Life has a funny way of kicking you in the teeth sometimes. Sunday’s are usually reserved for a review of a Linux Operating System but today I find myself sitting in a cafe while my dirty clothes are scrubbed, spun and dried and I can’t help but think…why me?
If I could get a do over on the past year I would gladly take it but then again, I would not be the person that I am had it not been for the challenges that I have faced in my past…you see despite the fact that I have lost so much in the past year…I have gained so much as well.
You see that is the funny thing about Mental Illness, the darkness comes from everywhere and often times when you least expect it. I have spent many a night tossing and turning trying to make sense of the thoughts and emotions that come over me and then I realize that the waves of pain that hit me…are not all of it is bad or negative (although the reality is…most is).
Depression is one of those things that can be incredibly damaging. It destroys relationships, buries other emotions and can many times block out the light that always follows the darkness. On top of the emotional scarring that occurs there is the long-term physical health challenges that occur…you see for me…when the walls start to close in I lose my appetite, close off the outside world and all to often find comfort in the bottom of a bottle.
Recently, I have decided to accept the fact that I can not control EVERYTHING that happens to me. In the past, this loss of control had me spiral into Panic Attacks (like the one I had on Friday).
So today, instead of creating Virtual Machines and scouring obscure websites…I sit here watching the spinning of giant washing machines and dryers and think about what good can I do for me? When is it time that I stop putting others before me and really focus on making ME better tomorrow than I am today.
I have lost a lot in the last 12 months…more than anyone should but then I think back to a time in my life when loss was very prevalent. You see, when I was just a young lad, I was passionate for softball and while I did not have any illusions that I would graduate to Baseball and eventually play in the big leagues…I was part of a team that was in it for the team…not for winning, in fact the first year of Fast Pitch (Wind mill pitching)…we didn’t win a single game…we were really bad. But after every game…regardless of how badly we lost, my Dad would take us out for ice cream. I was the light that came after the darkness that we all started looking forward to.
This reality that worked so well for me at 13/14 may just work for me now at 42. I know far more than I did then and have experienced so much over the 3 decades between being the chubby catcher for the worst team in the league and being the “Krispy” that I am today.
Depression and Anxiety will always be there, like a dark passenger. There will be times when the darkness holds me down or worse, holds me back…but I chose to look at my life differently now. I look at life as an opportunity to fight for the “Light”.
Nature does not allow this “Darkness” to prevail. Even after the darkest of nights…there is always a new Dawn, a new Day and that is what I chose. I will learn from the experiences in the Darkness…but that will NEVER again dictate how and who I am, but will always be a part of what makes me how I am…and that is a profound difference for me.
If these words are consumed by anyone else who is in the darkness and not sure of which way to turn…well know this…tomorrow may be no better than today…but if you ask for help and focus on the light…it does get better.