My lost love: books

Tonight I’ve been talking books with @rosepowell and @margotdate on Twitter. I love, love, love books: once I could easily get lost in a book to the exclusion of all else. I remember when, at times, I would sequester books like a squirrel in a pile beside my bed, waiting for the end of semester or the Christmas holidays.  Then I would spend hours at the kitchen table, on the couch, beside the pool, under the tree, or in bed, immersed in some other world. Sometimes I would put down a book once I had reached the beginning of the last chapter in the knowledge that I would soon be leaving this world, to grieve a little before I had to say my final goodbyes. More often than not I would shed a tear or two at the end, regardless of the happy or sad ending. But today, books are my lost love. Since being diagnosed with depression and now taking the appropriate medication, I just don’t have the attention span needed to read a book. I’ve tried, many times, in both dead-tree and digital form, to align my heart’s passion for books with the diminished capacity of my chemically-constrained brain. Sadly, my mind wanders within 30 minutes and I must move on to something else. That’s not to say I regret having to sacrifice books for sanity. Without medication I’m not sure I would be here at all. I […]

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Depression is still a dirty word

Twitter is such a great place to explore the boundaries of one’s understanding, argue about footy, mock other people harmlessly (although sometimes harmfully, to our chagrin) and to share cute photos. Never in a thousand years would the originators of Twitter (@jack, @biz and @ev) have realised what their micro messaging/blogging platform would do to provide the glue which binds together so many different elements of society. Nor would they have have realised what an oasis of humanity they would create for people who are either purposefully or inadvertently isolated from the rest of the world. Parents of children with autism, people in the far reaches of their continents, people with mobility impairment, and people with depression – all are isolated in some way but many are able to reach out and connect with warm, caring, considerate and helpful people somewhere else on the interwebs. I’ve written about this before and I shan’t do so again tonight. But it is Capril, and I know some of my fellow depressives have endured setbacks over the past 12 months. I know I have. So in recognition of Capril (@Capril_April), I thought I would place in one spot the pieces I’ve written about depression. I’ve also included my piece on fearlessness which, while only tangentially related, is important to this discussion. Depression is still a dirty word. We still have a long way to go in creating an understanding that it can be […]

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My heartfelt thanks to a few

Apparently I joined Twitter on 25 December 2008. I don’t remember doing it. It’s fair to say that this time two years ago I was counting down my final days. I’d decided the circumstances under which I would end my life. It’s not that I had nothing to live for. I had a very successful career, a beautiful daughter, and a family who loved me despite my intermittent contact with them. Nevertheless I’d come to accept that I’d grow old alone and that there was a point in time that I would become a burden on my only child. I didn’t want to be the bitter old woman that my own mother had become. So I decided I would head overseas in my late 50s (I’m currently in my 40s) and if I was still alone at 60 then I would call it a day. I’m a loner by nature, and only begrudgingly engage with people when I’m not at work. My professional obligation to be an extravert was incredibly draining on both the mind and the soul. I love to be alone, but understand only too well how solitude can turn in upon itself, transforming a positive life force into a destructively negative one. It’s perhaps ironic that, having sought help and become accustomed to the meds, these past two years of my depression have also been my professional best. I achieved a level of clear thinking and creativity […]

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