Friday, October 26, 2007

I've really come to hate posting on my blog. It makes me think about things I would prefer to ignore. It makes me take a hard look at who I am and what I think and believe. It also exposes much of my weaknesses. I don't like being weak. I don't like being afraid. I don't like having to confront life. Life can be so beautiful. Or at least, it used to be. Now I just don't know anymore. I hate seeing others suffer. I hate seeing myself suffer. I hate the repercussions of the fall of Adam. I hate having to toil in order to feed myself and family. I try hard to focus on what is good and beautiful, but when I do, something always hits me from behind. Then when I am down, I get kicked over and over again, not only by myself, but by others as well.

I used to be able to find refuge, to get back on my feet and continue climbing. But lately it has been too hard. How many times do I have to give my life over to Him? Am I not humbled to the earth? I'm too small and weak for the fight. I don't want to fight anymore. I just want to be happy and make others happy.

If you haven't noticed, I have clinical depression. I was diagnosed over two years ago. The extent to which my gayness lends to the depression is very debatable. It doesn't help, but I don't believe it is the major reason. In fact, I don't believe there is a major cause or reason. I've been in therapy for two years and nothing seems to really come of it. I sort things out, get advice, learn ways of battling this illness, but it feels as though so little of the illness is psychological. It's more physical than I had ever imagined. I've thought about opening a separate blog about depression, but for now, you guys will have to bear with me. I really didn't intend this post to be about depression and I don't want the link to being gay, married and Mormon and depressed to be assumed. Compared with all of the ugliness in the world, being gay, married and Mormon is almost nothing.

So why then all these posts about being gay, married and Mormon if it's not really that big of a deal? Maybe because it allows me to focus on something. It allows me to look at all aspects of my life and how they combine into one great whole. Blogging is also a way to gather sympathy and support. I blog because I am afraid. Afraid of not knowing who I am. Afraid of facing myself. Afraid of facing the world. I worry that it is exhibitionism. That I have some need to show the world who I am, when in reality I'm just trying to show myself who I am.


Abelard Enigma said...

I assume you are on antidepressants. I'm not a professional; but, it sounds to me like what you are taking isn't effective. Perhaps you need to consider talking to your doctor about trying something different (not just a different dosage of what you've been taking - but something entirely different).

I recommend talking to a psychiatrist rather than a regular medical doctor. Assuming you have insurance, you can call the number on the back of your card and ask for a referral to a psychiatrist for management of medication.

I've been on antidepressants for 6 years. I had to go through 6 different ones before we found one that really worked for me. Some didn't seem to work at all for me. Others had side effects that were just as bad as the problem they were solving.

BTW, I think your idea about a separate blog for depression is a good idea. There is still a lot of stigma about depression, especially for men. Not quite as much stigma as there is around being gay. But it is still an unmentionable.

Forester said...

I have been through many medications as well. As you said, some work, some don't. I hate going off one and then onto another. The period of time it takes for the other to start working is pure hell. But, you are probably right, I need to switch again.

I've also seen three different therapists over the past two years, two primary care physicians and a psychiatrist. All have added pieces to the puzzle, but no cure.

Abelard Enigma said...

I hate going off one and then onto another. The period of time it takes for the other to start working is pure hell.

Believe me, I know! I've been considering that, perhaps, I should schedule a visit with a psychiatrist to have my medication reevaluated; but, the memories of going through that hell give me reason to pause.

All have added pieces to the puzzle, but no cure.

What is the 'cure' you are looking for?

btw, please feel free to email me and we can take this discussion offline. My email is in my profile. I also have questions for you regarding your experience with therapists as I've been considering that option as well.

J G-W said...

Every once in a while, it seems, a gay Mormon blogger writes something along the lines of "I wish I didn't write so much negative stuff."

We should stop worrying about that. We are what we are, and we write what we write to come to a place of health. You are taking responsibility for your life and your decisions, and you are taking action to make improvements in your life. You are applying gospel principles, you are working with a doctor as needed, you are wrestling with your feelings. This is all good. It is the only path anyone has ever known that can lead to health and happiness.

Parallel Mormon said...

Forester, I cannot begin to pretend that I understand what you are going through. As always, I can picture myself in your words, so somewhere in my collective experience I have felt a similar angst that makes me feel like I know where you are coming from. Again, I do not know you very well at all, though my impression of you is that you are a warm and caring individual.

