Me, Depression and I

Every morning, we are chased out of bed by our thoughts” — Sam Harris

I love that quote. Sam Harris is one of my favourite thinkers and this was a throwaway line in a book he wrote called Waking Up. Nonetheless, the phrase really struck me. How true it was. Every morning, we wake up and our brain kicks in and says something like: “Right, get up, time to go to…” or “Get out of bed. Things to do.” From that moment on, our mind is awake and our internal narrator begins the task of forming our daily narrative. Our thoughts chase us out of bed every morning.

Imagine, if you will, that your thoughts did not chase you out of bed in the morning. Would you ever get out of bed? How would that impact your day? Does it mean that you are still asleep? What would be accomplished if our thoughts didn’t chase us out of bed?

For me, that’s what having depression feels like a lot of the time. It’s not that I’m distracted and not thinking, it’s that there are no thoughts there. I think professionals call this “brain fog”. Sometimes it’s just a matter of waiting a few minutes for my thoughts to arrive and then I carry on. Sometimes I’ll wake up and it will take me half an hour to realise what day it is. Sometimes though, the fog doesn’t go away. It stays all day. Those days are among my worst days.

Brain fog is just one aspect of depression for me though but it’s probably the easiest to describe, and the least frightening to talk about. There are lots of other things that I feel. At some point I’ll talk about them.

On brain fog days I’ll stay at home and do nothing. I might watch a film or binge on Netlfix but I won’t remember anything I watched the next day. I’ll watch hours and hours of stand-up comedy, but I won’t laugh. I’ll acknowledge a cleverly written joke or a well performed set up to a joke but I won’t laugh.

On some brain fog days, I can sleep for hours on end. On other brain fog days, I won’t sleep at all. Maybe if there was some kind of predictability it might be a little easier.

I wanted this blog to be funny. Depression does make me laugh. I laugh at it because it can be funny. Maybe it’s just me but having depression is a bit like hanging out with Basil Fawlty all day. You wouldn’t feel ‘good’ per se, but you would be entertained.

If depression wasn’t so rubbish, I might enjoy it.