My new life with depression is all about progress, not perfection.
Knowing where depression is and what it is up to is very important to me. Keeping it out in the open is my main strategy. Not letting it have me keep secrets is a big thing.
Historically, depression has put something in my mind, and then swore me to secrecy. Not fact-checking what depression was telling me, I would close down and feel that anyone who had a different idea was out to get me.
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Every time things seem to be going “too good,” depression would have me hatch a plan to sabotage things. Recently, it was my game plan for retirement, which by the way was the plan that backfired, ultimately, on depression. Depression had had major success with me over the years every time things got going well. This scenario played out 100’s of times over the past 40 years.
It would have me concoct some cockamamie scheme and then after letting a few details of the idea out to my support group, I would go silent.
It would be all or nothing after that, maximizing the benefits of the newly conceived plan, and minimizing the overly abundant list of potential problems with the plan. Depression made sure that I had no interest in doing a CBA or cost-benefit analysis worksheet.
Doing this exercise would have helped me see the folly in depressions plan to have me retire early.
Yet, I do remember one time where I did do a CBA. And the results were so skewed towards the depression-related plan that it wasn’t even worth the effort. Well, this was depression’s way of letting me think I was in control of the situation. But depression already had a plan for how I was to answer the different questions.
Depression had the answer already written, it just wants me to discover it and then “own it.”
And own it I did. This time it was leaving my day job to day trade the markets. My anxiety and guilt for being so secretive about doing this sabotaged my efforts before they even started. I was making some money doing this as a side job until depression and I decided on a reason I should give up everything else and go after this full-time.
Once again, depression used my sympathy for the family as a motive.
It had me frame my plan in the simplest of terms, taking care of a family member. And then, when it got its way, it washed its hands of me and took a vacation. When it was time to pay the check, depression was nowhere to be found. And once again, I was left to pay the bill, financially, mentally, and physically.
Depression spared no expense in getting me to crash and burn.
It has never minded using my stores of emotional energy, or my financial resources, or my physical health as payment for it’s “get me to the abyss” actions. Depression has always been a big tipper and wants to be known as generous. So, it has never minded going all out to achieve its goals.
Having depression achieve its goal of my death, seems counter-productive.
If I succumb to its idea that I have no reason to live, it loses me and all the fun it has had with me. It won’t have me to kick around anymore. So maybe that’s why it has been careful to stop pushing right when I am at my worst. It wants to keep me around for its own amusement.
“Well, hear this depression, I am finally on to you.”
Yes, it took 43 years and yes, it has cost me almost everything. But I am too completive to let depression win out. I am a survivor who has finally figured out what the game is. And historically, I have done extremely well once I understand the game and more importantly, the rules.
And keeping depression out in the open where I can see it is for me, job #1.
I am running the show now. Depression had over 43 years to run my life. During its sabbaticals, I would make a run towards greatness, only to be thwarted by depression when it would get too uncomfortable with my success. Heck, I even achieved some of my 5-year plans despite depression.
Competitiveness, in my new life, drives me to keep depression in full view,
I am not so naïve that I would say depression is on the run and will never return. There are so many minuscule ways depression is still trying to get me turned to the dark side. It is seeing my progress as a threat to its very existence. Being a disease, I know I will never be “over it.” But I can be more in control of it.
Taunting depression is not my strategy.
Doing that gives it more power. I only have a certain amount of energy every day. I do not have time for that, nor do I want to tempt depression in ways that may encourage it to roar back with a vengeance.
My goal is to run my own show and live a balanced life with depression.
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.
Last year, I was diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder.