Friday, 2 January 2009

Life Is Shit vs Mood Disorder

How to live through terminal hopelessness. I'm not even talking depression per se. I'm talking being aware of what it is in our human condition that any 'sane' person would get depressed by.

I'm not going to list the glooms. They are far too many. Be reassured Guardianistas, you'll starve if the shit hits the fan, as will we all. It is amplified when you have children (so spake the Guardian reader who feels the need to have a bath these days afterwards...)...

Ok, off the track already.

I have felt hopeless since I was at junior school - the playground was the setting for the scene where the brain clicked and god vanished. And the full Beckettian (Beckettish?) horror filled the gap. Nuit et Broiullard did for me the year or so after.

Since then, as a small child, the age of my eldest, who to me is just a babe, I was not-fully (how could I be at that age?) but definitely cognizant of the dreadful banality of life. I think it was fourteen or thirteen I wanted to stab a knife up behind my ear, and my parents clucked and interrogated when I mentioned it some while later (before forgetting it ever happened).

Fast forward.

It didn't get better. In many ways it got far worse. But always it felt (feels) like a race, a competition of myself against my knowledge. Sometimes I want to flop down at the edge of the road and say yes, enough. Other times I'm so far ahead of the rest of the tramping file they can't hear what I'm telling them about the lie of the road ahead.

When I flop, I remember that I can run to the front. When I'm too far in front, I flop, so I can catch up with people again, real communication, not garbled gabble.

It is too simplistic to relate a mood-disorder to a jaundiced view of the human species. The former only complicates. And perhaps facilitates survival.

I have known what it is like to flop and get left so far behind there is only the blizzard for speech, and the wind for touch. Then I eventually get up and start sprinting to catch up.

Life is a meaningless pile of dung. But it's all we have. And whatever we do with it is our own prerogative. Peggy Lee said it best, among many others:

And of course, perhaps the emergence of the disorder is simply a symptom of the life we are forced to live.

Keep safe everyone.


Lola Snow said...

How bloody true. That's all I have to add. We hold on to what we can, practice however, makes not perfect, but enables us to learn to manage the size of time much better. AS mood disorder devours your concept of time, which becomes elastic.

"but I feel shit now" is the answer when low, but everything is forever when a good mood stikes.

Maybe we need special watches...

Lola x

differentlysane said...

Thanks - I appreciate the thought. I'm sure if I wasn't so down I'd agree with you.

Take care,

LoopyKate said...

With mood disorders - on certain days life is brimming over with many and myriad significances. On others it is utterly devoid of sense or meaning. All this sprinting then flagging then sprinting again and so on, it simply exhausting.
These days, i try not to have any expectations of life - or too many of myself. That way things seem a little less 'hopeless'. And when a good day or even a good half hour comes along, I regard that as a bonus and try make the best I can of it.
We need to be kind to ourselves. Sometimes that's the hardest thing and takes years to learn.
But I won't ramble...
A Happy New Year to You!

colouredmind said...

"the emergence of the disorder is simply a symptom of the life we are forced to live". Too true, its uncanny. Hannah X

Becky said...

Wow it is so nice to hear from other's who suffer in much of the same way that I do. I have been dealing with depression since I was 14. It has taken me until now to finally come to grips with it. I think that it was Cynthia Sabotka's book,
"Life is Like a Line" that helped me realize that I was depressed. The book is very educational and inspirational and has helped me learn how to deal with my rollercoaster of emotions.

Abysmal Musings said...

Thanks everyone.