Corporate Peon: Epiphany

Thursday, January 06, 2005


It occurred to me this morning, as I walked to my car admist 5-10 inches of fresh snow, that a heavy snowfall is a lot like depression. You can't always prepare for it - sometimes it sneaks up on you. And sometimes, no matter how hard you do prepare, it doesn't help.

The snow, like depression, covers everything you know to be true. It changes the whole landscape - what was once green and fresh and easy to see now becomes hidden and secret and all you're left with is a memory of what it was.

It's not always easy to pull yourself out from under either. You know that all you need to do is bundle up and hunker down and use the right tools, but it's not always as easy as it seems. Sometimes the lure of the warm covers and the fetal position seems like the only cure.

Certain triggers are more apt to set either off: cold weather and meteorological...things, can trigger a snowfall. Snowfalls can trigger depression in some people. Death, a break-up, being fired, anything, really, significant or not, can trigger depression.

After reading Prozac Nation a few years ago and finding myself seriously identifying with Elizabeth Wurtzel, I self-diagnosed myself with dysthymia. It's basically the 'walking pneumonia' of depression - you still function, do your job, go to social engagements, but it's hard to do. It's all an act that's put on, and once the scene is cover, you collapse. It's an effort to be 'on' so much, and when you have the chance to be 'off,' overload on it.

It was a relief to find out that there was a name for what I had; I always just thought I was moody and ungrateful. It still haunts me, that question: I have SO much - why can't I just be happy with that? My copy of Prozac Nation is dog-eared and highlighted, with passages underlined and whole paragraphs marked. I scavaged the internet, looking for causes, symptoms, effects of this disease. Could I have prevented it? Is it genetic? How do I get rid of it?

Turns out, I can't, but I can manage it. Except I've found that I'm about as good as that as I am in managing my online bills.

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