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Mild depression is still depression - Elf M. Sternberg
Mild depression is still depression
I'm mildly depressed. Or as I put it when it happens, I'm "cycling down." I call it that because it comes in cycles. Or epicycles, I guess, but I'm mathematically inclined: the big cycles aren't quite annual, and they don't happen on a schedule, so they're not SAD; the small cycles are fairly predictable with six-to-eight week lengths between the high and low points. The high points are manic, and I treasure them when they occur; the low points are, well, basically, this week.

I knew it was oncoming Monday morning, before the announcement of Robin Williams's death; the symptoms are familiar by now: multiple hits to the snooze alarm, a "fuck it all" attitude toward my morning meditation ritual, forgetting to do any physical upkeep beyond the bare minimum (I remember to brush my teeth, but working out, shaving or using moisturizer is just too damned much work—first world problems indeed), apathy toward my projects.

Certainly the depth of it is bad this week. I have all sorts of external excuses: I've hit an inflection point in a novella where now I have to knuckle down and marshall the 38,000 words I already have into, you know, an actual goddamned story; I've hit that point in my personal software project where, to get to the next adventure I'll have to do work and maybe write stuff I know I'll have to throw away; my professional workload is full of vaguaries and office politics, neither of which I know how to handle well. My friends have been dealing with their own hits.

And Williams, well... damn. I discovered the non-Mork version of Robin Williams about the same time I discovered Robert Anton Wilson, and that's a damnably explosive combination in any teenager's head. Both were brilliant, both looked at the world through a very discerningly distorted lens, and both shaped reality to their whim through sheer force of will. I can make Robin Williams references as fast as most geeks go through Monty Python. I had every one of his comedy albums and most of his live shows on VHS. (Ask your parents about VHS. It's like an SD card, only really big and clunky and really shitty addressing speeds.) If Robert Wilson taught me how to be different, Robin Williams taught me how to create defense mechanisms against those who attacked me for being "different."

Anyway, I'm not clinical. I have hope, and not that meta-hope some depressives get. I know how to manage it, step one being move the morning meditation to the evening so I don't have to think about it when I climb out of bed. Go to bed at 10pm, not 10:30pm. Checklists and timers. I'll climb out of this, like usual, and a few weeks from now I'll be back in fully high-functioning mode, writing a thousand words a day, finishing the do() operator in my compiler (really, it's a simple thing, I should just, er, do it), and producing lots of silliness.

But for now... sigh.

Maybe I should stop listening to Rainy Cafe. It's too bad, it really is highly effective at filtering out distractions.

Current Mood: depressed depressed
Current Music: Rainy Cafe

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