I've been pretty depressed recently - I would say clinically depressed. For about the last week or so, somewhat longer than usual. I've written about this state before and described this as my "chemical" phase, as opposed to my usual low-level or moderate phases. The condition comes on suddenly for no reason and there's nothing really I can do to mitigate it. The good news is it goes as suddenly and mysteriously as it arrives. And today it's gone. Happily, I'm back to being my usual miserable old self.
Blogging isn't eay when you're in this condition. It's very difficult when you're severely depressed to be witty and amusing or to see the world for what it is - a place of contrasts, of good and bad people, of wonderful opportunities and dreadful events. There's no room for hope in my depressed, monochromatic world.
And that's wrong. Because there's always hope. And cause for hope too. To paraphrase John Lennon - there are lots of problems but lots of solutions too. It just takes a while to find them. The danger is that you stop looking.
When I'm in the condition I've been in recently I take comfort in a story I read many years ago. I found it in the unlikely setting of the autobiography of Phil Silvers, the man who played Sergeant Bilko. In middle-age he was struck down by severe and debilitating clinical depression. He tried everything to ameliorate his condition - drugs, therapy, clinical intervention etc - but nothing worked. Many days he couldn't get out of bed. His general health suffered terribly. He couldn't work. His world fell apart. This condition lasted for years. Suicide seemed to be the only way out.
And then one morning he woke up and he was better. Completely back to normal. It was a miracle, truly a miracle.
So when I'm suffering I think of Sergeant Bilko. And he gives me hope. And when I'm better again, he also makes me laugh. And I'm laughing right now just thinking about him and that dopey expression on his face.
And I'm looking forward to the challenge of writing a nice, upbeat, life-affirming blog post for a change.