Chapter 3: It’s A Trip

SADNESS VS THE SICKNESS THAT IS DEPRESSION…

My anxiety was bad, but in the grand scheme of things, for me, it was a roadside stop for lunch on the highway to depression. As horrible as it was, anxiety was just the precursor for what was to come. It was a scary clap of thunder before the full force of the storm. Anxiety attacks led me into health anxiety. Health Anxiety led me into Depression. Depression sucked more than I could ever have imagined.

I don’t exactly remember if it was the end of December or the beginning of January. Things are a bit of a blur. At some point, instead of waking up with the physiological sensation of anxiety, I awoke feeling overwhelmingly sad. Sad to the pit of my stomach. Don’t want to get out of bed type sad. Curled-up in fetal-position under the duvet crying type sad.

At first, I thought the feeling would pass. Perhaps I could talk my way out of it? Maybe talking it through with my wife would help? Nope. My depression was powerful and mean. At this stage, I was not ready to accept that I was depressed. I was sad and this would go away. I was not one of ‘those’ people – the ones who get depressed! I was a happy person who didn’t let himself get stressed about things. Don’t call me depressed!

“The truth is that I was depressed and depression was like a magnet for negative thoughts.”

The truth is that I was depressed and depression was like a magnet for negative thoughts. At first I would awake with just the feeling of intense sadness, no thoughts attached. Everything on paper was great. I had a beautiful, caring wife. My two children were more precious and rewarding than I could have ever dreamed of. My career in teaching was going well. I had a lovely home and lots of hobbies that I enjoyed. I’d grown up with a wonderful family and married into another equally wonderful family in Canada. Why should I feel sad? But the magnet was powerful. It repelled all the good stuff and attracted negativity. Past mistakes were dragged from the depths of long-term memory and brought into the present day, loud and clear. Everything that I’d ever disliked about myself was being screamed back at me in a way that was both convincing and real. I was feeling the most intense misery of my life.

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