I suddenly can barely remember much of the last month. It's not like I was sitting around on drugs all the time or something. A little, yes, but there's no way I should suddenly barely remember any of the last six weeks. I guess I really was in a different place, quite possibly I was entirely a different person.

Oh, god, you have NO idea how much a relief it is to feel this, this ebbing of sorrow I've got. That shroud's sort of being tugged off and seems almost completely gone. I'm almost wary of it, that this is too quick. How can it be this fast? How can a shift come so suddenly? Can one stupid little pill really hurt someone this much? I'd never have guessed. Ever.

I've never been suicidal, but the closest I've ever come was last week. Scary shit, that. Scary, scary shit. I was shaking in the night one evening, balling my fists, praying morning would come quickly. I was headed that way for a couple months (and keep in mind it was a three-month cycle of pills) but the bottom came up fast, much like the Glass Elevator in Willy Wonka. I saw it coming but it still shocked the hell out of me, and now its arrest leaves me gasping in bafflement.

And the funny thing is, the thing I feel strongest right now is gratitude. Both that it's over, something I'm feeling more confident of with every passing hour, but also for what it's taught me. I'm still doing the therapy this week, and hopefully for a little longer, because I really disliked realizing that all the qualities I've always disliked about myself could still be so present. I've been working on them for years. I thought I was further than that. Perhaps I am, perhaps the chemistry can make dormant elements conjure. I don't know. What I do know is, I don't like what I saw, and I'd be happy if it only ever appeared again in a rearviewmirror.

This will probably be a good journey. I suspect I'll like myself more than ever once I acknowledge more of this and work through it. Depression really can be a gift, if you know what to look for. I'm glad to be nearer to the other side, and wonder just how much distance I might just attain.

And now I have to stop sitting around naked (I had clothes on, I got shit done, and now I've been enjoying the post-shower moments) and dress and go to work. Bah! :P I have to confess, though. I've secretly been enjoying the notion of sitting naked behind blinds while, three feet in front of me, cute construction guys keep climing up and down the FUCKING LOUDEST, RATTLINGEST ladder ever. It's nice to see my playful side emerging again. Where the hell did she go? Whew. Welcome back, indeed.