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[cancer|personal] The black dog barks - Lakeshore — LiveJournal
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Jay Lake
Date: 2010-11-26 10:28
Subject: [cancer|personal] The black dog barks
Security: Public
Tags:calendula, cancer, family, health, personal
As I have mentioned before, I have a history of chronic depression in my childhood and young adult years. This includes pretty much all the classic manifestations including social withdrawal, self-destructive behavior, and even a suicide gesture that put me in the hospital at 16 then under supervision for a considerable time thereafter. This was years before Prozac and much of the rest of the modern psychopharmakon. I recovered with considerable therapy and, frankly, time.

This past week has seen the return of that depression as deeply as I've felt it since the days of my youth. Hence my withdrawal from blogging, from writing, from exercise, from pretty much anything except the immediate needs of the moment. This has been very frustrating for calendula_witch, as well as my other friends and family, most especially including markferrari. I've managed to make it through Thanksgiving with calendula_witch's family as well as the_child and tillyjane without any deeply disastrous behavior, but I haven't exactly been a barrel of laughs to be around.

I say all this now not by way of seeking an Internet group hug (though I will leave comments open on this post), but to talk again about how cancer and chemotherapy continues to affect my life. This depression is absolutely driven by the events of the past year. Having largely dealt with the physical symptoms and side effects, we now slog through the emotional effects. On me, on calendula_witch, on everybody.

It's not easy being blue. But one still wakes up on the morning.

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User: shelly_rae
Date: 2010-11-26 18:32 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
As you are well aware, I know a few things. All you ever have to do is call dear. I know making that call is a Sisyphusian work (to heck with selling), I understand more than you may know.
And that's one of the reasons why I keep bugging you.
Recovery is so anti-climatic.
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Kelly Green
User: saycestsay
Date: 2010-11-26 18:34 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Hey sweets, it ain't easy being. And, um, ::group hug:: assuming I'm a group :)
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Matthew S. Rotundo: Radioactive
User: matthewsrotundo
Date: 2010-11-26 18:41 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
This may be one bitch of a recovery . . . but it's recovery nonetheless.
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User: cathshaffer
Date: 2010-11-26 18:44 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)

You've been here before. Do what you need to to get through it.
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Magenta: Hand
User: magentamn
Date: 2010-11-26 18:55 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
It would be amazing that you aren't depressed sometimes, considering what you have been through. This is serious shit.

I don't know how it is in Portland, but here in Minnesota, the days getting shorter and the weather getting colder affects many people, even those who have not been formally diagnosed with SAD. I find going to someplace that's warm, with lots of green growing things, like an indoor arboretum, helps. Malls do not, and I stay away from them. YMMV

Take care of yourself, whatever works for you.
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Gary Emenitove
User: garyomaha
Date: 2010-11-26 18:56 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Write. Talk. Love. (not necessarily in that order)

Coming to Omaha next week will surely help, too. :b
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User: martyn44
Date: 2010-11-26 19:12 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Wishing you and yours all the strength you need. You're not alone.
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User: kimberlywade
Date: 2010-11-26 19:14 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
As someone who also experienced severe depression in my early teen years and beyond, i know what you're going through. Time is the cure, as you mentioned. Just wait, it will change.
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User: the_ogre
Date: 2010-11-26 19:17 (UTC)
Subject: ...
Just to make sure you see this, Jay:

We wont stop being your friends/loving you/cheering you on because you are having a hard time. No matter what.

This was recently said to me as well, in context of my own recent ick, and I think it can't be said enough. It isn't easy, and sometimes so hard that giving up seems like a viable option - even though you don't do so. We are all here for you, in whatever capacity you need us.
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User: voidampersand
Date: 2010-11-26 19:48 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
If you can talk about it, that doesn't guarantee any solutions, but it's way better than not talking about it. Please keep at it. I'm glad you're alive.
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User: brownkitty
Date: 2010-11-26 20:11 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)

And if you need to be a group, I can volunteer a moderately sizeable pet menagerie.

There's not a lot I can do to help, aside from assure you that I will be waiting when you come out. And not in a creepy stalkery send-in-the-spybots way.

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User: anghara
Date: 2010-11-26 20:56 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Jay, with the kind of meatgrinder that life has put you through over the last little while, for what it's worth, you're doing *just fine*. I certainly hope that a true clinical depression does not brush you any closer than this - but you have so earned the right to feel a little blue now and then.

I was very happy to have had the opportunity to see you up and about at Orycon. What's coming up is a traditionally rough time of year when you're feeling a little off, anyway - so take the time you need, recharge spent batteries, drowse through the worst of winter, and we can but hope that when the world wakes up again in spring so will your own capacity for joy and laughter - of which I know you have a large and incredible store of, because laughter was the first thing that I met when I met you and laughter for the sheer joy of living remains one of the things that define you for me.

I send you all the good vibes I can muster.
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Vylar Kaftan
User: vylar_kaftan
Date: 2010-11-27 00:27 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I like what she said.

I've also struggled with chronic depression and I know it wrecks everything. Do your best to take care of yourself. Good luck.
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User: sheelangig
Date: 2010-11-26 20:57 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Relatively recently, a wise man said to me, and I quote:

"Oi. I am sorry. Wandering in the desert sucks, whatever kind of desert it may be.

:: hugs ::"

Having been in similar places, I know that no words can help. But being aware that people are trying to find those nonexistent words, that helps.
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User: fledgist
Date: 2010-11-26 21:15 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
This is not the kind of club for which one wants the membership card. Nonetheless, having people who love one does help an awful lot.
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User: klwilliams
Date: 2010-11-26 21:19 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Yeah, this sucks. I'm constantly fighting chronic depression, and will my whole life, despite my very good set of psychotropic drugs. You're with a good group of people, who can help send it away. Hang in there.
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