When I think of depth my mind jumps to “how deep is your love?” and then moves onto “what depth is your depression today?”. So I guess depth is a measurement but in each of these cases there is no common scale to be used. I can measure the depth of my fish tank using a tape measure but how do I measure my love for you? Do I even understand what it is to love you?
I walked down to my local pharmacist this morning to pick up my latest batch of fluoxetine, more commonly known as Prozac. I didn’t take the dogs because we are probably going out and about with them later, and I wanted to get some milk too. Leaving Bobby and Charlie outside a shop is an unknown quantity, they can egg each other on and a howling, barking duet is not what I need whilst shopping. What is the depth of their relationship?
Back at home, I unpacked the rucksack. Four custard tarts (they were reduced and the wife has a pen chance for them) were distributed. I gave two to my wife, but the youngest immediately asked if there were any more, so my wife offered her one. She then offered the other child half a tart to the response “only half?” after which I said they could have one of mine. I put a four pint carton of milk in the fridge, and gave the other milk to elder child who has a bowl filled with cereal sitting on the side. I forget about my pills.
When I do remember about the pills, the kitchen is empty of humans. I am in the middle of making a mug of tea when I go back to the rucksack. I take the boxes out of the paper bag and lay them on the side. I take the sealing sticky tape off the bag, put the bag into recycling and the tape in the bin. I return to the side where the boxes are sitting there. I look at them and turn them over; these boxes are symbolic of my depression and for a moment I feel the weight of it pressing down. There is a sense of shame too, a sense of failure, a sense of embarrassment; nothing new there, but something I don’t welcome. I sigh, open a box and take a foil out. I press out a pill, and put the rest of the foil in my mixed pill storage box; then press out two tacrolimus capsules into my palm. I swallow all three pills with a glass of water.
I put the pill boxes in the cupboard and tell myself the antidepressants also represent progress. I had to admit to being depressed to myself. I had to discuss it with my wife. I had to go to my GP and discuss depression. I discussed depression with a medical friend. I made the decision to try the pills to help me progress, and I am writing this because of my efforts. There is a journey and there is progress. Perhaps I could measure my depression in the darkness of the cloud that descends, but the weather can change rapidly as the clouds do on a windy day, and so the depression is not fixed. At least it isn’t fixed today. There may have been storm clouds approaching when I first held the antidepressants in my hands, but these were transformed by a few thoughts, a few realisations into something just a little bit grey.