Family, Self

Dad Confession: I Worry My Baby Can Tell I'm Depressed

My blues come on like a lot of people's probably. Slow, like cars poking around Christmas lots, far from the store doors, just looking for any damn spot they can find. Eventually they find one and park and that's when I have to just deal with it all. I'm not complaining. I eat my Zoloft and plow through my days, trying to be the best dad I can be without ever dangling my blues in front of her. But there are times when I wonder whether she can tell. People smell other people's burdens. And little kids? I get the feeling they are sniffing stuff out long before they could dream of explaining it to you. It's just a vibe, a couple of pink or grey clouds rolling slow across the living room ceiling.

And I know this, too: kids love you so much (just like you love them), and if they could slice off a fat wad of your blues and just deal with it themselves, I bet they would. But it isn't that simple.

Time f*cks with you like nothing else. Good, wise people all over the place surprise us when they show up with new obvious sheens on their skin. Noses get rearranged on purpose. Grown men go out to bars wearing Ed Hardy shirts, believing they've found a little time-slowing secret, if only for a couple of hours. But its all useless. Inside of you, clocks are ticking and they don't care about your hide or your outfits. You're just an hourglass marching around, wondering if people like how you look. You're just doing your best to find your own little ways to deal with your own little blues.

Me, I haven't had any plastic surgery yet. And I own less clothes now than I ever have in my life. If you were to watch me from behind trees for a week, you'd wonder why this guy never changes out of his tattered work pants. And that's a fair question. I think it's because I've been battling my blues with some sort of Peasant Power for awhile. I figured less was more. I started reading about North Korea a lot in an effort to see how people in that country get through their days. Because they must know blues, right? But I don't find that much intel; it seems like no matter how bad it gets you either clench your teeth and plow on or you don't. The conditions change drastically, but the mantras not so much.

Satisfaction comes back. It always does with me. And I guess that makes me lucky because, for some people, happiness is always elusive. It comes back because I chase away everything that could possibly keep the blues from bolting out of the dark woods at some point. I chase away old faces, old times. I live in the here and now. Anything that's not forward momentum, I bitch slap away from me.

The sun comes out and I find stuff to get high on. Jelly cheeks. Little trout. Something I was able to write or something some stranger wrote to me. My wife's fat belly and the boy cooking in there. I take a shot of that and before I know it, I'm getting off on something ancient and strong. Tomorrows. There are tons of them lined up like an endless ranch fence, only disappearing over some slight rise so far off you don't even have to worry about it for a long long time.


This article was originally published at Thunder Pie. Reprinted with permission from the author.