What depression brings, and where it comes from.

The first part I know all too well. The second part is still a bit of a mystery, but becomes clearer the older I get, and the deeper I study Zen.

But let's talk about what manifests.

For many years, I've suffered from depression. I know this. It's not as bad as many, but is probably more formidable than I'd like to think, and surely more than I had ever realized as it happened. Unfortunately, even my level of depression can ruin things. From the physical to the physiological, the mental, spiritual and emotional, I now understand all too well what my "moderate" depression has cost me. Jobs. Tens-of-thousands of dollars. Trust. Respect. At times, it's cost me my dignity. At times, I've even wondered about my sanity. And it most certainly punched a gaping hole in the hull of my marriage.

Physical examples of the depression-fostered decay brought into my life, and the lives of those who loved me, is all-too readily apparent. I would leave so many things undone. Things left lying. Rotting. Rusting. Hundreds of starts, and few finishes. Ideas would pop up, I'd start something, then enthusiasm would just peter out, or worse (and plenty likely) I'd suddenly find that I--once again--could not physically meet the challenge I'd laid out for myself.

So yes, a kernel of that depression of mine is that I still feel emasculated by my disability. To make matters worse, that disability has only grown with two things: the adding of weight, and the passage of time. The weight issue and the disability go hand-in-fat-hand, of course, when you talk of depression. Both are fertile ground for the seeds of apathy. But the disability ramps up so quickly as I age. I always knew it would, but I thought I'd deal with it better. But right when I hit about 33 or so, it just became shockingly apparent. Combine that with a weight that at one point was about 335lbs or there-abouts, and uncontrolled high blood-pressure, and it's a wonder I'm here to type this shameful mess. But everything is so damn hard for me to do. Everything. At least it feels that way.

But the apathy... the sudden "whatever, it can wait" that drags on for weeks, months, a year. What the hell is wrong with me? If I feel any shame at all about my marriage, it's that. I know damn well that she resents me for that, and she has every right to. I know I would.

I've been seeing a therapist on-and-off for the past three or four years now. I like her a lot. I wish--I really wish--I could go regularly, but we need to see if Medicare will cover it now. But in the past, when it came to the costs, I always wanted my then-wife to go more regularly than me. If one of us got the regularity of it, it would be her. She hurt so damn badly inside that I could just feel it, and I wanted to make sure that she had the best chance of dealing with her issues. Hers were bigger than mine. My issues, I thought, were just old itchy scabs. And I thought they were just about my weight. That's initially what I went back for. But now I know why I'm there, or hopefully will be able to return soon, Medicare allowing. But I always kept our promise to each-other, to stick with each-other through the garbage as well as the good times, as encouragement that no matter how long it took us to get our respective shit figured out, that the other would either be there when we got through, or trudging behind. But the clock ran out anyway. I knew that she was going much faster than I, and as my investigation into my own psyche deepened, I all-too-quickly learned that these weren't just scabs I had. These were active wounds. Some infected. Some, unfortunately, were fresh. I hadn't anticipated that. More on that in another blog entry.

I tried a few SSRI's. They were terrible. They actually made the apathy worse. I didn't care, and I didn't care that I didn't care, and I was okay with all of that. That is no kind of solution at all. But some time last year, while sitting zazen, I had a realization, and a quick (and mercifully free) consult -via- email with my therapist makes me think that I'm on to something.

I don't think it's "depression".

I think I might be suffering from attention deficit disorder.

And I think I may have been suffering from it my whole fucking life.

That's what a little bit of Zen will do for you. When you actually finally have your defences drawn down by the process, the truth hits you like a keisaku to the back of the head at times, with the lingering words ringing in your head; "This is the truth, and you know it's the truth. Don't bother to run from your shadow. Deal with it..."

I'm trying...