Depression – This stretch of road is all behind you now…

I Can’t Do This Anymore!

“When you bust through all the layers of brevity and you have shaken all the hands of hope, you can begin to share the depths of despair depression can bring.”

If you are afflicted by or live with someone with severe depression, you’re no stranger to words of despair.  You try to remain stoic while your insides are churning.  Helpless in the moment. Those suffering from depression, they’re gripped by desperate thoughts. And all you can do is to tell them it is going to be OK. Tell them it isn’t going to last.   Tell them they will get better.   Both of you must endure.

Tears may come easy to some, sometimes for no reason.  Depression can often hide behind a smile.  It’s no cliché.  If you have shared a moment or a lifetime with someone who is severely depressed, the eyes are truly the window to their soul.  Looking into the eyes of someone you love, eyes you have seen filled with joy, mischief, love and wonderment; that are suddenly filled with tears, fear, pain and bewilderment, is gut-wrenching.  The only reprieve is an embrace.

Even those closest to one suffering from depression often react with bewilderment, impatience, aggravation, even divisiveness by someone’s sudden onset and deep dive into depression. The problem is there is more than one reality.

Depression is an alternate reality, a place where all that is burdensome or worrisome is amplified tenfold and more.  Those who are afflicted with depression are rolling down a road to nowhere.

There are millions of clinically depressed people who are not normally self-absorbed, who are living productive lives, who are contributing to society, who are contributing to their friends and families, yet live with a profound sadness and who are depressed.  These are people who are suffering from depression, who love life, who love others and who dread the unwelcome, unanticipated, unprovoked; and most disturbing, suffer undeserved moments of despair.

Moments of despair that often metastasize into hours, days, weeks and beyond. Some severely depressed people never make it back, back to living the productive lives they were meant to live.

Those who live, love, are friends with or have a depressed person in their lives need to embrace that person, even when that person doesn’t know or care if you are there.

You have to hold out for a loved one afflicted with depression, let them know you are there without prejudice, without demands and bring a boatload of patience.  Reach out to them, through the tears.  Find them in your embrace.  Welcome them back.  Cherish every moment.

With depression, there’s always a way back.  The fact is, if you can be a severely depressed person and face a severe episode (incident) of depression with defiance and say, “I won’t take this anymore.”  If you can face the feelings of fear and desperation by surrendering to those feelings, letting go, letting those feelings roll over you and believe in yourself its possible you can endure each successive episode until your psyche has put these feelings behind you.

I wrote “This Stretch of Road Is All Behind Me” because I often find people in places where they never want to be.  I believe this stretch of road for those who live with misery, including depression, that road can be behind you.

This stretch of road is all behind me…

No more rolling down this road called misery.
I’m no saint. No savior wannabe.
I’m not here to take a fall.
I’m just here passing through, that’s all.
Cause that road I was headed down,
Placed a hurt on me… a hurt on me.
People bent, people broken.
People’s names left unspoken.
I’m not headed down that road.
No. No. No more.
So I’m taken a turn for right or wrong.
This stretch in the road is all behind me.
My mind, my bed is already made.
There’s no more yesterday’s in my head.
No more yesterday’s hanging over me. Over me.
All I see is ahead of me. Ahead of me…
People bent, people broken.
People’s names left unspoken.
I’m not headed down that road.
No. No. No more.
Hear me now.
There’s no going back! So just don’t go there.
You hear me?
 
10-31-2011
 

Note to readers: There are many roads to a cure for depression. There are also many forks in the road and dead ends, too. Drug therapy is not an exact science. There are many good self-help books, good therapists, effective drugs and other forms of therapy. If the road you take doesn’t work, don’t give up. There are many roads available. Don’settle.

One of the best sites on Depression.

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Lonely Man, You Know Who I Am

Lonely manI originally wrote Lonely Man for a Montel Williams Poetry Contest for MS charity. I think “Lonely Man” epitomizes how many of us feel from time to time. At the same time it pokes some fun at those same self-effacing feelings. The most humorous aspect is that I had to submit the prose to a site called poetry.com.  They sent me a letter, said they selected me for a “coffee table” edition of their next book and wanted me to spend $45.00 for a copy. Can you believe someone would actually fall for something so ludicrous?!  If you’re interested, I am selling  a serious surplus of these limited edition books for 1.99 on eBay!  Here my contribution… j/k

Lonely man, you know who I am. 

You’re a labor of love, hand and glove. 

If you ever want to shoot for the moon,

You’ll need to bring your own silver spoon. 

Your drink is empty, nothing’s on the table.  

Miguel your waiter, sells only by the label. 

So you dance to music that never ends,

And toast bartender Mike, your new best friend. 

You’re anybody who has a story.

You’re the blood and guts, but no glory. 

You’re the play that’s no longer afloat. 

You’re the poem, you never wrote.

Lonely man, you know who I am.  

You’re a labor of love, hand and glove.

Johnny Cochran’s not your deal.

You’ll never win on your appeal. 

You’re the crowd in every room. 

The conversation that always spells doom. 

You’re the fly that’s always unzipped,

The greeting card, that’s always skipped. 

You’ve become the sweat on everyone’s brow. 

You’re the answer to, “No, not now!” 

You’re the best friend you’ll never have. 

