Just discovered a new anti-depressant

It’s uncharacteristic, but nevertheless I’ve been a little depressed lately.

Not one of those deep plunges into the abyss, but just a bit of emotional lassitude. Lolling around my place, not getting much done in a day. Or, rather, if I get one thing done, like my laundry, it feels satisfying. Not exciting, no thrill here, but a sense of “I accomplished my laundry today.”

In the evening, I watch Netflix, where I discovered a wildly peculiar Turkish criminal investigation show and was well into it before I learned it ran for 164 episodes.

For a number of reasons I’ll confess only to my closest pals, I became possessed by it. It wasn’t that I had lost my mind entirely; I still laughed when things were funny, and still kept advising my favorite characters, “No! You’re leaving fingerprints on that belt. Wipe them off!” And, “C’mon, don’t tell me you didn’t make a copy of those crucial documents. Is that what you’re telling me??”

I watched it for hours every night. One night, I started at 8 pm and turned the TV off at 8:30 a.m.

Talking in English to Turkish TV series characters may not be much, but it sufficed for the length of the series. I did have to give myself a few weeks to get over feeling bereft without it.

Unfortunately, I’ve haven’t been talking much to a number of friends I’d love to be talking to…except I don’t have much to tell them, and since I’m normally a fairly talkative person as well as a storyteller, this ongoing dead space is troubling.

I am empty of stories.

I’m now canceling the few dates and appointments on my calendar, not because of my mood but because I have something other than a mood — a chronic lung condition called bronchiectasis. It’s not terminal and doesn’t currently restrict me much but I find myself — again uncharacteristically — thinking about how my lungs would react if I got a mild case (I’m thoroughly vaxxed) of the new, fast-moving COVID variant.

I’m not worried exactly but it would surely be not pleasant and could be worse. When I was first diagnosed, I did some exploring and discovered a couple of fairly famous people who had bronchiectasis. They died. I will not, at least not from bronchiectasis.

Meanwhile, I’ve been reading a lot of tweets and comments about the new virus onslaught and how we, as a country, are so fraught after years of dystopia. As I’ve mentioned many times, I am incapable of dystopic imaginings, so whatever is causing my mild depression, it has not sent me to the couch to wait for the apocalypse.

Today, the Times has a couple of articles about this nation’s reaction to Omicron, one of which concerns how people around the country are reacting to this surge. (The subtitle uses the word “dread.”)

Usually I don’t read this stuff. But today I did. And I’m so glad because as I learned how people are facing this weird world, I realized that compared to them, I wasn’t so badly off. Immediately, I felt much better.

So, along with Pfizer’s newly approved COVID treatment in one pill we can take at home,  that’s the new anti-depressant.

P.S. Oh yeah, and there’s Zoloft.


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