Usually I am a fairly optimistic person. When things are bad, I believe they will get better, and when things are good, I believe they will get even better. But lately I have been really depressed, and what is worse, I have been enjoying it.
There is something to be said for just lying around, doing nothing constructive for a little while.
It’s rather relaxing if you don’t let yourself think about all you should be doing. And whatever you should be doing will still be waiting when you get over the depression. Of course, that can really depress you all over again.
All kidding aside, depression is not something you should play around with. It can be a very dangerous thing. So, when one of my friends said she was really depressed, I began to dispense all kinds of advice to help her get over it. You know, the count your blessings stuff.
In the middle of this Sally Sunshine routine, it occurred to me that I should be listening to myself. But on the other hand, I remember an old story about the man who was crying because he had no shoes.
Someone pointed out another man who had no feet and told him he should be crying for him instead of for himself. The man without shoes thought about it and then replied, “Tomorrow I’ll cry for him. Today I cry for myself.”
Perhaps we should occasionally cry for ourselves.
Then I heard myself tell my depressed friend that she would definitely feel better by early November because we would turn our clocks back and get rid of daylight savings time. I’m glad I was listening because I had really pointed out the cause of my own depression.
Every year about this time depression sets in. But I always forget its coming. I thought this year the cause was probably all the political ads polluting the airways. They started early and seem sicker than ever before. I figured I’d have to wait until after the election to return to my usual optimistic self.
But, that’s not so. I feel better already just knowing that we will get back that hour we lost. I should be completely over my depression.
As a teacher I never really noticed much depression in students around this time of year. But I think that Halloween and the promise of trick or treat probably gave the youngsters something to look forward to, so depression was not an option.
One summer we spent a week in New York with my brother and his family. We were out on their porch one dark night and it was just a little after 8 p.m. … Then I understood why New Yorkers wanted daylight savings time. But I never thought Ohio needed it.
A wise friend told me about the old Indian who said daylight saving time is like cutting six inches off the bottom of the blanket and sewing it onto the top. The blanket isn’t any longer. It seems like it would be simpler to just get up an hour earlier.
In reality that wouldn’t work for me. I have always been more of a night owl than a morning lark. I’d like morning better if it started later.
Next year at this time, when depression begins to set in, I’ll must have to remember it’s an annual occurrence.
AUTHOR’S NOTE This column was first published in the Greenville Daily Advocate Oct. 20, 2004.