It just occurred to me an overwhelming majority of the people I’ve known or met have depression in some form — me included. Not that’s necessarily a bad thing. In life, there are legitimately things or events to be sad about. Maybe it’s the loss of a close family member, feeling burnt out from work, the sinking feeling you have at not succeeding the first time around, or the heartbreak felt after a breakup. Shit will be thrown your way. It’s not a matter how, but when. No man is immune to sadness. That’s just they way life goes.
I’ve been told by my close group of friends the list of side effects on antidepressants far outweigh the feeling of being “normal” — if somehow taking a drug to alter your brain chemistry seems normal. I’m happy everyone can be so candid with me and for that, it’s not the route for me — or perhaps anyone for that matter. Being dependent on expensive doctor visits and medication is no way to go about managing your inner turmoil. The days seem grey and gloomy even on the sunniest of So Cal weather, but life gives you an infinite number of ways to deal with depression.
They say people who run and exercise regularly have a better mood overall. I can attest for this — it does help. A few miles a day doesn’t hurt, but you can quickly over do it — note to self: 10 miles a day is way too much. Many of my friends say go take up a new hobby and use that as a distraction. Truthfully, most hobbies require significant time and money if my phases of 3D printing, stock trading, chart analysis, and instant photography are to be viewed in terms of money spent. People just don’t have money laying around to do as they please. Undoubtedly, just venting to my friends offers the best feeling of assurances — that never costs a dime. A few trips to a coffee shop or late night dinners are on me — call it a gesture of my undying gratitude. If you’re willing to listen, at least we can have good food while I go at it. Recently, I found revisiting and discovering new places to go to offer quite a bit of enjoyment. There’s a very curated antique store in my hometown that I’ve absolutely fallen in love with. Antiques just have so much character and history inside. It’s incredibly fascinating to pick up each item up and marvel at the craftsmanship or time it takes you back to. I can easily kill an hour browsing. It’s fun just going by myself, but without a question more enjoyable with someone else for the visit. Now, if I can only convince them this isn’t just “old junk”.
In the past drinking and smoking offered the quick and easy route to a clear head free from intrusive thoughts. It’s an escape from reality, but devoid of treating the very thing that gave you depression to begin with. This is true. One night you have a can a beer; the next night, you’re pounding away at two 40s — easily. Everyone wants a good buzz, but your hangover in the morning says otherwise. Vices are just that — small drops of fuel for the problem you so desperately want to go away. Anyone who says otherwise is lying through their teeth.
I’m no longer a raging alcoholic or chain smoker, but sad thoughts remain — some days worst than others. It’s life. Thankfully, I have the best group of friends I could ever ask for. Honesty triumphs over anything and the feeling you get when your friends are so willing to support you lets me know this too shall pass.