Keeping control

0638/28th March 2021

Yesterday, the half-cleaned windows irritated me so much, I decided to damn well clean them till they shone.

And today, after that brilliant start at 0638….down pouring rain. Of course.


Depression. The kind I have is 50% chemical imbalance. To be honest, I’m not sure how out of balance my chemistry is. I only know that when it is not adjusted correctly, the world becomes an intolerable, miserable and frightening place and not a single thing can make me see it any other way.

Depression. (My kind) It drags me down like a dark, damp blanket, like the suffocating London fogs I remember from my childhood. It drains me of energy and stifles the light.

It seems as if the Universe is out to get me, flashing “triggers” in front of me, willy-nilly, no matter how I attempt to avoid these extra little darts of pain in my heart; the unlikely name of a dog whose sad story is etched in my brain; a piece of music suddenly from long ago; a photograph falling from a book I randomly pick up. That sort of thing.

When this happens to you while wallowing in the pit of a depression, negative thoughts creep in, inevitably: “Why me?” “What did I do wrong?” “Why am I being tormented?” and so on. It’s a dark spiral. You know it’s depression. You know not to have these thoughts, but there they are.

Then; “the world is full of people who are really suffering!”….. HOWL.

So then I get angry. : “I’ve had enough!” “I’m so tired of this!” and worse.

On Friday I really had had enough. Clearly the new medication was not doing it for me.

Also, I had made another discovery:

Cymbalta is supposed to act as a pain reliever as well as anti-depressant.

For me, it was prescribed for depression, but when I switched to the new medication, there was a significant increase in all-over pain. So, clearly Cymbalta has a dual function, as advertised.

The medical practice has a patient portal, so I launched a plea, not expecting to hear back until Monday, but soon after I sent the message, I received a call. I was to ditch the new medicine and revert. And given an emergency hot-line in case of more worrying thoughts over the weekend. Not needed.

All of this answers another question I had been asking myself for some time:

Since returning to New York, I had been doing so much better. I had addressed my “issues”, confronted them, taken away their power and packed them away in a box, neatly tied up and stashed, marked: UNWANTED. So, did I really still need anti-depressants, or would I be able to cope with life un-assisted?

Now I know.

The question has become whether the view I have from under that dark, weighty blanket isn’t actually more realistic? I pursued this thought here, but it was far too depressing, so I deleted it.

By tomorrow with any luck, I’ll have begun to change my mind.


Perhaps I didn’t sink quite to the bottom of my pit, as I at least roused myself to snap a few pictures:

’tis true the sky was a bit gloomy, but I don’t control that.

Mr Groundhog says “just keep control of my carrot supply and we’ll be OK.”

6 thoughts on “Keeping control

  1. I find that if you ask the birds, animals, and trees, to take a little bit of your daily problems, they do. Sounds daft, but it works for me! The more you ask, the better. Here’s hoping for relief soon.

  2. I am very sorry to read about your struggles with depression. I understand it all, having been afflicted with the same dark thoughts and moods since my childhood (I’m now 64). Some of us are exquisitely sensitive to the sorrows and pain of the world, and we seem to absorb it into ourselves. Yes, those triggers! A word, a smell, a passing thought, a few notes of music, and we are crushed by a wave of darkness. It doesn’t even require a difficult childhood; my growing up years and life circumstances were way gentler than yours were.

    I want to share what was finally able to consistently alleviate my depression but, if this seems intrusive to you, I’m sorry, and please just ignore my comment. My life began to change when I started to practice the techniques I learned from a book called “The Mindful Way Through Depression”. The book is old, but the techniques are now taught in courses called Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy. I have even been able to finally stop taking antidepressants.

    Your beautiful writing is very mindful so I know mindfulness is not a new thing for you. That is why I share what worked for me. Is the view from under the dark, weighty blanket realistic? Yes I think it might be. But so is the view that absorbs the beauty in the ever changing skies, the joy your animals provide and the love of the people who surround you. It may sound self indulgent to focus our minds on one view and not the other when both are real, but I ask myself, does the world benefit when I am overcome with sorrow? I do not think it does.

    Anyway, again, if my reply is intrusive, please forgive me. Your writing touches my heart.

  3. Thank you so much, Marianne and no, it’s not intrusive. I will check out what you have offered. I’ve always been open to new ideas (or old, as yet unknown to me). What you say is, of course, so very true, that the world does not benefit from my being overcome. I think the more positivity we can radiate, the better. Willow comes to me when I am sad but not when I am exuding negativity…she knows the difference!

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