I woke up 45 minutes ago after only having slept about five hours. A good night’s sleep has escaped me for years, but lately has been more evasive than ever.
That’s a “depressor.”
One of the definitions of “depressor,” acording to our friends at Merriam-Webster, is “a device for pressing down or aside.”
My brain is dyslexic, artistic and, some would say, mildly eccentric, so if you throw lack of sleep into the mix, my mind can go to some pretty weird places, especially during times of extreme fatigue.
When I woke up today, my brain, for some bizarre reason, thought of a tongue depressor. “Depressor,” I mused. “Now there’s a strange word. DEPRESSOR. Something that pushes or holds down.”
My next thought was, “What are my depressors? What depresses my spirit?”
I align myself with the school of thought which defines “soul” as “the part of a person which carries on into eternity, and can only be released upon death.”
SPIRIT, on the other hand, is defined as “our attitude, emotions, feelings, likes, dislikes and overall mood.”
So what are my “spirit depressors?”
This is different for everyone, but since this is my blog, I can only speak to mine. “What,” says I to myself, “drags your spirit down?”
The music of Nirvana, for one. Despite the fact that my primary music loves are folk music, worship music, 70s rock, and heavy metal, I love Nirvana. It’s mysterious and depressing, and even more fascinating, in a dark and twisted way, because the lead singer committed suicide.
Yeah, too dark for me. It brings me down. So when Nirvana comes on the radio, you’ll see me singing along happily.
At the top of my lungs I’m singing, “I like it, I’m not gonna crack / I miss you, I’m not gonna crack / I love you, I’m not gonna crack / I killed you, I’m not gonna craaaaack.” (From “Lithium,” © 1992)
But I don’t listen to full albums anymore. As my depression grew worse over the years, I found it necessary for my emotional–and thus my VERY–survival to distance myself from that which brings me down.
Slasher and horror movies are something else which brings a dark cloud over my spirit. I still love a good thriller, and will OCCASIONALLY partake in darker movies, but not on a regular basis.
Stephen King books are another depressor for me. I LOVE them, mind you, and he’s one of the best writers in the world. Furthermore, his book, On Writing, has been invaluable to me as a writer. I just can’t read his fiction stuff anymore.
Depressors, i.e. stuff that brings down the spirit.
If you struggle with depression, it may be time to take stock of YOUR depressors.
I was in the midst of a severe bout of depression a few years ago, and suddenly looked around me.
On my bedside table lay a Nirvana album and a couple horror DVDs. On the floor, the latest Stephen King novel. “Geez,” I thought, “no wonder I’m so freaking depressed, man.”
What are your depressors? If you long to survive, as I do, it may be necessary for you to take stock, and then distance yourself from them. This may include, but is limited to, your favorite band, a certain genre of entertainment, or…gulp…even, dare I say, a friend or acquaintance.
Antonyms (opposite) of “depressor” are words such as “cheerer, comforter, amuser, brightener, uplifter and encourager.”
Figure out what cheers you up, and chase after it. For me, it’s dates with my wife, daddy-daughter movies, watching “guy movies” and going to concerts with my son, hanging out with my grandkids, and especially, worship at church.
Maybe it’s time you let go of what is dragging you down, and seek that which lifts you up.
Just a thought. This is just another of my “survival tips.”