Sunday, October 3, 2010

DEPRESSION HURTS (3) Being Positive

Often, people who are depressed are told to "keep a positive attitude about life."

If only.

I'm reminded here of a little bit of repartee between John Wayne and Frank Shuster, of Canada's iconic comedy team of Wayne and Shuster. (Sadly, they're both dead; we could use their talents today!)

John:  Only fools are positive.
Frank:  Are you sure?
John:  I'm positive.

Well, so much for a positive outlook on life.

That said, however, I keep looking for positives in my life. Mostly, I force myself to do as much as I can every day. That's the bit about walking Sadie and cooking supper in my earlier blog piece about depression. Even if it's only chopping up some wood in our wood pile and lighting a fire, or cleaning up in the yard, or doing something in the house. My concentration isn't good enough to do some serious reading, and there are some things I want very much to read. (I really do enjoy reading.) It is far too easy for me to simply get up, feed Sadie and put her out, have something to eat, and collapse back into bed. Especially when every muscle in my body hurts, and I feel like I'm crawling through life. Literally crawling. As in going as fast as I can, and still losing the race with the tortoise.

The situation isn't helped when I sleep so poorly at night. My doctor has given me some medication to help with that. But it doesn't help. So we'll have to find something else. Otherwise, I'll keep getting up, going through my morning routine, and going back to bed until noon, then getting up for lunch, and trying to do some additional things in the afternoon, or into the evening.

It's not a great way to live, but "I'm doing the best that I can" for the time being. (Humble doesn't even register in my mind; humble, as in Mac Davis' song "O Lord, it's hard to be humble," with its line about "I'm doing the best that I can.") I would so much like to do more. But when simple tasks feel like they require moving a mountain, things are a bit challenging.

This morning's question: Will I make it to Church of Morning Worship today?

P.S.: Yes, I did make it to Morning Worship, and I'm glad I was there.


Anonymous said...

Huggy bear, my answer to your question would be: "Why bother?"

But being at service might "lift your spirits" no pun intended.

Getting around people does help, but when I'm like that, getting around people is the last thing I want to do.

I don't know how Joe does it. He goes to bed when he's sleepy, gets up when he wakes up, and it all seems so easy.

I sit up til 2am, fighting sleep and the nightmares. Fall asleep around 3am, then, long after Joe's up and "at'em" I'm still sleeping and only wanting to be left the heck alone. LEAVE ME ALONE! Is what I want to say.

Another way of saying "Let me die and mold away".

PLUS, when I'm in my black hole everything seems so cataclysmic. The least problem becomes a thing of life or death to dwell upon.

Diane Vogel Ferri said...

Rob, I've been there and it's life-changing. When it happened to me I had two young children and they were my reason to get up in the morning. It will get better. thanks for all your comments and support.

The Bipolar Diva said...

My thoughts are with you. It's a difficult position to be in. At least you're trying to stay busy. I find myself hiding a lot.

Nancy said...

Just keep moving, you're right about that.

Have you been checked for sleep apnea? It runs in my family and the symptoms are the same.

Natalie said...

I am glad you got to Church Bearet. Being with others (if only for a short while) breaks up the monotony of the Black dog.x

Jean said...

Isn't telling a depressed person to think positive rather like telling Dolly Parton swim the English channel without her wig on? If you could do that, depression wouldn't be the problem, I imagine.

potsoc said...

Even though you call yourself "bear" is no reason to go into hibernation...although when one looks around it may be tempting. But if we want to shake it we must be awake.

ain't for city gals said...

I feel for you Bear...i honestly can't imagine living life like this...I too just want to say "Be happy...don't worry" but from what I'm reading it just doesn't work that way for you...

RachelW said...

The answer is sleep. I don't know what the key is to that, though. I wish I knew!

Gutsy Living said...

Thank you for sharing what you are going through. It must mean you want us to be there for you, which we are. As humans, we all need to help one another through difficult times. Perhaps things will slowly change, when it's time.

Unknown said...


thank you so much for coming to my blog recently via Bipolar Diva and I'm finally coming over here to see you...and am following now.

My doc prescribed something to help me sleep and it works wonders---though I know everyone is different and meds work differently for everybody. It's Klonopin. I take two about an hour before I'm going to bed and it's a Godsend. There is a slight hangover or thickness in the morning, but I feel rested and full and happy when I wake up....

I am sorry you're struggling, but I can relate. I have two little ones that keep me on my toes, so...I don't have much time to rest with my thoughts.

Thank you for sharing your experiences with us.

cheshire wife said...

You are doing very well to post as often as you are. Could it be that your symptoms are not from depression alone? I hope that your doctor is looking after you.

iza said...

Two years ago I had depression and I feelt terreble and I didn't know why. At the end when I overcame that darkness I have understand why I felt this way.

The point is that you can't just be happy or positive, just by thinking "ok right now I'm gonna be happy!" is a procces made by several phases and you need to do that by baby steps... =)

French Fancy... said...

Reading backwards to get the whole picture, Rob. At least you've got Sadie who needs you to get up. I know your wife could attend to the lovely dog's needs but it's a good thing that you make yourself do it.

Rob-bear said...

Sorry I haven't responded to you, friends. But I do appreciate the thoughtful and supportive notes you have left.

When I originally posted these thoughts about depression, figuring out the posts was about all I could do; replies were beyond me. It has taken me this long to get back to your comments. As sign, perhaps, of where I still am.