South Park Self

the cure for Tranquility

The bitch about depression is that it detaches you. I'm coming out of it now, and slowly starting to actually feel the world again, but for a couple of years I've been gliding over the surface of things, never quite connecting. You've probably felt it if you're a friend in Cape Town - I've seen you less, made fewer attempts to socialise, have possibly seemed slightly out of it when I do. Everything's a bit muffled. Responses are deadened. It's difficult to feel anything strongly, or to imagine that people might care to see me because I don't particularly care about anything and caring seems unimaginable.

This is clearly undesirable in emotional and social terms, but it has horrible real-life implications as well. If nothing matters much, you tend to drift. You default to the path of least resistance. You, for example, buy a new car rather than going through all the hassle of digging up a reasonable used car, because car searches take energy. You shrug and take the dealership's finance offer rather than shopping around. I am quite sure the Beast, however fond I am of her, is costing me money she needn't be, but at the time it didn't seem to matter.

You also do really stupid things like glance over the service agreement without really investing in its detail. If the dealership agent is a little laissez faire about explaining things, you slide easily into an impression of its terms, rather than reading it carefully. You end up vaguely thinking that the service kicks in at 10 000 kms, and entirely fail to absorb the bit about "or annually, whichever comes first." You also completely miss the fact that this is an obligation, so it's a bit of a punch to the gut when you finally haul the Beast in to the service centre after two years and around 8000kms on the clock, only to be told that you've defaulted on your service agreement and they will no longer cover you.

(It's also the case, weirdly enough, that being single exacerbates the whole problem - not because a relationship might help to counteract the deadening effect, although it might, but in purely practical terms. If there's only me, there's only my life experience to bring to the situation. I don't get as a given that ability to pool two sets of eyes, knowledges, exposures to the realities of the world. It's just me, and I'm not really adulting at full capacity just at the moment. Oops.)

Fortunately for the particular case in point, the world is full of lovely people capable of both energy and kindness. The service centre agent who handled my case tried to argue with the service plan company, and when they remained obdurate, bumped it up to her manager. He managed to succeed in moral suasion or arm-twisting or possibly blackmail, and the service plan is being honoured. I am wibbly with gratitude. Also determination, because apparently depressive drifting is dangerous and leads to potentially expensive screw-ups. I'm lucky it wasn't something more serious.

My subject line references Dragon Age's Tranquil, i.e. mages who are punished by being cut off from the Fade, the realm of dreams and emotion and magic. Tranquil are automatons, incapable of feeling. There's a sub-plot in Inquisition about the possibility of curing Tranquility, although the first two games suggest it's incurable. I find this curiously hopeful.
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Empathy with the Depression. Glad to hear you're beginning to come out of it, and w00t for your service centre agent.
Very hooray for energetic, kind and capable agent. Also very hooray to have you on your way back, we like you :-)