This is one of my rare, navel-gazing posts. Bear with me and you’ll be back to my infrequent postings about WordPress and code in no time.
One of my favorite book series is Douglas Adams “The Hitchhiker’s Guide To the Galaxy” – I will re-read it every few years and I’m itching to read it again.
If the book wasn’t so freaking big (I have the hardcover of all 5 books – it’s a good 2+ inches thick1) I’d haul it to read on the plane before my team’s meetup in Hawaii in March.
Now if you’ve never read the books, I’m going to spoil the ending for you so just go close that tab if you want to be blissfully ignorant.
Faithful readers of this series knows about the “Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, The Universe, and Everything” that runs through the entire series. From Wikipedia:
The number 42 is, in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams, “The Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything”, calculated by an enormous supercomputer over a period of 7.5 million years. Unfortunately no one knows what the question is. Thus, to calculate the Ultimate Question, a special computer the size of a small planet was built from organic components and named “Earth”.
As today is my 42nd birthday, it occurred to me that I should have answers to some of the questions in this program called “life.” Looking back, all I have are more questions than answers.
What is happiness?
What is health?
What is normal?
All things swirling around my head nowadays.
It’s not well known outside my close friends and family, but my husband suffers from clinical depression and anxiety and at times it’s quite severe. During those times, my life is put on hold while his disease takes control of my every waking moment (and sometimes when asleep when I have nightmares about the worst things that could happen). Does that make me love him less, care about him less, make me less happy?
No. That would be like saying that I’m going to divorce my husband because he has cancer. Depression is a disease. It’s diagnosable. It’s treatable. But it doesn’t go away.
One of the things that bothers me about people’s perspective of depression is that it’s something that you can just shake yourself out of…that one just isn’t trying hard enough to “get over it.” That if you just “stop being a whiner” it’ll go away. That’s not depression.
Depression isn’t being angry that Sephora stopped carrying your favorite lipstick.
Depression is not being grief stricken that your grandma passed away.
Depression isn’t being upset that Starbucks stopped making Pumpkin Spice Lattes for the season.
Feeling depressed or sad is not the same as being clinically depressed.
True clinical depression is a mood disorder in which feelings of sadness, loss, anger, or frustration interfere with everyday life for weeks or more. Reason doesn’t work. Logic doesn’t work. Tears don’t work. Ultimatums don’t work. All the love in the world doesn’t work.
All you can do is be there and be supportive. Make sure they’re taking care of themselves. Make them talk and not sit alone with their depression. Make them follow their treatment plan. It sucks. You have to put your feelings on hold and try to make it through those dark times, but it’s exhausting.
It doesn’t make it easier over time. In fact, the knowledge of what’s to come almost makes it harder. That doesn’t change things though. He’s my husband and I love him. Through sickness and health.
That’s one of the things swirling around in my head.
Another is about my birthday. While I never really made a big deal about my birthday, I still ended up doing something special. Going out for cocktails with our good friends, maybe a special dinner with the husband, cards/gifts/flowers, etc. This year, I was hoping to do something special, but the immediacy of other life issues means that “special” isn’t in the cards this time. I don’t always miss my MN friends, but there are definitely times when I wish they were around. Today’s one of those days.
Moving to a new state has had its ups and downs. I love where we live, I love the weather, and I love the memories and opportunities we’re creating. The downs of being away from our MN friends and family, getting used to new routines, meeting new friends, etc. While “meeting friends” seems to be an odd choice for a downer, it’s because of the void left by our really, close friends is so huge.
It’s funny really. Seeing our MN friends doing so many fun things and hanging out together, I get hit with little pangs of sadness and jealousy. Y U NO MISS US?
Ironic that my birthday is on a Thursday this year.
Tonight, I think we’re going to go out for ramen at our favorite Japanese restaurant, then I’m going to enjoy some wine while I watch TV. Nothing special, I know.
Maybe I should add cheesecake to the mix? Cheesecake makes everything better, right?
1 That’s what she said!