Tag: depression

Well Lit, Dark Place

Well Lit, Dark Place

I think I’m emotionally in a dark place lately, but at times it seems well lit, make sense?

A light in the dark
A light in the dark

It’s just that I feel emotionally alone, and that’s ok, that seems to be the dark place, and while I may not prefer it I do accept it in some fashion. It’s the fact that I seem to understand and accept the situation that makes it feel illuminated or lit.

And I don’t think it’s the ‘depression’, I believe it’s something more fundamental, something basic to my make-up or mental health.  I’m beginning to think it’s just the way I am.  Some of my first thoughts are that it’s Aspergers syndrome or some similar condition or disorder.  Some variation of Autism.  You can read about some of the characteristics here, on Wikipedia. Isn’t this curious, my self-diagnosis?

What precipitated this latest ah ha moment was a tv show called Dexter.  The show is about a man who witnessed the brutal slaying of his mother when he was a young child and the horrific situation made him emotionally disconnected as an adult.  Now I’ve never had those experiences but it’s the ongoing patter of his ‘inside voice’ that caused me to think.

We are somewhat alike. I have some of those same attributes, difficulty relating to others on an emotional level, emotionally disconnected, unable (or unwilling) to bond on a deeper emotional level.  Almost uncaring.  And yet I do feel deep sadness at times, and elated happiness. This is where I’d differ from my friend Dexter, that is where I can see how we are not so much alike.

Still, it makes me think, why am I the way I am?  Perhaps I need a stronger light to overpower the darkness.

Re-Inventing “About Me” – Rev. 1.1

Re-Inventing “About Me” – Rev. 1.1

Don’t reinvent the wheel, just realign it.
– Anthony J. D’Angelo

People who cannot invent and reinvent themselves must be content with borrowed postures, secondhand ideas, fitting in instead of standing out.
– Warren G. Bennis

The only thing new is you finding out about something. Like nothing’s really new, but you reinvent it for yourself and find your inner voice.
– Mike Watt

We must reinvent a future free of blinders so that we can choose from real options.
– David Suzuki

I feel upside down sometimes, need change

For awhile now I’ve been unhappy with my “About Me” page.  It’s not that it said anything inaccurate, it just didn’t say what I wanted it to say, or how I wished to say it.  I created it when I was at a different place in my life.  I wanted to re-invent it I guess.

Does that make any sense?

I also updated the title, I left the “SkiDaddy” (for now) but removed the “Examining Myself – Through Depression”.  I may play with different tag-lines, and perhaps a new theme.

Partly these changes are due to the old “first impression” concept, when people come to your post/blog they will get a first impression from whatever they see or read first.  If they like it they may come back, if not …… then likely they won’t.  I’m hoping for the first choice.

I could say it doesn’t really matter because I only write this for myself, and that would be largely true, however I wouldn’t be really honest if I said that was all.  I believe on some level many of us also write for others.

So ‘nuf said, if interested you can save a step by going here.

Fall Back, The Colours are Upon Us

Fall Back, The Colours are Upon Us

I hate to admit it but I think our summer is over. The fall colours are showing and autumn is on the cusp.  The days are noticeably shorter and while it’s still amazingly gorgeous here in the Kootenay’s I can’t help but feel just a little sad.  I’m having so much fun, or most of the time anyway.

Unfortunately my job list doesn’t appear appreciably shorter, in fact every time I look at it the “completed” column is significantly shorter than the “to do” side.  It could be because I keep adding to it I guess.  Who am I kidding, there is no list save for the one in my head.

Travel, family, travel to family, and a host of other interests continue to pull me in multiple directions, and sometimes at the same time.  Just another facet of my personality I’m learning to live with, and only beginning to understand in some ways.  I often jokingly refer to it as my ADD side, certainly not to minimize it for those that are impacted by it significantly.

autumn, colour, tree, fall
fall colour in Van’s yard

I was at my friends house the other day picking something up.  More stuff for future, as yet unnamed, projects.  I noticed a tree in his front yard, beautiful in it’s fall garb, all oranges and reds.  I don’t know what kind of tree it is but I had to go back today to take a picture of it.  This kind of beauty is awe inspiring.

The beauty of Autumn

Another thing that inspires me is that my moods have been pretty good lately too.  I don’t know the how or why of it, could be that it’s just the way things are.  Could be my meds, could be I’m better.  Could be I’m just at a high point.  In light of some other posts I’ve read, particularly “Understanding Emotional Intensity”, it could be just that I’m normally an up and down kinda guy and just have to accept it.  I believe the term was Emotional Intensity.

Essentially, if I am such, it’s not abnormal for me to have some stronger swings of mood.  The kicker is the moods can be higher and lower than what others may normally experience.  Now I’m only paraphrasing here, this certainly isn’t a diagnosis.  Let’s just say  I’ve interpreted these mood swings to be a sign of my depression.  It would be swell if they were not.

