Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Melancholy Monday: To Feel Present in Time

Once again, my melancholy monday post is going up late. I am confident, however, that my readers will bear with me as I adjust to my new "schedule." Yesterday, I drove my mom back to the airport and started paying attention to the huge trees lining the highway. As I spaced out, contemplating these massive trees, I was transported back to 2000, the year I had back surgery, way before Za and Maddy. My mom had come out to help me get through the recovery and nurse me through a depression that hit at the same time as my herniated disk wiped out the feeling in my left leg. The operation was successful and almost instantly restored feeling in my leg, but my spirits were still quite low and I was desperate for the school year to end so that I could just sit in my house all summer, hide and read.

These memories came flooding back because I remember looking at the same trees lining the highway and wishing that they would bloom. My operation was in late March and spring was taking its time. In fact, that was the crux of my depression, everything was moving so damn slow.

That is what happens when depression hits. Time starts to slow down to a crawl. Everyday seems endless, every minute is felt, hours drag on. Time seems to be one of the worst enemies of the depressed person, who foolishly holds onto the belief that "in time, all things will heal."

The non-depressed person, especially in this day and age, can't seem to find enough time. Time is fleeting and underlines how transient life is. How odd that we feel a sort of melancholy for time whizzing by us when we are well, while time only imprisons and tortures us when we are ill.

Right now I am sort of in-between states of wellness and illness. Time is both haltingly slow and rapidly flying by. The hours seem long, but the weeks fly by and my daughter is growing and changing, while I am rebelling at the changes she is forcing on me. I am trying to get lost in time, but I cannot because I am unmoored by this little tiny being who cannot get her own bearings in time.

Moreover, as I emerge from this in-between space and start living in sync with time again, I start wishing for it to slow down so I don't lose this moment. Depression is long, drawn out, days that move at a snail's pace. Regular life is a race through the day. Neither option seems to give us what we all really need: to feel present in time.