“Madness is like gravity. All it takes is a little push.”
Madness in this case is depression. As I say, the not-so-fun half of my Bipolar II.
The little push was a fun, friend-making, successful week doing some substitute cohosting on 96.3 WDVD in Detroit for a week.
ERIC! THIS SEEMS COUNTERINTUITIVE. HOW CAN SUCH A THING HAVE WROUGHT DEPRESSION?!
Glad you asked. Let me explain the enimga. But first, some of my customary verbosity.
A long time ago when I had something called a J-O-B I often questioned my ability to manage my stress. I doubted whether I had acceptable coping mechanisms in place to deal with seemingly endless emails and something always being needed, or some unfinished work left behind. When you’re immersed in it – especially when it’s something you’re passionate about – it’s hard to have an accurate innate perspective of oneself. Besides, I wanted to justify my voice in the chorus of those questioning a younger generation whose coping abilities are often (wrongly, or rightly) doubted.
In hindsight I believe my professional survival skills were mostly, good enough. Or, a passing grade at least. In reality, I probably HAD bitten off more than I could chew. However, I began to lose track of what defined success. The professional target always seemed to be moving. In this case, getting farther and farther away through no fault of my own. I think for the most part when the hazy cloud of stress would subside, I was proud and thankful for what I achieved, and the relationships I built. I still am.
I’m not the first to say it, but I ALWAYS try to say it when the opportunity presents itself…
This is not curable, but it is treatable.
I was so wrapped up in the exhilaration of last week’s accomplishments, I didn’t see the inevitable emotional let-down on the horizon.
I went from having a mostly full, and very, very early day where I felt I was part of something high functioning and much grander than myself to…not having that. Outside of the sluggishness of the holidays, I’ve stayed professionally and socially busy enough to fend off any devilish boredom that could’ve wreaked havoc on my mood.
A basin of alcohol over the weekend, and an eBay rampage and I was skidding toward something I’ve managed to avoid amid my unemployment; an extended depressive episode.
My depression was pushed. I had to forcefully punch back!
The remedy? Again, as I always say, do the opposite of the depression is telling you/me to do. No getting buzzed or drunk for a bit. But even more potently than that, get back into the routine I was successfully functioning in prior to 3:26am wake ups. Also, make a coffee date with a dear friend. Ahhhh, now the inertia is rattled! No problem getting to the gym, picking out a new recipe for the evening, slicing through Kroger for the ingredients, catching up on some websites I literally slept through for two of three days, and finishing up with some minor professional tasks.
It’s just a day, but the first blow has been triumphantly landed on a foe that had slayed me too many times.
This was treacherous. Had I not continued to build and refine my mental muscles, it would’ve been simple to slip down a very dark road; one I cannot travel as I try to retain my professional bearings.