I was depressed when I was a little kid. I’ve been depressed to some extent most of my life. I think it’s because I am a bottom line kind of guy. And when you’re a bottom line person living on this planet, it’s all bad news. No matter how well things are going, something is going to come along to end that. Nothing good lasts forever. Most of us spend a good deal of our energy avoiding that reality so we can remain relatively happy. We tell ourselves bad things happen to other people, not to me. That works…until it doesn’t.
I’ll be 55 in a few days. I’m at the age where everyone has parents who have transitioned or are transitioning. Denial is no longer an option for me. Alzheimer’s took my father-in-law. Dementia is taking my mother-in-law. As my father joked a few days ago at his age every day you have to check the obituaries. I just got an email about my cousin’s husband who had surgery to remove several tumors from his brain. I could go on (and on and on) It’s all around me- every single day now. Every single day there is more bad news. How can I help being depressed? And it’s only going to get worse. If I live long enough I’ll get that call about my parents one day or one of my siblings. This isn’t being pessimistic. It’s true. It’s truly only a matter of timing. There’s no avoiding it. None of us gets out of here alive. We don’t even get out unscathed.
It’s bad news if you choose to look at it as such. And that is where I need to make the shift I am starting to make. All of these things that are “bad” are temporary set backs. Yes, even that incurable terminal illness. Yes, even death. All temporary. All bumps along the road. It doesn’t mean I’m not compassionate. I hate that people (including me) have to go through this. It doesn’t mean the pain isn’t real. The pain is real. The pain is deep. The pain is even unbearable at times. But, the pain is also temporary. More so, I believe the pain serves a purpose and that one day I’ll know the purpose and deem it all worth it.
A phrase I heard recently that I love is “We’re all just walking each other home.” We are. And while we’ll stumble and fall along the way, we’ll help each other up. Some of us will run ahead like Shayna did and sit there waiting for the rest of us.
That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.