Depression makes me stupid, or: climbing out of the muddy pit.

When I am depressed I become more stupid. My mind becomes more closed and synapses don’t function very well. I notice this because today I am pulling myself out of the muddy pit, with help from my husband, and as I climb I am noticing a few things. I feel rather stupid. Things that in my thinking were clear and intelligible, lateral and intrinsic to my work have become clouded and elusive again. I cannot think clearly about my research without stumbling over how I might consider the concepts. It’s frustrating and time consuming. I feel that I ought to have a clearer grasp of what I have been working towards but at present I do not.

I am still sad, I am still low. But the muddy pit lurking below is just that, at present: below. My husband sent me a paper he is working on, for which I was the lead researcher, and I will also be on the paper. By sending this unfinished paper to me, he galvanised me into action. I began work on the paper. I feel a little better today, as I spent all of yesterday afternoon on it – at least 5 hours. I also began an abstract for another conference (yet another conference!) and this is where my stupidity comes in. How can I talk about the emotion of singing without sounding like every other person who also talks about the emotion of singing? What can I say about my research that is different to what everyone else says? How is my research different to that of others? I KNOW it’s different, but I can’t say so clearly today.

Which is why depression makes me stupid.

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2 thoughts on “Depression makes me stupid, or: climbing out of the muddy pit.

  1. I’d love to hear what you have to say on the emotion of singing! We all have unique views, which are often influenced by one another, but it is so exciting that you are talking about this. So much of what we read about in academic papers is dry, scientific etc. I talk with my students about this constantly. When we sing, we often express emotions which are uncomfortable, violent, impolite, extreme, those emotions which are extraordinarily hard to express in a polite society (I am not sure if Australia counts as a polite society, but we certainly don’t really like people showing emotion, it is vulnerability which makes us so uncomfortable. We should chat someday! Can’t wait to hear what you have to say. Add your voice!

    1. Thanks Dale! I’m fascinated by the intricate and intertwined way emotion is expressed, taught, learned, mediated in singing lessons, as my work is beginning to show that all are linked in the learning and teaching environment. It will be challenging and interesting to see how I can make sense of this complex conundrum. One person I think writes really well about this is McCarthy, in Janice Chapman’s book. She did a grounded-theory study that looked at singing teaching and learning processes and she has come up with a fascinating theory. I’m sure you have this book, Dale! I’m not sure that what I have to say will be any more revealing than her work, but I am hoping to add in some small way to the canon! All thoughts gratefully received…!

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