Saturday, May 12, 2007
Depression is Madness, Not Sadness: Second Chance: Sunday Scribbling
It's hard to say what the worst part of suffering from chronic or clinical depression is. One of the worst things, though, is always asking for a second chance. It happens most often when Mr. Hyde comes roaring out.
My otherwise generous and accepting personality gives way to a paranoid, quick to anger, jealous, accusatory personality. I say mean things. I can't believe I'm loved or accepted. I put great strain on my loved ones, especially my wife, or in earlier days, a girlfriend or lover.
In many ways, the worst part is the calm after the storm, when I feel terrible guilt for what I've done or said, and say over and over again after incident after incident, "Please. Give me a second chance. I won't do it again."
It's all terribly confusing. When I'm the person I want to be, these outbursts are unthinkable.
Even worse, for years and years, I thought I could control these mental breakdowns, as did the wife or lover/girlfriend I verbally levelled. Thinking it was all a matter of my will, I turned the anger on myself and berated myself, either out loud or with my demeaning, accusatory, self-loathing inner voice.
Getting help was very difficult. When I'd go to a therapist, I was always at my best. I couldn't replicate these episodes. I'd see someone for a while and get sent home after a while. The therapist couldn't really see what the problem was.
I had a total breakdown just over two years ago. I went into a paralyzing depression. I couldn't go to work. It wouldn't go away and finally I went to the hospital emergency room. This led to going back to medication and I've stayed faithful to my medications ever since, suffered some relapses, but overall things have remained steady.
My wife tells me again and again that I seem like a normal person.
Consequently, the episodes of erratic behavior, of lows and highs, have almost disappeared.
I enjoy feeling so much more under control.
Most of all, I enjoy not always asking for second chances. I really enjoy not asking for a second chance and saying, "I won't do it again" and having that promise be hollow and meaningless.
Luckily, with my third wife, she gave me several second chances, hung in there with me, and I'm almost never asking for a second chance again.
It's a profound relief.
To read more Second Chance Sunday Scribblings go here.
Poured Like an Anode by raymond pert at 8:35 PM