I had a very illuminating conversation with my mother last night. I told her “I think I suffer from depression,” and she did not disagree. She said that she and I are different. She is only depressed when she’s going through a difficult situation (and the last time she was not going through a difficult situation, Eisenhower was just entering the Oval Office).
I was surprisingly thrilled to be validated in my depression. I’m still afraid to admit that I have it. I have a voice inside my head that says “in your case, it’s not a real condition. You’re just overreacting. You’re conjuring something that isn’t there because you want to come up with a brand for your comedy.”
And that’s not true (except the part about coming up with a brand for my comedy. Depression – that’s why I want to come up with a bumper sticker showing an attractive woman wearing a cat sweater and eating Cheetos with the caption “putting the ‘sin’ in Depression.”)
Whether this is a genetic condition that I have had since birth, or a series of habits that I have cultivated over the years as a defense mechanism, it is a real thing. I cannot let myself off of the hook. I cannot allow myself to be at peace. I must always be worried about something. I must always have anxiety about something. There must always be a problem. It’s like I’m living on the Starship Enterprise, and every week, there’s a new crisis. Maybe everyone on the Enterprise is depressed, and they get off on the constant threat of danger. (I don’t buy it – Scotty seems happy most of the time. McCoy on the other hand, has had enough).