I wish I could say that my depression rolled in like a weather front, black clouds heavy with self-loathing and self-doubt, easy to spot and take precautions against. But it’s not. It’s more insidious than that, moving in on little cat feet in the dead of night when I can’t sleep making me puzzle over some remark I made off hand or something that didn’t go quite right or some perceived unsatisfied “should.”
Withdrawing from contact with other people seems like the most natural reaction; after all, if I can’t stand my own company who else would want to be around me, right? It’s also the worst possible thing I can do: with only my own perceptions as feedback the hole underneath me can do nothing but get deeper and deeper as the cycle turns and I, eventually, find fault with the very fact that I exist. Yet, I have no alternate plan.
Last night we had dinner with one of The Girlfriend’s friends from college and her new girlfriend who were in town unexpectedly. We hadn’t seen this woman in about eight years. The last time we saw her she was in the middle of a long-term relationship with someone else. Inquiring politely, we were told a very long story about S’s method for dealing with her depression: she went to bed for three years.
I kid you not. According to The Friend, S. would get up, go to work, come home, and go to bed. That’s it. End of story. Last night it struck me as sort of a silly way to approach something. Today it’ seems like a not bad idea.