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Living with Depression, or, How Can The Broken Component Accurately Diagnose And Fix Itself?

I have Depression.  Lots of it.  Call it "Major Depression" or "Moderate-to-Severe Depression" or whatever you want.  It's always there, it always sucks, and it's always next to impossible to describe what it's like to live with to people who don't have it.
But I'm gonna try, and I'm gonna use a computer analogy.  So if you don't like those, you're not gonna like this post.

See, it's tough to deal with depression and hear all the well-meaning comments about "get help", "there's help out there", "get medication", "get therapy", etc.  Because all those rely on me recognizing I'm broken and taking action to fix it.  It's like my brain is a computer, with a glitchy health-check program.  It runs a diagnostic, and comes back with "All OK!  No problems here!" when it's clear to literally everyone else that nothing is OK, and I have all the problems.  So of course I don&#…
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A Modern Fairy Tale

Once upon a time, not so long ago, there was a princess.  She wasn't the "fairest in the land", nor was she beset by Evil Stepmothers and Stepsisters, nor was she a fairy princess.  She didn't live in a castle, surrounded by a moat, or fire, or guarded by a dragon.  She wasn't cursed.  But she was a princess all the same.  And she dreamed of the day her prince would come, and carry her off on his white horse, and they would live
Happily Ever After.

Because that's how all the fairy tales end.  All princesses eventually marry princes, who carry them away on their white horse, and they live
Happily Ever After.

As the princess grew, she learned about things other than just "waiting for a prince".  She learned about how her world worked, and about other worlds.  She read about space ships, and stars, and adventures, and tragedy, and triumph. About elves, and war, and rings.  And for a little while, she thought maybe she wouldn't want a prince after all…

An Analogy

I sit at my campfire.  Today, it burns low.  It's hard to keep it high enough to provide the warmth and light that it used to.  The warmth keeps the pain away. The light enables me to find more fuel for the fire.  Sometimes, I have enough wood to feed the fire well, and the fire burns so high that I'm nice and toasty warm - and there's light enough to forage quite a distance for wood.  Sometimes, the wood I find is excellent fuel, and it burns long, hot, and brightly.  It lasts a long time. Other times, I don't find much more than a little bit of bark - or all I find is wood that burns up immediately, and doesn't provide much in the way of heat and light. I never know which kind of wood it will be, because it all looks the same.  I have to put it on the fire to see if today will be a good day, with a warm bright fire, or if today will be a dim, cold, bad day with a small glowing coal where a fire should be.
Always, always there is pain.  Sometimes the pain is a sma…


Today I took Jeremy to the vet for an evaluation of his allergies and progression in "fixing" them.  The conclusion was that he's not getting better.  His skin was getting worse, even though he was on an allergy medication that should have fixed the issue - especially since he was getting serum shots (allergy shots) as well.
His arthritis has progressed rapidly as well - noticeably worse - just between the beginning of the year and now.
The conclusion was a probable autoimmune disorder, such as lupus - the most severe kind (SLE).  Treatment is immune suppressants, and massive doses of steroids.  Treatment may not even be that effective, and SLE can attack the entire system, including blood vessels and organs.  Since Jeremy's been so bad for so long, I expect he was having some organ damage as well as skin damage, which all would have only gotten worse over time.
So, I did the hardest thing for me, but the kindest thing for him.  He's not in pain anymore.  He'…
I've been thinking about grief, and to be honest, my sadness and grief is essentially all selfish. It's all "I" based - I miss him, I miss the things he did for me and for us, I miss having someone to talk to and someone tangible to "belong" to... Stuff  like that. NONE of it is because I doubt he is in heaven or anything like that.
So it's weird, but the articles, and books, and so on about "what it's like in heaven" that most people use / need for comfort really don't do anything for me. I guess it's because, even when I told the doctor to take Kev off  life support, I knew - and not just "knew", but KNEW with  a  bone - deep certainty - that he was in heaven.  I KNOW I will see him again. I KNOW he's far, far happier there than he ever could have been on earth.

My tears are not for him. They never were. They are for me. Yes, some of them are self - pitying. Some of them are just an overflow of pain that has  to hav…

"I gotta tell Kev..."

Not that I thought I'd suddenly stop thinking "I gotta tell Kev..." but sometimes it sneaks up on me and gut-punches me.  Yesterday I was driving by the Ford Dealership in town.  Background - their roof was destroyed by the sheer weight of snow over the last winter, so they took the building down and had a temporary trailer brought on-site to work from.  Kev and I had been speculating about whether or not they were going to rebuild or just go with the trailer.  So I saw as I drove by yesterday that hey, looks like they have a foundation marked out and poured for the new building.  And my first thought was "Oh wow, Kev'll be so surprised when I tell him...that....they...."
"Right.  Or, y'know....NOT.  :: sigh  :: "