Fight, flight or freeze

I’ve gone back and forth with depression for more than half my life. Anxiety seemed to take hold of me in my late 20s, early 30s. Not sure when, exactly.

I try not to dwell on all the things I have missed out on because of it for several reasons:

  • There’s no use languishing in the past.
  • You can never change it.
  • And, of course, it can depress you all over again.

Ellis from “No Country for Old Men” said, “Well all the time ya spend trying to get back what’s been took from ya, more is going out the door. After a while you just have to try to get a tourniquet on it.”

tree-w-vines
This tree, to me, represents my life in that no matter how much I grow, I still have things weighing me down. I live on in spite of my hang-ups.
Fight like hell

Most days I spend fighting my symptoms. And probably nine out of 10 days, it’s an easily won battle. I have many things in my life that keep me going. My motivation and energy levels are high. Smiles cross my face with ease, jokes come out of nowhere. I have a seemingly perfect mix of personal happiness and joy that spreads to others.

I’m grateful that most of my days are like this. After a really good day, I’ll tell Lacey, “This is the man I want to be.” 

I need to be him. He can’t just be a prop to cover up all the dysfunction swirling around in mind.

Flee the scene

There are other days where I feel like I can’t muster the energy to be around people I know, let alone smile or joke around. I’ll get to work, exchange hollow pleasantries with people I hoped would have ignored me as I wanted to ignore them. I feel like I’m walking through a perilous jungle to get to my office.

Then, when I finally have the solitude I think I want, I descend further into depression. It’s almost as if those days where you easily defeat depression teach it to save itself up for one day to ruin.

Have you ever been sad about something and you just wanted to be alone? And, when you get your wish, you find yourself wanting someone to ask you what’s wrong?

When I’m down and alone, those feelings run concurrently through my mind.

I got home from work the other day, and I had felt down all day. I kissed the wife, said hi to the kids, and went to lie down on my bed. I covered myself up completely. And I wished two opposite things: one was for Lacey to come in and check on me, the other was for her to completely leave me alone. As if I hadn’t gotten home yet, or something.

Freeze in your tracks

Then there are days where I want to get away from everyone and everything, but I simply can’t. 

Take work gatherings, for example. The first staff meeting where I currently work took place at the end of September. Nearly 50 people were there. And I, among a couple of other people, had to introduce myself. 

Isn’t that a dandy fuckin’ request? Hey, say a little bit about yourself. Like what, I ask myself. Something like, “Yes, I’m glad to be here and I really thing y’all are pretty cool, but I want to get the fuck out of here as soon as I can?”

No offense intended, of course. So, in those situations, I usually wait until an appropriate amount of time has passed where I can safely get the hell out of there without seeming rude. 

I hope I haven’t been sufficiently rude to anyone.

Freedom from it all

Again, I’m glad that most of my days are spent fighting an easily won battle with myself. Prescribed medication has helped. So has keeping busy. Keeping my hands and body moving throughout the day keeps the blues at bay. I’m sure there’s some scientific evidence behind it. Whatever. I just know it helps me.

And I think keeping yourself busy is just as important as the medicine your doctor prescribes. Pills can only do so much. They give you that little push to get out of your funk, but you still have to get up and do

Whatever you do, no matter how insignificant you might think it is, you’re keeping the blues away. 

Stay strong. 

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