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The Borovkoff Blog

Neo-Pagan Modern Thoughts On Society

Tag Archives: depression

Many of you who know me, realize that I have entered one of the toughest depressions of my life. In October I ended a very unhealthy, poisonous relationship with my partner and began a new chapter of my life. One alone.

The holidays were tough to get through. But I made them. The loneliness was unbearable, but I live with it daily. And with the loneliness has come a new freedom and a new desire to find myself again. Don’t we ever get too old to find ourselves? It seems like every so many years, we all go through a self revitalization once again. I thought I knew who I was at this point in my life, but I am finding that I have no idea who I am, what I like, and where I am going. That is a scary feeling.

Image of PyewackittOne of my solutions to help with my depression and my fear of coming home to an empty house was to get a pet. In December, the SPCA ran a special to adopt any pet at 70% off the costs. I figured the fates were telling me that this was the time to do just that. I needed a friend who would give me unconditional love and be there for me when I got home. I lost all faith in humans after the most painful and gutter ugly break up of my life. I went with two friends to the SPCA and a cat chose me. A wonderful seal point Siamese named “Pyewackitt” after the witches familiar in “Bell, Book and Candle”. Its a great movie with Jimmy Stewert, Kim Novak, Jack Lemon and a host of other notable actors and actresses. If you have not seen it, I recommend it highly. If not just for the vision of Kim Novak and her beautiful face and wonderfully styled costumes. Anyway, Pyewackitt looks just like the cat familiar in the movies, so it was an easy name choice.

A pet brings a love and fullness to your life that is hard to come by with other people. They depend on you. They look forward to seeing you always. They entertain you. And they sense when you are feeling low or not so chipper. And Pye is no exception to that. Very often he lays on my chest and licks the tears off my eyes, or just presses his mouth up against mine and purrs. A native American friend of mine said that cats have the ability to suck the darkness from our souls. That is why they purr and put their faces in our face. They are the animal healer. And truth to be told, Pye has made me feel a whole lot better. I enjoy coming home to him now. I look forward to waking up a little more each day. And I love watching Pye grow and bond more and more to me. He was the best investment I have ever made in my health.

Simply Clean auto litter boxLastly for today’s post I wanted to review a automatic litter box that I bought for Pyewackitt. Its called Simply Clean and its a complete waste of time and money. The basis of the litter box is that the kitty does their business in this round box that is slowly turning. The waste gets taken up a conveyer belt and deposited in a receptacle ready for disposal. No fuss, no muss. Right? WRONG. First thing is first, automatic litter boxes are expensive! This thing cost almost $90 and it was the cheaper of my choices. Its made of solid plastic and is based on an interesting idea, but not worth $90. Actually its not even really worth $20. The thing is noisy. The thing is very smelly and seems to attract odors way more than a standard littler box. And the conveyer belt gets jammed sometimes which means you have to mess with it to get it to work again. I would caution anyone to avoid this thing. Save your money for a good clumping litter and just use the normal litter boxes that depend on manual cleaning.

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Image depicting depressionMy family history has a long record of severe depression. Two of my father’s sisters lived out the last 30 years of their lives in a deep depression. Never leaving the house. Crying through the day for no apparent reason. Reckless spending of money, though they were wealthy. Finding no joy in anything around them, including their spouse and children.

My father suffered through two severe depressions in my life. The last one almost cost him his life, as he routinely tried to take his own life. He was never successful luckily. His last attempt at hanging himself in our garage left the beam to the roof of the garage cracked, and a chair broken. But my family kept going and accepted that this is the “way” dad is for right now. And then one morning, he got up bright and early, made breakfast for everyone, hugged us all as we woke up that morning and his depression was over. It came and went for no reason.

So my siblings and I have always accepted that something genetic is looming deep inside of us, and most likely will force one of us or all of us into that dark place.

When my mother died in 2000, I fell into the first depression of my life. It last for a short 3 years. It helped to end my relationship at the time. Aided my separation from friends at the time. Helped me to lose a wonderful career in fine arts. And I found other ramifications in that three year time too. Some seem like vague and shadowy memories. And then it just evaporated and went away and I was “normal” once again.

Now, I find myself once again falling into a more serious depression. For those who don’t know what this is like, let me explain it to you:

– I get up to go to work in the morning, but I don’t really want to. I would rather lay in bed and sleep, because there is a feeling that nothing really matters anyway.

