Tuesday, April 26, 2011

April Showers Sometimes Bring...the Blues

It’s April 26th. That date conjures up mental images of flowers blooming, trees leafing, birds chirping…bright blue sky and puffy little white clouds…balmy breezes and a feeling of hope and renewal. Here are some pictures of the blooming business…my daffodils and a lovely cluster of my yellow tulips.

What the pictures don’t show are the teeny little snowflakes that are swirling around me, as I stand in the middle of a very wet lawn with sandals on. (Sandals, of course, because…it’s...um...well, Spring.) We’ve had unusually wet weather (and cold, did I mention cold?). It’s causing a lot of concern because we’ve got a very large snowpack in the mountains, and that puppy’s gonna blow when we go immediately into 90 degree summer weather. Which we will. It’s inevitable. (Do you have your inflatable raft ready? Are you filling your sandbags even as I speak?) Fortunately I live on the Orem hill and flooding isn’t likely.

Normally (what with the date and all) I’d be longing for the chirping, blooming, leafing, blue-ing, puffing and balming. But the current weather is actually a suitable accompaniment for my on-going mood. I should probably move to somewhere gray – like Seattle. I’ve actually thought about it…but Mt. Rainier really scares the crap out of me. I might experience times where life doesn’t seem worth living (see paragraph below)…but I don’t particularly want to drown in a molten river of lava or be fried by a pyrocastic flow. (I saw all those pictures of the excavations at Pompeii and I know what I'm talking about.)

I’ve struggled for years and years and years with depression. Clinical depression. The official diagnosis is Dysthymia. It isn’t as severe as MAJOR DEPRESSION (that just somehow needs caps, doesn’t it…I mean it’s MAJOR)…but Dysthymia is often never overcome. Sometimes dysthymics can sink into a "major depression" – this is known as “double depression.” (Oh boy, two for the price of one…what a deal!) I seem to do this on occasion. I call them “POH’s”. (Pit of Hell depressions.) I eventually re-surface from these, but while I’m submerged it ain’t pretty.

Most of the time I can, if I try hard enough, sort out the “trigger” – what it was that specifically sent me spiraling to the bottom. And quite often a dysthymic’s condition can worsen due to circumstances. I’ve mentioned all the cleaning out I’ve been doing and the reality facing me of having to sell the house, the impending loss of my elderly father and an uncertain future…and thus there are many triggers currently.

These kinds of things can contribute to the average person’s bad mood or sadness…but depression isn’t ordinary sadness. And those suffering from depression aren’t average. There's a reason...and it's chemical.

I watched The King’s Speech on Sunday. (Yes, I thought it was a good movie. Colin Firth was brilliant. So was Geoffrey Rush. And I adore Helena Bonham-Carter. But I’m not sure it was really a “Best Movie.” ) Anyway, there is a particularly painful scene where King George V (well played by Michael Gambon) is berating his son, Bertie (Colin Firth) because of his stammer. He’s irritated and impatient as the poor man agonizingly struggles to get words out. He keeps yelling things like “Get on with it!” and “Just say the words!” (I wanted to scream, “If he could he would, you beastly, arrogant ogre!!”)

People who don’t understand depression are often the same. “Oh, cheer up!” OR “Just get over yourself.” OR “Why don’t you look on the bright side?” (Believe me, if we could see the bright side we’d look there!) It’s not like we want to feel awful and hopeless, we’d prefer to be happy and optimistic. Honestly. (I mean...do you really think this stuff is FUN??)

And very likely (maybe) my spirits will lift (hopefully) if the sky miraculously turns blue and those birds begin to chirp and those clouds begin to puff. (If they ever do!!!)

Are you listening, Mother Nature???

For now,

1 comment:

  1. just want you to know I read it, and I like you:)