Wait, wait, don’t tell me. (Thank you PBS)
I have it right on the tip of my tongue. It was clear as day just a moment ago. Now that I want to talk about it, I cannot think of what it was I want to say. How frustrating this is. I know that as soon as I move on to another topic, whatever I was thinking will pop into my head.
Will it be too late then?
Let’s say no it will not be too late. Whatever I am thinking will make itself known and I will be able to speak or write intelligently about it. That’s the way it usually goes. I can be quick and humorous. My depression doesn’t care for me if I can think quickly. It is more at home when I am without wit, without humor, and not quick.
Depression loves slow and plodding, like a mule in the mud.
But envisioning mules in the mud, in a field in the rain, is not what I wanted to talk about. In fact, I am sure what I was thinking has nothing to do with mules or any other beast of burden. My depression, however, would be thrilled if I would set my sights on the merits of mules making it through the mud, in the rain.
Surely, I will remember what I wanted to talk about in another moment.
It’s true that the skies do not need to open up allowing angels to descend to the earth. I am not thinking that trumpets will sound and the crowd will all hush at once, eager to hear every utterance I relate to them. The entire auditorium will not be sitting motionless, their attention riveted on what I am saying.
Now I am beginning to think that I will never remember what I was thinking.
This leads me to another discussion about depression is hoping I will never have. Or is it something else? I cannot be sure. What I do know is I am frustrated that whatever I was going to say is jumbled up in my mind. I know it is in my head somewhere, but how to access it is not coming to me.
Depression is so excited that I am stumbling over words, words I wanted to use to share something.
My depression is interested in me listening to it and then following directions. It would be very happy if I just shut up and didn’t say anything. Secrecy has been one of depression’s best tools to keep me in line. First, it brings up a plan. Or it suggests a plan. Maybe it just plants a seed of an idea. At first, I am not very interested.
But over time, I fall deeper and deeper in love with the plan depression hatched.
It’s important to depression that I believe that whatever scheme it is putting in my head becomes my idea. Episodes where I fall the farthest correlate with times when I was most secretive. Pulling back from my support groups, all I have left is depression. And depression is giving its all to make sure I am confident that its screwball idea will work.
Now there are times when I can see behind the curtain and be an informant.
Depression has set it up so that I feel the best when I am alone with my depression. The solitude prevents interruptions and clears my mind. But then I am in the room with my depression. And I want to do the right thing. Coming out of my last trip to the abyss, I am recognizing more ways my depression wants to control my thoughts and my actions.
I am excited that I can recognize some unhelpful thinking before I let it go viral in my head.
Before my time in 5 East, I had no idea what was happening in my mind. It didn’t matter because all I wanted was for it to be over. Analyzing the outcome or thinking about what happened wasn’t in my head. Getting it behind me as quickly as possible had been my plan for over 40 years.
Four days in the hospital changed my attitude toward myself and my attitude toward depression.
Now I am facing my depression. I am saying out loud that “I have depression.” Having learned about tools I can use to better understand my depression, I have worked to make them a part of my daily life. Being able to recognize some of the unhelpful thinking styles depression employs has helped me make better decisions.
And I now understand that I have a support group in my corner, ready to help at a moment’s notice.
So, what was I thinking and why can’t I remember it? Today I am just sort of rambling. No specific thought I want to work on, although it seems like depression was trying to have me think about something. But what it is, I do not know.