Maybe, just maybe, when we battle our inner demons in order to find peace we are no more than Don Quijote charging at windmills. Maybe the battle for one's own peace is lost and worth abandoning in favor of the battle for her peace, your wife's. Mind you, I am not saying that you do not love her or do not care for her, rather, all I am saying is that anyone's focus needs to be on the person or people we love. Only that can make anyone happy (Moses 1: 39 For behold, this is my work and my glory—to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.)We can be Godlike now if we turn our energies and focus to making them feel peace and happiness. I firmly believe this can be a well of happiness for anyone.

As for the depression and physical symptoms, I must defer to the specialists. I agree with you that being gay does not induce depression, but turning all our energies to our wife can and must help; it is the last chosen and the only true path as husbands.

Maybe the MoHo happiness key isn't having the Church sanction gayness, but rather the MoHo happiness key is for us to call it quits on helping ourselves and charge full steam ahead with helping our wives.

Know full well that your presence is appreciated here, but I feel it is far more appreciated there, in your home. Don't let depression ever make you feel you have not been precious to this life, because you are and your stock is on a steady rise (it always has been). Don't give up. Don't be down on yourself. Keep up the good fight no matter what.

Forester said...

This has been a hard post for me. I don't like to talk about my depression. What is even more hard is to see my wife and children suffering because of my depression. I have placed a heavy load on my wife over the past couple of years while battling depression. She has been a faithful stalwart in supporting and loving me.

Abelard, the cure I'm looking for is to be rid of the depression. I never thought, in my wildest dreams, that I would ever suffer from depression. There was a clear beginning to the illness, so I seek a clear ending.

J G-W, thanks for your reassurance that all this is good and that I'm doing the right things to get better.

Parallel, yes, I believe focusing on others does bring true happiness. Serving and focusing on my wife's needs is central to our progression and happiness. I try to use all my good moments (times when the depression does not seem overwhelming) to focus on my wife and family and service in the church. The problem is that these moments are too few. I definately feel more of a burden right now to my wife than a help meat.

Abelard Enigma said...

I don't like to talk about my depression.

Unfortunately, being treated for depression still has a lot of stigma in our society, especially for men. I remember once getting angry with my wife because she told one of her girl friends that I was on antidepressants - I felt like she had violated my trust.

But, it does get easier. I'm not bothered talking about it as I once was. It's not like I go around telling everyone I'm on antidepressants; but, if the topic comes up, I'm no longer as ashamed of it as I once was, and I will talk about it, albeit reluctantly.

I have placed a heavy load on my wife over the past couple of years while battling depression.

I certainly understand what you are saying. My children are now grown, and a couple of them are no longer active in church. I can't help but wonder if I hadn't been suffering from depression, if I had been a better father, would they be active in church today?

the cure I'm looking for is to be rid of the depression.

You are doing the things you need to be doing to treat this. You are taking medication (although, I still think you need to consider switching) and you are talking to a therapist. But, it takes time. And you have to accept that your life may never be like it once was before the depression set in. Sometimes these things can leave a lasting impression on us (much like a scar, from a physical injury, that never goes away). It sucks - but there isn't anything we can do about it.

The thing is, you did not choose to be depressed any more than a cancer patient doesn't choose to have cancer. It's just one of lifes bitter pills that some of us have to swallow. So, you need to figure out a way to quit beating yourself up about it and focus on getting better by doing the things you are doing.

GeckoMan said...

I suffered from clinical depression a few years ago, and I feel for you, brother. I hope that you find resolution to the contributing factors and/or the right meds.

The only advice I can give is to take time for the positive things in your family life and dump stressful burdens as much as possible--simplify and stay open.

What is it about us guys that are so sensitive? Oh, maybe we're gay!

Beck said...

Forester: I certainly know nothing of antidepressants or depression as a whole. I cannot say that I know how you feel or what you are going through.

I can say that I feel a great love for you and that comes from the great love you show others, and how you love your family and your wife. This means a lot to me and I honor you.

This may sound like a verbose e-hug, and maybe it is. For those who can't stomach another e-hug, deal with it! :)

Since July 15, 2007