Anyway as life rolls on and my retirement progresses I am learning to adapt to a number of things.  So far I’d say I’m pretty successful, I hope others would feel the same.  I enjoy my private time but do find occasions where I feel the need to be around people.  Maybe not socializing as such but being around others.  We are after all social beings.

I got out of the house today to take some photos and run errands, and in fact I’m sitting here writing this from the pub.  Sorta like killing two birds with one stone.  Free wi-fi and my blogging clock was ticking.  I had the pictures in hand so let’s use them.

Once I post it’ll be back home to take on one (read that part of one) project.  Whether it’s a welding project for a friend or cataloging my photos I can’t say.  Maybe just reading a book, who knows.  I do feel a bit recharged though, taking photos can do that.  And the fall colours don’t hurt.

On the Road Again…., Again

On the Road Again…., Again

I’m leaving on the next train…. Wait, that’s a song title, not my next step. Of course “On the Road Again” is also a song but that more closely reflects what’s about to happen today. It’s also the title of a previous post but that has no real bearing here. That was camping, this is a road trip, by car.

I’ve been away from home for a week now. Really 8 days but who’s counting?  This whole adventure is partly a life experiment and partly an opportunity to reconnect with friends and family I haven’t seen for a while. In my Aunts and Uncles case it could be 20+ years.  I don’t really recall the last time I saw some of them.

The life experiment part is a little harder to explain.  Sometimes it can be a challenge for me to pass information on concisely so I question whether I should try to do so here, but what the heck nothing ventured nothing gained.

It all started back in the summer of ’72…… Well, that may be a bit too far back but it was when I met my wife and she has a bearing on this story.  Fast forward to a more reasonable time period, say earlier this spring (2012) to my retirement and just subsequent to it.

I adapted to the idea of being at home (I think) but there was, and still is, some adjustment required when it comes to my wife and I occupying the same space in the early morning, before she leaves for work.  This hasn’t presented any arguments or ill will but it has stimulated discussion, and that’s a good thing.  Better to talk than yell I think.  Everything they say is true, when one spouse retires it certainly provides challenges for the other, actually both if you think about it.

So to make a long story less long we discussed the option of me taking a bit of a road trip at this time, a time when she is just beginning her school year as a Child car worker and things are already stressful.  There are little side stories to her responsibilities which complicate things further and add to this stressful time but needless to say after talking it out we both liked the idea of me heading out for a while and her having some “alone time” so she can re-adjust to the idea of being back at work.  It was also a good fit for me, because while we were able to travel a lot this past summer there were still places I wanted to go and people I wanted to meet.  The idea of a road trip was a win-win.

To begin this adventure. we both went to Kelowna a week ago last Friday to see our daughter and family.  It was a nice treat because they were going to a wedding out of town and we would be taking over sole responsibility of Madden’s care (new grandson) while they were away.  Our first over-nighter, there first night away from the baby.  We handled the challenge admirably and while my wife wanted to stay a bit longer after the babysitting tour she had to get back home.  I took her to the bus on Sunday afternoon.  She was back to the grind Monday.

I stayed in Kelowna until Tuesday when I left to go to my brothers in the Vancouver area.  We had a really nice visit and I left there Thursday, hopped on the ferry and stopped at our friends house in Saanich to commiserate with them.

20120922-121048.jpgThe rest is history as they say.  I left there this morning and now here I sit, having some lunch and a beer, taking care of some business and leaving shortly to visit a friend for a day or so.  From there I’ll try to connect with my Aunts and Uncles and then perhaps go to the Sunshine Coast for a brief alone time before heading out again.

I’ll endeavour to provide an update, goodness knows my record isn’t the best for posting lately but I’ll see if I can pick up my socks.  Bear with me please.

On a more personal note perhaps I’ve been feeling pretty good lately, emotionally.  I don’t feel depressed, or at least most of the times I don’t.  I still struggle with understanding if the issue is really depression or just pronounced mood swings.  Maybe I’ll get smarter as I age.  Time will tell.

Perhaps this road trip will also be an opportunity for me to learn more about myself.  I often hear people say “I know so much more about myself now”, or “I want to learn who I am”.  Although I aspire to acquire this knowledge to date it’s escaped me.  I really don’t know what more I can learn.  I think I’m an open book but perhaps I’ve not read every chapter.  I hope the road can tell me.

Study The Enemy

Study The Enemy

“If depression is creeping up and must be faced, learn something about the nature of the beast: You may escape without a mauling.”
– Dr. R. W. Shepherd

Cymraeg: Sun Tzu. mwl: Sun Tzu. Português: Sun...
Sun Tzu.(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I like this quote, not really sure why, but maybe it’s because it reminds me of quotes by Sun Tzu in “The Art of War“. That’s really what I’m facing here isn’t it, a battle with depression, a war within myself over who or what has control. I have to wonder who is winning?

“You have to believe in yourself.”
-Sun Tzu

I have to think I am gaining ground, making inroads, progressing toward a happy outcome.  If I didn’t the war would be lost before it began.

“Know thy self, know thy enemy. A thousand battles, a thousand victories.” -Sun Tzu

It’s an ongoing struggle, maybe one I’ll face for the rest of my life.  Perhaps that’s why they call it “the battle with depression”.

