The Big D…

I’ve been a little quiet.  But the truth is that this post has been hard to write.  I’ve been sad.  I’ve been sad for a frighteningly long time. In an absent, gray way.  A deepening gray that is increasingly difficult to hide.  Inexorable.  Suffocating. 

My psychologist has gently suggested I try antidepressants.  Because apparently it’s not normal to be idly fantasizing about fatal car accidents or accidental overdoses. I say idly, because I’m not so far in the gray that I’m actively seduced by these fantasies.  And they’re just that; fantasy.  But overwhelmingly, my life feels meaningless and small.  And very, very empty.  And for the first time, I can really understand how a person gets to a point where nothing might feel infinitely better than the absence of everything.

So there it is.  This huge word.  Depression.  Like a typed out label, stuck on the description of me. Defining.  Deafening.  I say this word a lot at the moment.  Testing its shape with my tongue. Hearing the low, foreboding resonance of the “…de…”  The uncomfortable pascals of weight behind the ‘..pre..’.  The cruel sibilance of the “…ssion…”  Surely this word isn’t me.  It’s a word for someone else.  Someone who is isolated and insular?  Because my life is filled with joy and simple pleasure and wonderful lovely things, right?  It was.  It was.  It *is*.  But somewhere along the line I’ve lost the ability to connect with the joy and the pleasure the wonder.  Those things offer themselves to me like hope.  And I hold them in my hands and consider how beautiful they are, in theory.  And how very lucky I am to have them.  But I’m detached.  I wander through my days, one after another, after another, and hope that perhaps tomorrow will be different.  That the day after that will wake me up.

This post has been hard to write because every time I try, I cry. It feels like my throat is closing. It has been hard to write because it feels so banal. So melodramatic.  So filled with pointless, pathetic angst.  And it has been hard to write because writing it down makes it more real.  And puts it out there.  And I don’t want to be this person.  This sad, frightened, gray girl.  So the writing is acknowledgement too.  That things must get better.  Surely?  Because next week I will probably start taking pills.  In the hopes that they will boost my internal chemistry.  In the hope that this is temporary.  In the hope that I will be me again.


Aside: In a small twist of irony, a little under 6 years ago I started this blog as a prompt to get myself off my couch.  In fact, the red couch avatar has always been a kind of metaphor for me, a reminder.  So it’s faintly unsurprising that I’m back on the couch, so to speak.  I just hope the next circle leads up, not down.

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36 thoughts on “The Big D…

  1. daisyfae says:

    i know you’re still in there and there can be joy again for you. the gray shell can be cracked. try the pills. i’ve seen them work wonders.

    cheering madly for you to get through this from halfway around the world…


    • Dolce says:

      Thanks Dais. Was following your Turkish adventure with great interest. Never been there. Thinking I should. (Annoyingly, even travel isn’t delivering the same buzz…so not spending the cash until the pills kick in. Next up… a work trip to Thailand).

  2. I’m glad to see you back!
    Better living through chemistry, I say.

    Funny thing, people are more willing to sympathize with someone who has say, The Big “C”, but if you tell people you have mental anguish, they look at you like you’re a leper.
    I’m a leper too. We stick together.

    Hopefully you start to feel better. Your beautiful soul deserves it.

    • Dolce says:

      I was thinking that, actually, in writing this. That I’d almost wished I’d be ‘diagnosed’ with the Big C…but then that felt very, very weird. Because I sure as hell don’t want cancer either. But completely agree with you. A recognisable, treatable disease is much easier for mates to handle than something intangible and amorphous. I’ve had lots of the ‘snap out of it’ type responses. Helpful. Not. Much easier just to stop seeing people. Which in turn makes things worse. Aaaah. What joy.

      Cheers to lepers.

  3. Rob says:

    Dolce, I have naught to say but that I am here and listening. Sending cyber (((hugs))) to you from half a world away.

  4. Amanda says:

    I suspect that you are far more than a grey girl, but I am familiar with the cloak of bleakness. This post and the gentle conversations you’ve had with your psychologist are a very good move toward shucking the grey.
    Wishing you luck!

  5. Brian says:

    My only real goal for this year is to break out of my own funk. There are some options through a program at work, but I consistently put off making the call. Not sure if that route is even for me. But something must happen. Soon.

    I am so in your corner . . .

    • Dolce says:

      I think there are a couple of us lurking in this corner. Which is in equal parts comforting and sads-inducing. I wish we were all out there, exploring.

