This blog is essentially — at least to me — a blog about depression. It’s a documentation of the fact that I am still fighting it, that I have not yet rolled over and gone belly-up. This is a fact that is easy to forget. I am looking forward to whatever adventures may ensue, and I hope people enjoy reading them, but I hope more that somebody, somewhere, reads this and thinks that maybe, just maybe, they have the capacity for change.
Three years ago, as I was getting ready to move to Milwaukee, I would not have imagined that this would be my way of departure. I about half expected to be dead by now, and the other half was torn between either having stumbled into a numbing job and waking up suddenly at 60 miserable and alone, or back in Florida sinking into an ever-darker pit of despair.
I did not expect to be spending today, nearly two weeks to the day from my 3 year anniversary of the day I walked off the plane with 2 suitcases and a stuffed walrus, in my pajamas in a hostel two blocks from Wrigley field with everything I own stuffed under a bunk bed, typing up blog posts because for once in my life, when people ask me what I’m doing, I have something to tell them.
The sick thing about depression is it tells me to qualify the fact that I am better than I was, mocks me for the idea that I could ever be okay. Instead of being proud of myself for how much I’ve changed in the last three years, for the fact that I no longer fall asleep at night curled around the idea of suicide like a pillow, for the fact that I have written more poetry and prose (and better, I think) than ever in my life, and well over 100,000 words of fiction in four months — depression still reminds me that I see the future in an ugly grey haze. It smugly points out that I still don’t really have good days, even if I rarely think about killing myself anymore, so it doesn’t count, and I am still the same person I always was, eyeing the shards of glass.
Depression itself, by its nature, shames its own recovery.
So that’s why I’m writing this, to document in concrete sentences that we fucked up little basketcases can do shit too, can even do shit that inspires people, which is a word that still tastes foreign in my mouth. And hey, in a way we’ve got an advantage: if I were “normal,” at my age, it’s unlikely that I’d be able to throw it all away and just see what the fuck happens.