Sun came in one day and I woke up NOT under crushing blackness

This blog appears to be morphing from a science blog to one on mental health issues… which isn’t bad, I guess. For the first time in months, I woke up not buckling under the weight of crushing depression, which is somewhat odd. People who have depression issues know that it isn’t simply feeling down about this or that, rather the problem is that no matter what may be happening at the time, it is simply impossible to not feel down, even when one knows it’s all irrational and baseless.

Granted, I have a lot to be depressed about, my job is thankless, money issues, serious family issues… there’s a lot wrong with my life at this point, some of which is due to my mental health issues, some of which isn’t…. but, as in epidemiology, finding the root cause of a problem, isn’t necessarily all that easy. X causes Y which changes X which again changes Y. I could make a cool dynamic model out of my mind and my life… Or not.  Point is that there’s not just one thing to blame for the current wreckage of my life.

So, waking up this morning at a normal hour (6 am) with the sun rising and shining into my east-facing apartment was kind of pleasant. I got up, made some coffee, ate some cereal and felt somewhat normal for the first time in a long time. People who understand these things know that there are days where it all just magically goes away and you’re left standing and asking yourself what the fuck all that was about.

Not sure what it is… but in the rational times, you sit and assess what it is that brings the darkness on and makes it stay. Maybe it was not watching TV before I went to bed, maybe it’s the book I’m reading, maybe it’s the live recording our band did at the National Theater last night, maybe it’s having stopped by a place for dinner on the way home and seeing people I hadn’t seen in a while, maybe it’s being able to send money home, maybe it’s any number of positive things to balance out all the negatives not so you forget, but so that you remember that life isn’t completely black. I don’t know. I have no clue, but I’ll keep looking.

So, to whoever out there reads this and worries, I’m sorry. I don’t post all this to make people worry or feel sympathy or whatever… but thanks all the same,. I hope that everyone is well, particularly those in the US where it is cold and I’m not there. I hope you are all getting along well. Despite all the terrible shit I do to myself and others, I love all of you.

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About Pete Larson

Assistant Professor of Epidemiology at the Nagasaki University Institute for Tropical Medicine
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