The Canadian Writers' Collective

Writing, and writerly tangents

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Someone Saved My Life Tonight

Article removed for revision and publication. Wish the author luck!


Blogger tamara said...

Music, yes! Miserable, joyful, live or recorded... Music has saved me from deep dark depths as well. Since I was a teeny-tiny five year old sleeping with the transistor under my covers, protecting me from the bogeyman (surely he'd be frightened by the something as good as music) through the miserable '90s. My most saddest time in life was devoid of music, but never again. I now know how to cure what ails me, too.

Beautiful post, Andrew. Thank you for your brave honesty. Your complexity is what makes you such an amazing person to know, sweets.

Wed Jun 20, 10:17:00 am GMT-4  
Blogger J.A. McDougall said...

I found this post facinating, Andrew, both your clear description of the feelings of depression and how you personally are able to look beyond the darkest days. So encouraging that you were able to work through that last bout. Bright wishes to you for the rest of the year!

Wed Jun 20, 10:21:00 am GMT-4  
Anonymous Wendell Tomlin said...

Hi, Andrew. I am not clear as to why posting such remarks would make you feel vulnerable. There's not much new here. Besides, your audience will either "get" depression or they won't.

I'm pretty frank about my alcoholism and my opinion that it is a disease to folks who ask. If folks don't get it, or feel that it needs to be "fixed" in some way That's more their difficulty than mine.

Depressive episodes can be pretty awful, agreed. Folks get to the point where they forget to brush their teeth in the morning. Again, the concern is who you plan to talk to that day.

Now, if you feel that such an "admission" makes you subject to the ridicule of others that's problematic but since you have already self-described as gay surely you have been down the trail of defense, parry and offense before.

Too, if you feel as though your depression is destroying your quality of life, rather than just denting it up a bit, there are plenty of ameliorative drugs and techniques about which you likely know as much as anyone else.

You certainly don't sound naieve and in fact sound pretty grounded and deliberate.

I certainly would not wish for anyone else to experience the worst parts of alcoholism, depression, schizophrenia or any number of disorders and diseases but othe folks do and there is not much for others to do but listen.

So. I listened to you and I liked what I heard. If you are a friend of Jake's, you'd probably be a friend of mine.

Wendell Tomlin

Wed Jun 20, 01:11:00 pm GMT-4  
Blogger Tricia Dower said...

It's brave of you to bring this part of your Shadow self into the open, Andrew. It gives others the courage to do the same and I hope it helps you feel less alone. We all love you.

Wed Jun 20, 01:12:00 pm GMT-4  
Blogger MelBell said...

Beautiful and brave, Andrew - much like yourself. :-)

Wed Jun 20, 01:40:00 pm GMT-4  
Blogger Anne C. said...

If people keep leaving wonderful comments like these, there will be no chance of Andrew falling into another depression.

Wed Jun 20, 02:06:00 pm GMT-4  
Anonymous mackillan said...

A very eloquent description of an awful affliction reminiscent of "The Noonday Demon: An Atlas of Depression."
Its great you can now see it bearing down on you rather than be blindsided. Kudos to you for your courage.

Wed Jun 20, 03:07:00 pm GMT-4  
Anonymous yvette managan said...

Poignantly written and well stated. You show that we are all similar inside, subject to human things - depression - visceral responses to music - we (you) are not alone.

Wed Jun 20, 03:52:00 pm GMT-4  
Blogger Maryanne said...

eloquent as ever. maybe the silver-lining bi-product of clinical depression is searing honesty, sensitivity and generosity of spirit? at least in your own case.

I'm glad you were proactive this last time round. your post has taken me away from and caused me to examine a few things...

I share your condition. your descriptions are so right. maybe this is gender(hormone?)-related, but when I am truly depressed I cannot help crying, constantly. not sobs-- constant flowing tears. even though I try to function, it's difficult and embarrassing to face people/obligations with dripping eyes.

you didn't mention medication. I've been on zoloft (and wellbutrin, for focus) for years. tried to get off once, as I can't imagine too much of this good thing is a good thing, but I couldn't do it.

Wed Jun 20, 04:38:00 pm GMT-4  
Blogger Martin Heavisides said...

I have bleak spells which resemble, at a distance, what you describe, but I know enough about clinical depression to know they're a good deal less intense. Good to hear you're coping better with time, and best of luck. (Some people would think Tom Waits and Agniezska Holland odd choices to combat depression, but I can see the logic. Whatever the troubling undercurrents in their work, there's always a zest of confrontation.)

Wed Jun 20, 08:30:00 pm GMT-4  
Blogger Chumplet said...

Just remember that in your darkest moments, there are still people out there who love you. Put sticky notes on everything to remind you.

I have to remind my spouse all the time, who suffers from debilitating anxiety attacks

Wed Jun 20, 09:36:00 pm GMT-4  
Blogger Antonios Maltezos said...

The best way to get over a depression is to fall in love with the emotional roller coster. You strike me as a survivor, Andrew.

Wed Jun 20, 11:21:00 pm GMT-4  
Blogger ~Ainsley~ said...


I deal with clinical depression too and this was so familiar. Thanks for writing such an honest's amazing what things end up saving your life.

-Heather (from Ellen's office)

Thu Jun 21, 01:05:00 am GMT-4  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

AT, how sensitive and thoughtful and I'm sorry for your battles and brave foray into this personal subject.

Hugs, Diane, The Maple Room

Thu Jun 21, 07:31:00 pm GMT-4  
Anonymous Liesl said...

Thanks for sharing, Andrew. I hope your spirit and mood are fully restored again.

This recently spoke to me from Thomas Moore's book "The Dark Night of the Soul" which is a fine study of the bleakest affect:

"In your dark night you may learn a secret hidden from modern people
generally: the truth of things can only be expressed aesthetically - in story, picture, film, dance, music. Only when ideas are poetic do they reach the depths and express the reality...

Ralph Waldo Emerson says that the poet 'stands one step nearer to things' and 'turns the world to glass.' You don't have to write poetry, but you need an appreciation for story, image, and symbol. It would help to get beyond the modern habit of giving value only to facts...


Tue Jun 26, 12:56:00 am GMT-4  
Blogger Steve Gajadhar said...

Very brave, Andrew. Thanks for sharing something so personal.

Tue Jun 26, 03:36:00 am GMT-4  
Anonymous Elsie O'Day said...

Andrew, it was impossible not to respond to your honest and courageous post. I think all of us suffer to some degree from depression, but clinical depression is a bug-bear to deal with.

When I feel 'down' I listen to classical music or Irish ballads. Or, I go sit on a big cliff by a pounding ocean and meditate.

A victory you had with this last bout. And you described the depresion so clearly that we all could sense the effects.

I wish you well...keep fighting it.

Tue Jul 10, 01:25:00 am GMT-4  
Blogger Corey said...

I think one day Tom Waits may save my life as well. Until that day, thanks for the stories, thanks for the honesty.

Thu Nov 22, 05:12:00 pm GMT-5  

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