Last night I had a meeting about me making a major professional change of starting my own business. There's a huge amount of work and risk involved with that.
Lastly, we have had house guests for six of the last eight weeks. My present guest has his own reasons to be stressed out. I feel torn between trying to be a listening ear and keeping my own head above water.
I know that said "lastly" with the previous comment but the real kicker is that Denise and I become empty-nesters in two weeks. It will be a profound change in our lives. I wish I wasn't in the haze of chaos right now so I could focus on Ramsey's last days at home.
So I haven't had much time to write here. Heck, I haven't had any good thoughts of late because I'm so tired. I don't sleep well when I'm stressed. Then I get desperate and take a medication to help me catch up . . . which leaves me chemically impaired for the day. I've never figured out which is the lessor of evils, being impaired by insomnia or sleeping well under the influence of medications and then living with the "after glow" more like "after dull" of the medication for the rest of the day.
I wanted to talk about Evangelicals burning Korans. But I couldn't get my head around that right now. I did get in trouble on a medical forum when I said something negative about the Bozo pastor behind it.
But the thought that came to me in the last 24 hours, between the fog and the total distraction of taking care of desperate patients, relates to a few words I heard on Fresh Air with Terry Gross last night. I caught only five minutes of the broadcast so I'm not positive who she was interviewing or about what. I mean, I know he was an author. I think it was Jonathan Franzen talking about his new book Freedom.
This is approximately how it went. I tried to find the exact script on line but was unable.
Terry: "Why do you include characters who are depressed? Is there something behind that?
Franzen: "All interesting people have some darkness within them. They make the best characters because they are so real and rich. There is so much to draw from in their character." (something like that).
So it started me thinking. While I've experienced at least two bouts of serious. clinical depression, that is not the cross I bear. I mean, I wouldn't give myself the diagnosis of depression, at least for the past 10 years. I am respectful that it could raise its ugly head at any time so I am vigilant.
My baggage (thorn in the flesh or whatever metaphor you want to use) is anxiety. Yeah, I live with it daily where depression comes like a season . .. here in great strength, then melts away for a long duration.
But I liked the positive spin that Franzen put on the milder forms of mental illness (versus the more serious like schizophrenia). We who suffer such, have a deeper well to draw from. Yeah, that sounds sweet.
I've notice how so many of the great artists dealt with the darkness of depression or the noose of anxiety. Many of them took their own lives in then end. I think of Hemingway et al.
So I think to feel deeply about life and the beauty therein, runs the risk of feeling the darkness of the fall.
So, at least today, if I could push a button and suddenly be someone who has never struggled with mental illness . . . I'm not so sure I would.