Tuesday, July 24, 2018


Before we go any further, let me tell you that yes, I’ve seen someone for it. So put your mind at ease on that front. Some people suffer in silence, but I’m not one of them. If you don’t need to hear grumbling and whining, go elsewhere. I’ll understand; this is a depressing time in history.

Since the upending of my life in 2012 and the death of my father, I’ve been in a darker place. An emotional place where fewer people have my back, and a physical place where the living is uneasy. Shortly after the funeral, I became a liability and expense, leading to anger and behavior which I think less of myself for exhibiting. Moving saved my sanity, but I may have to return because, again, I am needed. Sadly, the trust is gone.

In the working world here, experience and age are liabilities. I was advised to leave jobs off my resume by temp agencies to conceal my age. A prospective employer told me that they could hire a temp to do a job that I knew, from working in a similar office in Kentucky, required specialized training and pulled down $40K as a starting salary. Businesses hire temps at low wages in Florida instead of ‘regular’ workers, and the cost of living where the jobs are located is very high. My wife and I both have long commutes and are frequently tired, plus I live in constant fear that my position will be offshored.

Then, there's just plain old depression. Based on my family history, I think I come by it honestly. Depression is an open wound, always bleeding, giving you surprise flashes of pain like the 'jump' shocks of a horror film. Even when I've been the happiest, I can't say I've ever experienced unalloyed joy.

So, I’ve been chugging along, doing my day job and paying my bills, but that’s all I have energy for most days. There have been bright points, like publishing anthologies and releasing the first novel of a series co-written with my wife, but the number of “What’s the use?” thoughts to overcome has been ridiculous.

Besides the “seeing someone” business I mentioned above, I’ve also used affirmations, visualizing my goals, etc. to improve my mood. I’ve discovered that it’s very hard for me to even picture success any more, or to believe that I’m still capable – or worthy – of attaining it. Once you’ve seen an ugly person in the mirror, it’s hard to forget or forgive. 

I must keep trying to climb out of the hole, though, even if I have so much more to regret at 50+ than I did at thirty. If you're depressed, you must keep trying, too.