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There's A Reason For All This

© 2013 Scott Strange, Strangely Diabetic and

** This one goes out to my friend Christel who, despite being very short, reminded me why I do this.

The last few months have been pretty smooth, mentally, but probably not in the way you might expect…

Early in the summer, I found myself being very calm, unusually so as a matter of fact. I had been trying to be mindful and here I was, all calm and shit.  I’m thinking “Hey, maybe this is working”. Honestly, I was even complimenting myself for doing a good job on changing how I perceived things.

As time went along, however, the calmness gave way to a total lack of emotion. No anger, happiness, sadness. I hadn’t been truly calm, I was actually slipping into a depression. One that felt different from my previous experiences, it felt much deeper but didn’t worry me or anything. I was literally feeling nothing.

At the same time, something in me started to change. I couldn’t see it then, my depression wouldn’t let me.  Earlier in the year, I had started to fill out a scholarship application for MedX, a couple of times actually. But as I got partway through it, I simply stopped, thinking I didn’t have the drive to complete it, the wish to go nor any hope that I might be selected.

I did, however, apply for the Diabetes Mine Innovation Summit, held just last week, where I was fortunate and selected for a scholarship.  I did this on a whim, not really sure why I did it.  Looking back, I can see the change was starting to take hold and influence my behavior.

As summer progressed I kept trying to apply mindfulness to a lack of emotion (remember mindfulness works by accepting the emotions you are feeling as valid). I never did quite wrap my head around a lack of emotion being a valid emotional state and it took a couple of chats with Morpheus to sort out that I was really depressed and deeply so.

But still, something was changing. I found myself being more conscious of some of those grown-up things people do when they’re not depressed. Worrying about things I didn’t used to and not being bothered by things that used to bother me. Enjoying things a bit started to occur as the depression started to lift a little.

The enjoyment was not the real surprise though, the real surprise came when I realized I was allowing myself to enjoy.

So here I am, once again on the other side of a depressive episode. One that felt different and yielded a different outcome. I wonder if I was, at some unconscious level, trying to reset myself somehow. The lack of emotion proving a stable environment for change within.

All in all, it has been a good summer. Yet I was reluctant to share this story. Looking back, part of me felt a bit ashamed that I had ‘allowed’ myself to become so depressed… again. Maybe I do truly understand that depression will always be around. While that may suck, I think I understand now that depression isn’t my wish,  it is simply my brain not being wired correctly and sometimes those wires get crossed.

Also, as I started to understand these changes that I saw, and continue to see, were real. Real in a sense that they happened without me being conscious of making myself think that way. I found myself grasping at that realization, not wanting to share it at first, not believing it, knowing that depression lies. Also wanting to hold on to this feeling that I was becoming proud of myself for actually accomplishing something real. Something that was important to me.  I had never let myself feel that way before and I didn’t want to share that feeling, keeping it all for myself.

I recently had a thought, one that seemed to glue this whole mess of shards together. Everything happens for a reason. For me, this has nothing to do with religion. It doesn’t mean that I understand what that reason is. It does mean that it will have some effect on me. I will change. It really has to do with faith. Not faith in higher power, but really faith in myself to make it through to the other side.

** Christel, when we chatted over a couple of beers one evening, you reminded me that all parts of our stories are important. And that I am too.  Thank you.

© 2013 Scott Strange, Strangely Diabetic and

  • Mike Hoskins

    This makes me smile, in so many ways. Thanks for writing it, Scott. If nothing else, my friend, I take note of how I probably wouldn’t have made it out from my depression void if it had not been for you sharing what you have here, over time. I am thankful for that every single day. And still, now, with everything you write, I see myself in those words and find myself nodding. Yes, there is a reason – even if we can’t see it or understand it at a particular time, I’m confident that it’s all part of something bigger. Thanks for being who you are and doing what you do.

    • Mike,

      Thanks so much for this, it really means a lot to me. I’m really glad that you are doing better and I know that your support has always helped me, my friend.

  • Shara Bialo

    Thanks for being brave enough to put this out there. Not enough people can do that, and too many people can relate. Glad you’re on the other side and are appreciating yourself!

    • Hi Shara,

      Thanks! One of the side-effect of long term depression, at least for me, was a strongly developed sense of “not giving a damn what anyone thought about me”. I mean, seriously, who could say something about me that I hadn’t already said about myself? I still have that attitude, but the reason has changed. Now it’s more of a “If I’m comfortable doing what I’m doing and I’m not hurting anyone, does it really matter what someone else thinks about it?”

  • scully

    I can always sympathize with your posts from one on and off depressive to another. It’s a tricky mind game depression plays with us. I knew you weren’t yourself all summer long and I’m thankful for your renewed thoughts.

    • Thanks Scully! Yea, I’ve been pretty quiet for quite a while, guess we’ll see where this goes