Why do I not suffer from depression…. even just a little bit..?
This is a question I ask myself pretty much all the time.
I’m exciteable and energetic. I can talk too much. And generally I’m happy and quick to laugh at most situations, even the bleak ones ..
As a child my father used to tell me to put my brain in gear before I engaged my mouth… I never heeded his advice – it wasn’t possible.
And advice is something you learn to parse.
My glass is not only half full… my glass always has something in it!
But my real education on this subject is largely derived from my 25 year relationship with my dear bipolar friend, Alan.
Our relationship has always been one of synergy.
We achieved so much. His intellect and mania, combined with my energy and pragmatism mainly got us into a lot of scrapes with people with deep pockets and large egos.
I was sometimes a Drain. But moreso I was the Rheostat. Because when Alan was Fountaining he needed a cap!
And then we got comfortable. We got some long term prosecution put behind us and stopped having to fight as brothers in arms.
But Alan’s mania and depression morphed into anxiety.
Over the last few years we have been meeting every week for a coffee. In the early days it was erratic on my part because of my new found freedom to be places in the world flying or biking.
Latterly, not only because of SARS-CoV-2, but because I came to appreciate how important it was as a regular anchor for Alan, it has become more of a regular fixture.
I’m usually concerned about Alan’s improvement or otherwise. I worry about being late because I know how difficult it is for him to be in a room full of people.
I try to make suggestions that may help. The last one was to get some decent earphones to listen to some tunes, purely and selfishly because I know how important music is to me.
But after a while, with no progress, you just turn up and enjoy a coffee and a chat.
Except that recently I’ve realised that I’m in therapy, not Alan.
In the last 18 months my general bonhomie toward humanity has deteriorated to the level where I see most people as fat shit scared parasites hanging on to unremarkable lives that, frankly, are not worth saving.
My general excitement of being alive has turned to anger. And through it all Alan has been there for me, listening and quietly draining the emotional pus and violence out of me.
Our relationship has always been one of synergy and support; interchangeable accelerator and brake.
Equilibrium is slowly being restored….