I am going to vanquish my winter blues. It is too much self–indulgence. My pets love me (and my wife). And that is enough. My favorite dog, Tilla, ‘adores’ me, in the words of my daughter. I did nothing to deserve all that. And that is an incomplete list of the seven cats and two dogs who each love me in their own way. My pets do not care what I do or am. And my wife does not care about the degree I do not have, or job for that matter.

The captain of “Therapy Charters” quickly put his boat on the hitch to his truck and then started cleaning the fish.  I was amazed how quickly he cleaned the speckled trout and after he filleted them how little the fillets were.  He would throw the entrails in the air.  The swirling gulls by the cleaning station grabbed them right away.

I questioned him before and found out he was an electrician for eighteen years and has been running his charter for eight years.  Oddly enough his wife was a therapist working in schools and private practice.  She had several degrees.

He did use live shrimp for bait and there are times the bait is harder to get.  He had me pose in front of the almost twenty speckled trout.  I also took a picture of his truck which had the the name of his charter on the side.  This was his second trip today.  We were out in the sun over four hours and I felt “washed out” and he did this twice today.  It can’t be an easy job.  His face was deeply tanned.

My birthday is coming up (and I am just depressed). I can not tell you exactly why although I can guess. Part of that is grief. Most of my life is over. I can’t go back. Wishing is futile. Somehow I need to settle things. My relationship with my daughter is fractured. I don’t know how to repair it. Lectures and judgements don’t do it. I am aware of the ticking time. I am running out of time. I guess, everyone wants to leave a legacy. I am working at getting my first book of poetry out but it is a long and uncertain process. My wife is the only one who really cares about that. She is my editor and a good one. Things really don’t matter. I really don’t know how much time I have left. For that matter, no one knows for sure. I know that somehow I need to make peace with the people who matter to me. I don’t know how. I am just depressed. That is all I know.

I had to remind myself of the scripture that says, ‘Be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to anger.’ My wife kept complaining I was interrupting her all the time. And I thought of that passage from the bible and it gave me a weapon to help me to stop doing that. It was a bad habit I had and now I had a way to stop doing it. It would not be easy, though. I would have to work at it.

Sometimes depression is totally biochemical. Yesterday I was pretty depressed. I could certainly justify it, find reasons for it. I awoke today and it was like someone hit a switch: I was no longer depressed. It had vanished overnight. Depression is not always psychological. It is sometimes physiological. For some reason you are depressed. It has something to do with your brain chemistry. No more. No less. Time always bears this out.

Depression is isolation (and that is a terrible thing). By no means do I want the person who is experiencing depression to feel guilty but I want to explain the results of depression and why you need to break that terrible cycle.

A person’s natural reaction is to become terribly egocentric. You simply do not want to see anyone. I would tell my daughter to do anything, walk to the post office, buy a stamp, anything to get out of the house.

Depression makes you very selfish. You can not see beyond yourself. It is so important to break the cycle of depression. It is done in small degrees by grabbing the power you have.

Every person can gain more control of some aspect of their life. You do it in small steps and eventually the depression will lift.

By all means if a doctor or therapist will help use their services. You do not have to do it alone. You can break the sphere of isolation. It will not happen overnight.

Thank God For Fatigue

Author: siggy

Thank God for fatigue. It is your body telling you you have to rest. That is a good thing. “Speed” kills you for it overrides that message and given enough time you keep going and eventually your body deteriorates from within. Rest is a period your body recovers. If you consistently don’t sleep enough you don’t feel well for during sleep your body rejuvenates itself so observe the messages your body is telling you. Your body is an incredibly complex piece of machinery.

If we are not our brother’s keeper continue to house most of the mentally ill in jails. After all, who cares if they get put in isolation wards when they misbehave there. So that is a form of torture. They usually are put on the cheapest medications not always the proper ones. Families are being destroyed not to say anything of the individuals there. I am sure the suicide rate is high.

I saw this coming decades ago when the states started closing down their state hospitals. The money did not follow into community services but just “evaporated”. Hospitalizations are very expensive. Partials are very cost effective. There is no way a person can be stabilized in a few days. At least in a partial you can be monitored over a long period of time. The therapeutic level of a psychotropic medication is often one to two weeks.

Are we our brother’s keeper? Yes! Yes! We are commanded to take care of the weak, the infirm, those in poverty and the mentally ill. We can not turn our heads to them. Each individual must do his/her part to alleviate their suffering. Our society has become so far away from that. So do your part no matter the role you take. It is never too late to start.

“I don’t want my doctor to think I am mental”. This is a fragment of an conversation I overheard. I wanted to shake the person, ask her why she thinks her doctor (or therapist) is perfect, does not make mistakes like her. Everyone has problems and why do you think you are less than human because you are exhibiting, maybe, some turmoil over some problem or conflict. The doctor is there to assist you, not judge you. And certainly don’t judge yourself because you are exhibiting what you consider to be some aberrant behavior. Everyone is in the same boat: each person sins, errs and is imperfect so don’t condemn any part of you and think someone is better than you because they have some diplomas on the wall.

Tilla joined me in my bed last night.  My wife and I had just completed a game of Scrabble and I lost again.  I was feeling completely demoralized.  It was only a game.  Nevertheless, I was pretty depressed and I went straight to bed.  Tilla followed me and jumped on the bed.  This time he gave me room on the bed to lie on the right side.  This was unusual behavior for him.  He stayed there till I fell asleep.  I believe he wanted to comfort me.  I wrapped my arm around his body as I fell asleep.  I was glad he was there.

I was struggling to fall asleep for five or six nights. I knew it was due to anxiety which was caused by fear. I happened to open up a book I had on faith and found several passages I had underlined. The words were just what I needed to allay my anxiety. I kept referring to them the next few days. I started sleeping better. And not taking so long to fall asleep. It was a book I had not opened in a long time. I must have been dealing with similar issues before. It was just the right words I needed to hear. Books can be lifesavers.

One thousand unidentified bodies were found on land they wanted to build a medical school in Mississippi.  It was on the site of a former mental hospital.  And all the director of the medical school could do was complain about the three million it will take to give each body a proper burial.  And as the article said if the money was needed for their football team, it would be obtained.  Where is the outrage?!  Each person once had a Mom and probably a Dad.  And the parents invested their hopes and dreams for their child.  And no one knows who they are?  Where is the outrage?  That is the only thing I can say.  And I have to repeat a third time:  Where is the outrage?!