How Do You Escape the Grey Mist of Depression? Exercise, Focus, Discipline, Something Else?

The past few days have been tough. Depression has settled over me,  and I’m having trouble with my sleep, moods, focus, etc.

The top is wobbling, and I need to fix it to get it spinning again.

Third year university was a lousy time; far enough in that it’s no longer new and exciting, yet far enough from graduation that the end isn’t in sight.

Add in winter to get a recipe for mental health problems; I was already feeling low when my long term girlfriend and I broke up.

That was the first time I recall experiencing what I call the grey mist. I wasn’t suicidal, I didn’t want to die. I just didn’t care if I did. My exact words (and yes, I remember them to this day, 30+ years later) were:

I don’t care if I wake up tomorrow.

The top was wobbling on the verge of toppling over.

Second term arrived, and I threw myself into my studies. I applied extra effort to my karate training. I spent more time with my social circle.

I didn’t know it at the time, but I was developing the strategies I use to this day to navigate the grey mist of depression.

  • exercise
  • focus
  • accomplishment
  • relationships
  • effort
  • routine

The last few days I have needed them.

The hit I took Saturday got me to reflecting that I’m living on borrowed time. Depression is my constant companion, always lurking in the shadows, looking for a weakness, a point of attack.

Sooner or later, he’s going to get me. But in the meantime, I can keep applying energy to the top. I can keep it spinning, and keep it upright.

Some day I will likely die by my own hand, but not today.