I have a new appreciation for my brother and for anyone else who has had a life-long battle with depression. This just sucks!!!
For anyone who has never experienced depression before, it is like your emotions are on a roller coaster. One day I feel great, like nothing in the world can touch me - and then gradually, unnoticably I start to slip off my high until a few weeks later I can barely make myself function - wondering what in the world is wrong with me. On medication the highs are not as high and the lows are not as low - which is good and bad. Now instead of a low period I experience a sort of ambivalence or dullness. I experience the world happening around me but am stuck in the mire of my own emotions. I am a zombie, sleep-walking for days until something random triggers me and I wake up. The problem is, since the highs don't go as high I feel a little like I am stuck in my ambivalence. Even when I feel great, a part of me is still asleep and doesn't really care about my life.
I notice this the most in my parenting. When Samuel was little I spent so much energy teaching him, encouraging him to learn, taking him to the library and doing everything I could to help him be as smart as he could be. By the time he was two he could recognize all of the letters in the alphabet. James is now two and he doesn't know the alphabet, heck, he has trouble getting his colors right. I am absolutely horrified by this! But that other part of me... the sleeping part ... couldn't care less.