One thing I do when I’m not doing anything because I’m so fucking depressed is roam around the world-wide interweb.
Mostly because I fancy myself a brilliant researcher and, apparently, a Doctor. [Note: I mean, technically, I am – cuz I’m a juris doctor, yo + I am pretty good at researching shit.] So I’m pretty sure I can figure out what is wrong with me and then get the real doctors to fix me. Granted, this has led me down a few rabbit holes. For example, I’m kind of an expert on Cushing’s Disease now. Turns out I don’t have it, but I can diagnose it in other people. I know a lot about iodine deficiency (thank you, commenter!) and iron deficiency and adrenal exhaustion (which I totally have, fyi…) and early-onset dementia and Crohn’s disease and IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) and the Specific Carbohydrate Diet and mercury poisoning and autism and diabetes and Metabolic Syndrome and yeast issues and gluten intolerance and why I should probably be a vegetarian and stop drinking Diet Coke.
I know all of this because I really, really want there to be a reason for my depression that isn’t Mental Illness. And there probably are some physical things contributing to my fatigue/exhaustion/inability to concentrate because, frankly, I haven’t taken care of myself. (I’ve never been good at the self-care thing, but the past few years since Mom’s ovarian cancer diagnosis have been the worst) But it’s all so circular — the physical problems contribute to depression and the depression makes it difficult to impossible for me to take care of myself, which leads to more physical problems, and, well, depression. And guilt. Because, of course, everyone knows things like “diet” and “exercise” and “leaving the house” are “healthy”, including me.
Anyway, I do a lot of research…. but I haven’t found a physical ailment that seems to explain away my depression. Heavy sigh.
I realize that, objectively, I actually have good reason to be depressed – I live with my brilliant artistic mother (with great hair) who is fighting ovarian cancer which means all that shit is coming up for me + I’m going to be an orphan, my grandma (who was like my best friend) died less than a year ago, my other grandma (who was like my Mom’s best friend) died right before my Mom was diagnosed with ovarian cancer, I have no job and rapidly diminishing funds and my son just graduated from high school — which is not depressing, but it is a major life change and therefore an issue.
But this isn’t my first depression-rodeo.
Consequently, I know that, while those things suck and are sad and scary, all of that is distinct from the depression with a capital “D” that drains the life force right out of me. [Note: I’m feeling somewhat dramatic today.] Depression with a capital “D” is not related to anything outside my brain, it just is. And it has been here before. Sometimes (when I’m depressed, of course) I think that depression is my “normal” state and that the times in my life when I’ve been stable and happy/content are the exception to the norm, and, therefore, something to be concerned about.
So, essentially, I’m like Eeyore with a law degree and PMS….
“Good morning, Pooh Bear,” said Eeyore gloomily. “If it is a good morning,” he said. “Which I doubt,” said he.
“Why, what’s the matter?” “Nothing, Pooh Bear, nothing. We can’t all, and some of us don’t. That’s all there is to it.”
“Can’t all what?” said Pooh, rubbing his nose. “Gaiety. Song-and-dance. Here we go round the mulberry bush.”
Just kidding. I don’t think Eeyore suffered from Depression. I think he was a gloomy, sarcastic pessimist (with a pink bow on his tail!), but not clinically depressed. More melancholy-ish.
So, I’m like Eeyore, except more Depressed.
On a lighter note, it is statistically likely that Eeyore and I are eccentric creative genius-es…
Yes. The internet told me that there a remarkable correlation between depression/melancholy and Creative Genius. There is a really high correlation between bi-polar disorder (which I may or may not have, depending on which doctor you speak to…) and super creative writers, artists, poets, composers, etc. But, really, any mental illness will work. For example, it turns out schizophrenia is a good thing to have if you’re a mathematician. (Personally, I question who in their right mind would choose to even be a mathematician, but that is beside the point and, well, schizophrenics, apparently…) And we can see what depression did for Michelangelo…(yep, totally depressed while painting the Sistine Chapel).
Hemingway, Plath, Poe, Tolstoy, Vonnegut = super depressed. Even Charles Schulz (Charlie Brown!) suffered from clinical depression.
I am not even going to try to summarize the scientific studies that have uncovered the link between Mental Illness and Creative Genius, but, basically, it has something to do with how our brains work (“we” being human beings, not “we” Creative Genius-es) and how we process stimuli. Non-linear thinking and emotional vulnerability. Neurotransmitters. Stuff like that…
So. Maybe I haven’t really been avoiding my Brilliant Writing Career, I just haven’t been depressed enough to be inspired?
Well, watch out world, because this Depression is a doozy and might unleash my Creative Genius, finally. 🙂
It’s a theory.
p.s. I found out that “doozy” is a real word, weird, huh?