Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Highway Construction

I've been struggling with depression of late, something that should not be all that surprising given my situation. Depression is common amongst PALS; most of us struggle with it at some point or other. Last year I wrote about feeling depressed in a blog entry called Morning Sickness. At that time I concluded it was more sadness than depression; not any more. These days I think it is best described as situational depression. After all, I am in a pretty depressing situation.

It's rather like driving a highway in the summer here in Canada. When you are on the road, you know full well that there will be construction. You know that there will be more than one construction zone in your travels, that they will get in your way and slow you down, that you usually can't predict where they are or if you can it is only an approximation, that some are easier to get through than others.

The situational depression that I go through, and that so many other PALS go through, is just the same. You know you will get depressed at times. You know it will be an obstacle in your life. You know that these periods of depression are only moderately predictable and sometimes not predictable at all. You know that you just have to keep moving along to get through them, that sometimes they will be short and other times, much longer.

Just like being on the highway, the longer you are on this road called ALS, the more construction you will encounter, the more depression you will have to deal with. As I become more and more weakened, more and more tired, I am more and more likely to slip into a situational depression. I've had enough of them by now to recognize what is happening and to go with the flow, rather than get all worried about it. However I think that one day it will be too much, that I will decide to leave at that point. I suspect that there is this element of depression in all PALS who decide that they are done.

My time is not yet. There is plenty of highway in front of me. There will be plenty of construction for me to deal with, plenty of times when I will just have to go through the zone however long it may be. As my disease progresses, there will likely be more and more depression zones. I can see them coming, along with the emotional retreat and withdrawal. I will deal with them as long as I can; then one day I won't.

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