"Does anyone know where the love of God goes when the waves turn the minutes to hours" -- Gordon Lightfoot (The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald)
I am generally not one to dwell upon past mistakes, or to revisit the past as a way of punishing someone for long gone ills, hurts, and injuries. The forgiveness and graciousness of God has embedded in me a concept of constantly wiping the slate clean, always ready to give someone another chance. To look upon others as though I had a pair of their moccasins on my feet...to try to understand, empathize, and relate to the decisions they make...good, or bad.
Except when it comes to me.
I have clinical depression, and having lost both of my parents at a young age, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to know why the head doctor diagnosed it that way.
I hate medication as a way of life. I love medication when it comes to potions and salves that do their jobs to alleviate suffering for the ills that come with life. I utterly despise the existence and marketing of drugs that I'll have to have in the budget for the rest of my life. My company uses a monthly recurring revenue model for its revenue tracking and sales pipelines...so I know all about getting 10% market share of someone's wallet for the rest of their life. One more note, while I'm wandering off topic: If drug companies are for-profit companies, then why would they be motivated to create medicines that resolve symptoms? Particularly when they could just abate the systems temporarily and get you hooked on their legalized crack for the rest of your life.
So, back to the depressing thing: At least once in my life, I would have told you that depression, ADHD, and a host of behaviorally diagnosed conditions were completely bogus and that you were full of crap if you had one.
The song lyric above touches a part of me that nobody else really knows. I've been taking medication for depression for about 7 years now. It is a misconception that anti-depressants are happy pills. People who get them unnecessarily really don't benefit from their work...I promise you. The medication has helped me identify what plagues me, it does not, however, help me escape or overcome my adversary. It helps me recognize and identify...not defeat.
The only thing more frustrating than being beaten by something that you can't see...is being able to see it, but not prevent it. You see it coming, and you fear.
Depression IS NOT a bad feeling, laying around lazy-like, being in a bad mood, or having a doom and gloom attitude.
Depression IS being dogged by a slight sense of negative emotions that never really stop. I coped with this for years by smoking and being extremely active...even if I was just mentally masturbating. Action gives you the illusion of production. I could keep the negativity at bay, as long as I kept up a good pace, shifted a bit this way, nursed my addictions and employed a "smoke and mirrors" strategy once in a while.
Killer whales will track baby blue whales for hundreds of miles, chasing them...waiting for them to tire...and you will get tired.
Depression is about the ruthless, merciless thoughts that crowd around you when you do get tired...when you can't fight any longer. You win the first quarter, and you win the first half of the game...but depression remains patient...it has all day to wait for you.
Sometimes it doesn't hit me until I'm ready for bed..."what if that's the last time you ever kiss your kids goodnight...you know the best you can hope for is to die in your sleep."
It never occurred to me that not everyone fears their own death when they go to bed every night.
If I rated myself on different aspects of being a man: fatherhood, employee, being a husband, being a friend... I would never rate myself higher than a C. I know the thoughts I have...and I know the shortcomings, at least most of the time...and the guy waiting for me at the end of the day always carries a knife. I can cut into myself quicker, deeper, and more effectively than any surgeon ever could.
It never occurred to me that I might be a good worker, and a good father and husband...or that other people didn't always think they were horrible.
During seasons of my life, like now, the weight of the long run of 2010 has caught up with me...I can no longer run. I generally go through introspective bouts around holidays, birthdays and anniversaries. I'm in one now.
When she prescribed the medication...she said it would take years...I saw an effective marketing plan.
When I'm exhausted, I only go to bed when I have to... I only get up when I have to... There's no getting up early to drink coffee while watching the sun rise...which I think I'd love. I wait until the last second, then I wait some more. I'm acutely late to most things, but try to make up for it with my charm.
When I'm exhausted, I don't want to work, why would I? Why would I push forward, I know I'm going to get caught anyway...and be dragged back into the morass of self doubt and self flagellation.
Where does the love of God go...when depression turns the minutes to hours? I can't really answer that. I know that God remains faithful, but where do God and my psychological and psychiatric issues connect? I've no fucking clue. I really don't....for love of all things holy, I wish I did.
But I'm not without hope...I've an incurable case of hope, and sponsorship of that hope remains to be Christ.
She said it would be years...and she was right.
This time, it is a little different. I see it. I see that I've no reason to hate myself. I have learned to ask myself the question "and just why do you think you'll die tonight Mr. Downer?" it is comical in a way, when you can step outside of it... I'll have to continue learning, taking short steps to manage my own brain and to dispel the demons...I can take the knife away from that guy waiting for me...he's a coward anyway. But, I cannot be arrogant, because he'll be back tomorrow when my bravado has faded.
Now, I'm furious. I've seen what dogs me. I believe it to be real. I've no idea why it happened...I know how it could have happened. Years of elevated stress, wondering about my well being and safety...in the absence of the two people God sent to take care me...(you can see why God and I have some issues).
I'm furious because I'm a talented and gifted man. But, I've been running this race with a backpack full of bricks...wondering why I can't keep up with anyone else. I'm furious now, because my life is half over...hopefully, and I feel behind. What could have happened? Who could I have been?
But, I'll take what HAS happened, even if I'm only a bit "ok" with it for now. I truly do have a wonderful wife, and two fantastic kids. My friends are good, and hopefully I'm a good friend back.
If you know anyone that has depression, or might...do something to help them. I understood at a young age, why some people take their own life...Now I understand as an adult why some still choose to do the same. Our world is broken, and mostly so are we...
Maybe shooting 85 isn't so bad after all...perhaps I should feel good about not 3 putting once.