Depression by Richard Bleil
One problem with depression is that it’s like a wall. Or, maybe, more like a chasm.
Depression stops you cold in your tracks. It saps your energy, destroys your momentum, kills your motivation. It’s not a matter of what you want to do, it becomes about what you are able to do.
I’ve had a rough week. Rough to the point of, quite literally, crying. I feel like I’m stagnant; I know what I need to do, but I cannot. I know what I want to do, but it is impossible. It starts with just getting out of bed, but that’s not in the cards.
I have a good friend that I turn to when things get bad. Frankly, I’m surprised she’s still my friend. She deserves better than she gets from me when I’m like this. But I need her. I need a partner. I need somebody to listen. To tell the truth, I need a partner to hold my hand and give me a hug, which she cannot do. None the less, I’m blessed that she is even willing to listen to me. I reached out to her the other day with one basic question.
What is wrong with me?!?
The psychologists tell me that it’s a problem with my serotonin. I’ve been prescribed serotonin re uptake blockers, basically keeping higher levels of serotonin in the intracellular fluids between my nerve cells. If it’s not taken back up, this “happiness” hormone is more likely to find its cell site to bind to make me feel happier.
I don’t know.
It’s really all chemistry, and I get that. In my mind, I can convince myself of this. I know the chemistry, but it’s like being afraid to fly even with an understanding of the physics behind it. My head knows what’s wrong, but my heart won’t listen to logic.
I’ve noticed that when I was married, I wasn’t depressed. This can actually be linked back to serotonin as well, by the way. Physical content does release serotonin, so maybe, when I’m alone, my serotonin levels really are too low, but the problem is that I’ve been alone most of my life. Unfortunately, that knowledge doesn’t help much when I’m feeling like this.
I’m a logical creature. My mind has dictated my life, and often I can use it to overcome emotional responses, but when I’m depressed, it’s like trying to use a washcloth to dry myself when I’m in a pool.
I’ve been treading the water of depression for years now. And I feel like I’m ready to drown.
I want to get clients for my business but can’t quite bring myself to reach out to begin building relationships. I want to get a second job so I can get my own apartment and begin rebuilding my life but I can’t find a way to fill out the application. I want to write an app for molecular dynamics that can be run like a game but can’t motivate myself to learn a new computing language although I am very experience with teaching myself to program in new languages. I want to get my application materials cleaned up so I can restart the search for a real job. I want…
Well, it doesn’t matter what I want. I have so many things I want to do, so much potential to complete them, but it doesn’t matter. All of the talent in the world, all of the desire, all of the plans but they are of no value if I can’t even get a start.
And that’s what I need.
I need a partner. For nearly my entire life I’ve been alone, and that has been, as odd as it sounds, that’s been an advantage. Being alone allowed me to choose to leave my hometown and attend a very good state college. Being alone allowed me to leave my first job to go to graduate school. Being alone has allowed me to travel across the country for post-doctoral research projects. Being alone has allowed me to settle into cities and states where I’ve known nobody at all.
But, now, being alone is such a horrible burden for me. A partner can help motivate me to actually do something. I can get up every day to go teach because I know that my students are depending on me, but without a partner, the only person I am letting down is me, and I guess I can forgive myself for that.
So how do I get past this? How do I get back on my feet? I don’t even know the pathway anymore. I’m so lost I can’t imagine how to find my way until I find a partner, but how can I find a partner the way that I am right now?
What is WRONG with me?!?