Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Post Title

I am not feeling right.
I haven't been feeling right for nearly two weeks.
I missed a day with my brother and his family because of this.
I think I should set up an appointment with the brain doctor, but I'm afraid that he will change my medication which will force me to see him once a week and will also make me miss visiting my brother and his family near the end of September.
The trip is an hour or more, depending on traffic, each way and is about 100 miles there and back again.
Add to that an hour, about, of me trying to find new ways to say the same things I've been saying for the past eight months.
I wish there were a brain doctor with 20 miles who took my insurance.

I've been screwing up at work.
Not big things, but minor ones that may one day add up.
Mostly I transpose numbers and write things like 286 rather than 268.
Once, that I know of, I forgot to change/correct a phone number and left it alone when I realized my mistake.
Piles are growing on my desk.
They are sort of organized piles, but they look awful.

I think I scare my dad.
He seems more off-put by me than he used to be.
While he was here, my brother spent time explaining what depression is like to my dad.
My dad has a very hard time understanding what something is like unless he's experienced it and he hasn't experienced anything like this.

My mom says she's had bouts of depression, but she had kids, a family, and couldn't give in.
The thing is when she was my age, I was 16.
My brothers weren't much younger.
I don't know, but I don't think that she had extended periods lasting weeks, months, years.

Recently, I've read a lot about how depression needs to be talked about more.
So people understand it better.
That way it won't have as much of a stigma.
I'm not sure, though.

The whole Robin Williams thing has brought depression/suicidal ideation more to the public discussion, but how long will that last?
Especially when people keep on believing that someone like Mr. Williams had nothing to be depressed about, let alone kill himself.
Thinking like that makes it very hard to discuss either.

By that thinking, I have nothing to be depressed about.
I'm the privileged, white male 25- to 39-years old.
I grew up in a safe place and live in a safe place.
I have two parents who, although there were some severe bumps, have stayed fairly happily married.
I work in a job that I don't hate for a boss that I like and respect.
I make enough money that I'm not living pay check to pay check and can spend a little extra on a trip or useless pop-culture things without having to worry.
I'm content being by myself because I rarely feel lonely.
I have a car that runs and more than enough to eat.
Yet I know how Mr. Williams felt and understand why.

I read a post by some British guy that pointed out how silly it is to ask what Mr. Williams had to be depressed about.
If he were hit by a car would you ask what he did to get hit by a car?
If he died of cancer would you ask what he ate to get cancer?
Probably not.

Even worse has been reading about how Mr. Williams was selfish or a coward or an attention seeker.
We don't really think in those terms.
Selfish implies that something is taken from the people remaining so that the person leaving can gain.
There is unlikely anything to be gained; most of the people who claim to know what happens next believe the Mr. Williams will be punished while those who don't believe expect there to be nothing.
The attention seeker thing comes from people who are always surprised that a person could do this.
These people who are surprised by suicide will be shocked no matter how the act is done -- even when done quietly and privately like Mr. Williams -- because they cannot, or refuse to, believe that a person can give up on the ultimate gift.
As for the coward, that's much harder.
If you believe, as I do, that bravery is doing what you are scared to do, then maybe they are cowards.
The problem is that we can't know what is/was in a person's head.
We can't.
Can any of us say that to live with chronic pain is brave?
Maybe it's not fair to compare depression with chronic pain.
I don't have chronic pain, but major (clinical) depression doesn't go away.
If you're lucky, sometimes it's less worse, but it's never great and there are no cortisone or steroid shots for depression.

What you choose to do about depression is a choice.
Mr. Williams choose to get help, go to rehab, talk with his family, and then choose to never talk again.
Some people choose to focus on waking up tomorrow and then waking up the next tomorrow and the next.
I choose to believe that there are a few people I would hurt and choose not to hurt them.
I choose to get up and go to work even though I wake up every morning and I don't want to go to work or even climb out of bed.
I choose to hold to the few commitments I have in the future.

After that

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