A Shot in the Dark

Let’s see if I can write a thing. This seems like as good a venue as any, since at this point posting to this blog is similar to talking to myself. I think the pageviews I get each day – which are very few – are simply the Brownian motion of the Internet. Digital presences bumping into this node, and then wandering away, without an apparent order.

I went to the doctor a little over a month ago because my depression symptoms were getting worse. This was also just before things at work got really bad for about a month (and are not what I would call ‘good’ now, but I’m still here). I have a superb doctor, and we talked a bit, and she asked how we would know if the new regimen was working? I thought about it – one of the things that happens is that you lose interest in things you otherwise love and enjoy. So I said that a measure we could use is writing. When I’m writing again, that will tell us that the regimen is working.

I’m still not sure that this will count, but I had to try to force something out.

A friend of mine put together a G+ group for writers and game designers who also struggle with depression. It shouldn’t be surprising that there would be some significant overlap there. We share a hobby that involves tons of sitting by ourselves and thinking, which is exactly the kind of environment in which depression thrives. Or maybe it’s a self-fulfilling prophecy – sitting alone and thinking encourages depression, and then depression encourage sitting alone and thinking. Voila.

I’m at the stage now where it seems that everyone around me is doing well and accomplishing things and growing as persons while I am a sack of garbage slumping my way through a dreary life. That probably sounds over-dramatic, but over-dramatization, or ‘catastrophic thinking’, is a symptom of depression, so there you go. Subjectively, that is what it is like. The things I do and say seem, to me, like abject failures to achieve anything I want to achieve – so much so that it is pointless to try.

One of the survival methods that I have learned is to try to ignore these intuitions. To trust, somehow, that they are false, or, since I am not good at really trusting, to just move forward as if I trusted. To identify those thoughts as symptoms rather than truths. This is a challenge in a career where my intuitions about other people are very important to how I proceed. I often have to trust my intuitions about other people, to rely and act on them even, and on the other hand ignore my intuitions about myself.

For example, I am so certain I am rambling like an idiot that I actually feel a faint nausea. So I’m just going to hit “Publish” and see how I feel later in the day.

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