What an ugly word.
I’ve had one close uncle clinically diagnosed, as I suspect my father has been depressed for much of his life. I know that I have gone through cycles of depression in my life. Most of the time that feeling of deep twisting hollowness was only achieved after a great sorrow, a feeling of utter loss.
I can remember the first time. It was a couple days after I was pulled from a 10th grade social studies class to be told that my paternal grandfather had been found dead that morning – apparently he passed peacefully in his sleep, on the couch over the weekend, and the mailman found him. It was a surreal walk home, and I don’t know why my sisters and I didn’t walk home together – but I do remember MTV being on the television when I got home. U2’s “Bloody Sunday” was playing – it’s one of many reasons I can’t listen to that band to this day.
Even though my first marriage ended as a relief to my emotional rollercoaster, living paycheck-to-paycheck, all alone in the house without my boys, I did spin down the rabbit-hole again. Those where some of the darkest days of my life. It was a solid 3-months before I even left the house, save for work or food shopping. On the outside, I put on the happy face, on the inside – darkness. While time and music helped bring me out from my Grandpop’s passing, this took a co-worker challenging me to start doing something I had really loved doing before the boys came along – cycling. Through bicycling, I was able to get outside, lose some weight, feel confident about myself again, to learn how to date again.
There are a few more times over the course of my life that I have spiraled into blackness, but with age I try to keep it all in perspective. No matter how ineffective I might feel at times, I now know I have much to be thankful for, and people in my life that care about me.
I can’t wait for my wife to get back from her month long assignment and meeting her in the Eastern Mountains of Tennessee.