Emotional Reset

November 19, 2002

I did some emotional resetting this morning. I was working on refactoring some code I wrote several weeks ago and was finding it extremely frustrating. The changes were seemingly impossible to make and I just wanted to throw in the towel and quit. I felt my anger coming up and I wanted to yell at anyone and everyone around me.

My thoughts turned darker and darker and suddenly I realized that I was fantasizing about killing myself. Over a coding problem? Wait a minute... Something else is going on here. It was then I knew that my annual depression had snuck back in and was sitting on me once again.

I immediately called Michele and we talked for a few minutes. Just being able to say to someone I love and trust that I was really feeling my depression and that I felt helpless in its grasp made all the difference in the world. Until I said it out loud to her I was alone with it. There is nothing worse than being depressed, except being depressed and feeling alone at the same time. I am so fortunate to have a partner who hears what I am saying and validates it for me.

After talking to her I felt lighter and more in control. I was able to laugh a little again, and instead of having tunnel vision that only allowed me to see depression and darkness, I was able to broaden my sight to include some light and joy.

My depression is still here. I still feel it, but I am not suffocating under it. The simple act of talking about it with Michele named it and chased it back into its corner for the time being.

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Mark H. Nichols

I am a husband, cellist, code prole, nerd, technologist, and all around good guy living and working in fly-over country. You should follow me on Twitter.