"But," I told him, "I'm not depressed. Unhappy at times, of course. Discouraged? Sure. Not optimistic about the future? Have you been reading the news?"
He said, "I just think you dwell too much on the dark side of life."
True enough. But the world is a dark place. If it wasn't such a cliche, I'd quote Yeats' "The Second Coming." That I can recall Beckett's “They give birth astride of a grave, the light gleams an instant, then it’s night once more," says more about my education than it does my world view.
Last year, when losing our daughter seemed darkly certain, yes, I was depressed. When I lost my job and our finances were desperate, I was depressed. When my father died, I was depressed. But being depressed when things happen seems natural, and to cushion yourself against these shocks is to deny your humanity.
It is the depression that has no reason, the black dog, that might call for a pill to muzzle the beast. But for me, that black dog is there to remind me that life isn't a comfort and that sadness and struggle are all part of this existence.
I told my doctor this, and explained that when I tried Wellbutrin (even the name suggests a mediocrity of emotion) it made me feel removed from the people around me, and I found it hard to engage because I just didn't care. I don't want to not care. In fact, I want to care more.
I suggested to my doctor that if he really wanted to know how I was doing day to day, he could read this blog. I think I'm pretty open here, and for good or ill, you know how I'm doing on any given week depending on what shiny objects are attracting my attention.
He was intrigued, pulled out a pad and pen and said, "I'll do that. What's the name of your blog?"
I told him.
"A Dark Planet."
He sighed and said, "Oh, David."
So, Dr. Evans, if you are indeed reading this, let me end on a brighter note, something in a major key.
Something like Party Time!