Sunday, November 14, 2010


Here's the thing about depression- you hide it.
I've been struggling again for awhile, it had made its appearance all week on and off and I wrote about it some but then I'd cowboy up, cupcake, and I'd write something cheerful or grateful and that's good. There's nothing wrong with that. Nothing at all.

Yesterday I wrote a post that was horrible. Just, so fucking depressing and I deleted it and posted something else entirely which may have hinted at things but didn't go there, exactly.

So when I finally admit it, when I finally come here and write the words that tell how I am really feeling, it seems so very sudden and oh yes, here's Ms. Moon again, babbling on about her struggle with depression, blah, blah, blah, blah, we've heard it before, tomorrow or the next day she'll be babbling on about how glorious it all is, blah, blah, blah.

And I DO feel guilty about being depressed. Fuckin' A, I feel guilty! What right on this earth do I have to feel depressed? Okay, sure, there is adversity, my friend has cancer, the holidays are coming up (and for those of you who don't know me that well, here's a fact- I hate the holidays with a red, royal passion), and oh, I don't know. The fucking beans got frost bit. Who knows why this stuff triggers something in me?

I'll tell you this- I do honestly think it's very chemical. I have bad chemicals. And I take an antidepressant and I hate doing that. I take fish oils. I take magnesium and Vitamin D. All that stuff. And I don't know if I am just DNA'd to suffer depression or if something happened to me in the womb or in early childhood or what, but depression is part of my make-up. Some people meet adversity with renewed determination. I wish to god I was one of them.
But I'm not.
And I KNOW that depression and anxiety limit my life. I dreamed the other night that Mr. Moon was with a group of people, paddling a canoe across a lake to see a beautiful house and there was light everywhere on that lake and the woman in his canoe with him was a gorgeous creature with shining black hair and I stood on the shore and watched these people paddle off and I was so sleep-struck in my dream I couldn't even yell out for them to wait for me. I was stuck in sleep. On the shore.
You don't need to be Freud to figure that one out.

I also dreamed that there was a little girl who had been abused somehow by a predator and he had been seen in the area. She asked me if I thought she should do something about that. And thinking about it, later, of course that little girl was me.

A few days ago I started writing again on a memoir that I started awhile back that I am including recipes in. And I was writing a part about a particular time in my childhood where my stepfather had been at his worst with me and hell- that's a pretty obvious link.
So yes, I should DO something about that predator. Well, metaphorically, at least. But my god, the years I have spent in therapy, the years I have thought about it, worked through it, accepted, fought, accepted again, respected the effect it had on me and cherished the good parts, WHAT ELSE DO I DO?
Yes, I've done burning and release ceremonies too.
Don't ask me to do another. I don't have that kind of heart. If I did, I'd just go to church. Or something.
The supernatural, whether it comes in the form of sage or Jesus just does not work for me.

So what does work?
Exercise. Time. Patience.
Writing about it.
That helps.
And yet, here I go, feeling guilty again.

I write about it and my son calls to check on me.
I write about it and I now it causes my family grief.
I write about it and I am afraid that my friends won't tell me of their troubles or troubled thoughts.
I write about it and I feel tremendously self-indulgent.
I write about it and it eventually passes and then I feel stupid. Why did I write about something that I KNOW will go away?
While it's happening, it's so profoundly affecting.
While it's happening, it's impossible to believe in the logic of the knowledge it will pass.
While it's happening, there is no logic to be found. Oh sure, it's still there. The logic of knowing, though, and the logic of feeling are two entirely different things.
Fucking chemicals.

I stole that picture from The Dishwasher's Tears. I didn't even ask permission. I THINK I saw somewhere on his blog that Tearful said it was okay to use his stuff. Did he or did I dream it?
I don't know but I do know this- I have never in my life seen an image which recreates the visual of how depression feels better than this picture.
Tearful created the image to illustrate grief on July 2, 2010.
Grief. Depression. Fear. Anger-turned-inwards. Anxiety.
It says it all, somehow.

So. Now I've written a self-indulgent post and stolen an image from a writer/artist whom I admire tremendously and I'm not proud of myself.
But I'm not hiding.

And I am going to go out into the world this afternoon. We are going to town to see Owen and get a few things we need.
And I did take a walk.
And I did pick up trash.
Trash which had been hidden by summer's growth but which is now visible as that growth dies back.
I am doing what I know how to do.

And I'm not going to apologize.

(I'm sorry. See- I can't stop myself.)

But as I keep saying- I know I am not the only one. I know I am not alone.
So if you know exactly what I'm talking about, know that you aren't either.