      I hope you find a route that works….

  6. nursemyra says:

    “But somewhere along the line I’ve lost the ability to connect with the joy and the pleasure the wonder. Those things offer themselves to me like hope. And I hold them in my hands and consider how beautiful they are, in theory. And how very lucky I am to have them. But I’m detached.”

    Yes, that’s depression. so sorry you’re hurting like this darlin’. wish I could do something to help. Try the happy tabs, they’re not a miracle but they do get you up off the couch and able to participate in life again. biggest *hugs*

    • Dolce says:

      Thanks Nursie. Funnily enough, I can take the detached. Detached is meh. But it’s It’s safe and survivable. It’s the moments of deep gray where I start counting the sleeping pills in the house that scare the crap out of me. Strangely, my deepest, deepest fear about taking the pills (burried under the fear that I’ll never come off them, or that they’ll change me) is the fear that they won’t work. And that the gray will win.

  7. Everyone else has covered the basics. When you break your wrist, you get a cast. When you have cancer, you get chemo. When you have depression, you take some pills. The awesome thing is that there’s a cure for the imbalance.

    And while I’m here, I’ll say that not all gray is bad. It looks fabulous on my cats. I hope your gray takes on a sparkly silver hue soon.

    • Dolce says:

      I’m considering getting cats. To quote the late Kim Jong-il, I’m ronery. I’m think I might just set aside this issue I have with being a crazy cat lady, and just embrace it. After all, I’m a lady. And I’m crazy. It’s just one more small step. Perhaps I’ll get a lovely gray one. To remind me that I can still pounce on strange shiny things, and vomit on the carpet.

      • nursemyra says:

        I got a new cat a couple of months back. He’s a ten year old Siamese with an enormous fang that juts out of his lower jaw. He’s svelte as a ballerina, probably because he watches his weight using the old bulimia method. vomit on the carpet is now officially a part of my life.

  8. kono says:

    I’ve been in a permanent state of melancholy since i was six or so but i’ve never been to far down or up, we do what we have to do to survive and so if it’s pills or therapy or skydiving you do it, hell i’ve been self medicating since i was 16 and i seem to be alright 😉 and for the record i love gray, i believe you to be beautifully gray and there’s nothing wrong with that…

    • Dolce says:

      Since you were six? I can imagine dinner conversations. Mom and pop: have some more corn baby boy. Kono: Corn. Oh, the corn of doom. I weep for the vast sea of corn, cut down in its prime. Run free corn, run free.

      Actually, I’ve always had ‘the sea’ as I like to call it. Because before it was gray, it was tidal, and linked to the moon’s meanderings. But I think I’ve drowned in it’s deep gray blue. Well, perhaps not drowned. But I’m definitely growing scales.

  9. Robin says:

    Hello there ol’ dessert of life, I could recommend a book, it’s kinda like those pills if a little more leafy. The Zen Path through Depression by Philip Martin, it’s very good I recently read it but not for big D reasons.

    Other than that we should have a drink and discuss your problems in depth, just not longer than say 15 minutes because it all repeats after that

    • Dolce says:

      Hey hey, Mr 302. How odd. I was thinking of you just yesterday, as I ambled through a black south easter along the promenade. I wondered if you were still cycling into the horizon of your window? If you were still at big bad oil and gas? If you were still making the most important albums of the year, and what last years was like.

      A drink would be good. I’m still on all the old digits and bytes.

  10. twin says:

    what (s)he said.

    ps: i did a happy dance inside when i saw that you were posting again…

    • Dolce says:

      Hey twinlet. Do you know that I have 3 different kinds of happy dances. The beedle dance, the ho down massive and the bounce. For different occassions. I can still do them (and I do). But it’s a little bit of theatre at the mo. I like happy dances though. Glad I gave you one 🙂

  11. It WILL pass, Dolce. I would try the tablets, I do take the tablets! Like Nursie said, they can take the edge off at least.
    That loss of pleasure in your favourote things is callled ‘anhedonia’ and it really sucks. The people who say ‘chin up’ and ‘snap out of it’ just don’t understand and are lucky enough to never have been stuck in a big black ditch.
    But some others do understand, the other commenters here for example
    I thank you for writing this post. The more of us who admit to these feelings, the smaller the stigma grows.
    Do try to be kind to yourself, I think that is very important.
    Hang in there, dude. x x

  12. gaz says:

    Glad to see you’re posting again…….:-)

    Surftwin told me the good news.

