16 October 2018

Depression and Insomnia (1991)


[passage from my journal, 16 October 1991, 4:05 a.m. PDT]
N
ight horrors upon me again; no point in struggling I guess, but I hate every minute of it. Bad bad bad bad bad bad. Self-pity I suppose if there is such a thing, but it doesn’t feel like pity at all—not for myself, not for anyone. Not for anything. It just feels bad. Pointless, empty, unreal—a sharp pain high in the chest, sort of above and behind the lungs, and nothing at all where the soul ought to be. Just fucking pointless is all. Is this what they mean when they talk about feeling sorry for yourself? Sorrow is what you feel when you’ve lost something, and I know that feeling, even if not intensely. And as I think about it, who can you feel sorrow for except yourself? You can feel empathy or even sympathy with someone else’s sorrow, but you cannot feel their sorrow. If you feel sorrow, you feel it for yourself, inevitably. But this bad feeling I have, the one I call depression, is not sorrow. It is a different bad feeling. Sorrow heals, but depression is more like a sorrow that’s become infected. Sorrow is positive; depression is negative. Depression is like darkness, like numbness. Sorrow is something; depression is nothing. If you’re filled with sorrow at least you’re alive; to be filled with depression is like saying that a hole is full of emptiness. Damn it to fucking hell. [16 Oc 1991]

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