Dry As a Funeral Drum

“I feel one of my moods coming on,” sang Roger Waters as the fictional Pink in The Wall. For Pink, it was a rage-filled depressive episode where he tears apart a hotel room and terrifies a groupie that followed him back after a show.

For me, it’s the sinking feeling that everything is coming apart. All that I love, all that I care for is lost to me. No, not now, but shortly. In minutes, hours or days, it will all be gone. And no matter how fictional I know this feeling is, I can’t make it go away. Even now, as I type this, my eyes fill with tears in the certain knowledge that I am an abject failure in all that I’ve done. Anyone that says otherwise is just misinformed or blind to the truth.

It’s depression, and it’s treatable.

I feel that I am an awful father. I can feed them, clothe them and give them a roof over their heads, but I can’t make them love me, want to be around me.

It’s depression and I don’t have to feel this way.

I feel that I am a failure of a man. I stand over the ruins of a failed marriage, one I willing agreed to, and I completely misjudged my chosen mate. I had children with her. It’s not that I couldn’t keep the marriage together, it’s that I married her in the first place. And now, I feel that I won’t keep Her around. I feel certain that she, too, will tire of me, that she will grow weary of the moods, the neediness, the anger management issues and on and on.

It’s depression and I keep this blog post intact to remind me that I don’t feel like this any more

Everyday I am reminded by another call from a creditor, or a text or email from a bank that my finances are in ruins. I have no savings and no real property. I have the retirement from STRS but my guess is that it will hardly be sufficient to support me When The Time Comes.

I am a failure as an employee. Most of my coworkers tolerate me, or actively dislike me. Sure, the students like me, but children are easily fooled. I am a sham, pretending to know what I’m doing, dancing as fast as I can, hoping against hope that no one will notice.

And none of it is true.

But, the ideas won’t stop running through my brain. It’s like a crow, flapping its dark wings and screaming the same thing over and over.

She doesn’t love you. They are growing up and will leave you. He’s going to fire you. You’re going to die alone and afraid. She doesn’t love you. She has come to her senses. They fear you. Did you see the look in the boy’s eyes just then? You should never have had them. You will fail them as you have failed everyone else.

The thoughts in italics are old.  They are the thoughts of depression.  They are real and false at the same time.  Real because they happen, in my head, and false because they don’t reflect the reality that everyone else sees.  Real because they become my reality in that moment and false because they are over-amplifications of the world as I see it.

Caw. Dry as a funeral drum.  Tight as a tourniquet.

But, I don’t have to feel that way.  And, most of the time, I don’t feel this way.  If you feel sad a lot, or just overwhelmed.  If you feel tired and unmotivated, you might suffer from depression.  It might be transitory and it might be chronic.  But, it is treatable.  First, you must talk to someone.  I recommend a therapist who understands depression.  I think a psychologist is best but you can also use a licensed clinical social worker or psychiatrist or even a marriage and family therapist.  You need to be honest with them about how you feel.  One of the ways that depression kills us is by isolating us and making us think that only we know the truth and only we feel the pain.  Tell someone who loves you, too.  And, I think that if you have a good doctor to help you, then medication is a good way to deal with it.  For many, depression is not just feeling bad because life sucks.  It is a chemical imbalance that leads to your brain not performing correctly.

Behavioral therapy in conjunction with medication is, in my opinion, the best way to go.  But, you must submit to the therapy and follow doctor’s orders.  Do not take the medication in any other way than how it is prescribed.  And, be honest with your medical practitioners about how it makes you feel.  Let them help you adjust the dosages.  And, follow the advise of your therapist.

You don’t have to feel that way.  If the thoughts above look like yours, please get someone to help you.


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