I am reading The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath. I like it. The first half was actually quite humorous, but as I’ve neared the three-fourths mark, I’ve found myself smack-dab in the middle of the mental descent of the heroine. Such an ugly, disgusting thing, depression. I’m consistently hmmm-ing with recognition and sadness as Esther fights to want anything out of life. I know that firsthand, which probably isn’t a surprise to many of you readers. It may be slightly shocking, however, if I were to confess that I’ve come to know that my struggle with that beast is clinical, meaning that I will be fighting these moods and chemicals and imbalances for the rest of my life. Now that’s a depressing thought.
Today is not such a great day. I’m fighting by tapping the keys. Its not an awful day, but these days, anything less than amazing is slightly terrifying for me, as I wonder if a bad day is just a bump in the road or the beginning of a descent into hell.
I am being treated. Which is to say I am reading about this illness and learning when to lay low and when to go out; when guilt is a symptom of sin or of stress; when to engage the kids and when to turn on the TV. This diagnosis, of a sort, has introduced to me a whole new way of computing my life, my habits, my parenting, even my spirituality. A good five months has passed, but I’m just now feeling ready to write about these things. I suppose that isn’t very long, in all actuality: some people wait ten years to start unfolding their inner lives. Perhaps there will some parts of me that will sit around that long, but not writing about this has led to pretty much not writing at all, which I just wasn’t willing to wait any longer in that sense. As I’m currently processing my world in terms of stemming-from-depression and just-good-ole’-me, I think writing will help me work out the kinks in my thinking.