If I’m Doing So Well, Then Why Am I Still Depressed?
Hello men. Glenn “Grey Wolf” Jones here. I’ve been neglectful of my blogging duties lately, and I thought it was time to “get back to work.” Why haven’t I written? One word answer – depression. The question comes up then, which is the title for this blog and the discussion of it – Why Do I Still Have Depression?
Well, here it is men – my understanding of it. Why do I, the guy who’s supposed to be helping you with your depression still struggle with his own (depression)? I hear the words in my mind Physician, heal thy self.
If any of you men out there who have been following my blogs, you may recall some blogs where I have specifically stated : There is no ONE cure for depression. I never said there was ONE cure, or for that matter any cure for depression. There are, however, coping strategies which, when implemented consistently, will improve the quality of your life. Than I guarantee. Certainly, I had to ask myself the question, “How much did Mr. Walker, Mr. Daniels, Mr. Cuervo improve my life?” The answer: “They didn’t.” So, how well is your method working for you?
I’ve heard my fellow brethren ask, Why then should I go to an AA meeting (you can substitute AA meeting for a men’s group dealing with depression), and listen to a fellow alcoholic tell his/her story? I mean, they haven’t cured their alcoholism, so why bother listening to them?
To this I say, because the person telling their own story is suffering from what you are suffering from – only in our case it’s depression – not alcoholism, although many suffer from both. The addict at the AA, NA CA, OA whatever “A” is telling their story to give you some perspective (ah there’s that word I’ve blogged about) regarding your own addiction.
We often learn to cope by listening to, observing, and learning from the mistakes of others who are in the same boat as we find ourselves – and believe men when I say we who suffer from depression are ALL in the same boat – different circumstance “yes” , but the debilitating effects of depression are generally consistent – fatigue, feelings of unworthiness, thoughts of suicide, loss of interest in things that once we found pleasure in, isolation, inability to function normally at work, irritability, neglect of personal hygiene, feeling insignificant, guilt ridden for being a failure, etc.
Do any of these feelings that I have listed fit you now, or have described what you were feeling at some point in your life? All of these things I have listed, and more fit me. The struggle to overcome your depression is a journey – an adventure into the unknown, and that scares the hell out of a lot of people. Much easier to say, “Fuck it!”, and grab the “Jack”, and/or bong., the pills, whatever.
Only problem is, the drugs/alcohol wear off, and you have to keep going back and doing it to even feel like you can function normally, i.e. go to work, pay your bills, scrub the john, be on time to appointments, follow through with what you said you were going to do, etc.
So to those “Doubting Thomases” out there this is what I have to say to you. How well is your way working for you? Take a good look at your life as see if you are satisfied with your results – because that’s going to be the key reason of why you should, or should not listen to me.
Depression comes in waves. Some times the waves are huge – some times they’re small. Understand men that I still have depression – but unlike many of you who are masking over your depression with alcohol, drugs, gambling, etc. I am able to MANAGE my depression because I have the tools to use to help manage it. Some times its doing daily meditation. Some times it’s doing a process known as tapping. Sometimes its doing positive affirmations, going to the gym, drinking more water. Some times it’s doing deep breathing exercises, going to the mirror and making myself smile a big phony stupid, ridiculous smile that often times makes me break out into a laugh, or even a spell of almost uncontrollable laughter. Or, maybe just go for a motorcycle ride – some place I haven’t been to before, or maybe some place that makes me feel peaceful like the mountains, or the Pacific Coast.
The important thing for you men to know is that over the course of the last two years, my depression, especially big bouts of depression don’t usually last more than a twenty-four hour period. Compared to sometimes my depression lasting for weeks, even months at a time this is a HUGE DIFFERENCE in the way I used to experience depression.
Yeah, I still get it at times. But, I’m not defeated by it as I so often was in the past. I just had a real shitty weekend because while I was changing the front pads on my bike, the caliper slipped out of my hands and put two nice sized chips in my front fender’s paint finish – and as any of you who have your own bike, you know there is no easy fix for this fuck up. You’re going to have to take the front fender off and have it repainted, and it’s going to cost you a lot of $! I couldn’t help feeling how stupid I was for not putting on the $35 fender cover I bought to prevent this kind of thing happening.
But, where I would have been bummed out for days, or weeks over this, and self-bashing the shit out of myself, I shifted from “OMG you stupid fuck!”, to “Well, I made a mistake and the world isn’t coming to an end. I’ll get it fixed and I won’t make that mistake again.”
Before I would have dumped tons of recrimination upon myself and not have any room for any thing good, or joyous come into my life. I was just too bummed. But now, I have tools, and I can overcome the wave of depression that’s crashing down on me, and I continue to get better and better.
Sometimes I slide back and when I fall into depression, my house gets messy, I hate coming home, and I feel I have failed, this happens, that happens, and now I have to start over. But, I’m able to do it without falling down the slippery slope of depression and becoming defeated, or wanting to put a gun to my head.
Why is this important? Because I know that the people who love me, even though when I am in the throngs of depression and cannot consider their feelings about how they might feel if I took myself out, would be devastated if I were to “accidentally” crash into a cement wall, or drive off a mountain road, and would never be able to get over the message that I sent to them that suicide was the answer to my problems, and that their feelings about it didn’t matter – and men, when some of us have been in that state of mind, other people’s feelings don’t matter at that moment – but oh boy, once you make that shift out of feeling suicidal, you can start to see the irreparable damage you would have created had you followed through and killed yourself.
And don’t think for a moment, some of you men, that while you are saying that suicide is a coward’s way out, that it’s OK to be killing yourself slowly by drinking yourself to death, because you’re doing the same thing, only more slowly. Every time you “tie one on” your poisoning your liver to such a degree that many of you are on the way to having cirrhosis of the liver – and that is a death sentence, too, just as if you put a gun to your head and pulled the trigger. You just did it over a longer period of time, but with the same result.
I’ve known guys who damaged their liver so badly from living a of “manly drinking” that they had to get a liver transplant – if they were lucky enough to find an eligible donor. Those who didn’t died. What’s so fucking macho about that? Nothing! They killed themselves just as sure as if they put rope around their neck and stepped off the chair.
I’ve talked about me, not because I think I’m so fucking great, but to give you an idea about the realities of depression and what you might do for yourself when you are overcome with it. Some of you may be successful in treating yourselves, while others might seek the help of a mental health, and/or medical professional. Many of you will who do will still need “extra help” in the way of joining a group, or getting a coach that has been through it and knows what it’s like feeling like life isn’t worth living anymore. That’s where I come because I have been there, and I know these kinds of feelings first hand. I didn’t read about it in some book. So what’s your story? What are you going to do to make your life better? You must DO SOMETHING DIFFERENT TO GET A DIFFERENT RESULT. Otherwise, life will stay the same, and your life will go down the drain – wasted.
But, I have found a better way, and it’s not a pill, or a diet, or a book, or becoming a monk. It’s real, it works, and it can help you. What is it? Stick around and find out (hint: I’ve already mentioned some of them in this article; but I know you won’t do it on your own. You will need an accountability partner – a coach that can get you over the tough spots when the road is filled with potholes and gravel, and you feel like you are losing control of your ride and you’re gonna “dump it.” Join my tribe. Become a member, even if it’s just to read the blogs and mentally commit to doing the work I describe throughout this site that will get you back on the road of life, and get control of your ride.
Keep the rubber side down,
Glenn “Grey Wolf” Jones