What’s It Like Living With Depression?

Personally I know when the depression is about to hit. I can feel this immense amount of sadness for no apparent reason, and I suddenly don’t have any purpose to my life. I just go through the motions and want to cry at every little thing. There’s no reason for me to be sad. Maybe there was a trigger? Maybe there was a moment that just led me down a bad path?

But usually I can prevent those triggers. Usually I can prevent myself from going down that path. But sometimes it just happens. Sometimes you can’t foresee it, and your mind goes to dark places. It starts to reason things it would never reason before. And it starts to believe in the insecurities you’ve worked so hard to overcome.

You know it’s not true. You know your rational mind doesn’t justify it. But you can’t help but feel this way. Usually when I get to this point I just detach myself from the world and push everyone away. I don’t even want to talk about it. I’m thankful I can at least write about it. That I want to write about it. Because I haven’t felt this way in a while.

I thought I had found some defense mechanism to keep myself from getting to this point. But depression is a lifelong battle. No matter how hard I try it will always be there, itching to get back under my skin. And it could be hormones right now that’s making me so glum and down. I don’t know. But I know there’s no getting out of it, not until the fog lifts.

The best I can do is go through the motions, keep myself active, keep myself moving, and sleep through the worst of it. That’s always been my defense mechanism. I don’t know how else to overcome it. When I try to explain it to others, they don’t understand. And I’m tired of trying to explain. So I just take a step back for a while. And hope when I come out on the other side they will still be my friends. Continue reading

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Failing DC

There have been various reasons I have been a little absent from this blog.

I don’t want to talk about diabetes because it still befuddles me and all my recent insurance hassles and doctor visits just make me upset. I don’t want to talk about dating because I’m tired of being disappointed. I don’t want to talk about work because I’m tired of it taking up most of my life and stressing me out like no other. I don’t want to talk about DC because I still have no close friends in proximity to me and it depresses me to hell (sometimes). I don’t want to talk about Norm, my cat, because well, he’s had a rough month, too, and no one wants to hear about a miserable kitty.

But more than all of that, I haven’t written on this blog because up until a week ago, I was pretty sure I had utterly and despicably failed in DC, and I was pretty devastated by this realization. I thought it might be time to consider moving on, maybe even move back to Kentucky for a while. Why did I think I had failed? Here are a few speculations: Continue reading

From Here to There Yet Nowhere

When I’m in Louisville, Kentucky, on the border of southern Indiana, I see large Maple trees and gravel pathways lined with yellow patches of grass and fallen crisp leaves. A Beagle-Greyhound mix runs in front of me, sniffing at the brown speckled frog camouflaged by rocks and pebbles along the path. A man of 20, just starting out in the world, lights a cigarette nearby. And another man of 26 attempts to restrain the dog and keep her out of the way of the oncoming cyclist.

When I’m in Bethesda, Maryland, on the border of Washington, DC, I hear ambulance sirens and beeping horns of SUVs and BMWs. I sidestep an upraised brick in the sidewalk and bypass an orange cone of a construction zone, the latest in a series of luxury condo high rises. I pass by commuters listening to headphones and carrying laptop bags with their eyes glued to smart phones. I also attempt to drown out the noise of the city with my mood’s latest trend – this time dubstep. And then I move out of the way of an oncoming cyclist.

Belonging

More than a year ago, I made the move from Baltimore to DC. And four years before that I made the move from Cincinnati to Baltimore. And five years prior to that, I left my hometown of Louisville, Kentucky.

So exactly 10 years ago, a few weeks from today, I ventured from my roots with no plans to return. Of my two brothers and various family members, I have so far been the only one to do so (not including those who left before me). But what I didn’t realize then was what I would be giving up and what I would never be able to have again: a home. Continue reading