Posted in A Moment in My Life

“Is It Any Wonder?”

A Moment in My Life – November 16, 2023

Jeannie Yee Davis

It just dawned on me. It’s that time of year again. Yipers. I saw the patterns for four years straight. I tried hard to outsmart the circumstances and prevent them from recurring. Did I succeed? Heck no. Try as I might, it worsens with each year. The first year, it lasted two days. I thought that was bad. It was bad enough that I ensured it wouldn’t happen the following year. Ugh. Again, I couldn’t stop it. The next year, it lasted twice as long but eventually passed. The following year, a whole week, people! I thought that was horrible, but it turned out to be nothing because last year was Armageddon spiraling into the Abyss from sometime in November, and like fish, stunk through January to early February. As sure as the holidays came, so did depression, but I did not see the severity of that last one until it was too late.

Each year, I had a game plan put into action, but what did I know about depression? Sure, I had good days and bad ones, but depressed for a length of time? No, not me. I strive to live on the “positive” and “happy” side of the mountain. I feel for those on the other side and every day, I attempt to deliver a positive message to uplift those folks, but then, one fateful day in December 2019, a gremlin crossed the line and got me. What this tells me is that depression is indiscriminate. It can grab hold of anyone.

The only thing I know about depression is that it makes sense that people with a weakened immunity could fall prey to it. The world looks bleaker when we are tired, hungry, or ill. Being a one-woman act, juggling different hats, and never getting enough sleep made me a perfect target. That much I knew.

So, my game plan each year included getting more rest and taking better care of myself ahead of the bull’s eye. The first year, I also took a break from social media for a couple of days. It was refreshing, but it was a Band-Aid and did not fix the problem. Each year, I tried a version of this game plan. I was so clever being a step ahead by taking better care of my wellness and quieting the noise, but last year required major surgery, not just a Band-Aid.

Since nothing I did in the prior years solved the problem, yesteryear, I shut the world out to completely quiet the noise to reassess what was working and what wasn’t. At the time, social media, especially Facebook, was like heavy metal music between my ears; I needed to turn it off. I was so involved in Facebook that it felt like a high-stress, full-time unpaid job that ate up all my time, resources, and wellness. At least with a job, I left work at the end of the day, whereas Facebook was on call 24/7. I had too many voices coming at me from different platforms. I was alone but never alone, and that ripped at me. Sprinkle in some toxic relationships too close to home to spice things up when you have a sensitive palate—it’s torture.

As I listened to “Is It Any Wonder,” a song sung by Durand Jones & The Indications, the lyrics felt personal and haunting—they were—short, simple, and quite catchy. You can’t help but sing along to the soulful ballad that is moody and beautiful. For most people, it ends there. For me, the words grab me like a freshly sharpened sword, reopening the unresolved questions that I might never get answered. The singer ponders the profound path, questioning the complications of relationships sealed with intense feelings and emotions of longing and reassurance. It hit home for me—the core of my problem—unrequited expectations. Is it any wonder I fell into the Abyss and couldn’t climb out? Is it any wonder that I can’t change a darn thing? At the time, it felt like nobody cared, but the truth was, nobody knew what I was going through. How could they? I didn’t know. Is it any wonder it’s become an annual affair?

I made significant changes during last year’s reassessment. It was a necessary and insightful exercise where I offloaded the toxic relationships and activities that served no value but only created stress. As this winter approaches, what else could I do to prevent a reenactment of last year’s Abyss? I did considerable housecleaning, so what else was left? That question stressed me out because the answer was “nothing!” I emptied the toxic waste bin and had a pleasant year. What more can I ask? I’m all out of ideas. Yet, four years in the making, I landed in depression that worsened each year, which added to my fear of falling prey again. 

Suddenly, my eyes opened. I may be overthinking it. This year, I’ll be okay because I removed the harmful poisons from my life, picked up the broken pieces, and mended them. I’m feeling hopeful. It’s already mid-November, and I am well, strong, and feeling good. This year may be different, but it might be too soon to tell. Then, it dawned on me the real culprit here is Satan, trying to trip me up, stirring the pot—telling me lies. I believed him in my vulnerable state, but I’ll always have unrequited expectations because it is what it is and always will be. Nobody sees things eye-to-eye. I can’t expect people to respond a certain way. Thus, I will always face disappointments. There is little I can control. All I can do is to make the best of each situation. For starters, when Satan, the father of lies, pushes my buttons, and he knows when and which ones to try, I will tell him, “Go away! You are a liar!” I will repeat this as often as necessary and wear him down. 

My game plan for this year is to continue to form good, healthy habits, plus turn the table on Satan and give him a piece of my mind. It took me a while, but I’m on to him now, and I refuse to give him any more control over me. Then, it’ll be his turn for disappointment, but then, “Is It Any Wonder?”

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