Apr. 30th, 2015

akienm: (Default)
I have struggled with depression since I was a kid, though I didn't realize I was even having difficulty until I was in my teens. And even then, I wouldn't have called it depression.

I think my mom struggled too… She had a job outside the home for a few years, but eventually she "had a nervous breakdown", which of course can mean just about anything.

I didn't think of it as depression until I was in my late 20s or early 30s. I've tried many of the available meds, and the sexual side effects most of them had drove me away from that.

Dealing with this my whole life, I've thought of suicide an awful lot of times.

When I was in my early 20s, I read a book by Carlos Castaneda in which one of the characters is "introduced to his death". His teacher tells him death will be his best friend. That no matter what else happens to him, he can look over his left shoulder at his death, and death will tell you "It doesn't matter. All that matters is that I haven't touched you yet".

This has been very powerful for me. The way it's expressed itself in my life has been that no matter how bad things have gotten, I've been able to say "well, if it gets worse, and I can't stand it any more, THEN I can do myself in". And even when it's gotten worse, this has enabled me to keep standing up to it. My death really has become a friend.

Dealing with Gene's death has cast a different light on this. Even though I didn't have to "clean up the immediate mess", I am still cleaning up messes. Messes in my own head. Dealing with the Gene shaped hole within me.

I know he didn't think anybody would really miss him that much. I *might* be the person most deeply affected.

But I think I've learned that me doing what he has done would have much more far reaching implications than I'd ever imagined before.

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Akien MacIain

August 2017

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