The title sounds weird, right? Incoherent and non-sensical. How can you “save up” for depression? What does that even mean? Well, I like to think I coined this term and it means that whenever I feel happy, experience a positive event, feel energized, I try to engrave these moments into my memory so that when I feel depressed, I can revisit them and somehow see the light at the end of the tunnel. Therefore, I “save up” good memories to counteract the awful moments that I sometimes find myself in. It’s not easy, and it didn’t come to me through a psychiatrist or self-help book, although those help as well, but rather through a self-realization that thinking about happy thoughts helps me get through the tough times, usually.
The last time I had depressive feelings was over a month ago and through the entire period I concentrated on my daughter’s birthday that had just passed, and her elation at the event. It helped me get through the depression. I also thought about eating watermelon with my family on a certain hot summer evening and how Isa, the youngest, got watermelon all over her hair, ears, and of course, face. It was enough to bring a smile to my face and motivate me to shower and be ready for my kids.
I am sure that we all have good memories we can look back on, either recent or in the past, that can get us through those tough moments when we feel nothing but despair. It helps to remember that there is a light at the end of the tunnel after all.
I waste time. But not in the same way that I usually do it. I’m always up nights, twittering, reading, working on recent photos. My day ends somewhere between 3 and 4, at which point I go to bed, which alerts the cats to begin their trills of demand for food from my softhearted wife. I use a cocktail of Xanax, Benadryl, Doxepin, melatonin, and my nighttime anti-psychotics and mood-stabilizers to stall my brain into torpor. I sleep well and I sleep deep until about noon or one o’clock in the afternoon, an unconventional hour but one that I can manage thanks to my unemployment and insistence on afternoon appointments.
If I am manic, I forget to take the meds until a later hour and do not feel their slowing until after Lynn has gone to work at nine. I lay in bed, staring at the pockets inside the sheets, groping for rest. Mania purposes me to a different set of activities, First, reading is impossible. My eyes fly over the words, ignoring the middles of sentences and barely noticing the presence of paragraphs. I have missed whole scenes and whole characters when I am in this state. For this reason, as my condition advanced in the late twentieth century, I read less and less. Volumes I wanted to peruse stood on my shelf for years, unopened and stinking of dust. There was no accomplishment during this time except as resulted from my strange habit of digesting dictionaries. Continue reading →