Ramblings: The “Melancholia” Effect

I am really going to cut back on these “Ramblings” posts. Right now, there is so much on my mind, and frankly, I’m bored. I have a very limited range in what I can physically. I have let the topic of when God doesn’t Answer Prayer, rest for now.

I am a movie buff. We had (and hope to have) a movie club that meets at our house. One of my favorite movies of all time was Melancholia. It was a box-office failure (although great reviews) and I personally have yet to meet another person who liked it. It is the most depressing movie you will ever see. That’s why it failed at the US box office.

In summary, the movie takes you inside Justine’s (Kristen Dunst) depressed mind. She is seriously and clinically depressed. I think the movie does a great job just showing non-depressed people what clinical depression is really like.

But then, the whole world goes to hell (I won’t give the details) and in that horrible time, all the normal people become depressed and Justine is the only one who keeps her sanity. The point being, when you live in depression, when real, depressing things come, you are better equipped to handling it because you live in that world.

Depression is not my thing, however, I have experienced two bouts of serious clinical depression in my life. I know what it is like and I related very much to Justine’s state of mind at the beginning of the film. I think everyone who struggles with depression should watch this movie, but they must do it with the right attitude, as not to make them more depressed.

Anxiety is my vice. I’ve had it since I was a toddler. I’m not sure why and that doesn’t matter. However, I have found an uncanny peace during this time. Yes, some would say that must be a supernatural peace, that God has bestowed on me. But I think it relates to how we are created to start with.

I have already told the story about being in Pakistan when the pro-Taliban people came to kill us. I refused to sleep in a shipping container for safety and ventured, alone, into a camp of Pakistani workers and slept with them. My body guard told me I was nuts. He said, “They will come, while you are sleeping, and cut you from ear to ear with a straight razor.” I slept like a baby that night in my lone tent away from the security people. The other people on my team thought I as very brave. But like with Justine, when I must deal with anxiety on a daily basis in my normal life, when something really scary happens, it is just another day to me. Does that make sense?

Believe it or not, I was wrongly diagnosed with Multiple Myleoma once, about 29 years ago. It is a long story but I’m sure the genetic flaw that actually caused my Multiple Myleoma was present then, and caused a false positive. But I was quickly proven not to have it back then.

However, as a medical provider, I really didn’t know much about MM. I did a lot of reading back then (when I was working at Mayo Clinic) and came to the conclusion that getting Multiple Myleoma was the most scary thing I could imagine, more so than being decapitated by the Taliban or Isis. It was my greatest fear in life. But now that it is here, full-frontal confrontation, I’m finding that the anxiety is not so bad. It is like suddenly your greatest fear is now in your lap, so there is nothing else “out there” to fear. Nothing. If a comet was going to hit the earth today, regarding myself, I would get another cup of tea and sit and watch the fireworks (I would worry about my family).

I do fear the particulars. I fear suffering. I’ve suffered a lot already and I know that will get worse. There are some things that are so awful that I must not let my mind go there.

So, if you struggle with depression, watch Melancholia, but make sure you watch with your right (creative) side of your brain or you might get more depressed. If you struggle with anxiety, then think about the worse possible thing that could happen to you and stand assured that you will be able to handle if it comes.  God willing, you will. Mike

6 thoughts on “Ramblings: The “Melancholia” Effect

  1. Thanks for your e-mails.  Glad to hear you are thinking of restarting the WPC movie night.  Many, many people miss you and are praying for you and Deniese.  When you need help with driving or someone to ride shotgun, give me a call.  I would like to help with your fence, when it is time for that.  Part of my working life included editing and I  am willing to read your manuscript. Or anything else.  God Bless, Chuck Ackerman  360 588 1531

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    1. I may definitely take you up on the help with the fence. Thanks so much for offering to help with the editing, but for right now I’m just looking for women who have suffered from migraine, to see if I’ve captured their story. Mike

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  2. Michael jones i do not know you but ….no words, YOU are ….again words failed me to convey what i need to say, one thing is hang on !!!1

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  3. Mike, we have always wanted to be a part of a movie club. (We love movies) So, when you are up to starting it again, let us know and by the way….. I thought Melancholia was a fascinating movie! Ann Meyers

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  4. I liked Melancholia! I have bouts with depression and anxiety, and I agree it was a really good depiction of depression! And it was just beautiful and weird!

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