As you probably know, Luigi Galvani used to entertain himself by making severed frogs legs dance. This would occur because he used to hang the legs on an iron rail and skewer the legs with a brass rod. By touching the brass to the iron, a small electric current would flow and cause the legs to twitch.

Since January of this year, I have noticed some "twitching" in my own mental processes – rather like Frankenstein's monster being energized into life. It is very refreshing.

For several years I was in a rather down mental state. It seemed as though I had been switched into a permanent "flight mode" and simply looked and grasped at anything I thought might help me escape. Fortunately, this seems to have ended about 9 months ago (not withstanding small normal ups and downs) - although, to be honest, it was more like treading water, just waiting for the other shoe to drop.

Since January 2006, I have noticed that my mind seems to be filling with more ideas and that I get energized with small bursts of motivation and anticipation. Nothing sustained so far - but, then again, I have never had a sustained level of motivation - just curiosity and inquisitiveness.

Whether I will eventually manage to harness all this, I don't know – I certainly have not in the past. On the other hand, I have more motivators than in the past, prime of which is the loss of immortality.

To top this all off, this past Thursday and Friday were definitely confident feel good days. Hmmm … who knows, perhaps I shall eventually learn to plan and take charge of my own life rather than being a wandering tourist.

Image nabbed from here.


Prince Romp said…
Your mind and body are too hyper active as life always begin at 40.

Everything that you have done and achieved seems not enough for you..

Maybe you should pick some additional hobby...or write some books.
Richard said…
I think you are mistaking me with someone else. I feel I have done very little compared to most people.

Most experiences people take for granted are alien to me.

The only thing I think I have done more than most is read, think and ask questions.

I have been slowly building up a wood working shop over the past year (drives my wife crazy - "Ack! More tools! The garage is so crowded and messy.")

Yeah, writing would be nice. It has always been a dream of mine. I just don't know if I have anything to say. There is a difference between being able to say things and having to say things.
Anonymous said…
It's not uncommon for people who ask a lot of questions to suffer from depression. My husband has suffered from general anxiety & depression since he was about 15yrs old and it's cyclical too. A lot of what you describe about yourself I have heard from him.

I'm glad to hear that things have been looking better since January. You know, a lot of people who suffer from depression never completely get out of it but they learn to manage it for their own sake as well as their loved one.

Have you sought any counselling? Just talking it through with someone who emphatises and who doesn't judge will really help the healing process too but it's not an overnight recovery that's for sure.
Mum2One said…
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Anonymous said…
Sorry, the above is from S. And, thanks for sharing.
Richard said…
S. Anonymous: There is definitely no question in my mind that from Sept 2004 until Nov 2004 - which was my lowest point - I was defninitely depressed. I just wanted to crawl into bed and cry (actually, I did that a few times)

But, this is very not normal for me. The first time I remember feeling "down", I was 22 (maybe 21) and and I just suddenly felt bleh. This lasted a whole half day! But, prior to then, I had never known what it was like to feel down. Sad? Sure. Down? No. It was very interesting.

The next time I felt down was when I was 29, this lasted for two weeks (and it had a definite trigger).

The next time I was 36 It started as a sort of malaise back in January 1993 (or so) - likely being triggered by being overwhelmed with work (day job and moonlighting). It was followed by a general decline in health in Sept 2003. Healthwise, I did not recover until Feb 2004. But my mental state definitely persisted on the low side. For some reason, in Sept 2004, I just crashed. I started feeling better in Dec 2004 (we went for two weeks to New York, as well I was approaching a requested 6 month sabbatical).

In March 2005, I started my sabbatical (or unpaid leave of absence). While my emotional state was low, but manageble, my self identidy took a hard beating as I began to look at the world from a new persective ("Why am I different from other people?" - previously, my question was always "Why are other people different from me?")

By Sept 2005, all the negativity seems to have left me and in January 2006, I seem to be coming out of my "coma".

Depression is not something I am typically familiar with. I could nbever understand why people had highs and lows. I just went through life with a fairly constant disposition.

It is a lot like health, you cannot understand what ill health is like if you have never been sick.
ingrid said…
:) I'm so excited for you :)

I hope you continue with these moments of inner excitement. I lack it right now. I am envious.
Anonymous said…
Yes, depression is an illness and a person who hasn't experienced it would probably never quite understand how it feels to be depressed. At least yours is not general anxiety and depression but rather situational triggered series of depressions! The latter is easier to treat. S.
Richard said…
Ingrid: That’s why the title is called Twitch rather than Strong Steady Pulse, because it is not yet something constant.

I certainly feel for you and hope you are able to find your epiphany. However, given the trials of the past few years, and the long wait for epiphany, I will take I will take the occasional spasm any day. At any rate, I seem to be moving away from waiting for epiphany and gearing up for action. On the other hand, maybe I am just fooling myself and using this as a flimsy rationale to prop up an undermined psychological condition, so I don't actually have to deal with the ugly reality of being me. (Ooh! That sounds so harsh! NOTE: not to be read or interpreted as negatively as it sounds. I don't sugar coat my words, even when introspecting myself – and inventing new words when I should use something like reflecting or self-analysing :-)

To me it is clear and sensible that if you want things to happen then you need to take charge and make them happen. All easier said than done. It is hard to make big plans and just let yourself go when you feel powerless to affect the larger environment around you. Maybe I am too much of a thinker and should simply learn to turn off my brain and just blindly rush forward. Know anyone who does lobotomies on the cheap?

S. Anonymous: As a general rule, I dislike labels of any sort - except for broad generalization.

I like to deal with people as individuals - nobody has had a perfect life, nobody is perfect. We all have our good points and our bad points. In our world we move too quickly, we demand too much and encourage too little – "Get better now! Stragglers and deadweight are not welcome". So, we turn to external aids to help us cope and deal with life, to mask our infirmities rather than allowing people the time necessary to heal in full. Whether that is medications, drugs (legal and illegal - caffeine / cocaine, alcohol / marihuana, sleeping pills / morphine, etc). The message is always the same, the weak are left behind to die (or at least shut away until they die).

This is not to deny legitimate disabilities - which need to be identified and treated. However, all too often we compartmentalize, classify and label people when what we really should be doing is supporting them.

Hmmm … perhaps I am digressing rather than focussing, again.
AoisobaHere said…
I was wondering how many frogs had to be 'twitched' to entertain Galvani.

Couldn't agree with you more dude, actually right now i feel that am losing passion, everything i do has to conventional, it has to be very conformist and very normal. Yup, i become an adult.
Maybe if do Galvani's experiment (tweak an elephant perhaps) that could help rejuvenate the inner child- like inqusitiveness and passion in me. so far, i manage to retain my childishness.

anyway, so carpe diem!
Richard said…
The whole feeling bleh bit was a new experience for (well at least for such a prolonged period of time).

I have noticed that people seem to go through various phases in their lives - which I seem to have been immune to (or maybe I was just clueless).

Anyway, I remember in my mid-20s, friends were complaining about feeling unfulfilled (some call it a quarter-life crisis).

The only advide I have is to persevere.

Thank you for dropping by!

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