And we don't have to hide. It is not shameful to be depressed or tell the truth about it. It is not shameful to get help. I am going to call the doctor this week and that is one of the hardest things in the world for me to do.
But I'm going to do it.

There. Done.

We go on. As long as it takes. Nothing lasts forever. Etc.


  1. Nobody would feel guilty of complaining about the flu, complaining about a broken rib, complaining about a terrible infection, complaining about cancer,....the list can go on and on.

    Just because you can't SEE depression (which it sort of can been seen at times) does not mean you can't talk about it. That's why it gets worse.....the only way to heal is to let it all out.

  2. Ms. Moon - I ABSOLUTELY know what you're talking about. And when you find yourself in that lowest place it is horrible. I wish it was easier to take it away from you so you only have the ups and not the downs. I take my little pills each day and thank God that I live in today's world where there are little pills that help. Everyone is different, but I do know that I am grateful when depression is just a memory. So I know how you feel.

    If you were standing in front of me you'd get a big hug right now.

  3. There is no shame but I hide it anyway. For some reason the people around me can not handle my being depressed. They get angry. And they kick at me when I'm down. I love that you let it out for both of us. I am with you every step of the way.

    I think somewhere our internal chemical factories go into overtime when the weather or a view or a song or a smell takes us back to someplace that changed us forever and took us where we never wanted to go. And now we are not who we might have been and we mourn the death of that someone because we know they'd have been very special.

  4. REALLY glad you're going to the doctor. And that I didn't haveto say it and feel presumptive :)

    Maybe a different doctor who can specialise in anti depression prescription - it's a hit or miss science, they don't necessarily know how it works, and I think they all work differnetly with different people's chemistry. So... keep trying. There might be something far far better out there for you.

    Keep writing it down... stop apologising for it... etc.

    Take heartxx

  5. There is no shame, and yet, I hide it too. Because for fuck's sake, I'm the manager of behavioral health clinic, and what right do I have to be just like the clients? Why should any of them have any confidence in me?
    So I hide it, and by the end of the 10-hour day of pretending I'm a cheerful, normal person, I go home and barely have anything left for my family. I'm in bed by 8pm because that's the only way I can keep up the charade the next day.
    Life really sucks ass sometimes. And sometimes it doesn't.
    Hope we're both on the 'doesn't' side of it soon.

  6. I've felt utter despair more often than not in the past six months to a year and I've written about it periodically and then not.

    It's o.k.

    You're o.k.

    It will be o.k.

    Love to you.

  7. I'd guess many of us who are weighed down in this way feel obliged to hide it in our daily dealings with people, though of course when depression is severe it's obvious, acknowledged or not. And I'd guess too that your readers are glad you speak your mind.
    Or--that your mind speaks your brain.

    wv: ingspat. Reminds me of being a (fucked up)teenager, studying Rorschach interpretations.

  8. This may be an odd question, but are you off your meds?

    This time of year is so triggering for many people... even ones that don't seem to struggle any other time. And there is a change in the lighting... that's a biggie too.

    I hope you are back to ass kicking real soon. Call me.

  9. Well dear one, I know exactly how you feel and you are right. While it is happening, there is no logic to be found. I got to the point where I couldn't hide it anymore, and it's not easy, but I am getting some help. I'm glad you are calling the doctor. Hugs to you.

  10. No guilt, dear, dear Ms. Moon. Just keep writing it out, trying to get as close as you can to what it really feels like. Chemicals, yes. But you are a sensitive human instrument. It is your art. It has a dark side, unfortunately. Life itself has a dark side. Better to look it in the face, as you are doing. The deeper the shadow, the brighter the light. You are full of light, even in the dark times. You inspire me.

  11. I understand. No shame in writing it out. Wear each syllable as part of your patchwork armor, stiched together with wisdom and fear and joy and another sunrise.

  12. I sure do love you Mama. I hope you never feel guilty to say that you're depressed again, but than again, I know that that's a lot to ask.

