sunshine in my brain

I want to tell you something. For some reason I’m afraid to say anything. I trust you more than I trust anyone else, but I’m afraid what you’ll think.

I don’t mean to be mysterious. But, I’m afraid you won’t believe me. Or, that you’ll be mad that it’s happened now instead of a year or more ago. Or, just sad to think that my brain is damaged.

So, I’m telling this to you in perfect love and perfect trust. I hope you take it that way and I hope you’ll let me know your honest feelings about it.

When we were talking in the car on the Sunday of circle, you said to me, “You need more help than I can give.”

For perhaps obvious reasons, I was looking through a natural health book that’s on the shelves here for information on depression. There are ten criteria that are used to diagnose depression. If one has four or five of them, that’s enough to indicate clinical depression. I can, without much pride, say that on a good day I have had that many. This weekend, after you left, I had all ten.

So, I really sat down and read the section. It was like looking in the mirror. Everything that’s been going on for me for so long that I just couldn’t figure out was right there. I’d read them before and recognized them, but this time it really hit me hard.

There were a series of suggestions on what to do. I selected as many as I could reasonably implement right away. So, I’ve stopped drinking caffeine, such as my much beloved black tea. That also helps to implement another suggestion: eliminate refined sugar in my diet. And, I’ve been taking a variety of suggested supplements, such as multi-vitamins, several times a day.

One of the suggestions was to take throughout the day something called 5-HTP. This is a chemical precursor to the neurotransmitter seratonin, and increasing seratonin in the brain is one of the primary targets of anti-depression medication.

I figured, why not? Maybe, like taking St. John’s Wart, I would not feel any different and I felt I’d lost pretty much everything when you left so I had nothing to lose. So, I got some and started to take it …

I feel like there’s sunshine in my brain.

It’s like clouds behind clouds that I didn’t realize existed were suddenly parted. If I didn’t have a really legitimate reason to be sad because of where we are, I feel like dancing and singing. This whole week, I’ve been able to concentrate on doing things without feeling helpless. That means I’ve been getting all kinds of stuff done on looking for jobs, doing paperwork, and even yoga every morning. I’ve been bopping around to music and thinking how much I wish I could see you and ask you to go with me on a walk; to go swimming; to go, yes even, dancing.

It’s probably hard to believe. It’s happening to me and it’s even hard for me to believe.

I don’t want this sunshine to go away. And, I wish I could share it with you. You know, I’m sad and lonely, but happy about it. (Like Ron’s tea reading for Harry in Divinations class in the Prisoner of Azkaban: “You’ll suffer, but you’ll be happy.”)

I feel like there’s a Patronus in my head.

As much as I’m afraid of using prescription anti-depressants, I think that’s what I have to do. I may be able to use 5-HTP for a while, but there’s things about it that make long-term use kinda iffy, including the really inconvenient fact that sometimes it stops working and one has to take a break. So, I’ve got to figure out how to keep the effect without having to take a break like that.

The way I feel right now makes it clear to me that I have been living with dark thunderclouds in my brain for probably my entire adult life, if not longer. And, it makes it clear to me that I cannot escape those clouds without help. The way I feel now makes it so clear to me that it really is in my brain, like my brain has been being attacked by Dementors that no one could see. And, suddenly they’ve been chased away.

You were absolutely right that the happy person you met is part of me. But, even then, it appears my depression is part of me as well. I wish I could go back and shove 5-HTP down the throat of the me I have been since we met so that I could have felt like this the whole time we were together.

If I only had a (different) brain.

I wish I could go back, and start over. I wish I could meet you at Traditions for our first date again. But, I don’t want to give up any of the amazing times we had together since then. We really did have something special together that’s worth celebrating and remembering as if singing and dancing with joy; so many laughs, so many insights, so many moments of beauty and pleasure.

If all acts of pleasure are Her rituals, I know in my heart that we worshipped Goddess by being in love and making love together.

But, how I feel right now doesn’t change all the anguish I caused you. I don’t know what to do about that. I don’t know how to make up for that. I don’t know if there’s a way that you can forgive me for having the brain that I have.

I don’t know if anything could change your decision, but I feel like this sunshine in my brain is a gift, maybe it even feels like a miracle, a kiss on the forehead by a Good Witch; and there is no one else I want to share this with more than with you. Some time if you can forgive me for how I’ve treated you, how I’ve been … I wish that maybe, just maybe, there could be a time when you’d let me ask you out again to dinner, or dancing, or even just on a walk.

Even if that time never comes, know that I love you, no matter what.