this makes me sad and an update to my reading list

I know I’ve mentioned my (not so) secret crush on David Foster Wallace before.  So I was shocked by the news of his untimely death.  In tribute, I’m going to (finally) read his epic (1104 page) novel Infinite Jest.

I think what is bothering me the most about this is the fact that he suffered from depression.  His meds had started to cause side effects so he and his doctors were struggling to find some that worked.  If you know anyone with depression you know how tricky this is.  You can get to some pretty dark places before you find the right combination and dosage of medicines and then wait for it all to kick in.  And even then you can still be on a roller coaster ride, you just hope that the highs and lows even out a bit.  And while you are going through it all the last thing you want to do is "share", or leave the house, or get dressed or…  anyway.  I’ve been there.  I’m lucky though because I haven’t been to the very darkest places but I’m pretty sure if I squinted really hard I could see them from where I was.  And I have a husband who got himself some information and got me to the doctor.  And I still go through the low times, friends won’t hear from me, or my neighbor will look at me and she’ll know.  But I get through them.  Some people aren’t as lucky.  Take care David, I hope you’ve found the comfort you were looking for.

Comment 1

  1. Unknown September 17, 2008

    Hey, I here ya about the dark place. I\’ve been close enough to stare it down a few times…Long live pharmaceuticals, side effects and all, and loved ones who stick it out with us…
     
    Let\’s just not talk about him finding comfort. It\’s a nice thought, but I have 2 reasons for not wanting to think of him as comforted. #1 his comfort (if he actually found it) is trivial compared to everyone who cared for him, worked with him, loved him — now suffering due to wondering "what they could have done" or "should have known". I understand why people with depression take their lives, but I also know it is extremely selfish to "end your pain" when it\’s certainly going to start someone else\’s.  #2 because when you\’re staring down the dark place, you don\’t want to be thinking that comfort lies behind Door No. 1. Why bother with Door #2 and it\’s years of many downs and only some ups? Because as Michael Pollan says, "Sometimes you have to act as if acting will make a difference, even when you can’t prove that it will."  Ya know what I think? I think his future life flashed before his eyes and he said "oh shit, you mean it wasn\’t all bad?" I think he misses flowers and cats and lattes and ferries and the weird people on the bus and the smell of pine sap at Christmas, the feel of the ocean mist on his face even when it was mixed with tears, the taste of butter on toast. Nuff said. Rock On Oh Flawed and Lovely Domestic Goddess, xoxox Cath

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