I Spent the Year Preparing for an Inevitable Fall Battle With Depression

As I spend more time reflecting upon my battles with depression, patterns have emerged. One such pattern is the kids’ returns to school acting as a trigger, and last year, the Tuesday after Labour Day, I began my fall into one of the deepest depressive spirals of my life. It lasted 3 months, and almost ended with me taking a stroll into transport truck traffic.

Another trigger is failing to achieve a goal, whatever it might be.

As the summer waned, I was facing the inevitable post mortem, in which I would see look back on all of the things I failed to accomplish. All of the things I planned to so, set out to do, but simply didn’t do. In other words, multiple failures, multiple depression triggers, all alongside the biggie of the return to school.

But, as Kelly Bundy once said, “To be forewarned is to have four arms.” Knowing what was coming, I had the foreknowledge to build a line of defense.

  • better sleep
  • exercise
  • daily affirmations
  • a mindset shift

What mindset shift? I knew the list of uncompleted tasks would weigh on me, so, like the electron, I changed how I looked at them.

If I didn’t to do them while I was trying to do them, that is failure. But, what if I changed the outlook to:

I will pause my tasks for now, while focusing on spending time with the kids and when the boys go back to school, I will return to those tasks.

Now the failure trigger is pushed into the future, and in focusing August on the boys, the trigger of, “I didn’t spend enough time the kids while I was selfishly pursuing my own goals” is eliminated.

The toughest battle is an attack on a prepared defense, so I prepared a defense.

So far, the depression’s attack has failed.

Video version here.