Thursday, 8 July 2010

A brush with an old foe

    Depression never really leaves you, once you've had it. Sure it'll die down if you get lucky and figure out its trigger before it claims you, but like the Hampster Dance, once you've seen it you can never quite forget its tune no matter how much you might like to.
    I've had a short sharp shock from my old foe this week. I know exactly why, the prospect of a difficult meeting with a customer yesterday afternoon stressed me and sent me spiralling into a hell of a state for a couple of days. It's a crazy thing to have happen, because the rational part of you can see it unfolding and say as a spectator "I know what's going on here, this is crazy, stop it!", even though there's as much chance of that happening as the Hand of God helping an Argentinian goalkeeper save a German shot. Yesterday lunchtime was spent preparing with an extended version of my usual power walk, nearly five miles at breathless pace up the hill, down into the village, along the railway and back up to the office. Exercise and plenty of distractions are good depression therapy.
    The really crazy thing was, the expected confrontation failed to materialise. The customer's anger was muted once his misunderstanding was corrected and we had a cordial and constructive meeting. There was even the promise of further business! And my depression melted away as though it had never been, leaving me feeling rather stupid.
    I can't help feeling worried by the whole experience though. The only time I have ever felt my wife becoming disconnected from me was when I was at the height of my depression, I could so easily have lost her then so I recognise that in terms of my marriage it's the depression not the gender issues that form the biggest threat. To feel a stab from my old foe once more after I thought I'd beaten it is unsettling to say the least.
    While out on my power walk I did have the good fortune to pass a cherry tree I had been unaware of, laden at this time of year with ripe fruit, sour hedgerow cherries rather than the sweet variety from the supermarket. Enough for both me and the birds, though in deference to my customer I didn't linger for too long. Too much ripe fruit just before a meeting can have such unfortunate consequences!


  1. My power walks are the only thing I miss about not working any longer. The chemical plant I used to work at was the company's largest in the world, so a walk around the perimeter was close to five miles. I did it every day as long as it wasn't raining, and it kept me in great shape. I tried to maintain that distance here at home when I retired, but too many people around here allow their dogs to run free. Some of them are quite friendly and love to just tag along with you, but others are extremely territorial and run out into the road to confront you. There are few things more terrifying, than a full grown German Shepard standing just inches away from your private parts, and angrily barking his head off. Of course when this happens, their owners are never anywhere in sight. Another neighbor has three little dogs, and they all came barking and nipping at my heels whenever they saw me. Now I just stick to my stationary bike. It's a good work out, but more time is required to get the same calorie burn, so unfortunately the waistline has expanded some.

    Anyone who has ever suffered a bout with severe depression, can readily sympathize with your feelings. So glad to hear your latest onset just faded away once the stress over your client was removed.

    Melissa XX

  2. I am glad it wasent as bad as you expected.
    I am often guilty of letting my imagination run at 100 miles an hour. Most the time it is not as bad as we expect.

  3. Thanks both. The way it can arrive unbidden, be so vicious and then leave so quickly leaves you feeling rather foolish afterwards, doesn't it.

    Melissa, I can sympathise with your experiences with dogs, they're a hazard here too. Though I don't have a dog of my own I like dogs and greatly enjoy exercising my mother's mutt. (Thou shalt not covet Lisa's lovely dog! :) )I seem to be the only person I meet who knows what a lead is though.