Monday 10 July 2023

Sadly Sad Sadness

Uninterested in cooking

I put a brave face on a lot of things even as I wonder at the weaknesses and vulnerability that assails me, seeking to leave me in despair. The kind of despair I strive with every sinew not to succumb to.

Recently, I have been asked about my cooking; in forms that I have had to fill out and in other conversations that come up with people dear to me. I enjoy making meals, however, much of the motivation to contemplate, to decide, to prepare, to cook, and then eat, I have lost.

The result is I probably do not eat sufficiently, and my weighing scale is showing numbers I have not seen in decades. A thing of relief that bodily exercise usually fails to achieve and of concern as bodily functions need adequate sustenance. It is just not cooking that I have lost interest in, but that is the more obvious thing.

The shrouds of therapy

I find that I want to talk about certain things in therapy that for many reasons is challenging because on assessment, I rarely present the classic indicators that put me in the critical eligibility criteria, yet my circumstances would suggest I am a prime candidate for help.

Making my case for therapy when I had cancer, I was not depressed or suicidal, yet for the kind of catastrophe of Job, I was facing when the loss of health, home, status, and much else, I had to make the hard journey back to the UK to start over again, how could I not need therapy?

It was a singularly difficult journey that from the outside looked rather stoic, but I was crushed and deconstructed, almost defeated and ruined, yet, in the midst of all that, I rose, leaving all that represented the past behind and forging ahead to write different and better stories.

The pall of sadness

We of African heritage do not suffer depression, that is the first bad lesson of understanding mental health, a denial constructed in traditional, cultural and religious tenacity that presents struggle as spunk. The shibboleth is we cannot be depressed, but could a lack of motivation to do some essential things to one's well-being, health, and happiness be signs of depression?

Brian was kinder in finding a less challenging word, he said I am sad. I can fully relate to that. There is a lot of sadness about so many things that I am demotivated and disengaged.

Indeed, and sadly, there is sadness and much of it, sad that things are the way they are, sad that things I used to do quite easily seem beyond capability, sad that there are watches instead of stashes, sad that we all seem to have similar stories, sad that it is not even too obvious what one is sad about.

Sad that I am not inclined, and I don't want to do the things that make me happy or address the things that make me unhappy. I am looking for a cave like Elijah did, that offers no shelter.

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