Saturday, October 31, 2009

Day 2 of Freedom

The postings on this site are my own and don't necessarily represent IBM's positions, strategies or opinions.

Inspired by My Friend Helen

Pat has gone to pick up the stray mini-pumpkins from last night's jack-o-lantern lighting fest at the Presby Iris Gardens and I can see from the web-cam that she has her work cut out for her.

My friend Helen has been blogging super-honestly and it's heartening to read -- picks me up, even when the entries are sad, and makes me feel more connected to humanity. I'll try to follow her example:

Anyone who knows me knows that I'm known for my enthusiasm. So how can such an enthusiastic person be depressed? It's a good question, and it *is* unnerving to be so, as I'm used to being easily delighted, highly-appreciative, observant of my surroundings and generally ready to laugh when provoked.

Thankfully, Pat still can provoke me. From the silly to the hilarious, Pat can make me giggle. Yesterday, during a lower-than-typical point -- my period had finally arrived -- I heard a huge diesel engine expelling exhaust on our street, and said, "What's that?" even as I knew.

"It's me," Pat said. That's just silly. And from a few weeks ago, a friend of my mom died, who she never allowed herself to be romantic with, as she believed he had served in the Norwegian version of Hitler Youth as a kid. When he died, Pat said, "He may have been an anti-Semite, but he was *her* anti-Semite." Hilarious.

Do I feel free, coming out as depressed? Sort of. I'm grateful that my employer does not discriminate based on genetics -- and though I've got no proven connection between my genes and this depression, somehow that non-discrimination policy is encouraging me to be myself.

I woke up, reasoning, hardly anyone reads your blog in any case, Sarah....No offense meant to anyone who does, and thank you for doing so. In other words, if I weigh what it has been costing me to stay silent, rather than write and share my actual feelings against playing it safe and avoiding this topic of prolonged sadness, I feel less ultimately vulnerable in choosing to share it.

The other day, I was speaking with a friend who will be visiting us from a faraway country. I have not seen my friend in years. She was joking (or not) about how she'd need to abstain from chocolate, so that she wouldn't be heavy when she saw us.

I told her, "I wish my head weren't so heavy. I don't think I'm the person you remember first meeting anymore," and then I began to cry.

"Oh, Sarah, I haven't yet made my flight-plans. Let me know if you want me to take an extra day off and we can just sit in the house and talk if you need to."

I didn't accept my friend's offer, and then I almost wrote to her later, agreeing. Discretion won for once, though, and I opted to let her go home on schedule.

I need to thank God that this depression isn't grandly-justified, and really, is probably based on low-humility; I thought I would be further along in life by now -- even saying that aloud makes me feel ungrateful. It's irrational, as on the one hand, in my early-twenties, I couldn't imagine what the future held, and certainly didn't expect it to be what it has become -- with a partner of 17 years so far; and a chunk of time spent in India, doing meaningful work; and being cat-parents to two sister-cats; and being a highly-successful grad student; and being the aunt of four great kids; and living in a gorgeous town in a great house, but still....

I care too much about what others think of me; I'm not yet a famous writer; I did not have a child organically or otherwise, and haven't yet determined how in any case to leave a meaningful legacy; and in my ego-centric mind, I thought I'd be more famous generally by now. I think these are my main reasons for the depression.

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