Still Driving Four Years Later

Well, well…

Just got a reminder from WordPress about my blog’s four-year anniversary. Can’t believe it’s already been that long. Can’t believe people are still reading it after that long! But I’m very glad you are.

Thank all of you who have stopped in somewhere along my journey to read what’s going on in my scrambled egg of a mind. I hope you haven’t found it boring. I’ve tried to entertain, to educate, to point my fellow depression sufferers out there to some help, just to share what I think, for whatever it’s worth.

I’ll be honest: lately I’ve had thoughts of giving this writing thing up, because it’s been so freakin’ hard to come up with anything. My depression affects my concentration, and my inner critic gets pretty critical when I try to write something, so it’s two against one a lot of the time.

But I guess I’ll stay after it for awhile longer. Mainly cause I like the attention.

Thanks again, everyone. Blessings on you, and please stay safe.

 

 

 

What’s On My Mind

I haven’t written about my depression in a while, so for you new followers and visitors, let me bring you up to speed:

I was diagnosed with clinical depression several years ago. I was angry all the time, but I didn’t realize that was an outward manifestation of depression in men, until a therapist told me. And then, once I learned more about its symptoms, I thought, “WOW, I check a lot of these boxes!”

Didn’t mean I was crazy, mind you; that’s an old stigma that needs to be buried forever. Nobody with depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder or any other mental illness is a crazy person. He (or she) just lacks the necessary mental faculties, for any number of reasons, to safely navigate this life.

Anyway, with the help of a couple of good therapists and some medication, I’m doing better.

For the most part. There are still a few dark days, even fewer really dark days, and a lot of days of just, meh. But, without the medicine, I know I’d be worse.

The important thing is, I got help. If you think you may need help, too, please ask for it. Depression is a beast, and you’re likely not going to beat it on your own. I know us guys especially are reluctant to talk to anyone about things of this nature.

We just go kill ourselves, instead.

Let’s not let it come to that,okay? Help is available; here is a great place to go to find it.

If you want to learn more of my story, read my post from July 2016, “The .05 Cubic Foot Cell.” See if you identify.

I wish you well.

A Month to Save a Life

 

September is National Suicide Prevention Month in America.

Two years ago this month, I wrote a series of posts on this topic, “A Ray of Light”, Parts 1-4. I invite you to read them if this is something that concerns you or someone you know. I shared information about the signs a person may be suicidal, what to do for someone who is, and who to contact for help.

This means something to me. I myself have had suicidal thoughts in the past, and came close to doing it once, and I lost an uncle to it many years ago.

It still registers as a national health crisis, as often as it occurs, and it’s getting worse. The statistics bear that out.

And I have to ask, why is that so? Where are we failing these people?

Is word not getting out that help is available? Is suicide still too uncomfortable a subject to mention in public?

Well, how comfortable are we with all these people killing themselves?

Folks, we have to talk about this more. We need to be perceptive around our friends and family. We need to not be ashamed to ask for help. We need to not hesitate to ask to help.

During this month that focuses on suicide, let’s all make it our focus. It’s extremely important. We’ve got to get a handle on this. Way too many precious lives are needlessly lost every year, every day. We can put an end to it.

Life can really suck sometimes, I know. But let’s all face it together. None of us has to alone. Please, reach out for help. Don’t give up.

 

I almost gave up 33 years ago. I’m glad it didn’t happen.

The Secret to Happy Living

 

Lately, things have been pretty good for me on the mental front. I haven’t been very depressed. Hardly at all, really.

And it dawned on me today why that most likely is: I haven’t done any major screwup recently.

See, that’s what usually sends me in a downward spiral of emotions, when I mess up big time. That’s when I go through the whole you’re hopeless, you’re worthless, you should just do everyone a favor and die routine. I’ve practiced it a lot over the years.

And sometimes, it doesn’t even have to be a big screwup. Sometimes, just a little mistake can start the avalanche that eventually buries me in self-hatred.

Yeah, we’re all human, everybody makes mistakes, cut yourself some slack, blah, blah, blah.

I’m telling you, none of that helps when depression works its magic in your mind and says, Nobody f***s up more than you, idiot. Nobody.

So, I guess I just need to not ever screw up really bad again, and I’ll stay happy.

 

Well, given my history and my common sense deficiency, I’m pretty sure that ain’t happenin’.

So, I guess I’ll just enjoy this lucky streak I’m on for as long as it lasts.

I know it will happen soon enough.

Crisis Text Line

 

This website was brought to my attention, and I want to share it with you.

It’s called Crisis Text Line. It’s a place where you can send a text message anytime, 24/7, for free. A trained counselor will receive your message, then text a reply, and the two of you can begin a totally confidential conversation, the purpose being to bring you to a safe place emotionally.

And if this sounds to you like some suicide hotline, it’s not just for people who are contemplating suicide. Any emotional distress you’re experiencing, you can talk about with someone over the Crisis Text Line. Share only as much as you want with the counselor, who will actively listen to you, empathize with you, and maybe ask some questions.

The conversation usually ends when both you and your counselor feel you have reached a safe spot, but not before then. Take all the time you need and remember, it’s all confidential.

You can reach them by texting HOME to 741741 in the US, or to 686868 in Canada.

I haven’t gone there, myself, but over 102,000,000 messages have been exchanged since August 2013, when this site opened. So, somebody’s been there. Roughly 75% of those texts are from people under 25 years of age, among whom texting is a more common means of communicating.

If you’re going through a tough time emotionally, and you don’t feel like you can talk to anyone over the phone or face-to-face, here’s another option for you. If you use it, I hope it helps. If you want to learn more about it, just go to https://www.crisistextline.org/

I wish you well.