The Show Cut
Living in chronic, low-grade depression is like show clipping a horse. Sometimes it feels like you are making no progress, because the task seems to be getting larger. Still, you continue, piece by piece, sprucing up your life for the showing off that comes the following day. Sometimes the best you can do is “just the ears” and you go about turning that portion inside out, cleaning it up for the inspection to follow. Other times you can take something larger, say the feet and legs all in one foul swoop with a burst of productive-and-problem-solving energy.
Sometimes the places you trim are sensitive, like the insides of the nose. The parallel often results in crying fits and spurts of temper or rage. Other times you are charged with softening the anatomy of a large portion (the entire neck and chest being an example) where you feel drowned in the futility of even beginning.
As in clipping, in life it is important to cool your blades and oil your hinges when doing any extensive work. Diet, exercise and medication help ensure nothing seizes up in the middle of the job.
Sometimes you will be required to change blades for a crisper or softer affect. Likewise in life, you need to remain nimble and be ready to change tactics for the fluxulation of the job at hand. The tools that saw you through one day of depression may be ineffective or to harsh for another. Smart horsemen even keep more than one of each blade in order to give one a chance to cool without interrupting the job.
Regardless of where you are or what you’re doing, you know that the concentrated effort will take all day, so you’d better not plan to do anything else. During a depression is not the time to be taking on any extra projects. Working, if you can even do it, should be limited to part-time. Outings should be minimized and avoided if possible. This is NOT the time to join the PTA or that fun little book club you’ve so been looking forward to. You need to keep your mind on showing the one horse you’ve got, not adding to your barn.
In the end, if you’ve done it right, you have a sight to behold. The depression will pass, as will the haircutting session, and if you’ve done it right, no one will be the wiser. The anatomical flaws of being bi-polar are visually (if not actually) corrected, and the horse of your life looks perfect – or at least well enough to compete.