Friday, January 3, 2014

It Sneaks Back In When I Least Expect It



My life is great.  Things couldn’t be better.  Job, friends, housing, social life … I am mostly living the life I dreamed about for years.  Despite all of that, I am experiencing a little bit of depression tonight.

There is nothing new about depression in my life, but it has been quite a while since it hit me.  It used to happen frequently but the quantity of occurrence diminished considerably during the past few years of my self-discovery journeyand it is a rare occurrence now. So why did it hit me in the middle of one of the best months I’ve had in years?

Actually I think I have an answer.  It’s that same old issue I’ve struggled with for a long time: overscheduling.  As a society, we pile on the obligations and activities one at a time without seeing the impact those things have on the total picture.  Then we wake up with too much to do and not enough time to do it.  I am a fairly organized man with a good amount of discipline, but I procrastinate a lot too.  Instead of doing things as I get them, I put them off; then I wake up one day with everything due at once.  This is a bad habit in my work life and my personal life.

I could list all the little things that are bothering me tonight, the things that add up to a day of depression.  Or I could begin to tackle them one at a time.  All the self-help strategists point to that action as a way out of depression.  My own experience backs up their claim.  Another observation made by at least one self-help guru: you get what you focus on.  So I can focus on the extensive list of things that are bothering me, or I can focus on the things that I am happy about … while taking on the bothersome issues one at a time and fixing them.

OK, I feel a little better now.  Thanks for letting me whine.  I will post this, then practice guitar a little (something I haven’t done enough of lately), crawl into bed and sleep (another thing I need more of). 

One positive result of my self-discovery journey is that I recognize depression at the onset and I generally can turn things around in a day rather than the weeks or months it used to take in my past.

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