Tuesday, August 3, 2010

#243: Not Dead Yet

I am overwhelmed by the response to my last blog. Loving friends calling to make sure I'm ok, not swinging from a rafter somewhere. My darlings, thank you. I'm ok. Depressed, but not desperate. My friend S and I had a good chat about it today. "You don't sound suicidal, you know. Maybe you should let people know that."

My depression has been merciful so far. I expected this battle a long time ago. I'm not sure what the trigger was this time. August has always been difficult for me. It's the end of the summer theatre season, or traditionally has been on my schedule. I usually get sick after a show closes, and playing in the park all those years, I usually got sick in August. It isn't rational, but then, that's why they call it pathology.

So given that tendency on my part, the insurance crap was enough of a trigger to send me into my present funk. S calls depression my old friend,and I guess he's right. We've been through a lot together, she and I. It's not so much the sadness that wipes you out, it's the hopelessness. The feeling that life is bad and can Only get worse. It makes you want to disappear. At it's worst, most logical end is the thought that everyone would be better off without you around. That's what depression does.

But there's something else that it always does. It always goes away if you can just find the courage and the help and the meds to help you ride it out. Depression's brig lie is that it will never get better. Fifty years of fighting it, with a couple nights with my back to the wall have taught me that ultimately, depression is a coward. It always backs away from a fair fight, even when fighting means laying low and riding out the storm. Bullies hate it when they can't get a rise out of you.  They want victims, not hunters. To tell the truth, I've been chasing a fatal illness long before cancer came to my house. I know depression's tricks. I know her habits and her weaknesses. She doesn't surprise me much anymore. But she did teach me something about being a cancer hunter.

Sometimes the best strategy is to wait your quarry out. 

So, cancer. I've lived through enough radiation to cook a small animal. Can you?

And depression, I've been a sinful failure more times than I can count in my life, and people still love me for reasons I can't explain. Who loves you?

My acting coach at OSU put it on a card congratulating me on my thesis: 

"He not busy being born is busy dying."

So yeah, I'd like to spend more time dreading the future and regretting the past, but I'm just too busy being born.


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