“This time it will be different” was what I told myself about depression for over 40 years.
I support free speech and the right to congregate and express grievances. Being a Baby Boomer, I have marched and chanted “make love, not war.” I know firsthand the injustices citizens can be subjected to by police and others in authority.
On a day set aside to honor our saying “enough is enough” to the King, we seem to be saying “I double-dog dare you” to coronavirus.
Human beings find it hard to learn from experience. We have all the information about the Spanish flu pandemic and how it spread, and yet we think this time it will be different. And we keep thinking that as the virus plays out essentially as it did 100 years ago.
I can tell you from 43+ years of having depression, “this time it will be different” is not a strategy.
And this type of thinking sets up the next round to be even stronger than the last. At least, in terms of my depression, every time I ignored it, hoping it would just go away or get better on its own, depression only got stronger. And I enabled it by not facing depression, calling it out and taking steps to change my attitude towards it.
The fact that Covid-19 is in the United States we cannot control.
But we can control our attitude towards it and the steps we personally take. Balancing our own needs against the greater good isn’t always a clear choice. Sometimes it can be a moral dilemma, where the best choice may not be the easiest choice to make.
At the other end of the spectrum are adults holding Coronavirus Parties, taking bets on who will contract the virus first.
Yes, we live in a free country. And yes, it is your body. We all say yes, yes, yes. But where does a personal yes and the rights of others intersect? If your decisions do not impact me, directly or indirectly, then have at it. I am not here to judge you, I have enough on my plate. But if your decisions impact me or my family, then I take umbrage at your decision and will assert my rights.
Back to my MDD, “this time it will be different” NEVER WORKED.
The past year has been vastly different because I stopped saying that. Seeking professional medical help was the hardest thing I have done. Saying, “I have depression, and I need help” was very frightening. Yet, doing the same thing and expecting a different result had finally gotten old. I couldn’t pull it off anymore. It just wasn’t working.
Maybe my fellow citizens have discovered something that I don’t know about “this time it will be different.”
I hope so. But my experience predicts we could end of circling the drain. In my opinion, we are already staring into the abyss. Our individual decisions about coronavirus, social distancing and wearing a mask in public will determine how long this pandemic lasts.
Here’s hoping that we are not still facing this when next years 4th of July rolls around.
My concealed depression is written under the alias “Depression is not my boss.” I have certifications in SMART Recovery and am a Global Career Development Facilitator.
Diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder last year, I am sharing what I learn. If you know someone who might benefit from reading this, please share.
I very much appreciate your comments.