A warning light is pulsing on the control panel in front of you, but it can wait. You’ll get to it in a moment. So many things to do.
A polite, persistent bleeping began at some point. You weren’t paying enough attention to recall when. It’s ever so slightly out of phase with the warning light.
You feel a dull rumbling through the seat, the floor, between your joints. The room shifts on its axis, as if it’s falling away from under you.
Darkness. A klaxon splutters and honks. Rotating beacons cut the room into contorted still images. Orange, blue, orange, blue.
You watch a wall puncture, crack, and tear. The air around you whistles out into silence.
Metal grinds through metal. It would sound like two trains carving through each other, but for the vacuum.
Then the walls peel away.
Floating. Alone. Adrift. Bewildered.
In depression, no one can hear you scream.
Late last year, I had another crash. (Episode is a silly word.) I should’ve seen it coming. Or, I did see it coming, but pretty much anything else short of anchovies is more pleasant than actually dealing with it.
I have no right or reason to be depressed. There are contributing factors, for sure, but no root cause. In every other respect, life is grand. But that’s not how depression works. It’s a parasite, sucking out every feeling until you’re a dead-eyed husk… except guilt. That one it nurtures.
What’s weird is having a graphical representation of the fall. Check it out: Metadata! The quantified self!
This is a collectd chart of the RAM utilisation in my desktop computer. SLIVER has two big monitors, a nice video card, proper headphones, and so on. It’s where the work gets done, and it’s a dead zone from late November to mid February. My GitHub activity chart looks much the same.
Things improved in February, but I’m still taking a break from work. I need to get my shit together, and don’t want to disappoint anyone if I hit another wall. See that gap in March? Another wall!
But I’m out of the dead zone.
On good days, I’ve been seeing friends, doing personal projects, science experiments, and learning new things. On bad days, sleeping, watching television, reloading web pages. I’m still trading the occasional people-heavy event for a couple of bad days to “recover”. Pfft. That’ll get better.
It sucks being away from work. Lots of big changes and exciting things going on. But I’m grateful for the support, understanding, and time away. Back soon.
– — –
The big difference this time around is hope. Psychologically, I know I can beat depression a hundred times worse, because I did. Financially, I can survive a siege of non-functional depression because I’ve had three years to build a war chest to outlast it. Personally and professionally, I’m more confident because I know where I fit, and what I need to learn.
So, it’s been a shitty few months. But it’s going to be okay.