Life Is More Than A Bumper Sticker ~ Late Afternoon Thoughts

On a site I follow daily, they posted about depression as living in the past. There’s a tremendous truth to that…However, those of us living with depression for any length of time also know “the mind is a dangerous place to wander in, unaccompanied – especially at night.” And that depression is more than a bumper sticker.

Over these last few years – you’re welcome to read about it in other posts – I’ve also discovered there’s a huge difference between the “dark night of the soul” and a “dark night”. Tuesday was one of those “nights”.

Duane Townsend (.com)

Duane Townsend (.com)


It’s a feeling of things not being quite right, of emotions that want to come to the forefront for no apparent reason. It’s a soft feeling of dread. A feeling of loneliness that may or may not have roots in reality.

It’s a terrible feeling when you that in your mind there’s no one to call … which is vastly different from the feeling there’s no one who cares

Sometimes, I set the timer and just “let it all hang out”,~ however,  sometimes – such as tonight – it’s more important to do a version of what AA calls fearless moral inventory. I do what I call a version of that because when I’m doing this inventory, I must sit quietly and track back where this is all coming from.


You see for those of us with severe depression, there is no “It will suddenly get better”, “snap out of it, quit being selfish”, “fake it ’till you make it” or “Pray and all will go away as if it had never been”. If such things had worked for me, there wouldn’t be the gash scar on my forehead or the long scar on my neck from the exploratory surgery to see if I’d damaged something after I’d tried to commit suicide.

And I've actually had a couple of these tossed my way ...

And I’ve actually had a couple of these tossed my way …

For those of us with severe depression, it’s a life-long job. And 99% of the time, it’s a job that’s actually quite easy…it’s that 1% which gets really, really difficult and makes even doing the simplest tasks a major undertaking.

And here’s the other “rub” … sometimes when we are going through these “dark night(s)” … it’s highly possible no one will know. We’re awfully good at hiding. There are those we can’t hide from – ourselves and our [don’t judge my term here – there’s a reason for it] higher power, and eventually, one of the two (if not both) will get our attention …

When I was at CRU, they gave us a tool called F.L.A.S.H to instantly check our feelings (which as you know, feelings are neither right NOR wrong – they just are.). F-fearful, L-lethargic, A- angry, S- sad. (not just “down” but sad) and last H-happy. Of course, being the sane adults we all were, we laughed quietly at such a childish idea. Childish until you realize that given the letter – you then must try to identify why. Not necessarily solve it, but identify it ….. Ah, not so childish or easy now, is it ….
So, after – OK, the truth – two days of F,S,S,F,A (FSSFA sounds like a bill from a drunk congressional committee) I can say I’m firmly in the H camp.

This isn’t a call for pats on the back … but rather part of my ongoing attempt to be honest and transparent with others …

We will now resume your regularly scheduled broadcast. 

Erin Go . . . ~ Late Evening Thoughts

To say that last week was interesting would be an understatement. It was a wild, intense and one where a lot was accomplished. Not easily ~ not always with charm ~ not always without some stress. But then the weekend had arrived and I was “good to go.” Little did I know it should have gotten up and gone!

I was especially looking forward to Sunday when someone that I have gotten to know quite well and I were going to have a quick sandwich and coffee at a small streetside cafe and then spend the afternoon exploring Half Price Books. We had arranged to meet at the cafe around 1:30 in the afternoon. This would still give plenty of time for enjoying the book store. Around 10:00 in the morning I began to get text messages and then phone calls changing the time and location of where we were to meet. Finally I told that the place we would meet would be La Strada. (cue mournful music here.) This establishment was an attempt at an upscale Italian restaurant. Fortunately, they managed the upscale and the upscale price part. Unfortunately, (as far as I was concerned) they didn’t manage the food part.

I decided that I would have some dessert and let that be that.
I headed out on the adventure of the day. (cue Psycho violins here.)

When I arrived at the place, I realized even before I got to the door, there had been a change. The place was very noisy…very noisy. I though maybe it was because the windows on the street were open but then as I approached the door I had the reality hit me ~ this was not the case at all.

