Wednesday 10 after 7 in the morning. Lester is sitting on the guest bed watching me write at the computer while Batman wanders aimlessly around the apartment meowing to god only knows what. (Lester has already dealt with all the ghosts so I’m not sure what Batman’s after)
I’m having coffee, listening to a little music, writing to all of you, and thinking. I normally don’t have much time for a shower in the morning let alone my thoughts, so this is a nice change of pace.
It’s easy to get lost in the hustle and bustle of life. Work, friends, family, anti-Trump tweets…etc. All these things get in the way of just sitting and reflecting on your life, which, I’ve found is a necessary part of a healthy life.
I suffer from depression and over the last year or so it had gotten pretty severe. I’d find myself regularly spiraling wildly out of control, mentally speaking, at the slightest difficulty. Stress and anxiety were a constant and I didn’t have the tools to deal with them anymore.
It was, as the French say, a bummer.
For me (and I say for me because I know everyone experiences this illness differently) depression is like a box. The person I am, the person that I know I can be is trapped inside of this tiny box with, seemingly, no way out. The worst part, though, is that I can see it happening. After years of living with depression, I know when I’m depressed. I can sense it happening and when I can’t catch myself from falling, I’m fully aware that I’ve fallen. The real me just sits and watches helplessly as someone else takes over and experiences my life for me.
Listens to music for me, tastes food for me, spends time with friends and family for me.
And even though it’s me standing there, it’s not me experiencing those things. They are dulled and gray to my senses. I miss out even while being there.
It’s a life waster.
So I got help. I didn’t want to waste any more of my life feeling like this. I found a counselor to speak with, I started reading books on personal enlightenment, I got back to meditating and I exercised.
And I’m completely cured. Completel…No. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work like that. Depression doesn’t ever really go away. I’m getting pretty good and fighting it though. I have the tools to do that now. But there are some days or weeks when I just can’t and it still wins. But it’s victories are small and short lived.
Turns out, my greatest weapon against depression is the life I’m living. The people I’ve met. The job I work. My friends, my family and my beautiful wife.
And that’s why taking the time to reflect is so important. If you lose sight of all the wonderful things in your life it’s easy to let the negative into your heart and mind. So, now I grab a cup of coffee, pop on music, go for a run or a bike ride and just think. I let all the bad thoughts flow in and right back out again and I try to be thankful for all the good I already have. It’s not always easy, but it’s better than the alternative. I put in the effort because I know what the outcome can be.
Well, now that I’ve written the better part of a self-help book, I’ll probably call it a morning. Lester is giving me the high sign that I should probably finish up here and shower. (Showering is easy, Lester, when you can just lick yourself on the bed…apparently that’s not “a real thing” for humans and I need to “get out” of this IKEA)
I'm an acting/improvising optimizing son of a gun.
I've been living and working and performing in Chicago since 2005. I love to eat, travel, talk and make people laugh. So for me this blog stuff is pretty neat.
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