A Vast City of Gray  

OcelotScratch 49M
112 posts
6/17/2006 1:09 am

Last Read:
6/18/2006 1:11 pm

A Vast City of Gray

My depression is back tonight. It hadn't made an appearance in a couple of weeks, so I was due. There's a pretty good chance it will be gone when I wake up tomorrow. Or maybe not. I have a party to go to tomorrow, so I hope it's gone; partys are a torturous experience when I'm in the deep.

We had marriage counseling today. I'd say it went pretty well, but we are only approaching the hard, brutal things we need to say to each other. When we get there, I don't know what will happen. The problem (or not, depending upon my mood) is that we still love each other. I think that there's a decent chance that we could come out of a divorce still friends. But we can't live together.

It's strange. For me, as the mood sinks, it really feels as if some of the color drains out of the world. I get a tingling, numb sensation all over my body, and feel so very light. I have no idea if that's the way it is for other people.

The color shift brings up interesting memories for me, at least it did tonight. I was fortunate enough to spend two days in East Berlin several years before the Wall came down. (This counts as fortunate only for someone who got to leave after two days, and wasn't stuck there.) Going from West Berlin, where it was bright and sunny along the Ku-Damm, through the U-Bahn, and the closed stations, and out into the air of the Soviet sector, it was as if God had dropped a gray filter over the lens of the world. Everything was dull. Some of this was real, as the city was covered in soot, and crumbled buildings that were unchanged from the way that the USAAF had left them forty years before. But it was also psychological. The whole place felt oppressive. The stores were empty. The restaurant food was awful. The cars were those awful little Trabis that went the way of the stegosaurus over the next decade.

It would be nice to say that I saw this, and realized that the Soviet empire was crumbling, but I didn't. It was the moment when I had it driven into me that the Soviets couldn't defeat us in the Cold War. I didn't know that they were going to lose, but I sure as hell knew that they weren't going to win.

I've wandered off on a tangent. It's one of my wife's habits that drives me crazy. Just get to the goddamned point already.

My depression feels exactly like being in East Berlin did. I didn't realize that until just now. ('Just now' covering a span of several hours, but it sounds better coming off of the tongue, or the keyboard.) That same sense of hopelessness. The utter conviction that I may not lose, but I'm sure as hell not going to win.

The causes of my depression are rooted in the deep past, long before even I made that trip to Germany. My therapist and I are trying to root them out, but it's a tough slog. There are times when I don't want to get better. The vast city of gray seems so very comfortable. Predictable.

Still, I have a party tomorrow. I hope it goes away, for one day at least. The hosts' pepper plants are glorious in their color at the moment. It's be a shame if they were gray.

rm_chanda69 49F
418 posts
6/17/2006 6:06 am

i understand your association of color with mood- when i was with the ex, everything had a slightly beige tinge, like there was a veil over my eyes. the hardest part was colorado in spring- especially the last year i was there for it. it was after a winter with lots of accumulated snow, so the ground was wet enough to bring out the wildflower seeds that were buried by drought. i know the colors were brilliant, sometimes i saw them- when he wasn't around- but i couldn't feel them.
ive said for years that which does not kill us makes us stronger, so i must be the strongest bitch in the world. i once told a friend that i saw no reason to get up in the morning. so he took me to the "star watching spot" late at night & talked until dawn. as the sun came up, he turned me around, & told me that as long as there was something that beautiful in the world, there is a reason to be here. even the gray rainy dawn has a quiet loveliness to it. now when my kids know i'm having a hard time, they remind me that sunrise is God's way of saying He loves us.
hang in there. it will get better, one day. and thanks for the kind words last night.



rm_katetonite 50F

6/17/2006 10:13 am

have some beer, watch animal house, and then think about the possibilities that lie ahead. Your wife as a friend and lover among others, and finding a way to enjoy one another without driving one another crazy.

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