A Study in Depression

This sickness has been an education in depression and hope and the weakness of cognition.

I got a cold. It was a few weeks ago. Colds in the Northwest last for, like, 18 weeks. They’re oily residues that stick to everything.

Whatevs, I got better. For three days I breathed free and easy. Then I got the flu.

It’s been a good few years since I had the flu. Fuck the flu. The flu are assholes. At least it’s only at its worst for a couple days. Then it does that residue thing too, sticking around for several days.

The asshole is still sticking around. I’m dealing with the rattly head thing and snot, lots of snot, too much snot, really.

Ok, let’s talk about what these assholes do to my brain thoughts. Want to know what I’m like? I’m like this dog:

I’m a golden retriever—I love you, I dance and lol and frolic. I enthuse and brighten and dream and think and lick, lots and lots of licking, too much licking, really.

My mind works quick and fun, that’s what I’m like. That quality defines a good deal of me to others and to myself as well.

But when I’m sick, the sick residue makes everything stick, makes me slow and lonely and empty in my brain. I don’t get thoughts. I don’t frolic. And I definitely don’t lick.

When I’m sick I get down, I start thinking shitty, sticky thoughts. Clearly nothing I’ve been planning will work out. Clearly that other guy is doing everything better than me and I should just quit now. Clearly there’s no point in following through on those decisions I made for my career recently, I’m no good at that stuff. Clearly I’ll have to settle the rest of my life on mediocrity and my son will look at me with pity and resentment when he grows.


That’s what it’s like. It’s all so clear when I’m sick. So clearly failing. So clearly pointless. So clearly without hope.

So, here’s me: this frolicking, excited, inspired young man. And then here’s me when I’m sick: this bleak, dense, frowning depressed guy.

I would like to have control over these thoughts but they come unbidden, in both camps—when I’m healthy and when I’m sick.

Here’s the rub: I’ve still got work to do, even when I’m sick. Even when my mind and mood are constantly shitting on whatever I’m working on I have to try to make some progress. And boy oh boy is that a lesson.

So I’ve made it a practice to remind myself that I’m just dealing with a little depression right now, my physiology is reinforcing it and acting like a shit head, so just do the best you can and stick it out. The project will look totally different in a few days when you’ve got healthy eyes again.

It all makes me feel like a crazy person. I had to put this piece of writing down a few times for this reason. I want to be a golden retriever again.

The Flu Are Assholes™

The Matterful Monthly

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