Thursday, August 29, 2013

Living on the Bedge.

This was me, a year ago. It's time to post it. I'm so grateful that I don't have to live there today.
At this moment, I am blogging on the bed. Next to me are two used cups; four cereal bowls with spoons, all licked clean by the dog; two empty yogurt containers, also licked clean; an almost-empty bottle of club soda from a couple days ago; my purse; a couple of used paper towels; and crumbs. Quite a lot of crumbs, in fact, both in and on the bed.

I’ve been living on my bed for the past three months. Eating on the bed. Playing cellphone games on the bed. Listening to NPR on the bed. Watching movies on the bed. This, even though I have a perfectly good living room and dining room and office. My day is spent traversing well-worn paths, and every damned one of them leads to my bed. Which, by the way, is on the floor because I've never put the frame together -- because I won't let anyone in my house to help me.

Depression. I've had it since I was about twelve, although back then I didn't know it had a name. You can see when it happened in the family photos: the light went out of my eyes. There was no there there. Alcohol brought the light back, until it didn't anymore. Later, sobriety brought relief. But even now depression is a frequent visitor. Thank goodness for meds that take the edge off.

Like addiction, depression is cunning, baffling, and powerful. It's just as patient, too, and as subtle.  It intrigues me, seduces me into unlit, unsafe places. Sometimes it breaks the door down with some big calamity like a death in the family. More often, though, it wafts in through the cracks by way of a small mistake, or a brief lapse in integrity, or a familiar sound that reminds me of failure. Sometimes I summon it myself by listening to really dark songs again, and again, and again. The buzz I crave.

Once depression gets a toehold, it takes on a life of its own. It convinces me that I'm just fine, while it reprograms my mind and my heart like malware running silently in the background. Before I know it, I'm in its caress, warm and thick and downy, sequestered from the world like a baby in the womb – but also cut off from anyone who would help me find my way out. And honestly, at that point, I don’t always care if I find my way out or not.

Despair, with an isolation chaser.

I may not even know depression has taken hold until someone asks the right questions. Ask me how I am, and I'll tell you, "I'm fine. Now let's talk about you."
But ask me about my actions: Did you get the mail today? Did you open it? When’s the last time you changed your sheets?  Are there dishes in your bedroom? Have you been listening to sad music? When's the last time you showered? Have you been ignoring phone calls? How many meetings have you made in the last seven days?

By writing this post, I know I’m making the decision to stop. Frankly, I’m not thrilled. But if I waited until I felt like doing the right stuff, I’d rarely accomplish anything of value.
That's as far as I got with this post. Writing about it was all the action I could muster. It was just enough.


  1. No more sad music. I mean it. I will come over there, I swear to God, and dance to old Donna Summer, with fans.

  2. Step one taken. Now continue. Take your dog for a walk. You can't go wrong making a dog happy. Best of luck.