Japan DiaryMinnesota MusingsOp-ed (ish)

Depression’s Gotta Hold

By September 30, 2020No Comments

Depression’s got a hold of me
Depression, I gotta break free
Depression’s got a hold on me
Depression’s gonna kill me

Actually, my depression is not that kind of debilitating suicidal thoughts causing depression. And no, this has nothing to do with the latest presidential debate in which two old guys in their 70s were sparring on the stage in a competition to see who can continue or take over running the country into the ground.

By the way, I did a quick google search on the average life expectancy of men in the US– 78.54 years of age–Oh dear lord, and I ain’t religious, help us all!!!

This depression is much tamer and seasonal in nature. For as long as I can remember, every year when October rolls around I put my ear on the tracks (metaphor for paying attention to my emotions) I can hear the train of depression a comin. Woo woo, next stop Allentown.

For the longest time I never knew what it was that caused the depression so I would simply attach a story to it. For example, this time around I can easily blame my depression on the above mentioned presidential debate. I mean anyone watching that debacle could easily be propelled into a debilitating state of hopeless despair and depression. Or how about corona, that is one story easily attachable to depression. The economy, if you were middle class and now finding yourself in a lower class status, something that has gone against the American dream narrative, I think you might want to attach this story to the feeling of depression. Then there’s health care costs, that’s depression causing. Okay, I could go on.

In fact, I am sure you have added your own story to the way in which you have felt or are feeling right now. I used to do it for the longest time. I played the victim blaming anyone and anything for how I felt. Yes there are things out of our control causing life difficulties, that is a reality.

I have found over the years that whenever October rolls around and that familiar feeling began, once I realized I had a choice as to how to respond, I would simply not attach a story, try to figure it out or deny it’s presence. And a funny thing happened, it became less of a big deal and more akin to something that colored my life and experiences for the month of October.

In essence, I started to see the world in a softer way. I have found during this time I get a whole host of memories from my childhood. These reveal themselves in an unsolicited manner moving me to a very soft and gentle emotional state. It is a subtle and rich experience.

I know it’s easy these days to add stories in order to support how we feel. This is human nature. I have realized that over the years having experienced this form of depression the best thing I can do besides not attaching is to go on living my life the same way as I did before and after the period of time. That is eating healthy, exercising, meditating, writing of course, fathering and socializing, although during this time I prefer to be alone.

Once October ends, like clockwork the depression leaves Allentown station and I soon find a new sense of energy and continue on my way living as I have always lived and no longer attaching stories to any emotion. Because this experience has taught me that emotions come and go like trains in a station.

Quote by – Rainer Maria Rilke

Leave a Reply