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.

Contact Points USA

I found this list on the blog, Coalition of the Brave, which is appropriate. Contacting anyone on it is an act of bravery. Thanks to darthtimon for putting this together, along with ones for the UK and Australia. Use them if you need them; there is no shame. Be well. – Larry

Coalition of the Brave

Do You Need To Talk To Someone?

If you or someone you know is in crisis, pleasecall 911, go to the nearest emergency room, call1-800-273-TALK(8255) to reach a 24-hour crisis center, ortext MHA to 741741at the Crisis Text Line.

You can also call 1-800-985-5990 or text “TalkWithUs” to 66746 at the SAMHSA Disaster Distress Helpline. Trained crisis workers will listen to you and direct you to the resources you need.

Suicide Hotline Phone Numbers

If you feel suicidal or you’re in a crisis situation and need immediate assistance, people at these suicide hotlines in the U.S. are there to help. We have additionalsuicide information and resourceshere.

  • 1-800-273-8255 (1-800-273-TALK) – National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
  • 1-800-784-2433 (1-800-SUICIDE) – National Hopeline Network
  • 1-866-488-7386 (1-866-4.U.TREVOR aimed at gay and questioning youth)

Just a note: These are resources that we have come across that may prove helpful…

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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.

Year End Review

 

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As another year draws to a close, I’m still here. Alive.

Now, that may not sound like that big a deal to you, but all my fellow depression sufferers out there can appreciate the significance of that statement, because they know.

They know how much of my time is spent in absolute indifference to everything and everyone, and much of the rest of my time I’m depressed or angry.

They know nobody wants to see any of that, so I try to hide it around other people. Except my poor wife, who gets the whole experience, making her life much tougher than it ought to be.

(I truly hate that.)

They know self-care is not much of a priority, despite focusing most of my attention on me. My doctor tells me exercise helps with depression, but if I don’t care about exercising…

They know that, deep down, I actually hate feeling like this, that I actually want to get better, but I’m my own biggest obstacle to that process. I stopped seeing a therapist; I mean, if I haven’t taken to heart the suggestions she’s offered me already, what’s the use going anymore?

And they know the indifference can occasionally skate out onto the thin ice of desperation, hopelessness and even suicidal thoughts.

So, to still be here – living, breathing, at the end of another year – is, if not an accomplishment, a relief, at least.

Fortunately, I know, worst-case scenario, I have lifelines to hold onto so I don’t fall through the really thin ice.

Which is good to know.

 

I know this is the time of year to be jolly, and I’m sorry if I just dumped a bucket of cold water on that. I just wanted to let you know how I am as we approach a new year. I don’t know what’s in store next year, but somewhere in me is the hope that I can begin to move forward, mentally and physically, toward better health.

Meantime, I promise to have as Merry a Christmas as I can. 😊 Please do the same, all of you. Enjoy family, friends, food, music, decorating, shop…no, not shopping, forget that. But all the rest.

’Tis the season, after all.