Sunday, November 13, 2011


Saw the movie "Melancholia".  My reaction was "yeah, so what?  I already knew there is no point to anything."  My husband:  "it was about depression."  Me: "yeah, what's your point?"

Depression.  I've always thought of it as realism.  Smart people are depressed, because they see through things.  It doesn't mean they don't try.  But they know that in the end it's only sound and fury, signifying nothing.  My son was diagnosed with it when he was barely a teenager.  They put him on medication. The kind they issued warnings about only a few years later, because it leads to suicide in teens.  He didn't commit suicide, but he committed social suicide and got himself expelled from his prep school.  He said it made him not feel anything.  And he dumped the pills in the toilet one day.  I saw his point.  But why did I agree to it in the first place?  That is perhaps my biggest regret. It was his gateway drug.  I've always been leery of mind-altering substances myself - legal or illegal (the only time I tried pot I turned green and puked, and another time, just from the second-hand smoke).  He, on the other hand, probably tried everything he could get his hands on.  He almost died twice before.  Third time was the charm. 

But back to depression. It runs in the family.  My mother had it, my grandmother had it - along with migraines, they passed it on to me.  But at least I got some of my father's dogged get-on-with-it-ness.  My son got it from both sides.  Sometimes he blamed me for picking his father to procreate with (never the other way around).  It was useless pointing out that any other child I would have had would not have been HIM.  But I see his point - we have qualities that get exacerbated in our children.  My son's height for one - my own height was taken to arithmetic progression in him - he ended up at more than six and a half feet.  My depressive tendencies, as well.  To that he added anxiety.

In the movie the character of Kirsten Dunst, the depressed one, appeals to her mother, and tells her she's scared.  Her mother tells her everyone is and basically to get on with it. That cuts uncomfortably close to my own attitude.  But in the movie the world ends.  I'm longing for that ending.

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