Depression and the Holidays

Depression again has raised its ugly head on this blog. There is a ton of reasons for the timeliness of it. Among these reasons are the holidays, my personal experiences and the fact that it is an issue that just doesn’t go away. I introduced a post about the selfishness of depression in 2007. It is the most searched post on my blog and still garners comments and discussion today – although it was written over three and half years ago.

The holiday season is tough on a lot of people. I used to be a person that was baffled to hear about all the depression around Christmas. “Really? You can’t find something to be happy about with the giving, the carols, and all that Yule-tide jazz? Sheesh, even the cursed snow that causes traffic accidents and wet floors is celebrated around this time of year!”

Now, I am one of those people. Ever since my divorce in 2008, Christmas has been tough on me. Christmas lends itself to family and tradition. A broken marriage and loneliness in the wake of “fa la la la la” is a horse pill. It is that stinging loneliness, too, the kind you feel in the midst of a crowd. Then when you finally think you’re over the Christmas family stuff and the New Years non-kiss fall out, “BOOM,” Valentines Day hits just to trash what is left of your gut. Yeah, I get it now. As I mentioned in my last post, I now have a girlfriend , but it looks as though it won’t change any of these latest holiday practices and feelings for me.

Next time, I will update the original post and subsequent discussion. Depression affects a lot of people and unlike small pox, it will never go away. All we can really do is talk about it let those that are affected and the people around them know that they aren’t alone – even if it feels like it.


I have noticed that most of my Christian friends are up in arms over the health care reform that was just signed into law by the president. It dawned on me that perhaps Jesus hates health care reform. However, I couldn't figure out why. So, I wracked my brains and came up with following list (with apologies to David Letterman) - the TOP TEN REASONS THAT JESUS HATES HEALTH CARE REFORM!

10. The unwelcome competition for healing.

9. Concerned that the number of prayers from the desperately infirmed will take a hit.

8. Doesn't want to upset His base.

7. Afraid that His own "Millstone" clause will have to be amended to include little ones up to age twenty-six (Luke 17:2).

6. Doesn't want Democrats to take credit for His "love thy neighbor" policy.

5. Fox News told Him to.

4. Likes to be exclusive when it comes to pardoning pre-existing conditions.

3. What's next, feed the hungry?

2. Afraid that the expense of it will cut into His Armageddon War Chest!

And the number one reason Jesus hates the new health care reform . . .

1. It's not clear, but He is sure it has SOMETHING to do with abortion.

Men Die Early

Today I woke up before 4 am. After writing something cryptic on my Facebook status, I got dressed and started walking east. It was completely dark when I headed out and when it became completely light, I stopped, turned around and made the long trek back home. During that walk, I dissected life – my life, a man’s life and obtained some understanding.

You would think with understanding, comes peace. Not this time. It is akin to knowing something is wrong in your body and not being able to find the source and then after tests and tests, discovering that you have terminal cancer. Sure, there is clarity, but no peace.

So as I walked, I looked around at house after house – each with its own story that I wasn’t privy to. I looked at rock and flower gardens that someone painstakingly created. I saw new cars in driveways, satellite dishes, and fancy shrubbery. I saw newly built porches with Cracker Barrel rockers. I saw many things. It stuck in my gut in the realization that it was all vanity.

People, they have to escape, don’t they. They find their pleasures in toys, rockers and gardens. The image of a “nice home” is their drug of choice. I was on the outside looking in and found myself longing for their blissful ignorance.

Women have it easier in the area of coping with life’s tragedies and disappointments. Creating flower gardens or decorating a room or house just so is only part of their soul therapy. They also combine that therapy with a good crying session alone and with their girlfriends (they can even call their friends “girlfriends” because there is no shame when seeking emotional support if you have the double “X” chromosomes). They get their good cry in, they spend a couple of hours putting together additions to their scrapbooks, and they are good to go. God bless you women.

For men, it is a whole different set of circumstances. Working in the garage, or doing some kind of construction project on the house IS the whole ball of wax. There is no “good cry” or ice cream session with their friends. Why? They do it because there is a code. The code says that you don’t eat ice cream, you eat your angst. You don’t have support from your friends, because they are under the code, too, and they will not allow you or themselves to be “less than men.” No, men strive to be Donald Draper! We eat our angst and die early when the poison finally consumes us.

Of course, we do have the exceptions. There are those that cry with friends (usually with female friends or other “less than real men” types). Some join men’s support groups where there is chanting and drumming and “sharing.” However, society at large makes fun of these groups, don’t they? So that, in the long run, is just extra pressure and the “less than real men” label to boot.

Women tend to support men for reaching out and dealing with their emotions. They “respect” that. They just don’t want to “marry” that, do they? Women, with few exceptions, want a “real” man. A man that is always strong that they can feel safe with - a man that does not show his vulnerabilities, eats his angst, and dies early with a healthy pension and life insurance policy.

So, I and the like minded, continue on that path. We would rather die early as a man than live long as something “less.” I was concerned that I may be enlightening some of these men and ending their blissful ignorance. Then I realized that few “real” men read blogs. They would rather be in the garage nailing a couple of pieces of wood together.

As for the females reading this, show a little more compassion today for your dying men. And if you want to argue with me about my assertions here, you have already missed the point.

Connecting to the Past

Life is funny. Sometimes it creates a window to your past. In this window you can see and be connected to a part of your life that you thought was long gone. You can visit the past, but you are just a voyeur. Your life is plainly on YOUR side of the wall.

Sometimes life creates a door to your past. You can actually walk through – be a moving and changing part of it. You can actually complete unfinished business and make not so happy page breaks, into a story with a happy ending.

However, sometimes life only creates a picture of your past that can only be hung on a very secure wall of the present. You can look at it, but you can’t effect it.

It takes wisdom to see what you are actually looking at. Wisdom comes with age, but visiting the past sometimes removes that age-given wisdom. Instead, it takes you back to a pre-wisdom place.

Life isn’t so funny after all.