“Depression is anger without enthusiasm”

26 Sep

I love the mental health office. I always feel so sane after going there. The buttcrack, the body odor, the slightly glazed look of anti-psychotic drugs, the patient histories left lying around so you can read them.

Good times.

Knowing you’re on the same drugs as a paranoid schizophrenic-priceless.

I hate going into the office and having to worry about what I say regarding my parenting. I mentioned something about the girls being up until 11am, and I could actually feel the hackles rising, evaluating. Constantly wondering.

So I have to watch my words. That delicate balance of what’s enough and what’s too much-what might cause disruptions and what needs to be said.

I hate this. It tires me out. Expounding on my list of side effects to be ignored-couldn’t possibly the drugs ever right? Let’s raise the levels. Cause the mental fog hasn’t already cause enough of it’s own problems-let’s increase the dosage possible and make it worse.

But hey, at least she’s finally checking my blood levels. She didn’t blink when I mentioned the twitching though.

I want an easy life. I want your life. The normal trauma’s of a normal life. Birth. Rebellion. Entitlement. Being humbled. Worries about money instead of worries about suicide. I want to never think about how scared my husband must have been that day when I blubbered on the phone that I wanted to die, and I didn’t think I could resist the allure of the bottle of Advil at my desk much longer. I want us to fight over the little things, toilet paper and dirty dishes, and die of old age, holding hands on a porch in the late summer.

I want a life to live, a life worth something. I want to be worthy of my own devotions, that of my daughters. I want to make as much noise as I want without worry. I want to feel safe.

All of this flies up from 30 minutes in the beigest office on earth, with that new carpet and paint smell, sterile all the same. The colorful creepy pictures on the walls for kids too disturbed to notice anyway. Feeling oddly sane in the midst of all the real crazy.

That’s what gets me at the core. I don’t feel “that” crazy. I feel just crazy enough to know how much I’m fucking shit up. Because I’m not one of those bipolar people with oodles of productive manic periods. I had two weeks in July-the longest period I can remember ever. I’m usually lucky if I get a day before it turns to rage. I don’t get time where I’m a success. I get by. I function. I compensate.

I’m heartily sick of getting by and compensating. I always believed I would do something with my life.

I guess being the least crazy person in a room once in awhile is as good as it gets.


10 Responses to ““Depression is anger without enthusiasm””

  1. My Gorgeous Somewhere September 26, 2007 at 9:16 pm #

    You don’t want my life, trust me. I have kidney disease from being a good patient and taking my lithium for eight years while doctors assured me it was perfectly safe. I am 36. It’s too young to be sick with this chronic illness, and by that I mean the kidney disease ~ the bipolar disorder I can hang with.

    Your post is gorgeous. Thank you for sharing all that you do here.

  2. sweetsalty kate September 26, 2007 at 10:44 pm #

    I know what it’s like to feel like everyone else has it easy. I look at you with your two healthy, alive children and think “Sheesh! She shouldn’t have a care in the fucking world.” and meanwhile you look at me with my lack of mental health issues and think “Sheesh! She shouldn’t have a care in the fucking world.”

    So we’re both standing here coveting various aspects of each others’ lives, and it should dawn on us that the whole scene is, really, pretty silly and pointless. That’s where cold beer comes in.

    Can we ever really do that, though? I wish. To feel it at first but then leave behind the whole notion of unfairness in the receipt of life blessings (and/or life hits)… that would be a zen state. To say to oneself, and truly believe it: “This is my life, and it is what it is.”

  3. Jason Dufair September 27, 2007 at 12:06 am #

    Despite my rough road over the last two years, I have a pretty fucking great life and I would give it to you if I could, Thor. And you too, Kate. And you too, Gorgeous Somewhere. Glad you have your kids. Mine are my buoys and my anchors and my rudders and other marine-type-things-that-provide-a-sense-of-place-and-direction.

  4. Gabriel... September 27, 2007 at 9:14 am #

    Why are they dragging you into the office? I don’t want to brag, but I haven’t seen my case worker in over a year…

  5. thordora September 27, 2007 at 9:25 am #

    I know my life could be a lot worse. And there are many people who I don’t look at and think, “gee, they have it easy.”. Kate-I’d never survive losing a child. MGS, I’m terrified that one of my drugs will eventually do something bad to me.

