I want to share two things with you.
Depression is portable
Unlike what we see in movies and in image searches for “depression” someone who is depressed isn’t necessarily going to sit in a darkened room with their face in their hands for hours. They may not stay in bed all day. They may simply carry this with them, wherever they go, in whatever they do. Because it is portable.
You’ve heard me speak of how I’ve noticed that the happiest people seem to know “what zero is.” On a scale of 0 to 10 of how horrible or great life has been, those that have actually seen zero know what it is. it’s not a hangnail, or traffic, or something like that. It’s something really bad, and so they get that they are having a 7 today, and will probably have a 5, 6 or even 8 tomorrow.
However, these are those that, due to circumstances, occurrences or bad luck just seem to be skating along at a 2, or even a 1. At least that’s how they feel. They interact with others, show up at their job, take care of themselves—but the joy is elusive. They are stuck at the 2 or 1. It may not be a question of money, or power, or health. It’s simply an emptiness and a lack of validation*.
If you don’t quite know what i am talking about, then let me give you a glimpse. Imagine a bad day that you’ve had. You are drained. You’ve given your all to everything and everyone in your life, and it changes nothing. You have no energy, and the thought of “tomorrow is another day” just doesn’t occur, because yesterday it was not. It was the same. You’ve probably had a day or two like that. But what if every day is like that? That’s the baseline of a 2 or a 1.
I am not diagnosing anyone. I am not going through the seven or nine types of depression that are spoken of in the annals of psychology. I’m simply painting a picture for you.
People that are in this place in life are not going to pick up the phone and call you and say, “Hey Greg, I feel pretty down and empty and have felt that way for some time. Let’s talk about it at length!”
They may send you a text, or chat with you normally and when they ask you how you are they may secretly hope that when you return the question they can finally tell you how they feel, and you will listen, and something magical will happen. But it probably won’t. Why? Because they need you to ask them. The ball is in your court and you don’t even know it.
So if you are doing well, is there someone in your life that you haven’t heard from? is there someone who just answers “OK” and then turns the conversation back to you? Is it your friend from college? Or your kid? or even your husband?
Do me a favor and just think about that.
If you are one of the people I have described above who is just going along in life with your Every Day as a 2 or a 1, then know that someone may be aware of it. Someone just might reach out, and hopefully with this podcast you just might get a call now. I’m trying.
Take care of yourselves, and others.
*If you read The Status game II you know of the infinite importance of that word. If you haven’t read it, maybe you should.
The Sword and the Sunflower and Amira make up the Epic Duet. Amira was just released, and The Sword and the Sunflower is now available as an audiobook (audible, Apple, Google, Your Local Library). Check it out.
Mark Bradford developed a system to achieve goals, manage your energy and understand and strengthen your path – it’s Alchemy for Life.
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