Tuesday, January 23, 2007

A few nights ago, B and I were talking about our favorite money. I said I'd like to have all my money in 10-dollar bills, two-dollar bills, dollar coins and dimes. I also said that I used to like the fives, but the new notes leave me wanting. That’s a surprise since Abraham Lincoln is my favorite old timey guy, not because of the Emancipation Proclamation, or the tall hat or the beard, but because of Lincoln’s beautiful writing and his relative openness in writing about his melancholy, the old timey, flowery name for depression.

Depression stops a person from being a person. It is hard to write about. Recently, I heard about a book called Against Depression and another called The Noonday Demon and another by an old media guy/politician/something important (I can’t quite remember); all these book are about depression in some way and are, by most accounts, good writing. When I heard about them, I felt a strong, strong urge to read them, to hear my story told by someone “important,” to be validated. “Look person-I-care-about, this is what is wrong with me. It is real. This is what it is like.”

At the same time, I felt (feel) ambivalence toward reading something that might, to my mind, misrepresent me. I also feel fear about reading something that could drag me down and destabilize my generally tenuous well being, even just for a short time. I don’t want any more lost days.


Perhaps it is the time to give it a try, if only in the spirit of fulfilling my 2007 goal to read more nonfiction.

All these thoughts started swirlin after reading this amazing post, via Dooce. Go read it. Dervala, thank you for your eloquence.


mary said...

1. I sometimes worry that, in America at least, the de-mystifying of depression in popular media (here I think especially of the lady-mags) has done too much to trivialize, you know, it's like, ooh, you have a pimple, ooh, you have depression. feeling down? beat the blues by noshing on tasty salmon!

2. also, people distrust things they cannot see by looking at you, or looking at your x-ray. especially american practical types. sometimes I think it is a lack of imagination. people also distrust things that are vague and take more than one setence to describe.

3. I definitely think 'a cold in the soul' would be an excellent name for an emo band, though.

Carrie said...

1-3: All true.

I feel too scattered to elaborate on that for now. Maybe later...