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My May Depression

Part 8 of 15 in a series:

Turns out the characters for urusai (“annoying”) are “May” and “fly”.

Why these characters, I wonder. Is it because the flies in May are annoying?

While I pondered this the other day at work, a fly landed on some sheet music I was holding. This happens all the time, and even though I really feel like letting out a scream, it stops in my throat. I simply loathe bugs.

To be clear, my loathing is not of the “Eww, a bug!” type. For me, it’s beyond that, and closer to a paralyzing fear.

Ah, bug season has once again arrived…. Thinking about the coming warmer days and the appearance of more and more bugs leaves me depressed.

Today’s topic is “My May Depression”, but in my case the I-don’t-want-to-go-to-school doldrums can’t compare to the way-too-many-bugs blues, so the latter is my brand of May Depression.

By the time June rolls around I’ve given up, however. All that’s left is to wait quietly for summer to end.

Life is crammed to the gills with depressing things, both big and small. But the unavoidable aspect of those things is what makes them depressing, right? Eventually a time comes when you have to face them, and because no way around them exists, depression sets in.

I think this is why this emotion is so grueling. It’s terribly stressful. There are times when I’m so depressed I can’t take it. Times I truly feel I can’t go on. Times when I wonder which is worse: how I’m feeling now, or childbirth.

In times like these I do one of several things. Number one: avoiding reality.

Naturally this is easiest method. But it can’t last for long, and I know in my heart it won’t solve anything, so it leaves only an assaulting emptiness afterward. In the end there’s a chance it will turn into self-loathing, so it’s quite risky.

Number two: venting.

In my case, I’ll find someone willing to listen to my gripes, or channel my frustration into hitting baseballs at the local batting center. Or I’ll wash it all out with my tears.

Number three: positive thinking.

The healthiest and most sincere pattern. I focus on trying as hard as I can to reach this point, but in a particularly blue funk this it seems unreachable. Here’s what I’ve learned: the things you can’t bear to think about, often end up being surprisingly rewarding. It’s somewhat ungrounded, but I have faith in this philosophy.

For example, a party you thought would be lame actually turns out to be fun, you meet some great people, and you enjoy some wonderful food.

I make it a point to think this way as much as possible when I’m hounded by depression, and to convince myself that even the worst moments hold something for me.

In fact, as I think about my life so far, this has held true most of the time.

A mind ready to learn can learn from anything. Everyday life is not all roses, but I believe the will to learn in this way can at least make you a better person.

I don’t have it all figured out, and I can’t always put this into practice, but I think it’s vital to realize that fact, even if it’s ten years down the road.

One more thing.

When you feel depressed or down, what kind of music do you feel like listening to? In times like that I feel like immersing myself in sad songs. Sometimes destructive or masochistic music. I don’t know if it’s because encouraging songs end up putting pressure on me, but for some reason they get on my nerves. Maybe that’s just because I’m not honest with myself.

On the other hand, when I’m in a great mood I feel like listening as much as I can to breezy, energetic music.

Now that I think about it, music is what spurs on my sadness and joy, determination and despair, and every mood in between. This ability to not only give rise to emotions but also to expand upon them in a more concrete way is music’s charm.

Ever since I began to sing and write my own music, I’ve been fascinated to think that perhaps my songs are in someone else’s ears and expanding upon their emotions.


Part 8 of 15 in a series: