Before I begin, I want to clarify something, Depression sucks. And Depression is different for each person. Not all of us feel the same or deal with it the same. This blog is about My Depression and how I cope.
The past couple months, okay the last year hasn’t been easy for me, and with the recent deaths of Katie Spade and Anthony Bourdain, it only makes matters worse. Not because I knew or admired them but because we shared something in common: Depression. I have never been officially diagnosed with Depression, but it doesn’t take one to see the signs. A feeling of hopelessness. An underlining sadness that doesn’t ever go away. Frustration. Despair. Anger. My emotions are across the spectrum. (I’m like a crazy person, which makes me question why I’m still single since most men like crazy ass women.) It is hard to describe. For me, there is no moment of complete happiness. There is never a time where I am ecstatic. There are times when I feel…calm. I’m not happy, but I’m not sad. It usually is when I’m writing, at Atomic or training jiu-jitsu that I feel the calmness.
I lost my job last August and have been unable to find work. There are many reasons why I haven’t found a job, some of my doing and some outside forces. I wanted a change. I wanted to write, but without any experience, people weren’t willing to give me a chance. Also, I’m not the best at selling myself. I’m a doer. I can show you my abilities through the work, but most employers want to hear how much I can help them and not see it first. I tried starting my own business but it was never something I wanted, and unfortunately, I got taken for $1700. So I decided to return to recruiting but being out of the game for so long has hurt me. The only work I can find is “commission only” jobs, which are a scam because the company tells you the candidates aren’t qualified then they present them to their client and collect the commission. PSA: If you want to fuck me over at least buy me dinner first.
In all seriousness, many nights I cry myself to sleep thinking about the situation I’ve put myself in. It is frustrating because I know I will get through this but when you are knee deep in shit, you don’t see it that way. You just see the crap all around you, sucking you in and not the tree branch within arm’s length that will save you. The sadness could be that, or it could be trying to live up to others expectations of how I should live my life.
At 46 and still not having my shit together makes me feel like a complete and utter fuck up. In about a month, I will be moving out of my apartment and into someone’s living room. And I wonder, how did this happen? How did I go from working full time to not being about to get out of bed in the mornings? If it weren’t for Atomic on specific days, I would lay in bed until… It is not that I’m sleeping; I just don’t want to leave my bed. Moving from my bed means facing my failures as a person. It also means not being able to achieve my goals.
My Depression isn’t something that developed within the last year. It is something I carried with me all of my life. My Depression was dormant for years and then re-surfaced within the past four, and has gotten progressively worse. One of the worse things I’ve done is compare myself to others. When I was younger, I often look at celebrities and think ‘man if I could have their life things would be perfect.’ As an adult I know that isn’t true. I look at my friends, the ones who seem to have it all and remember never to judge a book by its cover. Many people, especially myself, will hide their pain behind smiles. It doesn’t matter how much we have or think if we could have would be the magic pill that makes our problems go away. In fact, it is the opposite.
Like I said earlier, part of My Depression is caused by living a life that meets others expectations. The truth of the matter is I have to have to live my life. I’m the one walking in my shoes. Not anyone else. I can listen to their advice, which is always peppered with “if it was me” or “I just couldn’t do that.” Well, guess what? It’s not you. It’s me. It’s my life. Not yours. I say this a lot especially referring to Jiu-Jitsu. Each of us is traveling in the same direction but on different paths. Life is like that as well. No matter how scary this may be, I have to be true to who I am and what I want.
I don’t know if it is luck or just being fortunate to have a wonderful group of friends who accept me for me. I read this a while ago, and I feel it fits. In Winnie-the-Pooh, Eeyore is depressed, but his friends still love him and always are dragging him on adventures. Not because they feel sorry for him but because they love him. That love doesn’t cure his depression but makes it tolerable. My friends have made My Depression bearable, and I love them for that.
On another serious note, I want to address the elephant in the room. Suicide. I have thought of suicide but not as an answer to my problems. It doesn’t resolve anything, and actually, it makes matters worse. Your problems aren’t gone they are transferred to your friends and family who now have to deal with those problems while mourning your loss and wonder what they did wrong. If you are reading this and have no one you feel you can talk to there are organizations out there ready to help you.