I just finished reading two articles Dick Cavett wrote in the NY Times about depression. They are on the Times' front page on-line and are definitely worth reading. If you know anyone who's ever been seriously depressed, you might want to send it along.
Having been through some bouts of depression myself, it was interesting to read his columns and some of the more than 600 responses from readers.
I am feeling a bit blue these days, but fortunately, it feels fairly mild. I keep up with exercise and meditation and they both seem to help. But life is difficult and there are disappointments and losses. And I've spent a lot of time in hospitals and nursing homes these past few years.
I also read that Tom Stoppard is feeling completely blocked, not knowing which crisis in the world he wants to write about. There are too many, he said, and he doesn't know which one to start with...or something like that.
One thing that helps is having a sense of humor. I knew I was depressed when I couldn't find anything to laugh about. I have to acknowledge Martin Short for making me laugh one day when I was feeling completely hopeless. Thanks, Martin! I have no memory of what you said, but I remember laughing and feeling so much better.
Today I rode my bike to my grandfather's old block in Bedford Stuyvesant. I'd write the name of the block, but it's hard to spell, I'll give it a try: Koscuisko, or something like that. His house is gone, but four houses (including his) were torn down years ago and they never built anything on the empty lots. His old garden is still there and it's become a lovely place where people in the neighborhood can get together and hang out and barbecue. They're starting to know me, since I like to ride my bike there sometimes.
I remember so many summer days when we would drive to Brooklyn to see my grandfather. All the aunts and uncles and my cousins would come too and we would all sit in his backyard, which was filled with beautiful trees and grapevines. Those are good memories, I loved coming to Brooklyn when I was growing up, especially in the summer.
My mother told me yesterday that my grandfather was never very happy and that he was often angry. I know that depression has been in my family and I'm grateful for all the advances in therapy and medication. I'm not taking any medications right now, but I have in the past and they really did help.