The Gathering Darkness

Commercial Fishing Dock by Taku Smokeries

Image by gillfoto via Flickr

When I first started this blog I was just back from spending a week or so living in the darker places of my mind. I am pretty sure I know why, but that may or may not be a topic for another day. The point is I have been spending way too much time near the edge.

Yesterday was not a good day. When I was a young adult I had the privilege of being involved in some commercial fishing. The license structure allowing entry to this fishery has changed a great deal, and due to some decisions made when I was fighting some of the darkest days of my life I am no longer allowed access to the fishery. Of course that is all I really want to be doing and there are some unique circumstances surrounding my license that have nothing to do with depression. I have always thought that if I could speak to the man in charge of the fishery and lay out these circumstances I would be allowed back in, but getting that meeting is nearly impossible. Well after nearly a decade of trying I got the meeting I was looking for and it was yesterday. Turns out I was wrong. I was sent home being told that while he empathized with the situation I was “screwed”. Yes the quotes are there because it is the actual word this government official used. I don’t really blame him for his word choice as it is probably the best descriptor for my circumstances.

Today a large part of me wishes I had not had the meeting. I had been living with hope and now it’s gone. I have felt lost for years with only a vague idea of where I wanted to be. I was able to spend the summer working in this fishery at the very bottom of the food chain, and it refocused me on how badly I wanted to be doing it, just in time to be officially shut out. There is a government commission looking into the licensing structure, and a little over a year from now they are due to report and make recommendations for changes, but when you need to make changes in your life sooner rather than later a year is a very long time to live with uncertainty.

The timing on this news could not have been worse. Here in the north winter is fast approaching and with it is coming darkness in both a literal and figurative sense. I used to like the winter, but since depression became a part of my life I dread it. I hate the darkness. The short days really bother me, and those stupid fucking light bulbs do nothing to change that. As this winter approaches I have already slipped once, and all the feelings that led me down that path are still in place and now compounded by further feeling of loss, and being lost. I am scared. I have been down this road too many times, and I can see it coming. It is going to be a long winter.

As I write this I wonder if this is what it feels like to be an addict. I can see the path I am headed down. I know that like drugs the thoughts in my head are dangerous. I know that if I let them creep in it will more than likely spiral out of control, but I can’t seem to stop it. I know I shouldn’t do it, but I do it anyway and feel powerless to stop it. I don’t want to feel like shit, but my body reacts the way it reacts. Am I making excuses for myself here? Rationalizing? Probably, but that doesn’t change the fact that this is how it seems to work.

I hoped to fill this blog with insightful reflection on my experience with depression and anxiety. I wanted to avoid the pity party, but the truth is I am still living day to day and I don’t always feel smart and insightful. Some days I just feel like shit. The goal is to limit these days and I hope that expressing myself here will help me see the dangerous thought patterns developing. God knows I can see them here, now I just need to find the energy and the strength to do something about it. Wish me luck.

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9 thoughts on “The Gathering Darkness

  1. Ooooh! I just wanna make it better! Gnnnn….What a shitty day. Look, I know that I can’t fix any of this, and I feel like a world-class schmuck for even suggesting this. You can tell me to f*ck off if you’d like, but I live in the cold North as well. I’m dreading the approaching winter, too. It’s too damn dark all the time. A friend of mine is horribly affected by SADS, and she was plagued by paralyzing depression in the winter although I think she struggled with it year round. It’s just that it was worse in the darker months. Here’s where I feel like a complete schlong…she got her vitamin D levels checked, and they were too low. For most people living in the North, they’re too low. Turns out, that actually does play a part in SADS. She takes massive does of D3 in the winter, and, while it’s not perfect, it’s enormously better. There are studies, double-blind, that have shown that increasing one’s intake of omega-3 can be almost as effective as an SSRI (http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100621111238.htm). So, that’s me being a jerk. You may already know all of this, but if you don’t, then….

    I’m not some hippy-dippy person who’s anti-drug. Clearly, not. But, you are suffering. This place inside me twists when I read your posts, C. And, since I know you’ve made certain choices to preserve a certain quality of life, I wanted to make sure that you knew the aforementioned because, if you didn’t, then maybe, just maybe, your quality of life could get better. Even if it’s 5%. That’s still better than nothing.

    I hope that you know some peace today. It’ll get better. It *will*!!!

    LJ

    • I have had the vitamin D conversation with my primary doc. Mine is low, as is expected from those of us that live up here, and I have a supplement that I too for a bit. I didn’t notice much improvement of the fatigue I had gone to see him about in the first place or my mood. Of course I was in a better place then so maybe I would notice now.

  2. I don’t really see this as a “pity party.” I think you should write about whatever’s on your mind at the moment. I’ve found that writing about my problems can sometimes be therapeutic. The end result gives you something to reflect on later. Besides, even when writing about your hard times, in a sense you’re still reflecting. This post seems quite reflective to me. I’m sorry to hear about what happened. 😦

  3. I don’t know what to say, like DH above, i want to reach out and offer solutions. I too have struggled with this darkness most of my life. It has been better the last 5 years. Better. Some dietary changes, some lifestyle changes, better. Am sending you some healing energy across the waves.

  4. Sorry you had such a disappointment, but I think it’s great that you realize your thoughts are dangerous and you need to get control of them. I wish I had some real advice, but all I could say is that I think you just have to keep forcing your head above the water. When you are in the ocean, you can’t just float along hoping to swim, it takes physical strength and determination to make it. I’m sure you’ll make it!

    • Thanks for taking a look at my blog. I have struggled with these issues for well over a decade,and am in a much better place today than when it all started, but the process is ongoing. The plan here is to chronicle some of my past experience while working through whatever comes along. So far the response as been positive. Thanks again for stopping by.

  5. Except for the fishing and the living up north, I could have written this entire post. I feel like people probably get sick of hearing about this when I write about my bad days on my blog. Living on the edge, the gathering darkness – those are both ways I’ve described how I feel recently. It’s not really living, is it? It sucks and is so overwhelming. Keep writing what you feel, because you’re most definitely not alone. Big hugs to you.

  6. Pingback: The Downeaster Alexa | Tiptoeing Around The Abyss

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