About three weeks ago my brother caught up with this here blog. He worried and fretted and then showed what I had written to his wife. His wife, the kind and sweet woman she is, told him to drive down and see me. Which he did.
However, he didn't tell me. I just got cryptic messages about breakfast and seeing him and I don't really know what. Of course I had a feeling that he was driving down from Oregon, but I hoped, so hoped, that he wasn't on his way. My brother, being my brother, didn't respond to me about, well, anything. His wife, unlike how she usually is, kept cryptic on me and experienced a partial me not being so nice. (This is where I try to tactfully tell the person who they are or what they're doing in child friendly language, but all the subtext comes out as me yelling at them to stop being a fucking asshole and tell me what I want to know, in a very passive-aggressive way. I did, sort of, apologize for acting this way.)
Eventually, I got confirmation from my brother that he was in California and he wanted to take me out to dinner. Nothing about why he had driven nearly 700 miles, but I could guess. I knew what I had been writing and how it would look to someone who hadn't been following daily, but rather read everything in one chunk. Of course, I spent the whole day feeling sick to my stomach because I had made my brother leave his family out of concern for me, which is something I never wanted to happen.
It also made me rethink this whole blogging thing. In part, especially over the last year, this has been a record of just how sick my brain has been. Reading it, you can see the few highs and horrible lows. And I think that's a good thing. Maybe not for me or my family, but there's this sickening cycle of thought on the web that may help other to understand what it's like to be a severely depressed person. A person on meds that worked and then stopped working and the mental and physical pain that's one can go through trying to get back to okay.
That evening we met and we talked. I felt like I was driving the conversation more than him. There are two reasons for this: 1. I'm very good and sneaking conversations onto other topics that are comfortable for everyone. 2. I kept pushing back toward the blog and depression because I wanted to reassure my brother that nothing was going to happen, for the foreseeable future.
It was a weird dinner and a weird after dinner, too.
He left for Oregon so his wife could get back to work. I went back to the house and thought about deleting everything I'd written on the internets, or at least this blog.
Also, while he was in California, he stopped and talked with each of our parents. Our dad, for the first time ever, had a flash of understanding about the sheer insanity this depression thing is made of. I'm not sure what he and our mom spoke about, but she reminded me that I can talk to her and my dad about anything. ("Hi. What'd you do today?" "I stared at the brick corner of the building for a few minutes trying to figure out how fast I'd need to swing my head so I can smash the bricks through my skull and deep into my brain while picturing that exact scenario in my head." "Uhhh...")
A couple of nights later, my dad wrote me a pretty long e-mail, at like two in the morning, which I feel guilty about. In it was all sorts of advice on how to counteract bad things with good. (He's a fixer.) He reminded me that he has felt depressed in his life so he does know what it's like and not to dismiss his advice. I wrote him an equally long e-mail and very carefully laid out what my depression is like; what depression is like when you can find no person, no action, no thing, no emotion to blame it on; how this depression is just being mentally exhausted all the time and knowing, simply knowing, that there is only one way to stop being exhausted and that one way is socially unforgivable. I think he understands what I've been going through better. The other night he was willing to engage me with questions about depression and that's a big step for us.
As for the blog, I don't know. I didn't like the idea of deleting it. It charts the course of my life very well, especially the last year when I decided no one was reading so what the hell. I'm surprised I'm writing this. I still feel very uncomfortable and I'm censoring myself more than I was because it was my fault my nieces didn't have their dad for three days. And that's just one problem that I know I caused.