Sunday, April 3, 2011

My latest depression-I feel like a bananafish

It's been a strange weekend. Depression, anhedonia, unable to get out of bed, unable to eat. Thoughts getting blacker and blacker. I've been through this a million times. "Hello depression, my old friend". 

If I had to describe this attack of depression, I would say it's my Seymour Glass/bananafish depression. I cannot  explain, but I always felt a kindred spirit to Seymour Glass, then his brother Buddy. Never felt that way with Holden Caulfield. I've never felt this type of depression so hard before, but I feel like a bananafish. I can't explain, I don't know if anyone would understand. 

Here is part of the story below. 

"You just keep your eyes open for any bananafish. This is a perfect
day for bananafish."
"I don't see any," Sybil said.
"That's understandable. Their habits are very peculiar." He kept
pushing the float. The water was not quite up to his chest. "They lead
a very tragic life," he said. "You know what they do, Sybil?"

She shook her head.

"Well, they swim into a hole where there's a lot of bananas. They're
very ordinary-looking fish when they swim in. But once they get in,
they behave like pigs. Why, I've known some bananafish to swim into a
banana hole and eat as many as seventy-eight bananas." He edged the
float and its passenger a foot closer to the horizon. "Naturally,
after that they're so fat they can't get out of the hole again. Can't
fit through the door."

"Not too far out," Sybil said. "What happens to them?"
"What happens to who?"
"The bananafish."
"Oh, you mean after they eat so many bananas they can't get out of the banana hole?"
"Yes," said Sybil.
"Well, I hate to tell you, Sybil. They die."
"Why?" asked Sybil.
"Well, they get banana fever. It's a terrible disease."
- J. D. Salinger, "A Perfect Day for Bananafish"

The complete story can be found here.  


Linda said...

Sounds like being stuck to me, and I can relate to that--being stuck in a time or place where there seems no way out and like you're going to die there. I've been hopeless before but it went away with time. You are definitely not alone. I'm thinking of you and hoping you feel better soon.
I've never heard this story before, but will definitely check it out. Thanks for the link.

Ruth said...

Sorry to hear you are feeling so down. I haven't heard the story but I understand the feeling. I call it rock bottom. The only thing good about rock bottom is the only way I have to go is up.

Natalie said...

I get this on so many levels...I've had a connection to that story ever since first reading it in junior high (I still have my first copy of Nine Stories, and one of my cats is nicknamed Bananafish...I have no idea why!).

So sorry to hear you're in such a rough spot. I know the feeling all too well...for me, it always feels like it will never end, even though I know better. Do whatever you can to be kind to yourself. Honor where you are and know that, unlike the bananafish, you won't get stuck in the hole!

Sending peaceful vibes your way.

flawedplan said...

I got a good feeling from your post (and latest tweet) but I'm fundamentally off. But hey, how many use literature in the exact way it was created to be used? You're among the sublime, breathe in that rarefied air.

Stephi said...

I loved that story and I can identify with the poor bananafish- especially the part where they get to fat to swim out of the hole.

I hope things get a little brighter for you tomorrow Susan :)

susan said...

@Linda, it's in 9 Stories by J.D. Salinger. But to really get in the mind of Seymour, I would highly recommend, "Seymour, An Introduction" and "Raise High the Roofbeams, Carpenters". But Then I think Salinger never wrote anything bad.

@Hi Ruth, Rock bottom. Yes, there is no where else to go than up. It's just hard sometimes to raise off the floor.

@Natalie- you named one of your cats Bananafish! You rock! I'll be ok, my blog is my only outlet to how I feel, and without it, I don't know what I would do.

susan said...

@Flawed Plan, I miss your writings and tweets on the blogopshere. You always inspired me and you always recommend the best books to read. How are the kitties? Do you have any writing we can read?

@Hi Stephi, things are better, it's just a matter of baby steps. Always Baby steps. I must learn patience.

shah wharton said...

Inspired piece. I read that holding my breath. Please consider joining our weekly linky over at called Monday Madness today - It's in support of bloggers who are involved in mental health/illness. I'd like it to grow steadily, to tackle stigma and enable awareness and support.Hope you feel better soon. Shah .X

Jen Daisybee said...

I love J.D. Salinger's work, but I had totally forgotten about that bananafish story. Great reference to describe how you're feeling. I totally understand, and have been there before too. I think the one thing helpful about bouts of depression after you've already been through it before, is that you know that the sun will come up again, you'll smile again sometime, you'll laugh again, the world will seem bright and colorful again, you'll stop feeling constant pain again, and in general, it will get better. Try to hold onto that thought through this hard time. I know you will come out of this, and it's hard to know that when you're stuck in the middle of it, but you really will come out of this. I'm so glad you blog so honestly because it's really helpful, not only to you, but to the many, many people who read your words and can relate.

Bette said...

ooo…I love pandas. Here I bought a cuddly panda bag (L) that I can hardly put it down! I believe it is a GREAT find for every panda fanatic!

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