1. James Seamarsh

    I don’t remember the first time I realized I was depressed. Now, looking back, I see milestones, events that I imagine could have been clues to the coming darkness. But at the time, they were anomalies, hiccups in an otherwise bright world.

    Some told me depression is all in the head. It is just the opposite. Depression is the disappearance of my head.

    Before I got stuck in gloomy and dull, my world was sparkling, alive with flashes of insight, layers upon layers of joyous connection tapping into my overactive reward center. I often told people who found me obnoxiously positive that I had a disability – hyper-dopaminism. It’s not just that my “good” was “unbelievably incredible”, but more annoying to most, that my “awful” was “awfully full of opportunity.” I was six when the phrase, “Every cloud has a silver lining,” became my mantra.

    I lived this charmed life where nothing bad ever happened to me, until I hit 55-years-old. Then my world slowly began to shrink.

    1. mcullen Post author

      Hi James, Thank you for this important, honest and insightful writing. I love how you write. . . you paint pictures with words . . . bringing what could be vague feelings into powerful images.

  2. mcullen Post author


    I don’t remember what it feels like to be thirteen and intrigued by a kiss from a boy. But then, I don’t remember a lot of things lately. It’s embarrassing to admit how much I’ve been forgetting. I’m not used to being absent-minded. No, not that exactly. I remember where I put my car keys. I remember appointments. When I forget — what I forget — are important-only-to-me things. Like what my pet peeves are. It took me half a day today to remember my all-time pet peeve — when someone asks me, “What was your name?”

    Was? I’m not dead.

    I also don’t like “Can I have your phone number?” Because I wonder what they’re going to do with it.

    “No,” I want to say, “I need it.”

    I don’t remember a lot about high school. A friend from high school days has been emailing me, asking about a field trip we went on, or telling about something I said or did which I have absolutely no recollection of. I even asked him if he was sure he had the right person. In one instance, he didn’t. Evidently there was another Marlene in our graduating class. Since there were 600 of us, I can be forgiven if I don’t remember whether or not I knew her.

    What I don’t remember is disconcerting. Should I be worried? I joke about early senility. But what if? My brain has felt clouded . . . since when? My first feeling of being not-as-sharp-as-I-once-was occurred when I first got bifocals. I felt clumsy going down stairs and awkward walking outside. But then I felt sharp again for a couple of years. Now I feel fuzzy around the edges. Maybe this is all okay — maybe just normal stuff. But what if it isn’t? My mother took a test for early dementia. The testing sounds horrible. And not something I want to do. But I wonder if I should take this test.

    Big sigh.

    Update, 2014~

    Still wondering if I should take that dementia test. I wonder if my friends would tell me if I was losing it. Would you tell your friends if they were becoming repetitive, forgetful or just plain batty?

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