Depression has been my ever-present friend for most of my adult life.
Friend? Yes, friend.
In recent years I have learned to embrace who I am and depression is a part of who I am.
For many years I tried to answer the “why” question? Why do I suffer from depression?
Is it genetic?
My Mom was mentally ill for as long as I can remember. Numerous suicide attempts, the last attempt succeeding at age 54.
I see a counselor every two weeks and my Mom’s mental problems come up from time to time.
Am I going to end up like my Mom? Will I end up in the nuthouse like she did?
My counselor assures me that I am NOT my Mom.
I appreciate his support but some days I wonder.
I am a perfectionist with an Obsessive Compulsive Personality.
Is this what drives my depression?
Perhaps my religious background is to blame.
A perfectionist driven to please and obey a demanding God.
I served, worked, and sacrificed my health, wealth, and family to please the Christian God, but no matter how hard I tried I always came up short.
Is this why I am depressed?
Somewhere deep in my mind I still feel the need to be perfect, to please, not God, but others?
I don’t have any answers to these questions.
All I know is that my life is a rollercoaster of highs and lows.
I refuse to take medication because I don’t want to lose the highs and lows.
The highs and lows are what make me who I am.
When I had my last fall down the rabbit hole I stopped blogging a-g-a-i-n.
People who know me just wait…
They know…in time…the darkness will lift.
I came out the other side making all kinds of promises.
Who was I kidding?
A friend who read this blog told me that I am one of the kind of people that must run as fast as they can and then crash, only to later start running again.
I think he is right.
Years ago my doctor told me, Bruce, you have a mind that never shuts off.
And he is right.
No matter how hard I try, my mind runs like a freight train rushing down the track.
Even in my “healthy” days this was the case.
The wind down, the time between laying down to go to sleep and actually falling asleep, could take an hour or two.
These days, with pervasive pain and muscle spasms added to the mix, wind down often takes three or four hours.
Bedtime? One AM to Five AM.
It is just how it is.
My dear wife has learned to adapt. She has learned not to pattern her sleep around me, that is unless she wants to watch re-runs at four in the morning.
My battle with depression permeates our marriage.
I wonder, if she knew then what she knows now, would she have signed on for the Bruce Gerencser show?
I hope so because I can’t imagine life without her.
I have stopped asking how or why.
All I know is is this…
I am a man, a decent man, a loving, kind, compassionate man, who just so happens to battle with depression. It is a part of the fabric of my being.
I know dark days will surely come. As sure as Fall turning to Winter, I know that, at the most inopportune times, depression will spring itself upon me and, for a time, maybe for a few days or weeks, or a month, life will seem unbearable, perhaps even unlivable. But just as sure as Winter turns to Spring, the darkness will lift and life will once again break forth just like the perennial flowers that have wintered over waiting for the call of Spring.