Depression. Fear. Anxiety.
2016 has been a really tough year for me. I’m used to tough years, used to struggling with the depression, fear and anxiety that have been a part of my life for so long. I’ve been working hard to learn to manage but it’s hard, and I’m not there yet, so things are still challenging.
Over the last few years I’ve learned a lot about myself and my illness. I know that my depression is a combination of many things but much of it can be traced directly back to the sexual abuse that happened in my childhood. It’s not easy to look at symptoms and behaviors and accept that so many of them are predictable given my experience, but it’s true and I guess understanding them is a part of living with them.
This year seemed particularly difficult though. As 2016 inches toward its end I look back and I’m not pleased with much that transpired over the last 12 months. I’ve been ridiculously unproductive, I am concerned about my lack of understanding of the world around me and my complete lack of patience with others.
It’s the year we lost Bowie, we lost Prince, we elected Trump, I withdrew even further than I had in the past, I disconnected from nearly everyone and my faith in my fellow man has fallen to its lowest levels. I can’t stand to even think about the world outside my home, it’s bleak and it’s depressing and each instance of hate and racism that I see makes me hate it even more.
Most days it’s hard to accomplish anything. I manage to get myself out of bed but only so I can get to the couch. I struggle to find the energy to complete tasks, to find the inspiration to create something, and while my mind is actively doing what my mind does, very little of it actually turns in to something useful.
So it’s been a year, a not so good year, but I made it through it. I’ve continued my 100% success rate for getting through shitty days and shitty years so that’s good I guess. Some people say things like “I’ll be so glad when this year is over” and I guess I think the same thing, although to be honest I don’t really anticipate next year being any different, or better. So another year will pass and I will struggle and I’ll likely feel the same way at the end of next year.
In the interim I will spend my days with my wonderful wife Gina and our two wonderful feline boys Eggs and Cooper, and I will bask in the joy that they give me, the only real joy I think I feel anymore. They sustain me and I will continue to live for them.
Photo via Flickr – Christopher Paquette CC Attribution 2.0