The anti-anxiety drugs take the very worst edge off, but not much, and they--hmm--work only with permission, if that makes sense. If I really wanted to be miserable, if I insisted on brooding, I could override them easily. It's a soft blanket, not an iron wall. They allow me the option of mental quiet, they don't enforce it, and I have to keep catching myself lest I undo the good effects by wallowing. It's kind of interesting. Sort of like the way Vicodin works--you call still see all the pain, it's just on the other side of that vague grey wall there. It doesn't fix it, exactly, it just puts it at a distance so you can turn your head and say "No, no, we're not going to look at that..." and go on about the day. It cures no pain, it just slaps a restraining order on pain's ass.
The heavy weight across my chest is still there. This is another interesting tidbit. I wonder if that bit, right there, that lead ball under the sternum, is the depression, per se, and if the endless rambling arguments are the anxiety. Can you divide something down that far? Can poor emotional health be chopped so neatly apart? Doesn't seem like you should be able to. And yet, my doctor asked whether it was more depression or anxiety, and I realized I had no idea what to tell her. What's the difference? Either way I begin to feel a serious sympathy with Giles Corey, that tough old bird.
I am coming to realize that the most insidious part of the problem isn't so much that stifling weight as the glum fear that it will never, ever go away. If I really and truly believed that I'd feel better in six weeks or six months, this would be a great deal easier to bear. As it is, despite knowing that this will get better, it has to get better, I will allow for no world in which this does not get better...well, there's a difference between knowing and believing. The difference, maybe, between Purgatory and Hell--hurts just the same, but at least Purgatory will end some day, and they'll fish you out of the fireplace and hand you your harp. There is an element of fear that I will never not feel like this again, that this is a permanent condition, the old joys amputated by a freak cerebral accident, God lying in a puddle of vomit across the tiles of heaven.
On the bright side, my gift for melodramatic metaphor has pulled through in fine style. (Thank god! You hate to lose that!)
Well, it'll pass. There is no choice but that it will pass. I really have to get back to work, I think. That's what really killed me--I stopped working. My computer and gear should arrive middle of next week in Raleigh, I have an appointment Monday for the Good Drugs, and if I can get that all set up and start selling prints again, I suspect sanity will start to re-exert itself in a few weeks. Then I can get an apartment, and slither back into Life As I Know It.
This, too, shall pass.