Communion Of Dreams


Black dog? What black dog?
January 17, 2009, 10:50 am
Filed under: Alzheimer's, Bipolar, Depression, Health, Sleep, Survival

As usual, it’s only in hindsight that you recognize it.  The typical seasonal downturn is something more.  Oh, you’re aware of the symptoms.  The intense introspection.  Desire to sleep more.  Lower level of creativity.  Difficulty in finding the motivation to do anything.  Lack of enthusiasm for the usual things you enjoy.  Tendency to drink more, without getting the slightest buzz from it.  You’re aware of the symptoms, but until you’ve been dealing with them for a while they don’t all add up to something that you can see.

The ‘black dog‘.

I’ve written about my bipolar tendencies before.  It’s mild, but there.  I try and keep an eye on it.  Sometimes it is hard to discern, amidst the clutter of life.  This period of mild depression could have been just the usual seasonal blahs I have, plus some tiredness and stress about my health and desire to get the house ready for visitors, plus the upcoming first anniversary of Martha Sr’s death.  That was what I was attributing my feelings to.  But this morning, a quiet walk in the brilliant cold, I recognized it for what it was.  Depression.  Mild, but more than the sum of the various factors I had been noticing.

Recognition of the problem is important.   I can take steps to deal with it, and most importantly keep track of where I am in the downward arc.  If it looks to be severe, then I’ll see someone about it.  But I don’t expect that – my personal mountains and valleys tend to be modest.  Mostly it is just a matter of riding it out, putting one foot in front of the other, playing ball on running water.

Jim Downey


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