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Thursday 6 Oct 2011 (posted Fall 2013 and still editing)

The Fall

Tuesday I had fallen to pieces like I hadn't in a couple of years. Maybe it was that bad last year. This was the sixth year in a row that Fall was weighing heavily upon me. Was it like that before that? I don't think so. Maybe it was a vestige of the dread of starting another school year, the bus rides, the recesses, but I can't remember any pattern before this to support that. While I had my moments occasionally there was nothing so distinctive. Whatever the case it has come to be the feeling of another year ending alone.

A day or two later I wanted to get out and maybe speak a word or two at the bar, the Lynnhaven Pub to be exact, a dive with probably the best beer at the beach and a decent, diverse, and not too divey crowd who are more than welcoming. I wrote an outline of the night when I got home, and will leave it at that:

She Stole Your What!?

The whine of Arcade Fire in the car
poker face
some barely 20 something
couldn't she see
uninterested, but still eyes meeting
she sat next to me
punk'n ale
baseball bores me—the game on the TV she asked about
sparse awkward talk
I spoke to the bartender for a moment
rescued by her friend
she left the bar with some stray guys
out back
comfortably alone
open sky
a sailing ship in the upstairs window
head back
thinking about the girls of summer
dude I really miss you
fucking miss you
totally miss you all the time
awesome Jack
Black couple sat down
nice couple
something stereotypically funky popped up on the jukebox
not quite Brickhouse
dom dom
doum dom dom doum
morrison, but nothing I'd ever heard on the radio
more people
two guys
asking about his girlfriend
we broke up,...
she stole my fish
ha! the night was truly weird
more doors
You cannot petition GOD
one of those guys, the asker, kicking over plastic chairs right behind me
youthful expression
a little shocking but i wasn't very movable
hard tap on my shoulder
just some young guy that found me stranger than all this
striking up conversation
something I wish I could have done at 20 and still find uncomfortable
talking to me can feel like
interrogating someone
American studied film in Canada
music videos
here scoping
i wasn't too concerned
sounded legit enough
he felt the place wasn't as friendly as it was in the summer
back then he had left here with a large group for the beach with a guitar and a song
one good song could be played
he was being
he arced away for another
drink but was soon back
What are you on?
more surprises this evening than expected
nothing but my third beer
never drunk by myself
Why do you look like a man who's about to explode?
bigger WTF?
implode maybe
never dreamed of turning the gun that way
I was enjoying the night
he should have seen me Tuesday
how to explain
she stole my fish
the night was wierd
finished my third and exited the strange stage,
sated on a sudsy surreality.

Sometimes I see a facebook post about Depression asking others to pass it on, but I never have. Now I'm passing it on.

That first notable Fall there were only a couple of close friends that knew I was starting to get professional help on the question of why I wasn't living life anywhere near it's fullest (or rather, semi-professional — weekly sessions with EVMS interns, though I cancelled regularly…I think going every single week would have driven me crazy.) After several months they were gone and never asked about it, and I was on my own. I certainly wasn't easy. Maybe it's just like that damn Cimbalta commercial. "Who does depression hurt? Everyone." It definitely hurt me.

One of those residents let slip, or was good enough to let me know that I should have received help as a young teen. There was nothing in my childhood to really talk about or to get over. But what it didthough I didn't realize it for a long timewas make me very bad at and closed off to relationships of any kind. There was plenty of that falling apart all around me to talk about.

Back then I hardly said more than hello to my good friends in the morning and hardly spoke to anyone else. I was very lucky to have two Crazy, Silly friends who kept me going even when I was no fun to be around, though I didn't tell them about this stuff. Then in spring more than three years later I started coming out of it. I took myself off antidepressants. That was bad timing. A good friend in the cycling community killed himself. No one expected it. I couldn't even pay him the proper sorrow. All I could do was walk behind that church after his service and think that it should have been me.

But I did recover enough so that after three and a half years I stopped the weekly sessions and the anti-depressants. I can't say anything great about the sessions or the drugs, just that as long as I was going I wasn't giving up. One of my "homeworks" was to strike up conversations in the grocery store. That just wasn't going to happen. My own version of that was going out to a bar. I hadn't done that by myself before this, and I wasn't really prepared for it.

Fall of 2012 was different. It came and went without incident. I had a

Am I really depressed? "Real depression isn't being sad when something in your life goes wrong. Real depression is being sad when everything in your life is going right." Ha, I may never know! It's not some French ennui or some vague housewifey thing missing in my life (for a good lecture on too often stereotyped, clinical depression listen to Kevin Breel). I know what I'm missing. I'm just having a hard time believing it's out there any more and I'm tired of looking, or maybe I just can't feel enough any more. I'm trying not to become the stereotype of the introvert.

Tuesday 17 Dec 2013 : Rides like this have kept me going at times this fall. Solstice just a few days away...
cyclocross ride along the shore with Baldy from 43rd Street past 89th

To be clear I wasn't diagnosed with anything grand, not even Depression as the medical profession defines it. Seasonal affective disorder? EBV, CMV or other viruses? Life! Who knows. Thankfully past those worst days.

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