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

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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.


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