Dan Gisvold at Bear Creek

Saturday, March 19, 2011

The BLACK Cloud

Dan and I shared one thing in common. We talked about it alot to each other but not to other people. It was something that we were both ashamed of but which, we finally figured out, we should not be ashamed.

We both suffered from depression. Dan called it his BLACK cloud. I called mine the same thing long before I knew about his label.

It wasn't until he was in Montana and he had separated from Diana that we talked about it. We both felt like failures for a variety of reasons. We both saw our lives in dark patterns. We both thought the BLACK cloud was our fault.

I began to explore my "dark side" after my divorce from Melodie's father and again while I was in law school. It wasn't called depression then--I just wasn't "thinking right". It was very 1950's you are a woman so you must behave in a certain way kind of thing.

Meanwhile, Dan was trying to do the same thing. But as a male he was told to just get to work and it would take care of itself. He just had to get a good job.

So when we began to talk about it we learned alot. We talked about the family history that must be depression but which no one labeled as such. We had a grandfather who wrote poetry, spent time talking to the railroad bums and would disappear for months at a time. Our parents suffered from alcoholism and severe depression.

The stories that we had heard growing up were of people fighting demons that today would be demolished by Lexipro or the like. And when Dan and I talked we realized that we shared some of those traits. We had both been trying to fight them and didn't know what they were.

I hit the medical centers and finally found a proper medication. Dan kept struggling. He could not get past that men couldn't be suffering from depression. So he worked harder and slept less.

But we talked about his BLACK cloud often. In the last year of his life the cloud was less and less apparent. He seemed to have found an answer but he didn't know what it was yet.

We were talking about it the night he died.

1 comment:

  1. Eric wasn't depressed (that I know of), but he too spent a lot of time searching, looking for something to fill a hole in his life. He finally found it in his girlfriend and his religion. And then he too was gone. At least they both had some of what they were looking for.