Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Medication

My friend asks me why I don't take medication for depression. I don't have a good answer.

I don't like medication in general; don't like adding things to my body, especially when I am not convinced it will have any impact. Yet the evidence for the role of medication in improving depression is persuasive. It can change lives, provide a break in the cycle. It can save lives.

I have known people it has helped. I have known people it has helped not at all. Is it worth it to try? That is up to the individual.

I have tried Prozac and Wellbutrin in the past and both seemed to work for a while to improve mood - until they didn't. The most consistent and dramatic improvements I have seen regarding mood are when I'm able to run regularly and boost my endorphins and serotonin naturally (while also relieving stress), but my schedule does not always allow it. Even then, the dark moods can come.

Relapse

How did I get back here again

in this place

You can stop anytime you want to

You decide

You are the one who has to walk away

At any moment, the power is yours

Monday, April 27, 2015

Conversations with Caden: I don't really love you this much

Caden: Do you know why "butter" has two t's in it, and "shit" only has one?
Me: Why?
Caden: It's because butter is delicious, and shit is a word you re not supposed to say.
Me: You are obsessed with that word. Why do you think you are so obsessed with it? Is it because you are not supposed to say it?
Caden: Well, I do say it sometimes. Daddy says it.
Me: Yeah. Does Daddy let you say it?
Caden: Not very often.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Smile

I remember being told it is impossible
to smile and feel fear at the same time

so I make myself smile

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Awakening

We live in a world of bustle and clutter and chaos and we don't even know why we are here sometimes.

Why are we here?

I look around at work sometimes and wonder what we are all doing - not just in my job, in any job.

Why are we here?

We create systems and businesses to generate money and support others. In return we get money, structure, and (hopefully) satisfaction, and (possibly) make the world a better place.

This last one is debatable. Depending on the company we work for or the job we have, we might be making the world a worse place, or leaving it indifferent.

Too often it can feel like we leave the world indifferent, though on a micro-level this cannot be the case.

It just feels like such a big cycle. We go to our jobs every day, generating money and helping people (hopefully) by doing our job. With the money we make, we pay off any debt we have accumulated, most likely due to having a car, home, and college education - except if we are typical, we don't really pay it off, we just make tiny payments that stretch out over decades, or even our lifetime.

We take on these debts because society tells us it is normal and even necessary if we are to enjoy the things that most others enjoy - a car, a home, education, and some extra fun on the side, perhaps nice clothes and spending money. What can happen as a result is that we get locked into our jobs or having to generate a certain amount of money so we can pay off the debts, and maintain a lifestyle we aren't even sure we want.

We make money every day to pay off debts we have accumulated and keep buying shit we don't need. In that mix we are hopefully helping people as well, but too often this can feel lost.

This is what I come to sometimes. It may not be your experience, but it is mine. There has got to be more to life than this - there is. I see evidence of it. I refuse to let this be my experience. I am tired of wondering what the hell I am doing.

What the hell are we doing?

There were things I wanted to do, still need to. there were things I wanted to do with my life, to demonstrate to my kids.

Why am I not doing them?

This needs to end. And it can - (1) by taking control of my debt, and (2) by starting to do some of the things I have always wanted. And it can begin today, in small ways, by starting to live the way I have imagined - purposefully, happily, no longer mindlessly.

The trick, of course, is not not become overwhelmed by the daily bustle to the point where it gets me down and makes me lose my focus.

How can I maintain this focus, how can I succeed? How can I not?

What the hell have I been waiting for?

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Finding the beauty

Depression wants to get me down today, but I will not let it.
It wants to creep on my shoulders, settle in my ears and around my head, but I will not let it

I climb out of bed, pull on my clothes, keep moving
I am tired, but I need this run

I hit the streets.

Another day. Another day stretches before me.
I feel bleak at the prospect, broken down.
Head bowed as the day looms, daunting
It threatens to swallow me, crush me, leave me crumbled
But I know this need not be so.

I hammer on, determined to outrun it.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

The same house

We had just finished dinner. Caden had given me attitude that morning about such little things as putting his plate away after breakfast, so I prepared for more of the same.

"Put your plate away, please," I asked, determined to be consistent.

He made no move. "Well, but you are not helping."

I was already clearing the table and putting dishes in the dishwasher. "Buddy, I'm already doing all of this. I need you to help by bringing your plate. Thank you."

"But you are lazy."

He wasn't smiling, and his words stopped me cold. "What did you say?"

He looked uncomfortable, knowing he had gone to far, but not knowing how to go back. "You are lazy about Daddy."

Thursday, April 9, 2015

What animal am I thinking of?

Caden's favorite game to play in the car. It is harder when he uses imaginary animals.

Caden: What animal am I thinking of?
Me: 4 legs?
Caden: No.
Me: 2 legs?
Caden: No.
Me: 6 legs?
Caden: No.
Me: 8 legs?
Caden: No.
Me: No legs?
Caden: No.
Me: Hmmm... 100 legs?
Caden: No. It has 5 legs.
Me: Oh! 5 legs. Ok... it's a starfish!
Caden: No.
Me: It's not? Hmm. Ok. Does it live under the ocean?
Caden: No.
Me: Does it have fur?
Caden: No.
Me: Is it smaller than a cat?
Caden: No. And it's NOT a polar bear.
Me: Ok. (pause) Is it a monster?
Caden: Monsters don't have 5 legs. Only some aliens do.
Me: Is it an alien?
Caden: No.
Me: Does it exist?
Caden: What does that mean?
Me: Is it real? Is it a real animal that lives on this earth?
Caden: Yes.
Me: Does it eat other animals?
Caden: No.
Me: So it eats plants?
Caden: No. It eats nothing.
Me: (pause) It doesn't eat anything?
Caden: It eats air. Me: (pause) I give up.
Caden: It's a tree!
Me: A tree?
Caden: You're not very good at this game.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

The talk

My father took me down to the dock for a talk
He chose the dock because it was a place where we were both happy
Snorkeling and swimming were things we enjoyed together
We took a special peace from the water, and being close to it.

He wanted to talk about the rehab we had just spoken to by phone.
He had contacted them after deciding I needed help
I had started drinking at 16, then quickly fell into abuse
Before two spells at a clinic for alcohol poisoning, plus a threatened school suspension
Told me it was time to quit.

I kinda knew I wasn't done yet.
But quitting seemed like the only thing to do
In a place where everybody knows who you are
And your parents are members of AA
And helped establish the chapter of NA
On the island.

You go to meetings. That's what you do.