Friday, May 22, 2009

It's back! The creeping crud!

I hate to even bring this up here, but it's a comfortable place for me since people can read it or not and it will not be seen by anyone in my immediate vicinity (J has never read one post on this blog ever), which is sometimes for the best. About once every year or so, I find myself way down deep in some kind of morbid depression (as in much much worse than my normal everyday dim view of current circumstances). I've sensed it massing for a few days, and I spent all day today deliberately doing things that normally keep me cheerful in hopes I can push it away. It didn't work. I failed at each thing, even cooking dinner which is normally a guaranteed moment of success for me no matter how frakked up the rest of the day is. I never ruin dinner...but I did tonight. Just one symptom.

It would be so easy to just list objective things that seem to contribute to my foul state. Like the usual shit: I hate my day job, I hate this city that we stupidly moved to, and so on. But that's not it. All of that was just as true yesterday and last week and last month and six months ago and it didn't cause this feeling, this creeping crud that's almost a palpable and visible thing around me right now.

This despair happens, as I said, on a fairly annual basis. But this time, the timing could probably not be better. This is happening within days of the release of M-Brane #5. I am locked into that. It is happening on schedule no matter what. Last time I found myself in the crud was during the pre-M-Brane era. I didn't have the zine, this blog, Twitter, any email correspondence to speak of, no other hobbies or pastimes of any sort really--wasn't even seriously working on any fiction--so I was able to thoroughly wallow in my stupid self for days on end and do nothing else. That option is not available to me this year, and I'm so glad of it.

It's just a temporary (albeit recurring) neuro-chemical fuck-up, a mess of synapses not firing in the right way, the "wiring" between memory and current circumstances all dicked up somehow. It's easy to say (when you're not feeling it), "It's all in your head." But I guess that's literally true, isn't it? There is no palpable, visible crud other than what I imagine. I'm entirely sick of it and myself tonight, but I bet tomorrow will be better. I even think it will lift a bit when I hit "publish post" in a few seconds.

[Accompanying image represents the cleansing fire that I've been thinking I need tonight...not REALLY, but hmmm....]

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Bobby Revell said...

Hey Christopher, thanks for letting me know about this. I had no idea it would be about depression, but I am certainly no stranger to it. It does pass and writing about it sometimes gets it all out. I was severely depressed for well over 20 years, constantly, every moment of every waking hour--and I am not joking. I am now "healed" and for the first time am not depressed. It's such a personal thing, I can offer no advice other than it'll pass. By the way, I read most of the first issue of M-Brane yesterday and it is an extremely well crafted magazine. I wish you great luck with it and may your week ahead be filled with joy!

My sister the brainy psychologist always told me, "Happiness is simply a choice." And I hated that hahaha!

Anonymous said...


Similar experience here. At the risk of sounding incredibly self-indulgent, I remain convinced that the more intelligent/creative a person is, the deeper their personal darkness. The fairy tales that most people tell themselves don't work on some of us, and we're left staring into the abyss. If only it would stare back, that'd be something. Depression is a solo gig, right.

Anyway, I guess the thing that I hold onto in those moments is that happiness and joy are possible. And I don't think I have to be a stupid, inane mf to have it, so I keep trying, on my terms.

Depression is not our true nature: I guess that's my bit of secular humanistic faith I can offer. Our nature lies in the passion and the joy that we create and the kindness and love that we offer, even if no one is there to accept it sometimes.

I hope that makes sense. Coherence hasn't been my strong suit lately.



Kene said...

Chris - you're not alone in this; I go through the same experience about twice a year. Someone once said that depression is biologically inherent in our species - that it is the body's way of telling us something is wrong and we just can't pin it down. Depression is an opportunity to sit back and reflect, I think, allowing us time to work through issues that we want (or don't want) to face. One of the things that depresses me right now is the fact that, at 42, I haven't published a thing and that most of my friends won't read anything I write unless they are in it. I use to have a writing partner, who was also my roommate when I lived in another city, and we would spend hours playing video games and talk about writing -- he's 11 years younger than me but, boy, did he make me feel ALIVE creatively! Anyways, since I've moved, I haven't shared any writing with anyone, and I feel like every passing year the passion to write fades just a little more... But the upside is that I found your site through DoorQ and I was intrigued. I read your last issue of M-Brane and I was pleased. I visited your blog and I am now committed again to writing. Even though I don't know you on a personal level, I feel connected to you and others here via our one common gift: WRITING. And I want to thank you for re-sparking what I thought was a sputtering flame. Keep up the good work, sir. And don't fret about your annual bout with the blues. It'll pass. And if it doesn't, well, I have an ear and I am more than happy to listen.



Merc said...

*offers cookies* I've had that off and on, and know several other writers who suffer depression on a regular basis. It sucks.

I hope it gets better for you--I'm definitely glad you don't let it get in the way of things like getting us our next fix of M-BRANE. :)


Christopher Fletcher said...

Hey, thanks all of you, for your good thoughts and smart words. I'd considered deleting this post almost as soon as I put it up (too self-indulgent, I think), but I'm glad I didn't. Because I wouldn't have heard from all of you today!

D. D. said...

All of us have a story that we believe defines us as to who we we are. This story is comprised of things we have observed or experienced since birth. As we mature and we start to see how invalid the behavior we have adopted based upon this story is, we look at ourselves and start to make changes. We realize how we act in certain situations isn't the best expression of our being.

When we move away from our old behavior patterns, the story, that is the "i" (little I), starts to reassert itself. No matter how successful or happy we are, there is that nagging feeling that something is missing.

What is missing is the sound of a young child screaming "What about me?" The complaints of "i want what i want and i want it now!", regardless of the costs.

When the creeping crud hits, look around you and truly see the good in your life, that you are protected and loved and everything is perfect. You are in the hands of Truth, Love, Peace and Perfection.

"This too, shall pass..."

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