Change of Seasons


You're just going along, and it's been winter for ages, and then yesterday morning you left the house at the same time you always do, and you realized that the sun is already up in the sky,. and it isn't dark.  It's behind clouds, but it's there, and it's been up for a while, and you suddenly are aware of a growing joy in a part of you where you maybe haven't felt that in a long time.

In fact, I haven't felt entirely like myself in a long time.  I mentioned this a little while ago, but I've been contending with a very deep lack of motivation.  I never did post that wrap-up for this year's Project Valentine once it ended, did I?  (Short version: it was a success, and made Courtney feel special, but I realized pretty early into it that it was going to be hard to write about in a way that would make it entertaining and funny if I also wanted her to know that it was something that I was doing in earnest because I love her.)  It's reached farther than not blogging very much, though.  I wish I could tell you that the reason I haven't written more is because I've been busy with other things, but, honestly, I've been very busy avoiding other things.

I've felt overwhelmed by things that used to be manageable.  Of the fifty pounds I lost last year, I've put about twenty back on.  I'm noticing patterns in my thoughts and actions that, put simply, are not me.  Even things that I know would bring me joy (working out, finding something to do with the blog or with the kids) just seem like insurmountable tasks.  I find myself making excuses not to do them.  Little events send me into tailspins that take days to recover from.

After fifteen years in IT, I'm especially interested in examining systems and how they work, and one of the most revealing tests is to see what happens when you remove an element from a system.  It's been a revealing few months for me, since my dad's death.  Although things within my own home are good, I feel like I'm struggling with other relationships in my family.

Two things happened within the last week that finally jarred me into realizing that I need a hand.  I was talking with a friend, a really talented, interesting guy, and he asked me what I'd been doing for the last thirty days.  When I looked confused, he said, "You know, for your blog?  What are you working on right now?"  And I had to admit that I hadn't done much of anything in the last thirty days besides alternating between late nights of video games and nights of going to bed as soon as I got the kids in their beds.

The other was on a Wednesday night, when I stayed up watching TV until three in the morning.  I wasn't even interested in what I was watching.  I couldn't tell you what it was.  And I knew that the next day was going to be miserable, because I still had to get the kids ready in the morning and spend the day at work, but I just couldn't find the will to turn off the TV, stand up, and walk to my bed.  That was the night when I decided that something was definitely off.

A part of me is embarrassed even to share all of this, because I don't want to seem like I'm just wallowing.  I'm always touched, though, when somebody mentions that they've missed seeing blog posts, so I guess I wanted to offer something by way of explanation.  And I've been pretty open with other experiences on here in the past, so I wanted my friends to know a little bit about where I am right now.

I saw my doctor yesterday.  I asked her about depression.  I admitted to her that I'm a little frightened to go on medication, but that I need something to help me back to where I want to be.  The sun is up in the sky, and it's been up for a while, it's just behind clouds.


Academomia said...

Oh Danny, I'm so sorry to hear that you are having trouble.  Good for you for looking for help.  It sounds like you are on the right track.

Roy Bassett said...

Maybe one of the best things you've written, Danny.  Certainly the bravest.  I can't tell you how much I admire your candor.

Life is an endless cycle of ups and downs.  Sometimes the downs seem immeasurably long.  You'll get this figured out.  I really applaud you for talking to someone about it.

Shame on me for not saying something, but I've also wondered where your blog has been.  I figured you were just taking a the one original posting I've had in the last year!  I always look forward to what you write and our interactions both on FB and in person.

Let's kick this thing off right and spark an international incident.  THAT was fun!  Well, for all of us that didn't have to deal with it.

Hang in there, buddy, and you've got my number if there's anything at all I can do.

Jenn said...

First of all, I love that picture of you and Jack, you guys look so sweet!  Kudos to you for sharing this friend, it's takes a lot to ask for help and to put everything out there for everyone....but in the process you'll see just how many people care for you and are pulling for you buddy! Hugs my friend :)

Laura B said...

This live is very hard sweetheart.  Good job taking it by the balls.  Love you.

Laura B said...

*spelling is also hard.

Katie K. said...

Danny, Danny.  You should not feel embarrassed.  Life is hard as it is!  Raising small kids, working, getting older... and to boot you have unexpectedly lost your dad, way before you ever expected to.  You are still grieving my friend!  Which is NORMAL!  I will keep you in my prayers and I know you will be ok!  

Ali said...

It takes a strong man to admit when he's not feeling strong. I'm proud of you, friend. *insert smart ass comment that makes you laugh* xoxo

Tricia Cartwright said...

Thank you for sharing this, Danny. It's not easy to open up and say, "Hey, I'm struggling here, and I don't know why." I have taken antidepressants for over 12 years. After I struggling with some feelings of shame, I came to realize that as much as I wish I didn't have to, the medicine is necessary for me (just like insulin for a diabetic). I recently went through several months of hopeless feelings. My motivation was lacking, and unloading the dishwasher or folding the clothes in the dryer seemed like more effort than I could handle. (It's amazing how many times you'll "fluff" clothes when you don't want to fold them!) Thankfully, through adjusting my medicine and talking with my counselor, I am coming out of this depression.

So what is my point? One, just know you are not alone. Two, I'm proud of you for reaching out and for sharing your struggle. Three, I'd be happy to share more of my experience with you if you'd like.

Don't worry, Danny. In time, the sun that has been up in the sky for awhile will come out from behind the clouds.


Cheryl Dowling said...

*hug*  I deal with depression and it sucks.  I went on medication for several months about ten years or so ago when things were really very bad, and they helped tremendously.  They gave me enough balance and stability in my own head to focus on the things that I needed to do.  And once all that started getting better, I didn't need the meds anymore.

I still feel a little blue around the holiday times and especially at New Years almost every year.. but it's very mild and it passes pretty quickly.

This year, when my life exploded, my marriage and relationship were blown to pieces, friends betrayed me, lost my cat, my job, my home, everything I'd found comfort and stability in for the past several years.. I became completely overwhelmed again.   When I got here, I was a zombie..  And my doc put me back on meds.  I was on them for about 3 months. Again, they gave me the stability to focus on doing what I needed to do to put my life in order.. and once things were in order again.. once again, I was able to get off of them and go back to the business of living.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that.. I felt like I needed to deal with it all on my own, that if I couldn't -- that made me weak.  And I came to realize that wasn't the case.  Sometimes.. we need the help of those around us, even if it's just a listening ear.  And sometimes we do need the medication, even if it's just for a while.  It doesn't have to be a life sentence to pills, etc.  But sometimes all you need is a little bit of control to give you something solid to stand on, so you can focus on what you need to do to get yourself going again. 

Don't ever feel bad about not being able to do it all on your own.  Don't ever feel like you can't talk to others.  And don't be scared of working with your doctor to find a solution that works for you.  Because there's nothing quite like driving down the street on a beautiful day singing along with an awesome song and feeling like everything's going to be just fine.

This time last year I sure didn't feel like that could be possible again.
But it is.

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