Archive for May, 2009

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Depression – A Black Hole

May 28, 2009

Nothing is worse then depression. When you feel lost and hopeless; like you are trapped and there is no escape. In these moments my world is dark and cold and all I want to do is sleep … or die. I can picture my lifeless body lying on the floor, pools of blood encircling me.

With this depression comes loneliness and isolation. I don’t want to go anywhere or see anyone. I don’t want to talk on the phone or even to my wife. I just want to retreat into my inner world and curl up in the fetal position, rocking myself like an infant. How I wish I could go back to the innocent days of childhood when I was worry and care free. Even the tiniest responsibility feels overwhelming and the smallest obstacle insurmountable. Worse yet, I am certain there is no one in the world who understands. How could they possibly understand? I am all alone.

I know I have friends and a wife who love me and have listened, but I fear they will grow tired of my overwhelming, unending sadness and abandon me. I can’t stand feeling this way but am powerless to change. I am a prisoner, my arms and legs shackled together like a calf that is hog tied and waiting for slaughter. I am unable to move. Friends can avoid or ignore. For me there is no escape.

Right now I hate life. I hate myself, my job and the world. I feel no joy. I am despondent. I have no mental, physical or emotional energy. I feel as if I have nothing left to give to anyone, even to myself. If I could will away this depression I would in a heartbeat. I would make a deal with the devil himself to feel normal again; to laugh; to sing; to care.

The doctors say this will pass. That this is just a result of burn out, caused by prolonged and excessive stress. Many people confuse stress and being overworked with burn out. They are incredibly wrong, uninformed and naïve. Stress involves too much: too many pressures that demand too much of you. But, you can still manage if you can just get everything under control. Burnout, on the other hand, is about not enough and results in your feeling empty, devoid of motivation, and beyond caring.  It is feeling undervalued, unappreciated and lacking in control. When you are burned out you don’t see any hope for positive change in your situation. The former is drowning in responsibilities and the later is being all dried up. I am all dried up like a dead rotting flower, its petals falling helplessly and unnoticed to the earth.

Right now I don’t see any light at the end of the tunnel. I am hoping, no, praying, that someone pierces that darkness with a pin and let’s the light stream in. In the end it will have to be me. But right now I don’t even have the ability to find the pin, let alone use it to pierce the darkness.

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THE DEATH OF CHIMINGA DOMINGUEZ

May 13, 2009

My dear friend Chiminga Dominguez died recently. She had been despondent and depressed for quite some time. Sadly, most of those who knew her were blind to her pain, even after she spoke up and expressed it several times, both in person and in emails. She reached out to those who said they were her friends; she asked for help; she shared her exhaustion. But few listened. Even fewer heard her soulful cries for help. These so called friends had promised they would help her, only to abandon her when she actually asked. Some even criticized her for asking. That truly broke Chiminga’s heart.

And so, feeling completely helpless, hopeless and abandoned, Chiminga threw herself in front of an Army tank while the people she had come to love and serve watched from the sidelines. As she lay bleeding to death on the hot pavement in the blistering sun, they stood around talking about themselves. No one lifted a finger to save her. No one ran to her side to administer aid. In fact, some simply laughed and said good riddance.

Everyone may not miss Chiminga, but I, for one, will miss her spirit and her soul. She cared more than she should. She gave more than she got with nary a thank you or word of appreciation or gratitude from those from whom she needed it most. In the end, her death is their loss.

May you finally rest in peace my friend.