Friday, February 17, 2017

A look into depression

In the words of one of the better episodes of M*A*S*H, “Anger turned outward is aggression. Anger turned inward is depression. Anger turned sideways is M*A*S*H.”

While I generally try to go for aggression, or sideways, I do suffer from depression. It's not chemical. It's not the deep abiding black pit that lasts for days, but they can be fairly intense for hours. I think six hours is the record.

I'm not sure how bad this sounds to people, but six hours of this can be … counterproductive. The best description of what I go through it probably found in the Babylon 5 episode “The Hour of the wolf.”
Have you ever heard of the hour of the wolf? …. It's the time between 3:00 and 4:00 in the morning. You can't sleep, and all you can see is the troubles and the problems and the ways that your life should've gone but didn't. All you can hear is the sound of your own heart.
Extend that to six hours … and make it so that it can be broad daylight and it is indistinguishable from blackest night.

It doesn't even take much to set it off sometimes. The right comment with the right amount of stress, or tired. Or I have a headache and someone mouths off at me.

I'm very tired lately, and let's face it, I've been going through a lot of crap over the past few months. Promotion alone is depressing. There have been a few points recently that put me close to the edge. Trust me, JD Cowan will never know just how much his review of Murphy's Law of Vampires meant to me at the time he posted it.

Recently, someone just trying to be helpful asked me “Why aren't you as upbeat and energetic nowadays as you used to be on your blog?”

That caused me to have a brief review of the last few months. The last year. My life. Where my life could have gone and didn't. The people who should have had my back and didn't. The ones who said they would be there and screwed me over. The people I've trusted and shouldn't. The ones who I thought were stable but turned out to be crazier than a bag of cats.

And this was asked on the 15th, the day after a “holiday” I profoundly despise, where I usually reflect on the sheer amount of crap my love life has been, complete with all of the friendships that have been ruined because I was just too stupid and fell in love with people who should have just remained friends – but it doesn't matter. Because not only will they never talk to me ever again, but they were probably broken anyway … which isn't sour grapes, because that just makes me wonder how stupid I had to be in order to fall for them in the first place.

In fact, I think this is a perfectly good summary of my love life.

But no matter how my past worked in real life, depression is the Kobyashi Maru. There's no way to win. There's no way out.

Welcome to my depression. Brief, but intense. Even though it's only six hours, they're no fun. Everything you enjoy turns to ash. Music you love only hurts you. Anything that you might enjoy does nothing for you – assuming that you can do anything you might enjoy.

And I was assembling yesterday's blog at the time. A reflection on all of the positive things happening around me was a cushion.

Granted, splashing down into the ocean is indistinguishable from splashing down onto concrete if the height is right.

This will be one of the last blogs I post for a while. Remember, this Sunday the radio show will star Matt Bowman as the host, with a panel of authors from the CLFA. The week after will star L. Jagi Lamplighter Wright.

Because, at long last, I'm going to take a break.

If you haven't already, check out some of the books below.

And if you have, please leave a review.




  1. That sounds like it must really suck. My prayers are with you.

    Also, good song choice. My dad likes to blast cruxshadows and dance around goofy with my little sister. It always amuses me.

  2. Anyone with chronic or cyclic depression should GET A FULL THYROID WORKUP. (And meanwhile, don't eat anything that contains soy or flaxseed products. They contain high levels of phytoestrogen, which is a thyroid inhibitor.) DON'T let the doctor put you off with just a TSH test -- do the whole panel, including Hashimoto's antibodies. Cyclic depression with fatigue is very typical of Hashimoto's thyroiditis.

    IF that's all normal, next step is to check blood calcium levels. Untreated Hashimoto's can lead to hyperparathyroidism that can persist even if the Hashi resolves on its own.

    In fact, this should be the first approach to diagnosing ANY chronic condition, no matter how unrelated or farfetched it seems. Thyroid affects EVERYTHING.


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