Last weekend started quite productive, but my mood turned dark and heavy again Saturday evening and even worse throughout most of Sunday.
It’s a strange thing; I find it hard to describe, and even harder to predict and control. It’s almost like a software bug that occurs sometimes, but not always, and I don’t have an idea what’s causing it, how to reproduce or fix it. The only difference: this here is not a bug but real life.
There was no specific event that triggered some episode of sadness or melancholy. I didn’t feel particularly sad. I didn’t weep about this awful world.
No, that’s not what it’s like. Whenever it happens, I just feel heavy, and empty, everything feels heavy and empty. Everything feels difficult, dark, hopeless, useless and paralyzing. I can’t motivate myself to work on all the interesting things I normally feel passionate about. Even the most inspiring topics in computer graphics and the demoscene seem unreachable in those moments, when everything seems just useless, void of purpose.
I also found it difficult to read and put my mind into a different space. There are so many books that want to be read, but reading feels exhausting to me lately. Two or three pages, and I can barely keep my eyes open. I found that it not only happens with books in English, but German books and articles as well. I see the words and letters, but they flow into my head and out, and I can’t form a meaningful picture in my mind that helps to immerse myself into the story or information I want to take in.
In those moments I can’t even enjoy music or movies. Just selecting a movie to watch seems like a huge effort. And I have trouble getting into the mood for music or involved in a movie universe. Saturday it helped to dive into some Orbital recordings of the 90s. It kept me from crashing completely. But when I repeated this on Sunday, even Orbital couldn’t help much.
This feeling of heaviness also manifests itself physically. It literally feels as if gravity doubled, and I have to lift twice my weight just to get up and moving. I sit there stuck, staring at the wall into emptiness, turning into a vegetable, waiting for it to be done and over.
When I’m in this state there are not that many thoughts in my head either. It’s not like I’m feeling overwhelmed, full of thoughts. Years ago I had to shut everything off and just write to analyze and process what I had in my head. Now there’s not much in there. Emptiness is really the best word to describe it.
And nothing is effortless - writing used to help, but now I can’t even make myself write about it while I’m a vegetable. I usually try to process it in writing on the day after, just like I’m writing these words now. But I never finish it because the next day I’m back in the office, and there are work-related tasks that compete for my attention. So my attempts to process anything often end up fragmented.
No question, these are all known symptoms of depression. This state rolls in like a wave of bad weather, seemingly random, without a specific trigger. It usually disappears like bad weather without a specific resolution as well. I don’t seem to have much control over it.
Even though there doesn’t seem to be a specific trigger at a time, I’m convinced it’s the sum of unsolved and unsolvable problems that cause the heavy states to occur. It’s the sum of feeling guilty about having left my family, not being there when my father passed away, worries about my mother being alone, feeling incapable of connecting with anyone here and the resulting loneliness, worries about work, the future, health and age, the lack of a safety-net and the feeling of being stuck and unable to change and fix things. Recently the T-regime added a new layer of stress, too… as nothing seems safe, warm and human anymore.