Sunday, July 8, 2007

Imposing My Will; Sunday Scribblings: Slippery

Slippery Eel

I look back over the nearly forty years I have struggled with clinical depression, and one damning reality stands out: The harder I try to get my way, impose my will; the harder I try to hang on to something or someone, the more what I want becomes slippery and shoots, like a fresh perch, out of my grasp.

It's the hell of obsession. Slippery, slippery obsession. The hell of it is not knowing if I really want the wife or the lover or the sex or the music or the food or the shoes taken off in the house, or whatever it is I vociferously insist upon, or whether it's having my will be done, which translates into a feeling like I matter.

It's the hell of obsession, of compulsive desire. Not only do I fix upon the person or thing I convince myself I want, but I attach my measure of my worth to attaining this, and make it, by my obsessiveness, impossible to attain.

The lover, the wife, the sex, the shoes off in the house slip away and I fall into a pit of self-recrimination and loathing, which makes me, of course, even more undesirable than when I was obsessing and trying to get my way.

Depression, obsession, the futile imposition of will, begging, whimpering, shouting, grabbing, shirt pulling, please don't go, hanging on tight, squeezing, dry heaving never increases traction; these efforts at tightening my grip have only made things more slippery.

The stories are too many to recount whether playing sports, in marriage, at work, discussing movies, with girlfriends, helping raise kids, deciding what to eat, what movie to see, anything where suddenly I felt, for my depressed, warped sense of self-regard, I had to have my way.

I pressed. I insisted. I often exploded. I got animated, far beyond the situation's worth.

Things never worked out.

They always slipped away, sometimes slowly, sometimes right away, but always slipped away.

It's what makes depression madness, not sadness.

It's vain. It's self-centered. It's futile.

It's a slippery way to live and be.

More slippery Sunday Scribbling posts here. Especially beautiful is my sister, InlandEmpireGirl's, post, here.


Rob Kistner said...

Depression is insidious Ray -- I suffer from it myself. All you can do is do your best, and try to recognize and avoid the triggers that can set it off. It's damned hard!

raymond pert said...

Thanks for the advice, rob. I try to do what you say every day. Being faithful to my medicine has helped immeasurably.

Pinehurst in my Dreams said...

Great post. Very descriptive and soul-baring. You may be describing a bi-polar type of obsession. Most people I know who are bi-polar are relentless in getting what they want. When they finally "win" - they usually find they are also "alone."

With my depression, (which is a "functional" depression - where I can hide it for a while) - I find myself not demanding anything, but trying to escape. Escaping responsibility, escaping noise, people, stress. I like to sleep a lot and be alone. I want people to be around, but not making any demands on me.

raymond pert said...

Well, my Pinehurst friend, there you go: I'm being treated for both bi-polar disorder and what you describe as functional depression. What a barrel of laughs I can be: when I'm not wanting to be left alone and escape, I'm obsessed with things like kids taking their shoes off and badgering anyone who will listen that "A Midsummer Night's Dream" is a great play, and you better agree! I would even argue that I HAVE A RIGHT TO ESCAPE!! WHAT'S THE PROBLEM!!!


The hardest thing has been coming to realize that living differently can happen and is more desirable.

Pinehurst in my Dreams said...

I admire your honesty and the fact that you are taking your meds despite how good you feel. Those of us who struggle with brain chemicals often chuck the meds when we start to feel better. I have tried to reduce my dose in the past, but when that dark cloud begins to descend, and my old negative personality shows up - I know it's time to do what the doc tells me.

I like feeling normal so much now, that reducing medicine isn't an option any more. I can see such an improvement in my ability to handle noise and stress, that going back is not appealing to me. (I still have to gauge my activity levels, and sleep time so I don't work against my meds.)

Glad you are able to distinguish the normal you from the obsessive and escapee. It will be great to see you at the reunion. I finally sent my funds and I am "in". Now, just to decide on how I am going to get there. . .

sarala said...

Good luck with your struggles. Your candor is appreciated by your readers.
Have a calm week.

InlandEmpireGirl said...

I struggled with how to use the word slippery. Again, you have taken the Sunday Scribblings word and written a thoughtful, honest piece. The Slippery Eel was creepy though. I thought you were going to share some weird night when you brought home an eel or something. lol

Idaho escapeE said...

I am bi-polar '2', and as I age, it seems that I have a harder time coping than I used to. I can be very anti-social; it seems all I want to do is be alone anymore. I stress out even during conversations with friends; my sleeping is convoluted, and I do try to avoid 'triggers', but things from all over my past rise up and hit me in the gut constantly. For the last two weeks, I haven't gone anywhere or done anything except go to the ocean beach, where the roar of the waves is always a massive comfort. I think that we all try to do things that didn't work, and I think you've got to ask yourself, "okay, what happened to me to make me this way"? I think that heredity has a lot to do with sensitivity, and if there was harshness on top of that heredity, so much the worse. People say "take life one day at a time", but for people like us, it can be "5 minutes" at a time. I never know what's gonna hit me, or how bad I'm going to feel if I perceive an attack from someone or somewhere. It is a balancing act, for sure. Anyway, you're brave to reveal yourself like this. Maybe I should do something similar on 'atmospheric ruminations'. Take care, and I honestly MEAN that.