Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Winter/Post Holidays Blues

"Don't wish it away. Don't look at it like it's forever. 
Between you and me, I could honestly say. 
That things can only get better."

~ Elton John- That's Why They Call it the Blues

We can talk about a lot of things these days. There are very few social taboos left.  We talk about sex, like we're discussing household chores or planning our next vacation. We tell our friends how much money we make. We'll even show you our strategically placed tattoo if you ask.  What we won't do is talk about depression.  We certainly won't admit to it.  If we do admit to it, someone will try to sell you a pill.  "Here, try this green one.  I'm never sad, but of course my sex drive is gone too." 

Depression is a familiar acquaintance to me.  We've hung out occasionally since I was in high school.  He's not around all the time.  Mostly he shows up when I'm feeling stressed or something in my life feels beyond my control.  He's a part of me and I don't need for him to go away.  I just wish he wouldn't come on so strong when he visits. Until I acknowledge his presence, I'm paralyzed.  Everything seems unmanageable.  Once I accept him, I begin to get my power back.   Somehow by admitting I'm depressed, it goes away. 

The gray winters of Dayton, Ohio are a lovely vacation place for my dark passenger (yes, I'm stealing that term from Dexter).  He showed up yesterday and between the post Holidays let down and the rainy days lately, he unpacked to stay for a while. I humored him and we hung out yesterday, but this morning I packed his bags and sent him out again.  He may be back when the sun disappears, but for now, he's out of the house. 

Some may wonder why not just take a pill and avoid all of this?  I've tried that route and it didn't really work for me.  True, the sadness didn't seem as sad, but the gladness was never as glad either.  I want to live a life with a full range of emotions; not just the safe ones at the center of the pendulum.  As a writer, I have to experience it all. 

The holidays are difficult for some people.  We think about the ones who are no longer here and how much we miss them.  We say goodbye to family members as they get back on airplanes and back to their own lives.  We spend too much money and then worry how we'll keep the lights on.  Many things can bring on the blues.  In the advice of Elton John, "Don't look at it like it's forever."   It's only temporary. 

If a friend seems down or sad this time of year or any other, don't offer them a pill.  Offer them a smile and a hug.  It will be more appreciated than you'll ever know. 

1 comment:

  1. Sounds so familiar, Rick. I need your 'packing' instructions! I tossed the pills seven years ago and never regret it. Yes, the depression visits. Yes, I have bad days. But like you said, I have more truly good days, too, something the pills usually numbed into non-existence.

    Here's a virtual smile and {hug}. Hang onto them for the next time your dark passenger drops in.