Besides blue eyes and a very fortunate metabolism, I inherited three things from my mother: a tendency to exaggerate; a love of gift-giving; and depression. It's this last little legacy that has plagued my day.
It begins in a way very similar to catching cold. Only instead of waking up one morning with a hint of a sore throat, I'll be driving down the road and feel a soft tug on my heart. A gentle but very perceptible feeling of dread. And just as the sore throat will develop into a runny nose and achy limbs, the dread mounts and slows me down until I stop. And for a while, I will be sad.
I love/hate the word 'depressed.' It's too shrinky and overused when I look at it from the normal perspective. But if I think about it in the physical way - like, a button that has actually been pressed down, it feels quite apt. 'Deflated' and 'leaded' work nicely too. Depression isn't a hot topic of conversation, at least not in any circles I run in, but I know it's around. I've seen shadows of it in others. However, because everyone other than me has some sort of filter between their thoughts and their words, it doesn't get discussed.
My sad days seem to follow some of my more manically high, happy hours, but I can't say that's true without exception. In my experience, self-absorption does not equal self-awareness, and I am embarassingly bad at keeping track of what, if anything, triggers my blues.
But that's fine because I'm also not particularly bent on heading them off. What self-absorption does equal is self-indulgence, and I find it completely appropriate to take advantage of a buy-three-get-three-free candy bar sale at Safeway and then hole up in my sweats until I'm all moped out.
Understand that this is very different from a run-of-the-mill bad day and subsequent pissiness. When you get yelled at by a client, or miss your bus home when it's raining, or, say, fail the bar exam, that's one thing. There is a reason for the foul mood that follows, and there are usually ways to cure it. But the baseless gloom that overtakes you (or maybe just me?) out of nowhere every once in a while has a different heft to it.
It is both a frustration and a relief to not know when it's coming, and to not know how to climb out when it hits. I don't attempt to cheer myself up anymore, because I know that I can't. It's just time to be sad. Hopefully tomorrow I will wake up and it will be time to be happy again. Until then, I am self-medicating with a dinner of Reese's and Hershey's, and thanking Mom for the metabolism.