You’re the rub, without the salve.

Lonely man, you know who I am. 

Labor of love, fit hand and glove. 

Win the lottery prize in your office pool? 

What are the odds you’ve played the fool!

You’re someone’s smile, without a face. 

You’re the awkward in an embrace.

You’re the gaze behind an empty stare. 

You’re the voice that isn’t there. 

You’re the cold pavement under bare feet. 

You’re the toothless grin that never eats.

So when you dare ask for a slice of life,

You’re the one to brandish a knife. 

And when your chapter is finally read,

You already know what’s been said.

Eyes wide open… Reflections

picasabackgroundEyes wide open… Reflections
In the darkest hours of the night, when sleep should prevail, without prejudice, without mercy, questions pour into my head.
I lie awake and I wonder…
Have I lived well enough to make many friends and fewer enemies?
Do I have the courage to cherish my friends and to vanquish my enemies?
Have I spread enough smiles?
Have I shared enough hugs?
Have I planted enough kisses?
Have I caused enough laughter to earn reciprocity?
Have I studied enough history?
Have I been engaged enough in current affairs?
Have I earned a degree in knowledge?
Is knowledge a benefit?
Is knowledge the revelation of truths, or is knowledge the realizations of falsehoods?
Have I learned from every victory and every folly?
If so, am I a benefactor; more important, am I a teacher?
Today, in this world that reports the past in real time;
I see images of life, in real time, how can I relate?
In time to worry for our future.
Have I focused long enough on the anguished faces, I cannot truly see?
Have I listened hard enough to the desperate voices, I truly cannot hear?
Have I seen enough of their pain, I truly cannot feel?
Have I felt their hunger, I cannot feed?
Have I shared in their grief, I cannot quell?
Have I touched enough people?
Has cuddling become a lost art?
If you learn my darkest secret, will you forgive me?
Will I forgive myself?
Did I stop smoking soon enough to live forever?
How much double churned ice cream is too much?
Will I die and when?
Will it be too soon!  Of course!
Would I fight for my life to the very end?
Out of fear?
Out of courage; for you?
Will I let go?
Can I fall away?
Will you miss me if I’m gone?
Will you miss me when you are alone?
Will you miss me when you are amongst friends.
Will you still be laughing and smiling?
And for how long?
Don’t tell me.
My dog is asleep at my feet.
He has all the answers.
He won’t say, but I finally get it.
It’s not about me.
So now, I can close my eyes…

Another Milestone

It's lonely at the top!

Twenty-three (23) years in the making.

The number 23 certainly doesn’t solicit much sensation. Not like 25 or 50, still a milestone all the same for many businesses, especially today on when we are all on twitter time. 140 characters or less now defines us!

From his book, Lasting Lessons from the Corner Office, Todd G. Buchholtz, quotes a line from a futuristic movie and someone saying, “Where we’re going, we don’t need roads, we just need people made of the right stuff.”

He goes on to say, “One of the statistics out there is that 33 percent of all new businesses fail within the first two years. That number is much higher when you look at the first five years.”

There are a lot of articles, books and blogs out there portraying entrepreneurship in the same sentence with risk, blind luck, or just plain foolish.  Many of the pundits will never know first-hand the emotional roller coaster ride.

Well let me be your Garmin.  I can take you there.

There are hundreds of thousands of small business entrepreneurs that are made of the “right stuff.”  I formed Integra Business Systems, Inc. March 7th, 1988.  Looking back, it was, the most frightening, yet most enjoyable year, I had experienced professionally, for some time.  Funny, since I was unemployed and unemployable.

For more than a year, my corporate headquarters occupied the guest bedroom in the same house we still own and occupy today.  When I look back on how I survived and managed to squeak out a living those first few years I have to say it had to do with confidence and faith in myself and the support of my family.  Yeah, we were scared. I don’t want you to think I’m bragging.  I have never done anything heroic.  I have made sacrifices, but nothing on the same level of a police officer, fireman or soldier.  Tongue in cheek, maybe I have potential?  Maybe in my next life?

As is the case with many small business start-ups, entrepreneurs, I had to liquidate all my savings; then borrow from friends and family to make ends meet.  I borrowed from credit cards, transferred funds from one card to the next, worked the low percentage offers, played the shell game with credit cards.  Yet, I never defaulted on a credit card or a loan.

My experience at NCR Corp. and subsequently at a start-up, North American Business Supply (NABS), operating as a subsidiary of a small bank data-processing company, became invaluable, learning to make something from nothing at all; learning to trust my own instincts, even in the face of overwhelming doubt.

One of the important things I have learned after over 35 years in this business is “don’t burn bridges”.  Often times the organization you dislike the most is composed of people you like the most.  Many of my business associates from my NCR and NABS days kept the faith and helped me build a line of products and services for whom I hold undying loyalty.

Some of the gang outside our offices

In his concluding remarks, Mr. Buchholz observed the CEOs who’s lives he explored all had one thing in common, “At some point they all tumbled into failure and heard trusted friends whisper, “Quit.”

Most small business owners and entrepreneurs will tell you the word “quit” just isn’t in their vocabulary.   And that shapes the American dream after all, does it not?

Follow the link below to visit our new Business Blog, Advancing the Paperless Office to read more about us.

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