A strange title for me, and a strange feeling. Iíve been aware for more than a week that the depression that usually lives with me, if not in me, has gone away. Perhaps itís only temporary, but it is gone, though I donít think I can explain how I know. Seems mysterious. Probably is.
I am sleeping a bit less than I do when Iím depressed. And Iím dreaming a lot, sometimes very strange dreams, which I do also when Iím depressed. So thatís not it. First clue: Iím eating more than usual, and nibbling as well, on nuts, fruit, even bits of chocolate or cookies. When Iím depressed, I eat very small meals, Iím usually not interested in food, and donít nibble at all. Just this week, the scale showed a quick gain of some five pounds, so perhaps thatís a palpable clue: do I want to be fat or depressed?
Another clue: Last week I wrote poems each morning, just like that. And I didnít write journals every day, wrote every third or fourth day. And I wrote nothing in the journals about depression. And now here I am trying to write a blog. But of course I have written blogs while depressedóand several of them about being in that state.
Final clue: Response to visitors. When Iím depressed, I usually prefer being alone and when I can, I put off appointments, visitors, certainly people I donít know at all. And this week I had several visitors and felt welcoming and felt glad I had agreed months ago to host two women from San Francisco I had met in Mallorca in 2011óthe first time I went to Ellen Bassís workshop. Connie, Julie, and I had talked a bit there, as we ate meals together, and also took several walks down a rocky road, but I had no expectations of seeing them again. Well, they asked if they could stay in my apartment for a long weekend in New York as part of their longer honeymoon to be spent in Paris. They had a busy schedule, mainly seeing other people, but we had mornings--and several late evenings--for conversation over breakfast or tea. When we talked about childhoods, I mentioned that, if asked, I would never have said I had experienced depression early in my life, and I told them about the little notebooks written during my mid-teens at college, which mentioned depression. I told them that my long-time depression, which had returned after I had returned from Europe, was now gone, though I didnít know why, or even when, much less where it had gone.
So how does it feel to be without depression? How does one describe ďabsenceĒ? Does it feel ďnormalĒ? I need to work at this, for I canít describe the feeling except as absence. Itís not thereóor here. I donít ďhaveĒ it. When I ďhadĒ it, I sometimes used the metaphor of a quilt. Once, I said it was like a shot to my body.
This is the second day Iíve tried to write and rewrite this blog. Yesterday, I wandered into the area of religion, but Iíve cut that out and left it for another day. Iím going to try to look at the day: itís a blue-sky day out my window, royal blue. And from here I canít see signs of a stiff wind and Iím too high to see the people on the streets below bundled in layers, hats, and scarves. Iím going out in a few minutes to get a flu shot, take a short walk, test the day.
Will send the blog into the world. Perhaps thatís the key: Itís not finished, but Iím sending it. Makes no sense, I know. But perhaps Iím too eager to make sense.