    But there are people who have little to complain about, and yet they do. Their lives, in comparison, are simple and pain free. I want that. I’ve always wanted that. I want a life that doesn’t leave me constantly wondering “what the fuck NEXT?!” Everytime I turn around, it seems like something else is happening.

    I’m grateful for the good things in my life, and look at them wondering how I got them. I didn’t want kids, but have two healthy, smart awesome kids. Never thought I’d be married, and yet I’m approaching ten years with the love of my life. I have things to be happy about, when I don’t fuck shit up.

    I’m being dragged into the office Gabe because this is my first appointment out of the hospital-they need to check levels, make sure I’m not still going nuts, all that good stuff.

  6. Marcy September 27, 2007 at 12:16 pm #

    I’m with Kate… there is a certain peace, and even a certain freedom, in accepting that reality is what it is, even though it’s not what it should be. Getting by and compensating are HUGE battles, and I honestly think everyone’s doing it. And I hope you keep writing here, because this is one path of friendship.

  7. Jenny September 27, 2007 at 1:01 pm #

    It makes my dumb-ass mental illnesses seem so much more workable…but only because I’m not in a dark hole now. When I’m in it all looks bad…no matter what the details are.

    Peace to you.

  8. bon September 27, 2007 at 9:03 pm #

    having things to be happy about isn’t the same, though, as knowing how to be happy.

    and god, i don’t mean that to be trite…i mean that to say i know you KNOW you’ve got some good things, and some things you’d never trade for, and some demons and history that haunt you and hurt. and teh crazy, whatever precisely that is. i don’t hear you lacking for gratitude for the good things…i don’t think anybody else who wrote does, either. i hear you saying, “but this still doesn’t address the giant hole that threatens to swallow all that”.

    and that’s what i wish our mental health system could do, is teach us all to fill up those holes. but…nope, beige room.

    sorry for that.

  9. My Gorgeous Somewhere September 27, 2007 at 9:36 pm #

    MGS, I’m terrified that one of my drugs will eventually do something bad to me.

    It’s a very valid thing to be worried about. Of course you know all this, but what I have learned from my experience it to always be my own advocate, to find the best doctors I can and get new ones if I don’t feel I am being heard, to never take what anyone tells me about medicines for granted (which means doing my own research and staying on top of the latest research because what is known about a medicine can change, and your doctor won’t always have the latest or best information), and to keep track of all symptoms and tests myself so I have them at the ready and can piece my story together.

    I’ve also learned not to assume there’s no problem with test results just because nobody calls to tell you there’s a problem. Turns out my kidney disease started in 2003, but my doctor never told me about my abnormal tests. I never saw that doc again because I moved across the country, so it was not until this year that I realized something really bad was up with my health. Even then I had to demand a creatinine clearance test when my doctor didn’t think it was warranted.

    So I just found out (after I left my comment yesterday) that after at least for years of kidney disease, and after wrangling with that for almost a year ~ the symptoms, the tests, the doc visits, etc. ~ my disease has reversed. Going off lithium saved my kidneys. I feel lucky.

    You will be lucky, too, Thordora. I don’t mean that in an empty or vapid way. You are doing all the right things. You are asking all the right questions. From what I’ve read here, it seems like you are being your own advocate and insisting that you be listened to and taken seriously. I can’t even imagine all you’ve dealt with, but I know you are doing all you can and that someone will ~ has to ~ listen and that things will turn in your favor.

    You talked about wanting your life to mean something, to amount to something. Just look what you do here every day ~ the way you communicate, your honesty. I am sure you are an inspiration to many more than you realize. You are to me. (So thank you again.)

  10. Amy September 29, 2007 at 5:58 pm #

    I stumbled across here, and couldn’t help but be captivated by this post. I just wanted to say that I’ll be thinking of you and I hope that things get better. Depression is never an easy thing to deal with. Thanks for sharing this, its nice to know that someone else feels the same way as I do.

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