06 July 2009

Welcome to the suck.

It's nearly 4.00 pm and I haven't done much for a Monday. I read the news, did a little work and went to the gym. Another day in depression land. I've suffered from this damned disease for the past two years and I'm frankly tired of it. The fatigue, the racing thoughts, the sleepless nights and bouts of anger. Depression sucks. It's not an affliction that people can relate to unless they have it. There are no outward symptoms, no scars or bandages to point to. It's a daily battle in my head and lately the bad guys have been winning.

In the two years that I've lived with this, I really haven't missed a day of work or spent one in bed, although I've certainly thought about it. Nope, no quitting here. Get your butt out of the rack and hit the floor running. Trying to work while your mind is racing in a hundred different directions is not much fun. Throw in a big dose of anger, sadness and a sprinkle of self-doubt and you have a recipe for disaster. Imagine the exhaustion of fighting your own mind on a daily basis. That's the joy of being depressed.

Some stuff helps. My doctor is a good guy, actually spends the time to listen to your problems before heading off to the next appointment. He put me on Cymbalta which helped to calm down a lot of those racing thoughts. It has helped to some extent, as does exercise and meditation. Still, I know that I'm not who I was once. Happy, optimistic, hard-charging always looking for a challenge. I'm a shadow of my former self. My wife is a saint, always there for me and willing to listen. It isn't fair to her either that I'm this way.

Depression makes you think crazy things. At the worst of it, when I still lived alone, I spent one night in my bedroom closet wrapped in my poncho liner- gripping my loaded AR-15. I was sure "they" were coming to get me. Looking back on it, I'm not quite sure who "they" were but I'm glad some innocent person didn't knock on my door that night. The only place I feel totally safe and at ease is in the woods behind our house. I spend a lot of time back there, clearing vines and brush, pruning some of the trees and planting wildflowers. I've counted 23 species of birds, lots of deer, squirrels, groundhogs and chipmunks. Sometimes I just sit on my favorite rock and listen to the sounds of the forest.

So, another shot at beating this so I can get on with my life. More exercise, more meditation and I'm going to ask the doc to refer me to a shrink. Gotta eat better too. Two years goes by quickly, too quickly. I can't waste another two.


  1. I've been trying with no success to come up with something helpful to say about this sad, sad post. But what do I say to you, Pete, who have faced down so many hardships with equanimity and fortitude? It seems reason is inapposite to the challenges of depression. If talking things out helps, please use me as another ad hoc psychotherapist. Keep us posted.

  2. Dude, just keep being my buddy. Because if you have as many friends as fingers on one hand, you are a lucky man indeed.