Depression: Why I Think I Might Be Depressed

randomlychad  —  June 5, 2013 — 19 Comments
'Depression' photo (c) 2008, Eddi van W. - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/

I’m going to be honest: I don’t know how to thrive. From the outside, my upbringing was white, middle-class suburbia. From the outside, my current life is the same: white, middle-class suburbia. But on the inside, it was chaos.

It still is.

I have been in survival mode all of my life. The chaos around me–messy house, messy car–feels normal. It’s what I know.

Either that, or I don’t care. Life has been about finding that one bright, shining place. A quantum of solace, if you will. This will make me feel good. That will make me feel normal. It never works.

My sleep is worse than ever, but I still get up, go to work, do what I have to.

Because I have to. It’s a joy to provide for my family, but the work is rote–all obligation. It’s the same day-in-and-day-out, with the only variation being that there is more of it. More pressures, more demands, and I’m falling further and further behind. I’m sure eating more, putting on weight, and not really caring about my health. A comedian once said, “Eat right, exercise daily, die anyway.” <--My name is Chad, and I approve of this message. It used to be a joy to craft a post for this blog five days a week; now the words come in but a trickle. I’m not sure I care.

It’s been a hard–desperately hard–year with Lisa being ill. I have work I should be doing: a half-assed half-finished novel, and a half-baked halfway done memoir. I don’t have the energy, the mental acuity, to focus in on them.

Frankly, they scare me. There are places in my soul I’m not sure I want to go. And am I even a writer? I don’t know anymore. I don’t write everyday. Maybe I’m just a computer guy who blogs occasionally?

I’m not sure I care. What does it matter anyway? I just need to get by, find my clean, well-lighted place, and maybe someday retire to the beach.

Then I can think about this writing thing. Give it more time. Life is enough all on its own right now. I have a family, a job, a house. I’m blessed.

Why does it feel like I’m not making a difference?

I could be, with everything my family and I are living through this year, somewhat depressed. Not clinically, but situationally. I just know it’s hard to see past the present. I live one day at a time…

What’s out on the horizon?

I don’t know.

Have you been there?

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randomlychad

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Christ-follower, husband, dad, blogger, reader, writer, movie buff, introvert, desert-dweller, omnivore, gym rat. May, or may not, have a burgeoning collection of Darth Vader t-shirts. Can usually be found drinking protein shakes, playing with daughter, working out with his son, or hanging out with his wife. Makes a living playing with computers. Subscribe to RandomlyChad by Email

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  • I have been looking for that single bright shining place off and on for a while myself. I realized this weekend that I am never going to find it, because it’s not found outside myself, in my circumstances. What I am seeking is peace. This is only found in Christ, and only as I dwell more and more in community rather than isolation.

    So far as whether your writing matters and makes a difference, it does to me.

    • Chris, you’re right of course. In Christ, peace is not the absence of--pain, hardship, loss, conflict--but rather His presence.

      • The community aspect is at least as important, if not more. Jesus is vital, but I need someone to be there physically.

        • I’m learning that more and more, Chris.

  • I’ve never been quite where you are, my friend. I wish I could fix it for you.

    • Thanks, Larry. I’m guessing that upbringing has something to do with it. I say this without acrimony, or jealousy: you are “Deuce” to an “Ace”--something I never had. I’m trying to overcome the deficit. Have been my whole life.

      Have had to accept that the Father is the only father that cares.

      • Let me let you in on one secret. I haven’t spoken to the Ace siince Christmas. He has come to visit me at my house 1 time since 2005. I wish it was better, but it isn’t. Not sure what that says about me.

        • Dude, I had no idea. I’m sorry. That sucks. Dads can be…

          • I just try to use it as motivation for how I want to treat my kids.

          • That’s good, Larry! And very wise. My wife and have talked about this like this, and have come to the conclusion that instead of trying not to be like someone, we’re instead going to try to be like Christ.

  • samcarter44

    I have been there, Chad. And though I do have a wonderful community of believers that I can share with, sometimes I just plunge like I did last night. I know my meds probably need to be adjusted, but I’m trying to talk myself out of going to the doctor since it’s so expensive. Yeah, yeah, I know. I need to go. 🙂 For me, it would be easy to isolate myself, but I know it’s not the best thing for me. Even if you just write one time a week or one time a month, you would be a blessing to someone. Thoughts and prayers to you and your family. Alisa

    • Thanks, Alisa! Prayers are very much appreciated. I have a great tendency to do just that--isolate myself, push people away. It’s not good. The message at church last week was all about the importance of community.

      I’m learning that getting the help we need is worth far more than whatever the monetary cost is.

  • I have been there and it’s a cyclical thing for me -- not clinical, but depression non-the-less. I recognize a lot of what you’re saying and it’s probably much easier for me to shut down because I don’t have a spouse and kids. But that’s what I want to do in those times is just shut completely down, a kind of auto-pilot mode until it’s over deal. I desire to write and interact (and clean and cook and do laundry), because I need those things. But I can’t muster up the interest, for lack of a better word, to do them. My mind wants what my emotional state can’t give me.

    If it’s possible for you to see someone about this, please try that. Or if you are and it’s not working, shop around until you find someone effective. You’re going through a lot and it does help to have someone who can help you deal with it all. For me, just writing about it helped, and it helped me to fight against what was trying to take me over.

    • Thanks, Michelle! Good suggestions. And, yes, writing about it does help.

  • I went through a pretty dark time a couple of years ago when my wife was going through some pretty significant mental health challenges and during her recovery. I’m not sure if I was depressed, but I definitely needed help processing stuff. Christian counseling was huge in my own healing. I met with him for about six months, and it made a big difference in my ability to process and handle things. I would recommend this to anyone who is struggling to process, to exist, to function, to heal.

    • Yes, Jon--that’s it: a “dark time.” Glad to know I’m not alone. Sorry that you went through that stuff with your wife, but glad that you found help. I’ll be looking into that myself.

  • We all go through hard times, some for longer periods of time than others. The key being “go through.” Even if there’s no real resolution to the stuff we’re facing, we’re still going through it, if that makes sense.

    As an introvert, it’s easy to want to retreat from community and hole myself up somewhere and plan and host my own self-pity party. I have to work hard at not allowing that to happen “every” time.

    I am diagnosed with clinical depression and I’m on an anti-depressant med. It has helped greatly with sleeping and living. Lately I’ve really been digging up my past and writing about times during my childhood I thought were long forgotten. These thoughts will show up on my blog in the coming months. Even if only one or two people read them and comment makes no difference. If it weren’t for the love of writing and the joy it gives me, I’d still be writing, blog or not.

  • We need to stop being so much alike, brother in Christ! I’ve been feeling the same way lately. No energy, no will to work on my own book ideas, no great revelations for my blog, and an amount of debt (that I conveniently still blame on being “gainlessly self-employed” for 2.5 years, though that was over 16 years ago) that will probably leave me able to retire when I hit 385.2425 years of age (or when the US dollar crashes and burns, depending on your point of view).

    Of course, being distracted/addicted by games on the iPad I won back in February hasn’t helped much with most of that, either.

    I have remembered that guest post request, though, and am working on one for this Father’s Day. It’s something.

    • Joe, that’s why I do what I do: because I know there are folks like you out there--people who aren’t so very different from me.

      We’re not alone.

      Looking forward to it! I hadn’t forgotten, either, but didn’t want to pressure you.