I’m unfocused. I don’t feel like going anywhere, or watching anything, or reading, or playing a video game. Unfortunately that leaves me spinning pointlessly through the internet on and on and on, not paying much attention. I have far too much day to spend dwelling on things I need to forget.
Well, there’s a reason they don’t let you drive while in ECT treatment. I guess while the brain works to fix things, it’s burning energy that normally would go to other things, like having an attention span or rational thought. I’m managing to write this, but I’m not really focused on it, and the writing’s slow.
I’m still gung-ho, though. This is kinda an adventure.
They had me fill out some forms (“I agree that if my cerebellum sizzles like a frying egg, I absolve the cook from all responsibility…”). They encouraged me to empty my bladder, and recommended I put on a Depends diaper because sometimes people wet themselves when they’re on the muscle relaxants. I opted for no diaper. I’d expected to have to don a gown, but they let me keep my clothes on. Continue reading →
If you’ve been with the blog a while, you’ll be aware of my depression. It cripples my daily life, and I’ve suffered with it since I was a kid. Wasn’t until I was in my thirties that I realized something was wrong, and I’ve been battling it off and on through various means ever since. Tomorrow I do the biggy, ECT, electroconvulsive therapy, and they’ll knock me out and strap me down and zap some lightning through my brain, hopefully stimulating my hippocampus to do its fucking job.
I’m actually looking forward to it.
A few people, even online friends I don’t actually know, have made a point of being supportive and positive, both in this endeavor and my struggle in general. Thank you. It means a lot to me. I’m completely out of touch with my father and paternal family by choice, and my mother died when I was a baby and I haven’t been in touch with her family since my late teens. Isolation is one of the demons depression sics on its victims, and my friends have fallen away from me one by one over the years, leaving a few I rarely see. The only friend who is around often (and is going to drive me back and forth to the ECT sessions, because you’re not allowed to drive immediately after one) is my ex-wife. And though I walk a tunnel in which I rarely see a light at the end, my son burns bright enough to keep the walls from closing in entirely.
In September ’04, during one extended and rough depressive time, I sent an email to a couple of friends asking for help. I’ve decided to post it, in its entirety, for the sake of those who don’t really know what depression is. It might give you some insight into the life of someone you know, and if you’re stalwart and true, you can stand by them and help. Continue reading →
Fat man sitting on a little stool
Takes the money from my hand while his eyes take a walk all over you
Hands me the ticket smiles and whispers good luck
Cuddle up angel cuddle up my little dove
We’ll ride down baby into this tunnel of love
I can feel the soft silk of your blouse
And them soft thrills in our little fun house
Then the lights go out and it’s just the three of us
You me and all that stuff were so scared of
Gotta ride down baby into this tunnel of love
There’s a crazy mirror showing us both in 5-d
I’m laughing at you you’re laughing at me
There’s a room of shadows that gets so dark brother
Its easy for two people to lose each other in this tunnel of love
It ought to be easy ought to be simple enough
Man meets woman and they fall in love
But the house is haunted and the ride gets rough
And you’ve got to learn to live with what you can’t rise above if you want to ride on down in through this tunnel of love…
Recently I’ve blogged about my attempts to optimize my approach to writing day to day, to hopefully become more productive and prolific. A huge part of that, by necessity, is that I have to deal with my depression; if I can’t, I might as well throw in the towel.
This week, I start a course of ECT (electroconvulsive therapy), which will hopefully give me the edge in that fight. I’m assuming it will, so I’m working on setting the stage for the writing I plan once it’s over.
Kate gave me a book about writing for my birthday, Chapter By Chapter by Heather Sellers. Generally I find books about writing to be a waste of time for a writer; most of them say essentially the same things, and once you’ve read one, you’ve pretty much read the rest. If you’re trying to be a writer, your time is better spent writing than reading about writing. Till now, I’ve recommended only two books to writers looking for advice, The War of Art by Steven Pressfield and On Writing by Stephen King.
Chapter By Chapter is now on that list, and not just because it came to me via hot redhead. Kate chose well; Sellers has some fresh perspectives on the work, and her book has been useful to me as I try to figure these things out.
One chapter proved pertinent to this post, the one about “positioning.” Sellers defines positioning as preparing to do the work, mentally and physically, in advance, so that when it’s time to get to work you can just sit down and write. Part of this is making a routine of connecting with your project every evening, thinking about the next day’s writing, staying involved. The other part of it is making sure you’re physically set up in advance so you don’t have to waste time gathering materials and setting up when you sit down to write again. Continue reading →