I was speaking to my friend, who was acting as my doctor, but my doctor from 1994. She was discussing with me all sorts of health issues, most of which are pretty good, until she shoved my file aside and looked me square in the face.
“Your problem isn’t low thyroid. Your thyroid is fine.”
“But I did these tests,” I say.
“It’s not your thyroid.”
“Then what the hell is it?”
“No I’m not,” I protest, although at the edges of my vision, the darkness begins to close in on me.
“Yes, you are. The good news is that there have been many advances in …”
“No.” I rise to my feet.
“I can’t just let you go. You could be a danger to yourself or to others.”
“You know who’s a danger? Bloody drug companies that try to convince people that the biggest problem they have is that they don’t feel *happy*. We’re not supposed to be *happy*. Things aren’t supposed to be all skittles and beer. If you get a moment of happiness in your *entire life* after the age of twelve, you should savour that moment, because it’s not supposed to last forever. That’s what makes them so precious. If you’re particularly lucky, you might get a whole string of happy moments.”
“You see? You’re proving my point…”
“No!” I shout at her, dropping my accoutrements to the ground. “That’s just the thing! It’s not supposed to be miserable, either! IT’s supposed to just *be*. If you can manage to do the things well and make something good happen for a few people, you’re doing a bloody good job of things. What’s a danger to myself and others are these huge corporations trying to sell everything from sex to continence to acne remedies. And maybe those three things are all related. Sure, some folks need medication; that’s what they want us to believe. Sure, some of these drugs seem to help people. But you don’t get to say I’m depressed because I don’t have a Pollyanna view of the way things work.”
“I wasn’t…” she stammered.
“You *were*. Go hock your tawdry wares with someone else. I’ve seen that darkness; it’s covered me before. It took five years of my life. Don’t think I don’t know when that darkness peeks out from the corners. Those are the days you hang the laundry on the line and open the house to the sun.”
Then my children climbed into bed with me. Had they not, I’d have woken angry that some quack of a pysician tried to prescribe antidepressants after having had me in her office for no more than five minutes, and hearing the words “I’m more tired than usual”. As it was, I woke to kisses and snuggles and one of those moments you live your whole life to find.