If you knew me, you probably don’t even know that I am struggling.
The struggle is real, it’s powerful, but not quite debilitating. Strangely, that has been the problem. It has stayed below the radar since it has not crippled any life-support type systems, although it has always been threatening. Just recently I was reviewing some old journal entries, and I realized that for 10 years I have lived with the struggle dragging me down. 10 years is a long time, quite a long time. The 10 year realization hit me hard, so I need to do something. This brings me to this post today. I need to keep the struggle on the radar, it has a way of slipping off.
What is this struggle? Apathy, lack of focus, lack of direction. A funk (not the ‘strong offensive smell’ definition, the ‘a depressed state of mind’ definition). In some areas, mostly work, I am doing what needs to be done at a basic level. I am not doing it well, and certainly not to the best of my ability. It is all very circular too, so the less I do well at something, the less motivation and direction that I have, causing me to perform even less. A downward spiral.
Many times over the course of this 10 years I have felt this spiral and stopped it, at least temporarily. It has always been only a temporary fix, usually lasting for a few days. The cycle has happened countless times. This temporary fixing can’t continue, it has to end. It sickens me to type this, thinking about how many times I have tried to break free. It get’s me feeling down thinking about it, I have failed so many times. But, I cannot focus on that now, or the spiral will continue. However, I cannot continue to do what I have done. Nothing will change, if I don’t change.
Right now I feel this pressure to start writing here in this entry about my path to a solution. The only problem, I don’t have a solution. I am once again at the place where I have stopped the downward spiral, but it’s pretty much using the same techniques that I always have. So, I have to expect that just like the last 100+ times, it will not last. Why would it last this time, unless I do something different? This brings us to this blog, and you, if you are reading this. I need you. I think my something different is telling you.
I have ‘hidden’ the struggle from most people. First, especially in today’s picture perfect setting of Facebook and Instagram, it doesn’t feel good to reveal problems and issues. Second, it’s just not fun to talk about it. Most of the time, if you are mildly depressed, talking about it is not high on your list. Avoidance and procrastination are usually high on your list. The third reason that I have kept this ‘hidden’ is that it doesn’t affect every part of my life the same. My family life has been affected to a much, much lesser degree. Well, we should probably ask my wife and kids to confirm that, but honestly, they would. My family brings me great joy in life. It feels like it’s a small problem, bringing it up feels like complaining, I should be able to ‘tough out’ something like this. It really is a small problem if you look at one day, but once it’s been going on for over 10 years, what does that make it?
So, when I am sitting down talking to someone, the struggle seems like a small issue. After all, I honestly have it very good in life, and I am surviving. I don’t have any serious issues, like many do have. So, I have been able to go through the motions, and survive, at least at an average level.
I don’t want average, I want life to the fullest*. So here I am, bringing this out. I need help, I need you.
*Life to the fullest – We definitely need to explore what this means. But focusing on me, and always trying to overcome ‘my’ struggle is not it. As I mentioned, I have a good life, and I have a lot to give, it’s time to live up to my potential.