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March 20, 2019


Do whatever you must do to get out out of that hole. Inspiration is a precious thing. Take it wherever you can find it. And then cherish it.

If this is what passes for poor writing on your part, PM, then I can only say that the rest of us could aspire to write so poorly. Best wishes for continued progress.

Beautifully written. I’m with you. Medication has only been of small benefit to me throughout my long history of depression, though it’s possibly prevented things from getting even more severe. I too have to think, feel, and act my way out of it as well. Isaiah Berlin—interesting place to go, but I like your idea of thinking of our minds as microcosms of the larger moral and existential forces that humanity contends with it. As you feel up to it, please keep writing, about whatever. Even on your worst days, your writing is better than the vast majority of nationally renowned editorialists out there. Your posy here helps put into words my own experiences with depression and gives me more insight into this truly shitty condition.

This is beautiful. Thank you.

You've made my day PM. Your writing is exceptional, as always, and your spirit is strong. You're going to be fine.

It is hardly poor writing. I always found the way out of bouts of depression, much more common in my youth, was to get quite clinical about it. What fresh hell is this thing that now haunts my thoughts and dreams and freezes me into inaction? I learned to almost savor each cause or feeling, to dissect it and ultimately put it on shelf for retrospective examination. To be honest though I never received a firm diagnosis of depression and resisted getting it for the usual reason. When your brain is your most prized possession you really don’t want to admit there is something wrong with it. Particularly when the chemical tools then available to medical science pretty much guaranteed at least some dulling of the faculties. I decided just to endure it and withdraw from contact, in so far as possible, from other humans. I did that for years at a stretch, diving into books and study to the exclusion of nearly everything else. Eventually I built my own defenses against depression. Your prescription is sound.

I always thought that Shakespeare offered the very first literary description of clinical depression in his character Hamlet. Maybe that is why it has always been my favorite Shakespearean play.

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Your host, P.M. Carpenter (photo credit: L. Reeves)

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