Two down, one to go.
We made it through Thanksgiving and Christmas. There’s just New Year’s left. I can see the finish line but I’m close to bonking. Yes, I am taking my medications. I am exercising and getting plenty of sleep. I am eating well – except for the gluten-free Pop Tarts.
I thought I had done a pretty good job of fending off my depression this year. I didn’t buy a tree or put out any decorations until about 2 hours before my daughter came home to visit. I cancelled my satellite television service and got Roku – so I wasn’t bombarded by holiday commercials.
I didn’t turn on the radio and made it through my first holiday season without hearing that insanely annoying Feliz Navidad song – although I did hear Paul McCartney’s “Sim-ply Hav-ing a Wonderful Christmas Time,” which is equally annoying.
This year’s holidays were especially difficult since I started the season after learning that a childhood friend, whom I love dearly, has been diagnosed with metastatic cancer. I lost both my parents and a beloved dog to cancer within the span of two years. So, learning that another loved one has cancer has dredged up a bunch of sad memories.
The thing about depression is, once you have been diagnosed and you understand what it is, you know when you are circling around the drain. It’s not like a cold. You don’t just wake up one morning with a fever and stuffed nose. You know it’s out there and you are getting closer – not further – from it.
Sometimes, I think it is that awareness that makes it all the more frustrating. You know that with your medications and all the 12-Step meetings you’ve been to, that you can avoid it. You have the tools. All that cognitive-behavioral therapy – which works – but for some reason, you don’t use.
I’m also on “vacation,” which is actually just time off work. I haven’t gone on a “vacation” in a long time. I take “staycations” – stay at home and chip away at the endless to-do list for the 87-year-old house I call home. I live in paradise – Palm Beach – so it’s not like I’m trapped in some hell-hole. I could get on my bike right now and ride to the beach and watch the sunrise.
You folks in Buffalo must think I’m crazy. I’m not. I’m just circling the drain.
Water circling the drain image available from Shutterstock.