Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Dirty Words

Today I had planned a post about my weekend and how I did sprints with a lawn mower this weekend, how I ran 15 miles and it SUCKED ASS, and how I swam outside for the first time this year and it was great.

However, as I scrolled down my reader a post popped out at me before all the others and I read it. LB wrote a post entitled Gray. It describes how she is feeling right now, she wrote that she wanted to share because these types of feeling aren't talked about enough. Depression is a dirty word. Her post inspired me to share. I want to make sure that she knows she is not alone. I thought about doing something similar after a post of Bryan Payne wrote after he returned from Kona last fall. I am going to go into some TMI details, but I am going to leave it all out here. I figure I will be judged by some, but I would rather take that gamble in order to support someone else.

If you read this blog often, and I figure of the 77 followers about 5 actually do (but again that's ok because this is for me), it is clear without me saying anything i go through ups and downs. Sometimes i drop off for a week. Sometimes I say I am in a funk and can't get motivated. These are often times I am going through something similar to depression.

I don't like to admit it because to me it is a dirty word. I have had coworkers call me bi-polar before but i don't feel that's what it is. I took multiple psychology classes in school and do a a bit more than light reading on the subject trying to self diagnose. If there was anything i would admit that is wrong with me I would call it a mood disorder. I would never call it depression because that is a dirty word.

The VERY few people who know both me and my family will tell you I am the most grounded person in my family. Many joke that unless you knew better you would have no idea I came from them. I am the first person to finish college (second to try), first  person to go to grad school, and the first person to have a career (not just a job). There is little known about my family history since it has been a little dysfunctional and for the most part I can only track our tree to my maternal grandmother. This grandmother has alcohol abuse and mental health issues. Of her children, one of my uncles has sever mental illness (schizophrenia, I believe) and has been institutionalized several times, another uncle has chronic depression, and my mother has substance abuse and depression problems. My oldest sister is bi-bolar and has drug addiction problems.

Since I was younger I have always strived to be NORMAL. That's all I want. I wanted to go to college, have a career, have ONE marriage with 2.3 kids, and be sane. For that reason admitting when I am depressed is hard. I hold  most emotions in and then shutdown completely when I get overloaded. A week or so ago i had a few days that after work all I wanted to do was go to sleep. Cb will tell me i am depressed, but I will argue with her, because as she knows i will never admit that. It's a dirty work to me.

To a degree I know what my triggers are. Mainly they are work, money, and marriage. YOU ALL KNOW I hate my job. I feel no sense of fulfilment. I dread going to work and having to wait on convicted murders who think they are entitled and are the center of my world. The only thing I enjoy is my SWAT work. I enjoy much of the training, but dislike the others on the team. I don't fit it. They are all mountain men with toughman complexes and I am not. As I have written before I hate money, or the lack there of, I hate struggling to pay bills, and eat, and have some sense of reward from going to the job i hate. Marriage is also tough. That sounds bad, but i am being honest. We have been together for almost 10 years, but only married and living together for 2 years.We are still getting used to each other's habits. I am anal retentive about clutter, she was raised by a hippie. I put money into fixing things in the house, she buys purses. I don't do dishes until the sink is full, she can't be in the kitchen unless the sink is empty. WE both get stressed out by money and our current economy makes it even worse with daily rumors of pay cuts and lay off. I think this part is no different than other newly weds, but it is just that- new.

Solutions to the problems would be better than treatment to me. If I could do anything in the world for a job I would work for myself. I tried to start up a back country guide service once but I realized I know trails and gear but not business. I also enjoy web design and have started building a freelance business for a little fun and money. I will reach out to my first potentioal clients this week. I am targeting small, local businesses. It has been a dream for a long time to teach karate for a living, I even have some ideas for creating a niche. I just have no financing at this time to start these endeavors. If had to work a nine to five I think the best fit for me would be a college professor or if i could go back to school i would try being a nurse. As far as the money is concerned having a job with better pay or being an err to a fortune my help. If both of those were solved i think not having work or money stress would probably make things easier on the marriage front. I also realize a stress free world is impossible- its life you just have to deal.

I have two natural treatments for illness and stress: sleep and exercise. These both work with this as well. The only problem is sleep makes me not think about what's wrong, but it doesn't change things. Exercise makes everything easier to deal with, increased endorphins I guess. However, sometimes 10 hours at work gets me to a low where I don't want to exercise. That becomes a problem. From a non-homeopathic standpoint I have never tried to medication because this would require admitting that I am depressed. I just can't do it. When I was younger my mom sent me to a psychologist for different reason, I enjoyed having someone to talk to. He eventually told me i was normal and that my family was jacked up. When it gets bad i like talking to a psychologist. For some reason talking to someone who is not related to my problems always feels good. I enjoy just getting things off my chest sometimes. 

 There it is- my TMI. It may be dribble to some but I hope for others they can see that they are not alone.


LB said...

thanks for your comment on my post. i hate knowing there are others out there like me, but its nice to know that youre not alone. i too have a loooong family history of mental illness, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, depression, alcoholism, suicide...its not a pretty picture. im used to the ups and downs, but what is really worrying me now is that the usual self treatment (exercise) is not working. im looking in to finding a therapist, but i really dread talking to one. the last time i talked to a therapist in college, i spent and hour on the couch crying, getting nothing accomplished and i never went back. when i feel low like this i think about that jack nicholson movie and think to myself "IS this as good as it gets?" i sure hope not!

Patrick Mahoney said...

Dude, I've had my issues, and in the end I've concluded that they are or have been a mixture of environment and chemical. The environment I changed, the brain just is what it is. So I deal with it.

But you are right, nothing beats exercise. It is absolutely the best remedy.

Anonymous said...

There are definitely complex reasons (such as the ones you mentioned) why people like us get into these types of intense, solo sports and excel at them. Keep ya head up; I'm trying to until the end of this FY.