"That thing I don't talk about" is a kind of depression. People who've never had it have no concept of how disabling it can be.
This particular depression has a trigger. A very specific trigger. And it doesn't get tripped very often -- but when it does, I fall a long way, and I hit hard when I reach the bottom.
It's frustrating, because -- thinking dispassionately -- I should learn to ignore the trigger. It's a trigger without direct effect on me. It's a trigger which should be easy to ignore. It's frustrating because once it's triggered, I lose all ability to think dispassionately. It's already too late.
In an interview-meme answer recently I made reference to a musical "Hopes and Dreams", the last musical in which Anne and I both appeared. After I answered that question, I dug out the CD and put it in the car.
Immediately after my last post, sometime between quarter-past and half-past six, I left the office, got into the car, and drove from Fleet to Feltham, listening to the CD, thinking about the past, thinking about last night. singing through my tears. When I got to the_magician's house I parked and took the time which remained for the current track to dry my face and compose myself. And then I got out of the car and knocked the door, and went in.
I was a bit subdued. The three of us (sbisson was there) talked. We watched Buffy.
And I made decisions. There's no excuse for this depression. I can't let it win. I'm in charge of my life. I'm not bound by my past. I'm not bound by what-might-have-been. I'm not bound by what-can't-be. I don't need demons. And if I can't beat them conventionally, I have to beat them by changing the rules.
Buffy finished. I was bright. There was pasta. There was further talk. And then I got into the car.
The "Hopes and Dreams" CD started up where it left off, and I let it play as I drove home. I thought about my future, and I sang through my smile.
I was broken last night. I'm fixed now.
I carried on singing: Let every hope and every dream be born in love again ...
I'll sleep well tonight.