Depression, despair, blah blah blah: whatever one might call it, it’s been a factor of my life for a lotta years — all of my adult life, & some before, at least as far back as the summer after my junior year in high school. Perhaps, given limbo (see below), as far back as sixth grade.
My extensive experience leads to a language about it. Thus, I can classify it into three major modes:
- limbo, which is usually so low level as to be unnoticed except in hindsight;
- the grey, which is functional but emotionally dead;
- the pit, which is quite terrible. I seldom go into the pit anymore, & when I do, I’m pretty fast at getting out again, but it’s highly unpleasant while it lasts.
I’d say I’ve been in limbo for several weeks. Had a brief but very unpleasant bout with the pit early last week, then was okay… & now, for the past three days, the grey.
The grey is like a great grey landscape of bleakness, just dust & stones. Emotionally dead: I can’t rouse me, nor can anyone else, to laughter or fun, certainly not joy; but nor can I be roused to great negative passions like hatred, anger. Annoyance, maybe. It’s hard to talk in any but the business sense, by which I mean I can conduct the necessary communications to accomplish my job, or buy something at the store, but it’s not good for banter, it’s not good for discussion of politics or my feelings, it’s not good for intimacy. Better off to leave me alone. Better for me to be left alone. No, correct that: it’s can be very good to have company, but company needs to be quiet & nondemanding. I need not to be made to talk.
It’s not like the pit, when I desperately need to talk & friends to listen & touch, hold, let me know it will be okay.
So how do I get out of the grey? Pretty much as I get out of the pit, other than what I need of friends is different. So, I get lots & lots of sleep. I make sure I’m still eating well. I don’t have high expectations of myself. I vedge out. I pull back from overcommitments as well as commitments to stuff that prevents me from doing the good stuff (like writing) that feeds my spirit. And when my energy picks up, I do that good stuff that feeds my spirit.
In some ways it’s just as well this is happening: as with last week’s pit, this week’s grey is forcing me to reevaluate a few things, & to make changes that will hopefully kick not just the grey in the butt, but also the limbo that has surrounded me for the past few weeks.
I feel like the grey is kinda dissolving right now. The fact that I can write this is evidence of it. Aa couple more good night’s sleep will probably kick it, enough that I can have more energy to take care of the changes that need to happen.
So… that’s where I’m at…. & that’s where I’m going….