Tuesday, December 23, 2014

fog of war

When you look at me, you cannot see the what I am experiencing.  I look fine.  It's neurotypical to assume I feel much the same as you, unless overt symptoms tell you otherwise.  As a child, I'd often complain of not feeling well, but did I have a fever?  A headache?  No?  Then I was just bellyaching about nothing.

Just missing a little piece of my brain, often referred to as the master gland, because of how central it is to the entire endocrine system.  I was fine - and yet, decades later, I still haven't been able to just walk it off.  Shocking, right?

You can't see the dense fog through which I struggle to pay attention, to focus on anything at all.  The mire through which I slog, just trying to function as best I can.  The compounding anxiety of trying to deal with people in spite of it, and the lonely depression, having largely failed at that.

I have been dealing with this my entire life, and it is precisely because I have adapted that I hide it so well.  I have partially overcome it.  That I don't collapse into a heap and refuse to move at all is a degree of success.  I don't do this very often anymore, and I try to keep it private, when I do.  I am extremely cognizant of the fact that I am expected to behave normally, despite the fact that I have never felt what you take for granted as normalcy.

"This is just depression," I've been told.  Sometimes overtly, sometimes more implicitly.  It sounds an awful lot like being accused of bellyaching. I don't even know who really feels this way, sometimes it seems people are more enlightened than they used to be.. other times, not so much.  Mostly, almost everyone is just silent, these days.  I am pretty much just on my own, but I can still hear these words, echoing incessantly in the back of my mind.   Just depression.

First of all, "just?"  As if depression itself shouldn't be that serious a condition.  A condition that only cripples people who aren't really trying.  As if depression doesn't run an incredible gamut from mildly disruptive to extreme cognitive impairment.  There is no such thing as "just depression" and despite everything, I count myself lucky not to have a more severe form of it.

Secondly though, depression is all too often a mere symptom of something else.  It is rarely "just depression" in the sense of being diagnostically exclusionary.  It's insane to think that in spite of my acute hypopituitarism, my problem is "just depression" in the sense that it's just psychological, or just behavioral.  As if such things exist indepently of hormones, or can somehow magically transcend what is really, their entire basis.

Honestly, this is simple old fashioned superstitious ignorance.  People have these naive views of how the brain works, and they balk at the prospect that science has actually sorted a lot of this out.  I vent here, because I have no idea how to deal with this.

The bottom line, what I really want, is just for people to understand that I am doing the best I can, with what I have.  It's easy to dismiss the obstacles I'm dealing with, because it isn't visible to you.  I'm not even looking for pity, I just want to be myself.  Preferably in a manner which does not lead to freezing to death in gutter somewhere, or even worse, moving to Florida.

This isn't just about me.  We are all the product of circumstances, our experiences and opportunities, our hormones, our resources and our capacity to even be resourceful.   I want people to be able to see how absurd it is to be so judgmental of each other.

Yet have to admit, I have a ways to go, myself.

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