The upscale restaurant had become (on Sundays) a 21 (barely) and up (barely) party central location. It’s a little hard to remain upscale when all the drinks are being served in plastic glasses – coffee in foam cups!! And the place was packed. I realized that probably 80% of the boys “guy’s” voices hadn’t changed (21??) and NONE of the women’s voiced had progressed beyond grade school. It was as if I were at a Hanna Montana concert that was never going to start.

My friend? He was at the bar trying very hard to get under it – I think. To say that he had been drinking his lunch would have been been an understatement. He had used all the breakfast, dinners AND lunches for three weeks or more. I am now surrounded by people in high-pitched shriek(s) and a very intoxicated friend who is pawing me and giving me bone crushing bear hugs inbetween telling me what I was going to do and asking me for money. Great conversation points there!!

And, of course, Monday was St. Patrick’s Day . . . I found something very interesting and decided to end tonight’s post with these VERY clever cell phone charms from Japan. They are called the 6 stages of drunkenness ~

the first stage is the lecture stage: “Let me tell you something … over and over and over…

The rest and the conclusion tomorrow …

Go Into The Light ~ Early Morning Thoughts

When people aren’t engaging my interest, I get some of my best thinking done on the bus (also in the shower, but that’s for a later post). I’m not sure why, but while traveling along the streets and areas I know quite well, I can let my mind run down all sorts of interesting “pig” trails and byways. Today I was looking back over events of the last four weeks, the last week and the last 24 hours. It was then I realized that I was really looking at what I wanted to call “defining moments.”

Sometimes the phrase is used politically or socially, but I realized I was looking at it from a very personal point of view. Some of the moments have passed, but I also realized I was going to be dealing with defining moments yet to come. This allowed my mind to move toward another term that can be part of defining moments: epiphany.

Epiphany (feeling), a realization or comprehension of the essence or meaning of something or someone
or to be more dictionary about it ~
e·piph·a·ny ĭ-pĭf’ə-nē)n.
1. Epiphany

3. A sudden manifestation of the essence or meaning of something.
4. A comprehension or perception of reality by means of a sudden intuitive realization:

“I experienced an epiphany, a spiritual flash that would change the way I viewed myself
–Frank Maier

Creativity is an instant — a moment when our lives are defined. It’s the moment we touch each other’s lives. And our response to that tiny passing event doesn’t change just us. It changes the world we live in at the same time.
–John Lienhard
The Engines of Our Ingenuity

If only there were a longer time between epiphany and epitaph
–David Glaser

Gratitude bestows reverence, allowing us to encounter everyday epiphanies, those transcendent moments of awe that change forever how we experience life and the world.
— John Milton

It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the ones most responsive to change.
–Charles Darwin

Good judgment comes from experience. Experience comes from bad judgment.
–Jim Horning

In a moment of decision the best thing you can do is the right thing. The worst thing you can do is nothing.
–Theodore Roosevelt

Part of discovering who you are and what you are capable of requires you to reflect upon some of the key moments from your past. We all have experienced “defining moments.” Those moments that define who you are and what you stand for. Those moments that help you create clarity about your life purpose and your life values. Sometimes those moments are in response to life’s challenges. It’s when you rise to the occasion. It’s when you become the person you always wanted to be.
–Mark Susnow

We are a way for the cosmos to know itself”
–Carl Sagan

Ordinary riches can be stolen, real riches cannot. In your soul are infinitely precious things that cannot be taken from you.
–Oscar Wilde

See I’m a dreamer, man, and when I was a cook I’d always work with people who weren’t dreamers. Like, I was cooking at this restaurant and I put a hot dog on the grill and my kitchen manager came over, and he said, “Mitch, put the hot dog up here, in the right hand corner of the grill, so in case you get a whole bunch of orders at once you have all this space available.” See that’s how I knew he wasn’t a dreamer, ’cause the day I give up my dreams is the day I have strategic grill locations. A dreamer has a philosophy: the entire grill is hot!
–Mitch Hedberg