I’m tired, I want it done.  I need to be declared the victor.

Fighting is not something I’m known for.  It’s not in my nature but if I must fight I will.  Ultimately I must be declared victorious.

I Think I’m Feelin’ Better

I Think I’m Feelin’ Better

I think I’m over the mood hump, I hope so, pretty sure I’m feeling better.

The days have cooled down a touch to the mid 30’s, that Celsius folks, and while it is still pretty hot outside we have gained control over the temperature inside the house.  At least somewhat anyway.  Most of this is accomplished by the judicious use of window blinds (outside of the windows preferably), and the opening and closing of doors and windows at the optimum times (temperature and direction dependent).  Doing that we can keep the inside of the house at the mid to high 20’s.  Still not “cool” but certainly cooler than outside.

We’ve never had an air conditioner and I’m beginning to think one would be a good investment.  It would be one of those things you wouldn’t use often but when you want it you REALLY want it.  Still something we are pondering.

Whether the weather (cool play on words huh) was the key to my slump or just one of many factors I don’t know but realizing my past experiences (read that as moody bastard) I would suspect it wasn’t the only one.  Why I seem to experience this swing of moods might be something a team of doctors could look into but my team isn’t available right now and they aren’t returning calls.

I shouldn’t have to look far for the answer to this quandary as the more I think about it, the more I go back in time to the earlier stages of my diagnosis, the more clear the answer to the question becomes.  Could it really be…….just the depression?

If I look back in my handwritten journal, even perhaps some of my earlier posts, I would clearly see one of the benefits I noticed after beginning the meds was the “even-ness” of my moods, a more level experience of life without the ups and downs of good days and bad.  In short I felt better.  It’s just that I don’t want to be on ANY meds, the taking of drugs itself or the having to take drugs is what I think I rally against.  Dumb perhaps, but it’s how I feel.  I think nothing of medicating myself with a drink or two, that is somehow ok, but having to be on medication to be normal?  That hurts me.  What fickle beings we are.

As I sit here in the shade on my deck, the cool breeze wafting through and tickling the wind chimes, I become sad.  This is one of my happy places and yet I feel low, depressed in mood and energy, lacking the full enjoyment of my place or lot in life.  An unfortunate state of affairs.

But I can do something about it, and I will.  If nothing else I will get up and go for a walk.  Exercise is something that’s been lacking in my routine lately.  I’ll do it, here I go, I’m feelin’ better already.

The Call Has Been Made, All in Favor?

The Call Has Been Made, All in Favor?

I’ve made the call, the decreased dosage of my meds will begin.  I will drop down to taking one 15 mg pill a day, against the better judgement of my wife.

This is not a decision I’m making without any consideration of the potential outcome.  I know full well the possible negative side effects, however I am going to do it in consultation with my Doctor (may be after the fact that’s all).

From what I’ve read there have been some real horror stories of withdrawal, ranging from increased anxiety to nausea and sleep issues.  Sleep problems were one of the reasons this medication was chosen for me to begin with, in addition to the depression of  course.  I feel much better now though and sleep like a log.

We’ll see how it goes, I’ll try to keep you posted.

Depression. Mine is……well, Depressed – pt.2

Depression. Mine is……well, Depressed – pt.2

In my previous post I was giving a bit of an update on how I see things have gone for me lately, how I’m feeling better and generally less angry and frustrated.  I think I’m coming out of this tunnel called Depression. I believe I can see a light at the end of the tunnel, and it’s not an oncoming train (I hope).

I discussed some of my symptoms, the treatments and path I took to deal with it, the meds and my visits with a counselor.  I left off with the discussion about if the death of my sons had any role in my depression.

More to the saga – read here

Depression. Mine is……well, Depressed – pt.1

Depression. Mine is……well, Depressed – pt.1

I’ve been feeling pretty good lately, not at all angry and as unhappy as I was before.  My depression, if that what it is, seems to have diminished or become depressed itself.  I was never 100% sure it was depression but as I understand there is a broad spectrum of symptoms and I had a number of them.  In some ways it’s hard to remember really what it was like during the bad times but I think some mental health issues are like that, in that when you start feeling good you forget a bit about what feeling bad was like.  I have a sense I didn’t like it much.  Being as I’m in a good space now I thought I could update things a bit.  Have a seat with me and let’s roll.

Intrigued? Read more

Coming out of the Closet , Is it Time?

Coming out of the Closet , Is it Time?

Open book

I’ve been posting for about a year now and I wonder…Is it time to come out of the closet, to be an open book?  Before you jump to conclusions I should elaborate.

This morning before writing in my journal, after checking emails and having breakfast etc., etc., I watched one of the Ted Talks called Mena Trott on Blogs, where she discusses her perspective on blogging.  In her presentation she comments particularly on how blogging is a means for those who want to know you to learn about who you are, not only biographically but what kind of person you are and how you think.  This made me think, will those I know and love ever know that about me?

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