Poe was not the first to link genius to insanity and nor will he be the last. Indeed, there are many famous people who suffer the demons of the night, as well as influential people who have gained respect from us, their public despite this faux par of depression. I could go on, and point out a long line of genius' who also suffer depression, and have respect, but there is no denying the fact that this idea is contested and may simply be romantic at best (romanced by sufferers rather than anyone else!).
Despite this romance however, depression is the unspoken demonisation of mankind, and still a swear word upon the lips of the oppressed. It comes in many forms, and perhaps that is why it is so misunderstood in our society? I don't 'like' depression and I have always seen it as a weakness, indeed I am from the 'pull up your socks and get on with it brigade' as indeed was Lewis Wolpert until he was struck down
. He is author of a book I highly recommend called Malignant Sadness
. I soon learnt that pulling one socks up is irrelevant when you are crippled by the demons that haunt ones mind. I suffer, I am not proud, I am misunderstood, and I absolutely 100% hate it. unfortunately there is nothing I can do about it, other than stop the demons becoming 'me' and rotting my soul. Unfortunately for that one needs friends. Fortunately for me I have chosen my friends very very well. Others are not so fortunate. If I find it hard, God help them.
The problem with depression is it takes all you are, turns it upside down, inside out, and then throws it on the fire. This is something we should be able to deal with - we all have orientation abilities, and a bucket of water can easily be made into a fashion accessory, but the problem with depression, and this is where I think it becomes an illness, is that it makes the person actually believe that they are worthless. It taunts and haunts until the heart breaks.
So, why am I writing about this?
One of my friends told me the other day that their 'shrink' (my boss prefers to call them expander's) is on holiday over Christmas and is delighted because it means a real break - people go loopy over Christmas!
I don't know, is it because this is a time of family, of reflection of weighing up the world, or is it that the 21st December is the shortest day of the year - and if you suffer from SAD you will know the importance of that.
I don't suffer from SAD, I love the dark, I love the rain, I love the cold and I love the long dark nights (I think I suffer from HAPPY) - this is the season where I am my most cheery. I know someone who does, a dear friend, and it is heartbreaking to watch as there is nothing I can do but smile, wave, keep in touch, and stand by him (in my own haphazard way) until the sun comes out. And even that I do badly!
Part of spending Christmas on the boat this year is being away from Family, and away from people that 'care'. Of course, I will never be alone, or isolated because I am surrounded by a number of acquaintances and friends, and indeed family who are just out of this world.
Having suffered concussion and having read through the advisory notes from the hospital, one of the things, that Maffi's brother Allan mentioned a couple of weeks ago (thank you!), was mood swings. Is this why I a writing the post. Possibley. However, if anyone out there is suffering at this time of year, I can't say I understand, but I do know it gets better. Contrary to popular belief the light at the end of the tunnel isn't a train coming the other way!