Wednesday, June 17, 2015

The Winds of Depression

   It's a fact of life that a large number of us suffer from depression, and I've had to deal with it most of my life. Fortunately, I grew up in an era where duty was more important than anything else. I live with, and take care of two disabled women, so regardless of how I feel, my duty is to provide for them. I also have three children and six grandchildren, three of whom are adults. When they call and need grandpa's help, I'm always there for them no matter my mood.
   I needed to write this post to apologize to my online friends and fellow writers for my negative attitude lately, and to try and articulate how depression affects me. Thankfully, reading and writing have always been a source of pleasure for me. However, when I'm depressed, it's impossible to experience pleasure, so attempting to write becomes an exercise in futility. No matter what I write, it is seen through eyes clouded by self-doubt and worthlessness.
   I know that depression affects people in different ways, but this is the best description I can come up with for me. When depression strikes, I feel adrift in a sea of negativity, paddling in circles, desperately searching for any positive debris that I can cling to. Sometimes I get so tired, all I want to do is quit and sleep, but my sense of duty keeps me going. If I didn't cook, clean house, etc. well you can imagine the result.
   One of the positives I've been able to cling to is the Saturdayscenes community. Not so much for any feedback I might receive on my writing (even though it's always nice), but the opportunity to do something positive for someone else. I try to read every post on Saturday in the hope that I can make a positive comment and/or offer some encouragement.
   Without the ability to make positive contributions, my life has no meaning. I know that's not a healthy attitude, but then depression is anything but healthy. Mondays are always the worst, waiting to see if the winds of depression will rise up and blow me back out into deep water. I worry that someday, my faith and sense of duty will no longer be enough to keep me paddling.
   Thanks for reading, and hopefully soon, I'll be able to come up with more stories to entertain you.

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