The answer to the question: “Can we talk?” should always be, “Yeah, we should.” 

So, not to jump right in here but I talked about the subject of depression in a post a while back in the category “Quitting Thursdays”. Follow that link above if you would like some background.

I’ve resolved to keep this subject out in the open both for my benefit and hopefully yours. And while my experience and situation are by no means indicative of everyone’s who is touched by this condition, my hope is that my story will educate and help. If it doesn’t at least I might entertain you with tales of my jacked up mind. (Yes, self-deprecating humor is a coping mechanism for me) Having said all that, I’ll say this: I’ve been fighting depression for the past couple of weeks.

What’s that look like or feel like? Well, to use a metaphor it’s like the stone in your shoe, really more of a pebble. You know it’s there, it’s an annoyance and if you don’t get it out you know it’s going to get painful. But here’s the problem, you can’t take off your shoe. Furthermore, you weren’t really aware you had shoes on in the first place and you hadn’t been down a gravel path or anything. So where’d the darn thing come from and how do you get rid of it? Let me tell you, if I knew that I wouldn’t be writing this at 3 a.m. But let’s take a half-step back (boy the foot metaphor just won’t go away, will it?).

How did this all start? Again, I’m not a wealth of information or memory. All I can tell you is that sometime, the week before last, I fell off a small cliff. It wasn’t a long drop, just far enough to get my attention and say to myself, ‘Huh. I’m headed on a downhill slope.’ See, I didn’t crash to the bottom of the valley below right away. No, it was more like, ‘Uh-oh, here we go.’ Now, I’ve been on this decline before so I know what could be coming. I don’t like to think about that because let me tell you the sense of dread can haul your ass down into that precipice as fast as anything. So I tried to stay upbeat, look for positives and remain grateful for what I have (praying almost always helps with that). This staves off the onslaught periodically but that damn pebble doesn’t go away that easy. Little things remind me that it’s still there.

There’s the random small challenge at work that kicks me in the teeth that never would have bothered me before. There’s the small comment made in passing by an acquaintance or a loved one. They meant nothing at all by it but it throws some gawd-awful switch in my head and brings me to the conclusion, ‘Oh yeah, I suck!’ And the part that really pisses me off is that after dealing with this crap for 30-some years I know these things aren’t what they appear to be to my psyche. And yet I struggle with them anyway. I consider myself a logical guy but this junk defies it. I know with everything inside me that those things are the depression talking and yet, I can’t shut them up. Boy, do I want to.

I want to take that rock that has the propensity to become a boulder and heave it as far away from me as possible and I try, I really do. I fight this shit with everything I have and sometimes I win. Sometimes I win for an hour or an afternoon or maybe even the better part of a day but it always seems to come for me, sometime. Getting through one of these deals is a process that for all my experience I still don’t understand. Again, if I did… no 1:15 a.m. wakeup, no toss and turn for a half hour, no get up and read something, no try again to sleep and no finally give up and come down to the kitchen table to write. Still, I try to make this fight mean something.

If I can’t beat this or figure it out or successfully overcome it; maybe my story will help someone else. Maybe knowing there’s at least one other person out there battling this damn thing will lift their spirits. Maybe the fact that I’ve had this for so long, that I keep fighting and even that I’m still not very good at it will encourage them not to give up. Because if we give up; this bitch has won. (Sorry about all the cussing, I tend to get worked up when I write about this) I’ll be damned if that’s going to happen. So what’s the resolution, what’s the answer, what’s the key? I wish I knew.

As near as I can decipher the resolution is to keep fighting. The answer is there is no answer, so don’t beat your head bloody against that brick wall. The key is to keep looking, keep trying things and always, always give yourself a break. You didn’t ask for this, you don’t like it and you darn sure want to be rid of it. Take a day off or grab some ice cream or go for a small walk even if you don’t have the desire to do it. This might sound crazy (who’d a thunk something crazy from a depressant, huh?) but go through the motions. I know it’s tough to drag your ass off the couch or out of bed but even if it’s a small thing, especially if it’s a small thing, do the thing and call it a win, because it is.

Every “thing” that you do while you’re in this shit is tough and you should celebrate the things you do as wins. Seriously, pat yourself on the back. Hell, say out loud, “Good job, you brushed your teeth! And they look fantastic!.” Sound a little wacky? Sure it does but just like you didn’t know why or how this freaking mountain of a rock got into your shoe you don’t have any idea what will begin to whittle that sucker away. It could be anything and it might very well be. Just keep at it.

And don’t ever give up.

Well, there’s a little peek into my melon you didn’t ask for, huh? Truly, if this helped you or might help someone you know, please pass it along. And again, if you want to contact me my email is, my cell is 402-740-7393 and my address is 16516 M Street, Omaha, 68135. 

On Saturdays I send an email to my subscribers (and I am grateful for all of them whether I’m depressed or not) with links to the week’s posts. Subscribing is free and you’re welcome to count it as a win! If you want to do that, click this

If you would like to read more, like that first post in Quitting Thursdays, you can head back to the home page by clicking here.