Lately, it seems like I am either gearing up for my depression to take over or I am coming down from my depression.
I am all in or shrinking away. It seems like I am giving in to my depression, and yet I am going forward. Then I am catching myself in an unhelpful thinking style, just as I am trying to be better than my depression.
Whoa, there’s a lot going on.
And it is just Monday morning, barely 8 AM. I got up an hour ago, got the coffee started and then built a fire in the woodstove. I noticed at the indoor weather station that the house was at 65 degrees. Yesterday afternoon, I had turned off the heat since many windows were open to take advantage of the 60-degree temperature.
Now I am in the living room, waiting for things to warm up.
I usually sit in front of the wood stove after I get it going, to fully absorb the initial warmth. Now I am on the couch, still near the wood stove as it gets into high gear. Soon my daughter will be opening windows saying that it’s too hot. But for now, everything is in balance.
So why am I not in balance?
Why am I having trouble figuring out what’s going on? My depression is working on a new project. And it is likely that it is working on me to join it. Afterall, that’s how my depression works. First it lobs out an idea, mostly as a trial balloon. It uses this to gauge my interest. Then, some time later, it pops up with the same idea, but presented in a different way.
This cycle repeats itself until depression gets my full attention.
From there, it’s just a matter of time before I am all in and the keeping secrets starts. Only my depression has been with me from the beginning. Only my depression knows what it feels like to be me. So only my depression utterly understands me and can stand with me against everyone and everything.
Boy that sounds ominous just writing the words.
After my time in 5 East, I know there are other sides to look at. While my depression makes a compelling case for the two of us to be alone, I now know that this is not the only way to see things. My depression uses unhelpful thinking to get me focused just on it and its secretive ways. I am a seasoned time traveler, and a great fortune teller.
Did I mention I can make anything seem like “all or nothing?”
So here I am trying to figure out where my depression wants me to go. I know that following its lead will not be good for me. I know that my depression uses many disguises to get me to see it’s point of view. And it is exceptionally good at not taking credit.
My depression always wants me to think that the idea is mine.
It doesn’t matter how contrary the idea is to my big picture plan. My recent decision to retire just as everything was getting good comes to mind. I was so close to doing it right, that my depression had to act. By acting in a dramatic way, my depression finally gave me a reason to confront it. Well, I finally made myself say, “not this time.”
I finally saw behind the choices I had made time and time again over the course of my life.
And I decided not to do the same thing again, while expecting a different result. I had kidded myself for my entire life, choosing to think this time would be different. The past is past, I am starting new this time, so it must end differently.
That has turned out to be a load of doo-doo (oops, I has started to say BS, but I am not going to curse)
So now I have started down the same path again. I have begun to see things getting easier. But under the surface, my depression has seen this too. It has already lobbed a shot across my bow to see if I will engage with it. My depression wants me to once again, commit time and resources to a project that will end with a pitiful ROI.
And when it is time to pay up, my depression will be out of town, on vacation, and unreachable.
This has happened to me many times before, so I shouldn’t be surprised. And I have gone along with its thinking many times before. In fact, by the time my depression gets done, it is my idea alone. My depression is ever so happy to let me take credit for the operation.
And my depression is just as happy to let me suffer the consequences all by myself.
My depression is very generous in that way. Now I must choose how to move forward. I have called my depression out and have not heard back about what it thinks our next move should be. I can see that pattern emerging, where I take an idea from my depression’s playbook, and drive it into the ground.
Each time I do this, I feel surprised, like I had never seen this before.
And yet it is so comforting to know that I am going to see the same issues, the same problems, and suffer the same consequences as every time before. ACCKKK. Why am I thinking this will be a good thing? What is it about my depression that makes each of these adventures seem so intriguing? And why do I feel compelled to repeat myself and my actions?
So, I have dropped the project, but still have the tools I collected.
I can see how I might still take advantage of the information I have gathered, without going down the rabbit hole. But before I jump back in, I have a grandson to see up north. Weather permitting, my wife and I will be flying up tomorrow and staying until next Monday.
Packing and getting ready to fly will be my focus.
After that, I can see where my depression and I are on its latest project. I know it is still trying to make sure I take it over and become responsible for it. But I am going to leave my depression alone until next week, so I can focus on being the world’s best grandpa.