    Alla sal reg kom! It’s an oldie but a goodie from a very gray guy in a very grey North-west…..

    • Dolce says:

      Gaz. I love quoting the theatre owner in Shakespear in Love (played by Geoffrey Rush) – “It’ll be alright in the end. I don’t know how. But it always is.”


  13. Rox says:

    Am a bit slow on the uptake, so missed this post. I am also in the grey corner, and have had quite a journey of slumps and bumps along the way. I have fought with the Nothing (as I like to call it) for most of my life, but it was only towards the end of last year, after almost a year of therapy that I realised that it wasn’t a personality flaw.

    Long story short, after a few trials and error, my doc put me onto a zen booster medication towards the end of last year that has made more difference than any others I have tried. It is still there, lurking around the edges. And there are still days where I feel like there is no point. But I am realising that there is a point… the point is that life can and will get easier.

    It has the ability to shape our lives and destroy our souls, but at the end of the day, it is a chemical thing. Pills may not be a fix-all approach, but they make it easier.

    P.S. Remember the story of Pandora’s Box. After all the nasty stuff flew out, the one thing left in the box was hope. It was fragile and small, but it was there. Hold on to that, and do what you need to do to get your zen back!


    • Dolce says:

      The Nothing from the Neverending story. EXACTLY! I loves it. What a perfect description. Complete with the same menacing threat of advance from the movie. Galloping along just in front of it.

      And my lovely Rox, thank you. I’m sad that you’re sad. But comforted too, that so many incredible women (like Syncie too) wade through this with me. x x

  14. hisqueen says:

    So glad to see you back..I thought you may have gone that route into the big “D”.. It’s one of the most horrific places to be in. I’ve been in it..At first you don’t see it, then you notice all the little things that are wrong…They start to haunt you and make it so much worse because now you you have to face it…I hated it and myself for so long. I finally snuck out of my house to a counselor to tell her that I scared myself to death by thinking of ways to harm myself and then my kids because if I’m not around who would care for them..It terrified me. I did take pills for a the courage to get divorced and worked very hard for years to pick up the pieces of my life. No more pills but rather a great husband who stands by me when I tell him I’m getting OCD again and getting depressed about my life. He helps guide me and show me all the important things that matter and pulls me back to reality and out of mind consuming depression.
    you’ve made me cry…for you for me for everyone who has depression. It’s a hard terrifying thing to have consume you. I still work very hard to keep myself out of it..
    I’m so glad you found courage to write. I know how hard it must have been for you to put it in type.

    • Dolce says:

      Aaah, Queenie. You have no idea how much your thoughts mean to me. Thank you for sharing…and for knowing. The good news is I really seem to be coming back to myself. (My whole body rises with joy at that thought, but I’m still terrified the sads will come back). I suspect I’m going to be managing this tendancy to sink into blue the rest of my life. But I don’t ever want to be in that place again where things were so bleak I couldn’t imagine another day of the brutalness of it all.

      A huge hug. x

  15. I saw your comment at Nursemyras and popped over. I have missed your posting, and was wondering what had happened. I have been little d depressed, and that was bad enough! You are so right though, people can’t see it as a real disease. I say take the pills. It helped my sister. She says it isn’t so much a cure as a leg up out of the hole so you can see out the top, grab the lip and manage to pull yourself up.

    We’re pulling for you. Here’s a rope dangling over the edge. Bright red so it will stand out against the grey.

  16. Flutter says:

    So glad you’re posting again Dolce! Sorry about the big ‘D’. Have been where you now and had to take some pills. There is no shame in it. I do slip back into that big black hole now and again but it’s not nearly as bad. Had to avoid sad books, movies and songs for a long while.

    The pills help – if for nothing else, they take away those morbid thoughts and helps you get through the day. Hang in there chick. It WILL get better. The greyness will pass.

    To find my way back to ‘colour’ it was like I had to relearn how to be happy. To actively make myself “happy”, when in the past I just was. Doing my own little “happy” things helped. Getting massages like the ones my grandmother used to give me. Painting for no reason other than to get messy. Bubble baths with little duckies. Watching sitcoms and comedies like I did growing up. Putting on my favourite dance song in the middle of the day and dancing like a mad woman. Doing volunteer with children helped me alot. Helps put things in perspective.

    Hope you find your “happy” things again Dolce.

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