|Depression and Meaning
||[Mar. 4th, 2008|05:06 am]
Kelly J. Cooper
One of the hardest, HARDEST things to do in the midst of depression is to drag meaning out of the experience.
Not necessarily the fact of the depression itself, which is an unknowable chemical reaction, but the thoughts and feelings experienced and the reaction to the event known as depression.
Part of the difficulty is the complete an utter lack of motivation to do anything but sleep, stare at the television, eat whatever's there, and sigh. I suppose that, without the difficulty in accomplishing this, it wouldn't be a depression, it'd be a different brain event.
But if I just sit there and let the depression wash over me, I get nothing but more depression until some random chemical change, which may or may not have been effected on purpose to achieve just these results, occurs and releases me from the grip.
Right now I'm typing this because I don’t want to do a bunch of volunteer editing that I should do, I don't want to go to sleep because I slept all day, I don't want to play solitaire because what the fuck good does it do me, I've read every post on my LJ friend's list, and there aren't any boogers left in my nose.
Actually, I'm happy to play solitaire for hours, but eventually my hand gets tired and my eyes get achey and guilt, or a sort of wistful wish type of feeling – a faint yearning for productivity – floats to the top of my consciousness and I stop playing long enough to type a paragraph, edit a page, or otherwise justify my existence. Then I play another 20 or 30 games.
I could go fuck around on the Internet, but that would require more effort than twiddling my fingers over the keyboard and trying to chew through WHY I'm so disabled right now.
There is a particular alchemy to misery. A dark blend of sorrow, bad personal hygiene, physical pain, emotional numbness, the angry chorus playing the tape loop of failures and embarrassments ("Who told you that you could WANT THINGS?!"), and a sense of hopelessness that outweighs all knowledge that it will end.
Ultimately, the effort to make some meaning from this mess is almost overwhelming. I don't know if I've succeeded here or just managed to use big words to whine a lot.