A New Season of SAD: Self-Doubt Shows Up

by Bill Brenner on November 5, 2014

In what seemed like seconds after turning the calendar to November, a wave of depression hit me hard. It dogged me through the weekend and it’s with me now. With it comes feelings of self-doubt.

Mood music:

Those who know me see me as a confident man, and most of the time I am. I’ve been through enough to know that with the right attitude and will, things ultimately work out.

I’m usually confident about my workmanship and ability to see through the clutter of life. But in this wave of depression, that part of me has gone missing. I find myself doubting my abilities.

In this state, the things I do wrong seem bigger and more pronounced than the things I do right. It can be paralyzing, but I can only allow it to be that way for a short time.

At work and at home, I have a lot of responsibility. I can’t neglect those responsibilities, no matter how hopeless I feel.

So I do what I’ve always done. I show up and take my best swing.

In the big picture, beyond the depression, I know I do more good than not. The depression is usually temporary, and I know that before long, the positives will look bigger than the negatives.

In real life, the positives ARE bigger than the negatives. But for now, I feel like shit.

I need to get back to using my coping tools — playing guitar every day, setting aside time daily for prayer, and seeing a therapist. Yesterday I found a new therapist, so I’m almost back on track there.

The Christmas season is usually when I feel like this. My goal this time is to make that the season where I emerge from the storm, stronger than ever.

After the Storm by William Bradford: Two sailing ships in a stormy sea

“After the Storm” by William Bradford

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Kevin K November 6, 2014 at 9:52 am

Bill not to state the obvious, but you are so not alone when it comes to depression. Where you have less company is in having the courage to talk about it openly and to not wear it like a stigma. I myself and 5 of my 7 closest family members growing up have suffered from depression as well. Talk about dysfunction! But through treatment and self-honesty and most of all coming alongside each other (and others who suffer from it too), depression can be very livable. It’s definitely a daily commitment tho of recognizing where our depression gets in the way of our thoughts, how it can isolate us from others and then consciously deciding – or should I say consciously battling our self will to decide – to break the pattern and do life differently. I have also found prayer a game-changer in battling stinking-thinking and to recognize with gratitude the little and big things in my daily life that are true blessings. Keep up the fight Bill – thanks for having the courage to open up about this very personal, but all-too common struggle that many of us share. -KK

Jone November 6, 2014 at 2:02 pm

Know it well. Last November my sister texted “The November clouds…bringing in the dark long cold days and nights. This November I texted her first “Can we make it thru another winter?” ….we always do. But, that’s SAD.

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