The Pages Left to Be Written

There are days that I feel old, like, really, old. And there are days where I still feel 25. To frame it up, I am 46 years old and a “pretty much” full time single dad. Lately, the days where I feel old have been far outnumbering the young days and today I found myself staring at my screen at work, I had re-read the same sentence maybe twenty times and realized today is an old day. I don’t want to be old today, I want to be young and indestructible. But, alas, it wasn’t meant to be. Must be the damn pills.

I was recently diagnosed with MDD (Major Depressive Disorder), or, depression, for short. I’m sure I’ve had it for years but it was only recently that I finally went to see someone about it and take some action. I finally have a willingness to make some changes. Maybe it’s because I have two young men that look up to me and I want to be the man they deserve as a father. Maybe it’s because I want to stop pushing away those that love me. Maybe it’s because I’m tired of the self-loathing and paranoia that comes with depression, maybe I finally just removed my head, that was so firmly planted up my ass. Whatever the reason, I went to see someone.

I was so proud to tell my doctor that I had quit alcohol, got back into the gym and lost 20 pounds, and was cutting back on caffeine. I also told him that when I get home at night I hide in my room and the only friends I had on the weekends were the blankets and pillows in my bed, which I had started affectionately referring to as my blanket fort. When I was a kid, we would make elaborate blanket forts and lug in every comic book, flashlight, and snack we could into it and hide away in safety and comfort. My grown up blanket fort is not the same. It is heavy and oppressive, it’s hard to escape from, and while it is comforting, it is also restrictive. Trying to get out of it is like trying to swim through a tunnel underwater while blindfolded and wearing a lead vest.

He gave me something to help with the lows but warned me that the first couple of weeks it was going to intensify my need for the blanket fort and to fight it out. Well hell, I could do that…or so I thought. I’ve been able to function but I’ve also gone off the deep end a couple of times. I’ve tried meditating to calm down and that helps for a little bit but then those haunting thoughts come creeping back in and take over. I neatly folded up and put away the red cape and have asked for help but it still feels like I may need to get the cape out and power through the next few weeks. I’ve thought about going back to some old habits but quickly brushed those thoughts aside because while I may be in the blanket fort, I am not an idiot. That wouldn’t help. So, I meditate, I write, I take long baths with a lone candle burning to keep me company, and I wait.

I wait for the days I feel young to outnumber the days I feel old. I only hope those days come before I am actually old. There is so much time left and so many pages to still write in my book of life and I am, at this very moment, excited and looking forward to filling those pages.

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