Let me be real with you.

Anyone who’s been following this blog long enough knows that I have. . .problems.  I’ve hinted at them, talking out the side of my mouth.  Let me just come out and say it.

I often suffer from depression.

The worst part about it is that often there’s no sign, no hint for when it starts up.  If I’m being honest, I’m in a bout of it right now.  Today was a beautiful day.  Sun was shining, birds were singing, the dog wanted to cuddle, and my cat acknowledged my existence.  K and I were great, cleaned the house, and was able to focus on several projects that I’ve been wanting to start for a while now.  Today was a good day.

Then why do I feel like shit?

It makes no sense.  And that’s the worst part about it.  It comes on without warning and it consumes your world.  Writing this down—to tear myself away from a game of solitaire of all things—took more of my willpower than I care to admit without being embarrassed.  Even as I write this, I’m not sure that it will ever see the light of day.

Trying to describe depression for people sometimes is like having a bird teach a fish to fly.  The worlds just don’t meet.  More than once I’ve been told to just change yourself.  That willpower is the key.  Here’s the thing—it isn’t.  No amount of willpower can make you feel whole when all you feel inside is a pit.  It’s a sudden and unexplainable change.  At one moment, you’re screaming from the top of your lungs that you own this shit. That you are the best at the game and no one—NO ONE!—can beat you on your best day.  Intellectually, you know that you’re boasting, but who cares?  Give me the props that I deserve and I’ll move on.

Then it’s all gone.  The words are garbley-gook.  That person you were criticizing a moment ago is suddenly leagues better than you.  You question why anyone would want a single damn thing to do with you, including your family and significant others.  They see the pain in your eyes, but the lack of understanding hurts more than their comfort.  Nobody wants a thing to do with you.  I’ll let you figure out where the mind goes next.

There are days that I’m afraid to touch certain things.  I know too much about too many things to feel comfortable when I’m in  full swing.  Hell, there are days where I’m literally afraid that I’ll end up like Hemmingway (minus the whole living through war thing), but then again, I’m not the most manly of men.  Heh.  My wife knows that and at least is ok with it.

Or so she says.  Is she telling the truth?  If so, then why does she like the strong, muscular men on the television?  These are the doubts that creep in.  Intellectually, I know what’s going on in my wife’s head, but depression isn’t logical.  It’s the farthest thing from logical.  It’s all emotion.

Every last bit.

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3 thoughts on “Yeah….

  1. You sound a lot like my other half, Nick, except he doesn’t have the highs of stellar confidence most of the time. But . . . maybe that’s part of why I ‘get you’ the way I do. Just do your best. Work through it however you can. Mire, muck, mirk, mirthlessness, morose, melancholic, muddiness of depression is a thing you go through. It isn’t you and it doesn’t define you. If I could take your hand and pull you out of it, you know I would.

    Actually, the analogy reminds me of when I was little…maybe four. My brother, two cousins, and I were playing in our front yard. We had a huge vegetable garden (my dad and grammy were big into caring for it, and it was beautiful in the summer. But this was spring. The ground was sopping wet like a sponge (we lived next to a high flood plain). My brother and one of my cousins decided to wander out into the mud of the garden even though our moms said don’t do it.
    The oldest, she said to obey, but the boys didn’t want to listen. They ran out into the muck and sunk down past their ankles. I watched the whole thing, torn between the desire to do it and the desire to obey. When they were fully trapped in the mud, Nick, I decided I could save them by rushing in after, but you know what happened? I got stuck, too! The oldest, she went and got our moms, and it took two boards and a lost shoe to free us from the mire and trust me, we were mirthless.

    Even though people don’t always understand what you’re going through and say things that seem callous, don’t assume it’s because they don’t care. Often times, it’s because they do care a lot and depression can be scary for the people watching, just like watching my brother and cousin get stuck freaked me out. I couldn’t help them out, and I probably can’t help you out, but don’t forget, there’s help and people who care. Even when you feel alone, you’re not. You are not alone and you will come through this garden patch.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I want to find the words to tell you how much I understand what you’ve said. But it’s hard. I think all I can say is that I’ve been, and still are sometimes, on both sides of the fence. I’ve seen someone I care about in the black hole, and I’ve been in it. It’s scary, either way.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. As others have said in their comments, I wish I could reach and help pull you out of the pit of depression. It is a struggle for me too; many negative thoughts fill my head, and it can be a downward spiral. It’s good that you feel open to talking about it though; I think that is a good step in the right direction to overcoming it, or at least to battling it. You are not alone, my friend.

    Liked by 1 person

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