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.

 

Break Time

 

I like to think of myself as, at least, a semi-informed chap, a guy who has some idea, anyway, of the goings on of the world. As such, I try to stay on top of the news of the day.

But I may have to rethink that.

I truly believe, if I try to keep up with the news these days, it may drive me to a nervous breakdown, or worse. The anger it stirs in me might blow out a blood vessel, I don’t know.

Because it is so overwhelmingly depressing. So bleak. So hopeless. It leaves me with a dim view of the present, and an even darker one of the future. And feeling helpless to do a damn thing about it.

And the sheer weight of it all becomes almost too much.

Am I the only one who feels like this?

 

Part of this, I understand, is due to the media’s propensity for focusing on the bad news. But, we’re to blame for that; bad news consistently pulls in good ratings, which are what the news business is all about. Like the philosopher Don Henley once said, we love dirty laundry.

I guess, if I had some other belief system, perhaps it wouldn’t get to me like it does. But I believe what I believe, although even that’s shaky these days. Maybe I’ve been wrong all this time. Don’t think so, but I’m not quite as sure as I once was. I don’t know…

I just know that, for the sake of my sanity, I don’t wanna know. My head just needs to be in the sand for awhile, good or bad.

But, if someone drops a bomb on us, can someone please give me a heads-up? Thanks.

 

Notes From the Dungeon

 

In my head is not a pleasant place to be these days.

Thoughts of despair, of hopelessness, of emotional weariness. Of just a general fatigue with it all.

Monsters from without and within, each taking its turn at me, no letup.

Thoughts of putting an end to all of it. Yeah, those thoughts.

Oh, depression, you’re so much fun to have around.

 

This isn’t really stuff I want to share, but I need to show the bad side, as well as the good.

It ain’t always like this (fortunately), but it’s not all zippity-doo-dah, either. This $#!t can pull me down pretty quick.

And sometimes, I even want to stay down. How twisted is that?

It’s just part and parcel of my life. Unfortunately, that means it’s part of my wife’s life, too. I hate that.

This, too, will pass; I know it will. Just sucks at the moment.

Hopefully, the next post will be cheerier. Love to you.

From Your Little Boy

 

You idiot! Why are you such an idiot?

How stupid can you get?

Shit, talkin’ to you is like talkin’ to a child, sometimes.

You cotton-pickin’, half-witted idiot!

 

I know that, over the course of our life together, you said many kind, loving words to me. I know you loved me.

I loved you, too. I admired you. I looked up to you. I wanted to be just like you.

And I hung on to every single word you said to me.

Including all the ones at the beginning of this post.

The ones that sliced deep into my heart. The ones that told me I was a failure in your eyes. The ones that have haunted me ever since, and I still struggle to forget.

As far as I’m concerned, I am an idiot.

And so, for the rest of your life, I couldn’t look at you without imagining you looking back at me and wondering how you ended up with such a stupid son.

 

I never told you this. I couldn’t.

I guess I thought it was something I had to just get over. Maybe it is.

But, dammit, it’s tough. Even with the memory of how good you were to me. (And you were.) Even with the memories of all the good times we had together. (And we did.)

You’ve been gone nineteen years, but even if you were here now, I probably still couldn’t tell this to you.

So, this is as close as I’ll ever get, I guess. Now that I’m nearly 60.

On some level, I forgive you. I know you were angry or frustrated when you spoke these words to me.

But, I could never convince myself you didn’t mean them, anyway.

Shouldn’t be so freakin’ sensitive, right? Dads say this $#!t to their sons all the time.

 

At the end of all this rambling, I guess all I really wanted to say is, I wish I had told you.

So you could apologize. And we could embrace. And it could be behind us. And everything would be okay.

But I guess I couldn’t do that right, either. Sorry.