– I get no joy from the things that used to bring me joy. Reading, art, movies, tennis. All have 0 impact on my mood. They just seem like chores for me to finish and get back to sleeping.

– I cry at odd times in the day. No reason. Tears just come down my face. I escape to the bathroom and sit there until the tears stop. No thoughts trigger the tears. No reason. They just come.

– A feeling of always being tired is so strong in my physical self that I cannot get enough rest. And I always have the feeling that I am not getting enough rest ever. No matter how long I rest in a day.

– People point out all the good things in life, and the things that I should be grateful for, but I don’t feel anything. I just feel…blank. Like its not really real at all. Those things are not THAT good. They are just things. Little rocks to weigh fill my pockets and weigh me down as I walk out into the river and drown, like Virginia Woolf.

Those are just examples of some of the feelings both physical and emotional that sweep through me routinely. Weird huh? Depression is a serious illness. Some people take drugs to help sway the balance in the favor of a brighter feeling. I have never been a big proponent of medications and try to avoid them at all costs. Frankly I try to avoid doctors period. Kind of like Andy Warhol, who avoided hospitals for fear of his own demise. I have that same feeling. Nothing good can come from going to the hospital. You just seem to get sicker.

Anyway, a few weeks ago, in my regular searches on Youtube for the wise information that could change me for the rest of my life, I came across a video from a young man who was suffering depression too. His solution was to play the piano. The piano helped him. He found himself transported away. He found himself almost feeling happy again. I wish I could find the link to his video again, but it came and went so swiftly and now I can’t seem to find him on there anymore. He spoke about the freedom from depression that he sought. He shared his feeling and theory that playing the piano seemed to help him.

For Christmas this year, I bought a piano too. And great joy at learning to play this instrument has started inside me. But watching this Youtube video, I began to realize that maybe there REALLY is something to this strange depressed brother’s theory. Maybe he is on to something. Just maybe.

When I play, and usually when I am improvising especially, I feel that sense of being transported away. I feel a heaviness leave me. I hear the notes and something deep inside me, something forgotten, that happy, smiley side of Adam stirs just a little. A relief comes over me. The notes surround me and hug me and tell me that everything will be all right. Nothing lasts forever. Is it the sound of the keys or is the feeling of the keys? Is it the creation of sound that did not exist at all until you sit down at that wonderful instrument and play? Hmmm?

The piano promises that one morning, bright and early, with the earliest of morning sunshine streaming in my window, I will wake up and want to live again. I will find joy in life again and be able to recognize beauty and be thankful and full of happiness again. One day tears will only come when something bad happens or I step on a piece of glass. One day I will discover all of the things that I used to love about life. One day I will do the happy dance. If only. One day.

I know I am not alone in these place. I know that there are other souls down here in this darkest of pits surrounded by shadow. I know you are out there too. And I know you understand what I am saying. You don’t know where it came from or when exactly it started. But you know that you are here now. Maybe the piano is key. Maybe we all need our own piano to soothe our depression beast.

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Experimental image of a pink flamingo done with Sketchbook and Typedrawing apps for iPad.

Experimental image of a pink flamingo done with Sketchbook and Typedrawing apps for iPad.

After the death of my mother, I found myself with complete and utter artist block. I had pulled out of every gallery I had been in and withdrawn. My paints, pencils, pens, paper, sculpting supplies and everything else went into storage. And so years have passed me by. A deep depressive block settled on me and I would not allow myself to expose anyone to my art or my creative side at all.

Slowly over the last ten years I have started to venture out. Normally there is someone there to send me back into the blocked box that I have dwelt in and which has become my home for far too long. And many times all it took was a look of disgust or misunderstanding. Depression is a sickness. I know from my family history that it is something that I will need to survive for the rest of my life. I tell myself daily, “Deal with it Adam. Get over it. Get out of bed. Go to work. Be productive.” For anyone that has struggled with deep depression then they know how hard those words are to hear yourself saying over and over to just get yourself to maintain a life of “normalcy”.

Two tools that I have started using more and more in unison stem from my iPad. They are both apps and in unison have given me joy and started to help me experiment in life again. They are Sketchbook and Typedrawing. Both excellent apps. Both giving the artist the actual sense of having pen or brush in hand and being able to manipulate color, shape and dimension. Especially when used with a stylus.

My iPad has become a life line to the rest of the world. One that I am trying dearly to hold onto rather than fall into that pit of darkness where I have seen others transcend.

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