A vicious cycle

Depression is a symbiotic force living within a realm without context. I wish I could push through it but that’s not how things work.
Photo by Daniele Levis Pelusi on Unsplash

I don’t know how to describe it best other than I’m feeling off lately. No, this isn’t a continuation of my sentiments on my birthday. Sure, death still bothers me and it’s eating away at the back of my mind. But, rather than just reflecting on becoming a year older, this continuously hits me and waves and hasn’t stopped since it began in early adolescence.

I’m depressed.

I know it’s a simple concept and everyone has their own problems. Some are far worse off than I am and, of course, I appreciate that. Nevertheless, I feel hollow. I feel fatigued. I feel like a drain, a waste of blood and organs. I feel like a nuisance. The screams inside are muted, even if everyone knows I’m never at a loss for words.

This isn’t out of the ordinary and it happens quite often. I wish I could find a way to push through it but that’s not how things work. Depression is a symbiotic force living within a realm without context. Sure, preparing for when these waves come certainly makes the storm easier to handle. But trying to fight it can leave me listless, unhappy and even more fatigued than I typically am.

By the time you read this, I’m still pushing and the advent of therapy is giving me the toolkit to work through things at my own pace. That toolkit has been great in helping me find the energy to carry myself through the day. I find celebration in small victories, which can be as simple as making my bed or doing something fulfilling. Lately, it’s been practicing my golf swing or gardening or trying to improve my hand at photography. It’s not much but helps me push through this wave I’m riding. Well, it helps with some of it.

Finding small victories or instant gratification helps but doesn’t hush all the negative intrusive thoughts in my head. Perhaps my depression and generalized anxiety don’t mix nicely with my obsessive-compulsive nature. However, the intrusive thoughts are there and, to be frank, are amplified when I find myself in this place. The more energy I expend trying to silence one, the stronger the others become. It’s a vicious cycle and affects my day-to-day more than I care to admit.

The cycle can feel like a glass of water that’s slightly filled over the brim. Some days, there’s enough surface tension to keep things from spilling over the brim. Unfortunately, the vicious cycle can create enough ripples that my depression spills over. It soaks into anything and everything I do and throws me into my current state.

I fear I’m not a strong enough partner to shoulder what’s expected of me in a relationship. I worry I’m failing friends and associates by not being present enough or giving as much as I can to support them. I feel distressed and uneasy that my friends and colleagues at work don’t like me as vain as that may sound. I feel like I’m on an island and the tide is closing in some days. Maybe it’s the nature of being the only person producing content on Right Down Euclid.

I don’t want to fail the people who support this website, the newsletter or my general work financially. This cycle also makes me question whether people care about my work. Everything I produce is free and independent and needs financial backing to flow. Again, so many of you do, but for those who don’t – Do you hate it? Do you hate me? What is it?

These questions make me lose sleep and force me to keep pushing to produce content I hope everyone enjoys. The vicious cycle of my depression is burning my candle at both ends but amidst the chaos, I’m finding a way to live in it. I’ll face the crowd and bleed for them while telling myself I am enough, hopefully loudly enough to drown out the invasive opinions.

There isn’t a linear path to finding happiness when you’re stuck in a quagmire of melancholy. To my friends reading this: I’m sorry if I’ve seemed off lately and I hope this clarifies things. To my audience and supporters: thank you for making Right Down Euclid awesome and I hope to keep earning your support.

I’m not sure what the point of this was other than to vent a bit and remind everyone to be generous. Be kind to people because you never know how much they might need it or how far it’ll go. I can assure you that it helps me immensely, especially when I’m in a mental state like this. Sure, it doesn’t magically solve everything. Depression doesn’t work like that. But it helps me feel like I can remain afloat and quells the vicious cycle for a little bit.

Evan Dammarell is a sports journalist covering all things Cleveland right off the shores of Lake Erie. Follow him on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram. You can also email him at [email protected] He can also be found three to five times weekly on Locked On Cavs, a part of the Locked On Podcast Network.

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1 thought on “A vicious cycle”

  1. Your thoughtfulness and acuity–both of which make you a hell of a journalist and an ally to the left–can be a double-edged sword.

    The negatives don’t go away but we find and nurture the reasons for pushing onward. It often becomes easier with time and experience.

    The reality is that there’s no reasonable alternative to doing the best we can, which it seems like you’re doing.

    I’m pretty new but I love your stuff. I’ll try to do my part so that you can keep doing what you’re great at. Keep it up, brother.

    Cavs NBA Champs 202X!

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