Tuesday, June 12, 2012

"I've Got Your Back"

The date on this archived story says 2006. I was looking through an old file folder of articles and posts that I have on an external hard drive. I remember writing this and I remember who the blogger friend was that sparked the original post. I looked for it in the pages of my blog, but I couldn’t find it. Maybe I never posted it. I just don’t know right now. But I do know that the friend that lifted me up is still around here in 2012, and has been a friend and available for years, to listen, offer advice and speak to me about her own trials and tribulations. We have each other’s back, so to speak.
A sunrise, like in the photo below, is always a good place to start anything. The day starts with the sun and goes on from there. I will start this repost today with a sunrise in hopes that someone might get something out of hearing the revelations about Depression and loneliness. Take what you might need and leave the rest.

Steam rises over the hot spring pools at Crystal Crane Hot Springs, Crane, Oregon, 05/2012

WOW! What a ride! This week is only half over and it’s been filled with so many things happening. The worst was when the week started and I was fighting what I thought was a cold. I went to the hospital emergency room and was tested for Influenza. They said it was negative for flu. Then they tested for Pneumonia with an X-ray and took three vials of blood.
I was sent home with no diagnosis except I must have a bad cold. Monday, I get a letter in the mail from the hospital telling me that I have Influenza and how to deal with it and how long it will stick around. The worst is over. I still have a little cough and I feel pretty run down, but that’s what they said it would be.
Right after those first five days which I was told were the roughest as far as symptoms are concerned, I fell into a pretty bad depressive funk. I felt uneasiness about something, but couldn’t put my finger on it. I was restless. Restless to the point that I was tired and went to bed, but could not fall asleep. I tossed and turned for a couple of hours before I just got up. I watched TV, I went to the computer, I laid down on the sofa then repeated the triangle routine twice more.
As big and fat as I am, I never eat at night. I am not a refrigerator raider. I do all my gorging during daylight hours for some reason. I got through the night without a bite to eat or a lick of sleep. I went to the Black Cat and had a cup of green tea. I’ve replaced most of the cups of coffee with green tea. I got a lot of advice from many friends to drink more green tea. I lasted only twenty minutes there and I returned home and collapsed on the sofa. I did get some rest, for about 2 hours is all. Then, up again, uneasy, restless still.
I kept busy until my four O’Clock commitment to stand in Downtown Ashland at a Peace Vigil. I don’t know what I did, but I had another short nap, less than two hours, before I woke up to get the bundles of clothes wrapped around me before I met the cold wind off Lake Superior.
When the Peace Vigil was over and I got home, I felt much better. I felt relieved. I answered some e-mails and went to a meeting, came home and had a simple supper, watched a little TV then went to bed and slept all night long.
In one of the e-mails from a friend, she sensed my uneasiness and probably the presence of depression within me. She made some quick, to the point suggestions and ended the note with the words, 
“I’ve got your back”. 
She sent me a You Tube of an inspirational song about someone who is telling a friend that they will be there for them when they are needed. She sent me Simon and Garfunkel’s “Bridge Over Troubled Waters”
When you're weary, feeling small,
When tears are in your eyes, I will dry them all;
Im on your side. when times get rough
And friends just cant be found,
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will lay me down.
“I’ve  got your back.” 
What a powerful statement. In Vietnam we’d say that to each other as we pissed by a tree or anytime one’s rear end was exposed, figuratively or literally. When I thought about this simple phrase, and the writers ease in which she stated it, I began to think.
When I was feeling low and depression was keeping me from normal brain function, I laid there in my funk. I was hopeless, powerless. I accepted my condition and did little to try to change it. I had tools. I knew what dialogue should have been going through my head, but it wasn’t happening. I stayed in the funk. I reached out to a select few of my friends and in a round about way asked for help, but the real agenda was hidden within me. Other friends caught the brunt of my wrath as I misconstrued what they said as an attack on me personally.
When I read, “I got your back.”, I was so overwhelmed with warmth from a friendly cyber voice that I realized that there are others in the world that have my back. I began to think about my Grand kids. The new born allows me to hold her in my arms. My spirit melts when I am able to do so. The other three all put their arms out and slam into any part of me that is in front of them and they hold me. They have my “back” in their arms and their hearts. My daughters, my wife. Some friends, too. Each of these experiences, at one time or another, has shown me or proven to me that there are others that love me and will have my back if I was in danger of anything, or simply needed a hug or an ear to talk to.
Why do we let our mind overtake the power that each of us has, power of thinking that can transform our depressive thoughts into positive joyful ones, to end the suffering? I don’t know. Thinking positive can help us get rid of the negative without so much struggle and suffering, but we must learn to think this way as a normal way of thinking of things. For those suffering with depression from whatever, positive thought is the best antidote for the evil demons that talk to you in your head. My problem is I just don’t know how to start doing it. I’m powerless.
I went to a friend’s Blogsite today. She wrote about Depression and BiPolar disorder and how it might make a person act and think. She hit it dead on. I realized then that I’m not alone in this. Others have problems, too. Others have taken the challenge and deal with the same demons and have had some success in keeping them at bay.
I’m not alone like I think I am. I’m not a wretch. The only one who gets drained of energy is me. It doesn’t have to happen if you steady your brain and accept the truth. You know the truth. Use it. Tell yourself the truth. Don’t let the lies eat away at you by believing yourself, believing that no-one cares or that there are no friends.
Lesson learned. With a little help from my friends. Which, by the way, is another good song.
Bridge Over Troubled Waters
Paul Simon Art Garfunkel 1969
When you're weary, feeling small,
When tears are in your eyes, I will dry them all;
Im on your side. when times get rough
And friends just cant be found,
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will lay me down.
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will lay me down.
When you're down and out,
When you're on the street,
When evening falls so hard
I will comfort you.
Ill take your part.
When darkness comes
And pains is all around,
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will lay me down.
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will lay me down.
Sail on silvergirl,
Sail on by.
Your time has come to shine.
All your dreams are on their way.
See how they shine.
If you need a friend
Im sailing right behind.
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will ease your mind.


Jeannie said...

I always did love that song and sometimes I sing it in the car.

We all get the blues I guess - some more than others. It certainly is nice to feel that someone has your back when you get low.

Mel said...

I've no doubt..... Depression is a silent one and it just sort of creeps up on you before you realize it's there. Getting by with a little help from your friends has been one of those things I've come to understand is required........but depression will tell you otherwise.

You've got lovely people behind you, with you and beside you. It's nice to know that you never need walk through any of that stuff alone, eh?
Of course, depression will tell you otherwise...but we're NOT listening to depression cuz it lies. :-/

Yup.....as much as I loved Bridge Over Troubled Waters onceuponatime, it's the Beetles song that'll be stuck in my brain for the rest of the evening.
I'm thinkin' that's okay....I apparently needed the reminder!

Keep thinking positive, sir! It looks way better on ya!!

Kim Mailhot said...

Having been the one who needed a friend who had my back, and also the loyal one who protected the back of dear friends, I know deeply how precious a gift this is.
So grateful for friends, in good times and in bad.
Peace to you, my Friend.

Pamela said...

Joe, creator gave you a good true voice and it's an inspiring pleasure to listen. it's not easy to navigate the difficult, uncomfortable things you sometimes write about but you do it with such simple clarity and gentleness. honored to call you my friend. you've watch my back a time or two or three and we are here for you and yourn. peace my friend.

Fallingladies said...

I was just singing(loudly and badly) to this song in my car today!