I have the song, “I saw the sign”, by Ace of Base, going through my head (and it’s probably going through yours now too, sorry about that!). If I was being honest with this post, it should be titled “I missed the sign” because I did. I missed a sign that was staring me in the face for over a week because I was focused on the day-to-day detritus of daily life, not the broader world. Let me explain.
I posted earlier this year that I was facing depression and had to choose amongst three options (My seven ways to respond to depression // Choosing between three depressions // Deciding on my way forward). I ended up opting for a very aggressive “F*** the Universe” approach, which was not about saying “screw everyone”, although at least one person thought that’s what it meant. No, I meant that the universe seemed to be sending me signals about certain things, and rather than listening to them, I chose to give the universe the middle finger and pretend everything was a raging success. » Read the rest
I’ve been working my way through what I call Functional Depression for a couple of weeks now. Some high days, some low days, nothing new. And mostly it was a delaying tactic from moving into my standard “hide and heal” approach. But there was also a small niggling part of me that was wondering about trying something new. What I was calling “F*** the universe”. Ratcheting up my energy, pedal to the metal, no retreat, no surrender, get ‘er done, just do it, no quit, whatever other metaphor/slogan a sports team can come up with, blah blah blah.
Except the first part of that is the challenge. Finding the energy to do it. Most likely by tapping into my inner core of reserve plus some anger at the universe. Getting “mad” to augment my fire. Yet also worried that I would tap out at some point and have nothing left.
A weird idea, isn’t it? That there are different types of depression and that I could choose between them? It’s not exactly true, but it works for me as a metaphor for today, so I’m going with it.
A. Functional depression
Perhaps because I am talking about my current feelings of depression so openly, some friends are more worried than usual. I appreciate the concern, but I don’t feel like I’m in an unusually dangerous crisis. While some days I might get overwhelmed and need to shut down, generally speaking I’m in a holding pattern. It’s what I consider “functional depression”…yes, I am struggling to keep up my full daily routine, but generally speaking, most of the balls are still in the air. Work, family obligations, etc. I can drive my wife and child to events, I just can’t handle the social side of things. It’s easier to think about take-out right now then expend the mental energy to figure out home dinners. » Read the rest
My previous post about my impending depression, and a possible spiral (Sometimes the universe shouts, I just don’t know what it’s saying), garnered a lot of positive supportive messages,and I’m grateful for them. Lots of people asked if there was anything they could do to help, and mostly the answer is “no” beyond the offers themselves. It’s an internal problem for me, not an external one, and I’ve been here before, so I already know most of my options.
The post itself probably identifies the strength of the depression, at least as it was that day. Feeling lost or hopeless against the universe’s fortunes. I have been losing interest in certain hobbies, although the astronomy one was not so much losing interest as losing hope I would overcome the setbacks. My sleeping is screwed up, and both before and afterwards, feeling exhausted. Restlessness. Difficulty making decisions. Even some physical manifestations. » Read the rest
Today is a shitty day for me, and I’m going to blog anyway. Because sometimes I hide the darkness and I just don’t care enough today to do that. The trigger that you’ll see for this is annoying. Maybe semi-significant, maybe not. But it has started a cascade and a spiral, one that I will not survive unscathed.
Ostensibly, this is only about my astronomy hobby, but it’s really not. I have struggled mightily with my hobby and the universe keeps kicking me in the teeth. I keep fighting my way through, hoping to break through to the other side of the veil that has been holding me back. But the universe keeps responding, telling me no.
When I was a kid, I was interested in the stars, and my parents got me a telescope. That was the mid-70s, and like most parents who don’t know about these things, they got me a simple one, handheld, from Sears or Canadian Tire. » Read the rest