  13. I'm glad you're going to the doctor, and I hope you find some answers there. I think modern medicine should have some more options for you. I understand the strange comings and goings of the depression, the feeling of being at the whim of my body, seperate from it somehow, and never knowing which me is going to show up, wondering some days if there is a real me, which one is she? I understand the feeling of defeat asking for help when you wish to be strong enough not to need it. I've held pills in my hand and cried before I swallowed them, or didn't, because I felt weak. I know feeling guilty about how I feel, about wishing to be the sunshiney person for my family, about wanting the darker days back for a do over. I'm learning to tell the truth, it's easier for us all. I feel.... it's the hardest sentence opener for me. I wish you felt better. I wish the past would leave you be. I wish your brain chemistry would regulate. (maybe you need some hormones too? Low estrogen is a bitch) Anyway, I'm thinking of you. I wish you wouldn't beat yourself up for feeling what you're feeling. It is what it is. I wish you could spill it all out and not feel the need to delete it or whitewash it. You're entitled to feel what you feel, aren't we all? There's always somebody who has it worse, but I think life is hard no matter what your situation. Anyway, I'd hug you if I could, and wish it would help. You deserve better, and hopefully you'll get better, with time or meds or whatever works. Be nice to yourself, I know that's hardest sometimes.

  14. being able to talk about it means that although you are not maybe winning this round, you are gonna win the overall fight against the things you spoke of.

    take care dear lady, take care. it's okay to have concrete thumbs and a brittle heart.


  15. You know I know Ms Moon.
    I've been in a similar place for a while now. I tried so hard today to Do As Ms Moon Does (DAMMD). You can thank Elizabeth for that one.
    I thought of you and tried to take comfort and feel gratitude and breathe thru the mundanity (is that a word?) of my Sunday.
    Didn't work today.

    You know I know.
    And I love you so.


  16. (hugs) glad you are able to recognize it. I always take that as a sin of not being too far gone. Maybe thats silly but it helps

  17. I love you love you love you, no matter what, as you love me. I love you every moment, inside and out of me and all my existence is you in me all tangled up. No matter what.

  18. Oh lovely're not alone, you're right. I'm always surprised at how even when I should be blissfully happy (yes god i am grateful for all i have and touch wood dont smite me down for saying it) there are hard days. I think the chemical genetics thing is spot on. Some people are just hardwired for the tendency. Like alcoholism- I lived with an alcoholic for years and I still try to figure out the complexities of that strange seems similar to me...some people are just more prone to certain stuff...and environment and life events push you one way or the other. Hang in there...and don't feel embarrassed for talking about it...I read an excellent piece the other day by an Australian author, I'll look up the link...

  19. I know exactly what you're talking about. I thank you for writing this. It does make me feel less alone. And I hope it helps you as well to get it all out.

  20. Much I want to always, probably too much for a simple comment.

    But don't hide. "We" know you well enough by now that we can read between your lines and know when things are not okay.

    And, we understand.

  21. Why is it that schizophrenic people never feel guilty about that, only depressed people feel depressed and then guilty about it? I think schizophrenia commands more respect in the field of psychiatry. Anyway, I think you may be bi-polar, I've mentioned this before, have you checked that out? There may be meds for this that work better than plain depression meds. But, if you eliminate the lows, you'll be giving up the highs too.
    Regarding your abuser - you're still having issues, I'd piss or take a crap on his grave, if that's not too out of the way for you. If you're willing to risk arrest, take a pick-ax and take a few swings to it too.

  22. I wrote a poem last week that was dark and melancholy and sad and expressed exactly how I was feeling about this hellish illness I live with day in/day out, and then I didn't post it. I posted something else, also a true expression of how I felt, but something not quite so dark. My daughter thought the first poem sounded like I wanted to end it all (which I don't) but I could see how it might read like that and I didn't want to worry people or for that matter dump that weight on them when theirs are heavy, too.

    So yes, I understand how you feel. I think I understand pretty well. We both have things in our body that go haywire on a regular basis despite the things we try to do to prevent it. And it's unpredictable and it's one day good and the next day (or days) bad and on the outside we look okay but inside we're not. Adhesions for me, depression for you (sometimes depression for me, too), and it stinks.

    I've got to call my doc this week too. Tests and bloodwork and I hate it, too.

    Hoping for better days for both of us... keep writing. You are not alone.

  23. NO it is not shameful, and NO, you are not alone. I always feel sorry for people who are too ashamed to speak about it. I feel no shame. It's a chemical imbalance for me--plain and simple. It would be like feeling guilty for having gray eyes.

    I love you!

  24. thought about you all day.

    you take care of yourself in anyway that works for you.

    no apologies. you love and are loved.

  25. Depression isn't anything to be ashamed of--it is something so many people have. I don't know the statistics but am sure that a high percentage of people have problem with their norepinephrine and serotonin levels. I think that doing whatever is necessary to help is good. A person wouldn't walk around without having insulin for diabetes. Mental health is something that we all need to work on. Having everything in the entire world doesn't mean that our bodies don't need some tweaks in the chemicals that keep us healthy. I think that you are courageous to write about it and not deny it.


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