Saturday, March 15, 2008

Last Night

My mother, sister and I stayed up late last night playing the Scooby Doo edition of Monopoly. It was when my sister went outside for a cigarette break that she decided to open her mouth. She had asked me to come outside with her so she could have someone to talk to while she puffed away in the cold. Had I known her intention was to lecture me about how stupid I was to give up my job, I never would have agreed to join her.

Anyway, I had about three-fourths of a bottle of mead so I was slightly drunk when I posted the blog posting last night. But it doesn't change much, because tonight, sober, I feel mostly the same way. Please don't resort to telling me that my problems are the result of drinking. I very rarely drink. I indulge in wine or margaritas once every two months or so.

I wasn't blackmailing anyone by saying that someday I might choose to take a graceful exit out of life. There is no one for me to blackmail - I've only spoken about this on my blog. No one that knows me personally reads this blog - no family. (Well, I take that back. I have recently met someone that reads my blog, but I have no reason to blackmail her!) I don't even use my real name here, so no one can do a Google search for my name to find out that I've spoken about this on my blog. So, I was not blackmailing anyone and I don't want you to think that I was either. When I said that, I was expressing myself during an emotional uproar. I can't promise that someday I won't decide to do that, but I wanted you to know that I said it because I was upset. I'm just saying that if things get so bad that I have to become homeless or live a life of poverty, I'll refuse to suffer like that. You must understand that my future is completely uncertain at this moment, so of course I'm going to be very insecure. I'll strangle anyone who tells me right now that all I have to do is snap out of it and return to work and things will be fine. If I could find stability and function longer than a week or two without going back down, it would be easy. Last year, I thought I had completely escaped the disease. Months went by without it rearing its ugly head and I was celebrating my escape from it, when before I knew it, the beast had returned and I was dumbfounded, asking my shrink, "Why?"

I had a close friend that chose to leave this world a few years ago. While it upset me greatly and left me feeling partially at fault - because I didn't know he was hurting - now I can understand why he left. And the reason he didn't tell anyone around him about his pain is because he didn't want this to happen to him. He didn't want to face the labeling or the ignorance of family or friends. He knew that outsiders would never even begin to fathom the anguish and torment he was feeling. He knew that outsiders would blame him, call him lazy and tell him he could just snap out of it. "Why don't you get out of the bed? Everybody gets depressed sometimes. You seem normal to me. You seem fine. There's nothing wrong with you." He must have known that this would be the reaction he'd receive from outsiders. This is a good one: "It's all in your head." Well, DUH! Of course it's all in our heads. That's the problem!! His own parents and brother didn't know he was hurting, and if they had been like mine, I can understand why he chose never to disclose to them his pain. He was all alone. I don't know what caused his depression, or if anything did cause it. I know from my own experiences that it's possible the physical abuse (severe and frequent belt whippings) I suffered from my father and the sexual abuse I experienced from my neighbor might be contributing factors, but I don't know that for sure. Not even the best of doctors can come to that conclusion. I don't even know that I can blame genetics. As you know, my grandmother - after the birth of my father - spent the rest of her life in a mental institution. Could she have passed down bad genes to me? Possibly. But again, it's not certain.

Damn it, I didn't want to bore you again. I was just going to come here and post two sentences tonight, those being, "I was slightly drunk last night when I posted to my blog. While my feelings haven't changed, the way I chose to express myself might have been different."


Vincent said...

"In vino veritas".

And it goes to show that blogging has so many uses! Yes, it is a good outlet for frustrations. And it is my understanding (partly from a training I received) that the damage to our psyche is caused not by the abuse itself---some people can survive that unscathed---but our self-preserving response to that abuse. For example we are frightened to express our natural reactions to the abuse. We cannot allow ourselves to feel hate or anger about it. Our emotions are confused and we bury them.

This is the cause of depression---the long-term swallowing of primal emotions instead of expressing them. It's not what happened in the past. It is not the memory, but the scar of the trauma that's in a deep-down place not reachable through ordinary means. It can even alter the calibration of the body's mechanisms which control auto-immune function, autonomic nervous system, glands and so on. Which means a physical illness is involved.

The only way out---and this is a theory based on my own instantaneous cure from a chronic illness---is to allow messages of reassurance to reach the dysfunctonal unconscious processes, so that they can revert to normal.

This is the basis on which the "placebo effect" operates when a doctor prescribes something and you trust him.

But in a chronic condition such as yours and mine, no ordinary placebo, no ordinary psychotherapeutic relationship can apparently reach the spot. I think this is partly because the ordinary placebo operates in a situation of "wise doctor" and passive patient.

For these chronically embedded conditions, where the body is in a deep-seated habit of malfunction, the patient's trust must be coupled with a readiness to jump into a void. A hint of the process is conveyed in some of the New Testament accounts of miracle healings performed by Jesus.

I do know that deep-seated conditions can't be cured by the ordinary homeopath, osteopath etc etc, though they might give some temporary alleviation.

Sophia said...

Hehee... I think the most unusual of my blogging has been the result of either alcohol or sleeping pills. Any smart person would say, "I'm too inebriated to blog, so why don't I wait until later." But I was so moved to open my big mouth.

I've heard from some mental health practioners that journaling is a good practice for those who suffer from mental illness. This helps to release the emotional steam that could - like you say - do damage to our psychological and physiological systems if it is allowed to build up without any form of release. Journaling is the answer for many. I never had the self-discipline to keep a diary or a journal, but I've found that I've been quite successful at regularly keeping a blog. I think blogging is the new journaling. Also, as you mention "messages of reassurance", I think blogging also provides that in the form of comments received from friends and others who offer support. Personally, I just realized that I started blogging in 2004 - when my depression began, and I've been blogging ever since. Subconsciously I must have known that expressing myself online would offer some relief.

If I may make an assumption... I think blogging and conversing through blog comments with others has helped me more than any medication or psychotherapy. Intuitively I must have known that, even though I'm just now acknowledging it consciously.