Sometimes, when the pressure of work mounts and everything goes by in a flash, one can’t help but stop in the middle of it all to ask if this is not a raw deal. It is a heady feeling, agreed but still, there’s that niggling feeling that this is not the whole picture.
Towards the end of the year, depression sets in. It is a feeling I cannot explain because one year when I think I have figured it out, it returns the next year in a different form. Only I unmask it in no time to be the same old blues I first noticed in 2003.
So I try to immerse myself in work. I try to dwell on the good things; the 5th birthday celebration of a little girl, the wide-eyed wonder in her eyes as she’s told her day wasn’t forgotten, we were just pulling her leg; the musical laughter of the little people as they go about living their unblemished life.
But there’s always a cloud somewhere and experience has taught me that eventually it rears its head. Something goes wrong; a story doesn’t come off right and the boss is livid, or I come home to find someone not so dandy after all, then the depression sets in.
Those who have studied this kind of thing say 1 in 4 people have some sort of mental illness, we just don’t acknowledge it. Depression is a serious mental disease.
Today I was in court to cover the resentencing of a young man who killed a girl he was infatuated with. He was only 17 when he became a murderer.
As he went by in his green uniform and orange socks and sandals, he flicked his hair out of his eyes and for a split second, I looked into his eyes.
There was defiance and hate. There was a certain bravado in there that indicated he was not altogether empty. But I think I saw mostly a sadness in there.
Even if somehow he is released into the open world; if by some weird chance his defense gets the judicial system to reverse the life sentence he was given, he will never really be happy. He will never be normal again.
And then it comes back to me, this depression. There are many such cases wandering across the face of the world waiting for some fate to put us out of our misery.
Where do we go from here? What do we do with our lives if we choose not to be here in this place at this time? What is the point of all this?
Yesterday, my daughter asked me to play with her but I was too busy. I had to make her bed and I had to prepare a bath for her. I had to take out the trash and I had to finish off a story that was way past deadline.
She cocked her head and looked me in the eye then asked, “So does that mean you are going to work until it is time to go to heaven?”