I think that no one's ever said this before:
"I sometimes miss being depressed."
It's something that's not supposed to happen and I don't know how common it is - but there it is.
I was depressed by the age of 7 and in the decades since, I've had periods where I wasn't depressed about once every 5 years that lasted 1-3 weeks. Two years ago, I had a good spell of about 6 weeks. Now I've been in remission for about 6 months, long enough that I've stopped waiting for "the other shoe to drop." I feel I should be more "okay" than I am by now.
When depressed for a very long time, you develop patterns of behavior that are hard to change. Getting out of bed and getting anything done was a major accomplishment. Now, because I'm doing the same amount of things and am not depressed, it seems... lazy. There's all this time and I'm not doing enough with it. I miss having the excuse for not getting things done.
Because of depression, my tastes ran to dark things. In film, I'd watch horror, film noir (where everyone is doomed and just different types of evil) and black comedies because these suited my mood. I'd read Beckett and Bukowski. I'd listen to Tom Waits, Nick Cave and Leonard Cohen. Now these don't affect me the same way and I don't have good substitutes. There's a vagueness, a dullness, a greyness, an emptiness, a numbness - depression wasn't replaced with joy, but with nothing. I find myself thinking I'd like to feel horrible, just so I felt something. And that sounds like depression, so I keep questioning whether things have really changed or not.
There are problems in dealing with people, because I'm not quite the same person they remember me being. Those I haven't completely pushed away (a depressed introvert on the autism spectrum is a naturally lonely existence) expect me to behave in patterns I'm trying to break. When dealing with new people, there's all this baggage in the way that's not really appropriate to mention, but it's sort of defining.
Sometimes I think it was better when I was depressed. Then I remember what it was like. It wasn't better - it was horrible beyond description - but it's what I know. Not being there is exciting, but it's scary and it's really hard.
Aid Station: Eugene Curnow
2 days ago