Tuesday, September 23, 2008

In defense of lethargy

Watching the economic melt down this past week, I’m a little bit happy about my laziness of the past year or so. I kept meaning to go talk to someone and do some responsible, forward-looking planning for retirement--which I am fondly dreaming is coming very, very soon. But it meant all that paperwork. Making an appointment. Doing all that stuff first.

And I never quite got there. So my savings (from selling some of my stock from work) just stayed there in that brokerage/savings account. Over the past few weeks, I’m not so unhappy about that. I’m almost ready to stuff the money in my mattress--it’s just that I’m not entirely sure whether I should stuff dollars, euros, rupees. . . . . . . Gold? Now that would take more goal-oriented behavior than I seem able to manage. And my 401K--responsibly invested in stocks et al. Well that seems to be under water.

I’m left not sure exactly what next. I remember my father--who was so defined in crucial ways by the depression. That always seemed so much in the past for me. And now I think. Could my hard-won savings not be worth what I thought. That’s not the present, the future, but the past. How can that be?

Left a bit breathless. But also mostly glad I’m lazy.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Living with someone who is depressed

My husband has a decades long bout with depression. Currently he is in deep trouble. He quit taking his medication. On one hand, this is admirable because it took a great deal of determination to do this. And decades on anti-depressants is a scary thought. But now he is a depressed mess. He doesn’t have a doctor/ professional he is talking to. And here’s what it’s like to deal with him:

  • He’s very irritable. Everything makes him annoyed.

  • He’s very negative. He puts a negative spin on everything.

  • He’s paranoid. Everything that I do is somehow personal, limited, at least something to make him feel bad, if not worse.

  • He’s very trapped in a personal world. He interprets things very personally. If he feels bad, then folks are hurting him. If he can see no other view, there is no other view. If you talk about yourself, you are being selfish.

  • He’s paralyzed by his misery. Nothing matters. Nothing is good. Nothing can be done.

  • If you are silent, you are ignoring him. If you agree, you are patronizing. If you speak and don’t agree, you are arguing.

  • No one loves him. No one cares. No ones understands. Nothing matters.

If you read any book about depression, you’ll see a set of symptoms emerging here. I’ve not exhausted the story.

He is a sweet man whose depression overwhelms the sweet, smart, quirky, kind, funny man I have seen and love. Occasionally I still glimpse this man.