I try to do things every day. I like to stay busy. Lately I’ve been working on two films, freelancing weddings, using the D80 every chance I get, pursuing gainful employment, and, of course, moving out of my old place. Usually it’s easy to do this stuff – I have ADD (in addition to the insomnia, anxiety, depression and bulimia) (whee!), so entertaining multiple projects suits me well. But lately, it hasn’t been so.
A cloud began to come over me the day I saw Katsumi, and for the first time in a long time I remembered what real depression was like. At first it was just that, a memory, but gradually I felt myself being pulled further and further, closer to the dark center. By the time I saw my shrink on Friday I was past the point of wanting to talk about it, and on Saturday, despite a schedule packed with opportunity, I could barely get out of bed. The afternoon was blocked off to photograph Stephl’s wedding shower and in the evening I’d contracted myself out for more free freelance, shooting Bossy’s blogger meetup at Noir. I should have been ecstatic, but instead I spent twenty minutes staring at the ceiling, pondering the likelihood I could escape showering for just one more day.
I was able to haul myself up and perform, but the effort was superhuman. Even John’s news that Jake was safe and sound did nothing to buoy my spirits. I left the blog event asap after shooting – every word out of my mouth sounded more self-pitying than the last – and lit my first cigarette before I even left the parking garage. This was it, I thought, this was how I used to live. Dragging myself from one place to another, barely managing to keep up my game face, begging out of social engagements, adopting questionable hygenic standards… This was it. Eternal fatigue, terrible loneliness, utter helplessness, total despair. This. I struggled so hard against it for so very long, and, after such a blissful respite, its return was unbearable.
That night, I cautioned my new paramour to be careful. “This can happen any time,” I told him flatly. “Medication stops working. Therapy breaks down. And just like that, I could end up back in the Bin. This is something you should know.”
He maintains he’s not scared. But I am.
I felt better today, for no good reason whatsoever, and spent the afternoon basking in the sun near Boston Medical Center. I used my first vampire clip, rigged my first wireless microphone, and shot the first tape of the first shoot of my first film ever. It was momentous, but there was no celebratory champagne. I realize now how fragile this contentment can be, this fire and this drive, and now I remember how impossible it is sometimes just to wash it away with a wink and a smile. Depression is like being in love. Once it happens, you’re powerless. You’re done, until it lets you go.