Thursday, January 6, 2011

When blue days are golden

Today I talked with a friend who suffers from depression, a more pervasive kind than the mood swings I have been experiencing since the steroids used during my transplant surgery in October.  She is a person who works on herself, and she's looking for what you could call coping skills. My doctors and I would rather not add to the medications I have to take, so I've also been working on how to be okay despite not feeling good.
A good color to look at when you're depressed
 Just now something came in my mail that ought to sober anyone up:  a letter from the veterinary clinic explaining why our favorite doctor has not been available for some months:  a neurological disease that began as a virus has attacked his spinal cord and brain stem.  It could have killed him and, the letter says, has left him with a lot of physical therapy to do.  He is young, compared to me, and so caring, so nice.  He always seemed healthy and full of life.

When you feel bad, you just feel bad, regardless of cause.  Depression is complicated.  You perceive the world differently, you think differently, you feel lifeless, you have no enthusiasm.  When I feel like this, it helps me to remember how bad off I could be, to remind myself what other people are going through - people like my doctor, his wife and kids and parents. 

On a bad day, remembering that I am not at all bad off has to take place in my logical left brain, a statement that seems detached from "me."  Nevertheless, it is true, as it is true that a feeling is just a feeling; a mood is just an emotion that is stuck, emotions have no reality, but come and go like the wind.  And there are plenty of things to be grateful for.

A couple of years ago a friend of mine had a heart attack.  I can imagine how frightening that must be, because I've since had two episodes of my heart going out of rhythm.  The second one was so big that I knew - didn't think it, knew - that I could die right then, with no warning, no chance to prevent it.  So I understand when Chris says that every morning now when he wakes up he feels grateful to be alive.  Me too.  Even - if you know what I mean - even when I'm not.

No comments:

Post a Comment