On Depression and Reticence


I periodically go through bouts of depression.  It isn’t usually serious, but it has real-life effects on me.  I become less social,  I am much more cynical than usual, and I write a lot less.  It’s why I have not been writing recently, and the shift out of feeling depressed is why I am writing today.

One of the other things it does is causes behavior which causes stress to my relationships.  I become less affectionate, responsive, and it can lead to arguments which would otherwise not happen (because my depression leads to non-ideal behavior).  When I’m feeling depressed, I’m not much fun to be around, especially for my partners.

Another side effect can be a lack of pursuit of my desires.  I’m less likely to ask for what I want, to speak up for myself when I disagree, or to be assertive in any way.  And because live with a few extroverts (although Ginny is certainly an introvert), that can often mean I feel intimidated and shrugged off.  There is no competition, from the depressed introvert’s point of view, with confident extroverts around you, and so I don’t try to participate as much.  Not that anyone is trying to shrug me off or intimidate me ( I don’t think), but that I just feel that way and so I sort of disappear and don’t pursue what I want, and so I don’t get it.

I have thoughts, desires, and feelings during such times, it’s just that in times like the last few days I was not voicing them except where I was compelled to.  And today, feeling more energetic and happy, I am able to reflect on this periodic depression and think what I can do better next time, while still thinking that this is fruitless.  See, I am feeling somewhat confident now; right now I believe that I can continue to grow and improve as a person.  Two days ago, I did not believe that.  All I could bring myself to believe then was that I’m not really worth much, and I’d be doing the world a favor by just shutting up and going away.

And so I was not writing.

It’s anxiety-causing to admit this publicly  but it is also part of the healing process.  I know that sometime in the future I will feel crappy again, and while I’m feeling crappy I will be intellectually aware that I will feel better again soon, but while I feel crappy I am reticent–I am reluctant to speak out, up, or about much at all, and it affects those close to me.  I don’t know what to do about that.

Now that it is Spring (although it’s still too goddamn cold!), I will be starting to get outside more, get more exercise, and this will result in another cause for less writing; enjoying life.  But don’t worry, I’ll still be around disrespecting faith and finding monogamy quaint.  Ain’t much going to stop that completely, just periodically.