The Earth Couldn’t

August 21, 2009

I’ve been sleepless lately. This past year, I heard on the radio that researchers are looking into the anti-depressant effects of sleep deprivation. I have two things to say about the subject. One, it’s true for me.  And two, it’s only true for one night. This morning, whenever I put my head at or below the level of my heart, I get a momentary, but splitting headache. Also I’m fucking tired.

I stay up and watch Housewives of Atlanta or Facebook. Last night I tried to meditate — for about 11.2  seconds. Last night’s bout I blame on wedding pictures. They all came back around 10:30. I stayed up until 11:30 perusing them and then couldnt sleep until 3:00am for thinking about the pictures she didn’t get and which missing pictures were her fault and which were mine.

This insomnia first happened almost two years ago after my father died. I took it to be a concern-worthy sign of depression, as I really like to and am very good at sleeping. Then, I worried, for no good reason, that it was s symptom of mania, mostly because my therapist at the time did not laugh or gently shake his head when I suggested it. Now, I think I just need a schedule that includes real work.  I am coming up on 8 weeks of unemployment.

All of this is relevant because on my biological mother’s side we have an uncle who committed suicide young and on my father’s side we have four dead aunts and uncles — three involving drugs, alcohol and assorted Axis I behaviors. A fourth involving domestic violence and cancer. The story goes that my uncle-in-law wouldn’t let my aunt out of the house to go to a gynecologist.

Although I know I am mostly off of the hook when it comes to these pitfalls, my wifebian would argue, as she did this morning, that I’ve suffered from depression for my entire life, except of course on our wedding day, when, she says, I felt the way other people feel all the time. I said, “The Earth couldn’t spin on it’s axis if everyone felt that way everyday.” She smiled.

It’s just that I’m trying to get pregnant this fall and don’t have time for all that pharmacological nonsense. If I can make it through the first year of motherhood without visiting a psychiatrist though, I will be roundly impressed with everyone involved.


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