A Moment in My Life – January 31, 2023
Jeannie Yee Davis
I knew it might happen. I worked all year to prepare for December. I saw the pattern from the previous three years, which led me to believe it might happen again, and it did with a vengeance like no prior year, mind you. I swear each year got a little worse with this last December, the heaviest, deepest dive into the well of darkness than ever.
All year round, every single day, I woke up, and I pumped positivity onto my FB wall, hoping to lift others who awakened in dire need of a pick-me-up or were not quite a happy camper and needed a bit of reinforcement to start the day. Some wanted to jumpstart their day with a smile. We’re all human and need something to smile about each day. I tried to deliver a redeeming, sobering message of hope for everybody who needed, welcomed, and appreciated it. Creating witty captions upon gorgeous skyscapes brought me joy, and sharing them with others cheered me up as much as it did them.
Many people have said that I am always happy and inspiring and the most positive person they know. It’s true. I am optimistic, but it doesn’t always come naturally. Like anything else, I have to work at it. I strive for an uplifting outlook on everything that comes my way, but being human, I live with the trials of mood swings, good days, and bad—waking up on the wrong side of the bed—things not going my way. We must deal with life challenges, disappointments, and people who rub us wrong or intentionally aim to hurt us. There are plenty of unexpected circumstances that throw us into a loop. We deal with come what may and, as challenging as it is, maintain a positive attitude amid adversity.
The unfortunate thing about maintaining a sense of happy is that people assume we are always happy and nothing can penetrate us. They don’t think we may have a bad day. We do, but we don’t show it to avoid spreading negativity. They assume nothing can take us down, which would be fantastic if that were true. I would love to always be in a good mood 24/7. That’s unrealistic, though. It’s human to feel emotions, and it is healthy to verbalize our feelings and not hide them. I am verbal. I’ve voiced when I’m not a happy camper. It’s interesting the response I got. Nobody seemed concerned or fazed by it.
When you’re in the deep dive of depression, it feels like an empty canyon with miles of nothing and nobody around to hear you scream. You are all alone even though smiling people are all around you, but they see nothing, hear nothing, and feel nothing that is clawing at you. You think nobody cares—you feel unloved and alone. Depression does that to you. It spats lie after lie until it buries you under its weight, immobilizing you.
There is nothing lonelier than feeling alone with people all around going about their business, paying you no attention, especially during the holidays. It’s the saddest time of the year for some folks, and it has become that for me. Knowing this, I prepared myself for the darkness, but some challenges must take place no matter what you do. It’s in the cards. I will keep trying to beat the odds. I don’t want to relive this past December when it felt like the world turned against me.
When I thought things couldn’t get worse, they did. I had a scary jab in the nose accident in the shower that left me bleeding endlessly. Luckily, I stopped the bleeding, avoiding a trip to ER. As frightening as that incident was, it was just the beginning. A few hours later, an elderly lady didn’t see me and slammed her SUV into my little car, giving me my first fender bender. That incident also rendered my trunk latch unresponsive. Like anybody else, I was screaming, “Enough!” But it wasn’t over yet. My car battery stranded me, luckily, in my garage. Praise God. AAA came to the rescue with a jumpstart. Hallelujah. Two days later, both key fob batteries died. You know you’re going nowhere fast or slow. After replacing the batteries, my car didn’t fire up as expected. What is going on, people? Initially, it was probably the cold temperature. Long story short, the battery gave up its ghost and needed replacing. Enough? Nope. Not yet. Come Christmas Eve, just as everybody closed up shop early for Christmas, my dishwasher broke and flooded my kitchen, destroying my wooden floor. Now, enough? Oh yeah. No kidding. It was enough before any of this happened.
It was bad enough feeling the aloneness, but when challenges like these happen, you can quickly spiral deeper into depression and to the point of no return, but realistically, bite the bullet and fight back. This isn’t true for everyone. Some people may not survive so many ordeals in a short time. I’m a survivor. Take responsibility, and deal with come what may, as you have heard me say.
Regardless of the lousy hand dealt me, I still look for a silver lining in every situation. If you look, you will find, and I did. As depressing as these physical ordeals were, in hindsight, they were what I needed to distract me from my depression. Each incident was traumatic enough and timely spaced to force my attention away from my depression but not so devastating that I couldn’t bounce back from it.
Since I fell into depression the last few years, I thought I could beat it this time, but I couldn’t prepare for any of them. Each depression is unique. Different triggers spiral you into a realm all on their own, meaning I will learn a new lesson next December, which I am not looking forward to, just like no two people can experience the same depression, but it is what it is. This began with Mark’s untimely passing and is something I must work through. Knowing this will happen, I need to guard myself with solid and positive surroundings, which I failed to prepare this time. I started with low self-esteem and exhaustion—both candidates for the devil to make himself at home. Once he enters, he tells you lies that nobody cares. You’re unloved and unworthy to be loved; before long, you’re too weak to fight him, and you believe him. Then your universe collapses.
It’s true. I was all alone during my darkest period, but in hindsight, that was what I needed. I had to search within myself and reassess my life and who I am. I needed to scrutinize everything I was doing to ensure that I was advancing along the right path, and it was a journey I had to take alone. Once I understood this, I no longer felt alone or unloved. God set it up in a way that gave me the space I needed to do this exercise without people influencing me. Once I completed this task, the people stepped back into the picture, wrapping their love around me.
Everything works together for a reason. We are not alone, even when we feel alone. It is sometimes necessary for our good to be alone. Of all unlikely people, I fell into a prolonged depression this December and only found myself a few days ago. It is good to find myself again. It’s a fabulous feeling to feel like me again. I disliked being depressed, but I learned much about myself and restored what I needed. My beautiful little car has a brand-new car battery, a restored trunk latch, new key fob batteries, and my baby is as good as new. I have no permanent damage to my nose. My dishwasher has a replaced valve that will outlast the dishwasher. My floors, well, they are as good as they can be.
Each depression is unique, some worse than others. We should not take it likely. I always recommend people talk to someone and do whatever it takes to get out of the rut. I was verbal about being down in the dumps, but in my case, it didn’t generate conversations, which was perturbing at first, but in the end, I understood it wasn’t what I needed to overcome this plight. I had to go through the motions to learn that, but I survived it a better me. Nobody is beneath depression. Even someone like me, who is always happy, can’t escape it. I am living proof that we are stronger than the devil who tries to trip us up. Try as I did to avoid depression, but I am human, and it can happen to me.