I used to hate-watch the Kardashians. Moaning about their bitching, mocking their trivial (to me) problems. It was unhealthy. No matter what you have on the outside, it can’t make up for what’s missing or twisted on the inside. No matter how good circumstances seem, it doesn’t make up for internal struggles. The grass may be greener on the other side, but you can’t know if it’s real until you walk across it.
DeMar DeRozan is the latest person to remind me of this. The NBA All-Star spoke to the Toronto Star about battling depression. Other professional athletes, such as Royce White and NFL player Brandon Marshall, have gone public about living with mental illnesses.
Whether you’re a casual fan or an NBA addict like myself, we rarely think of professional athletes as human. Especially if you’re a casual fan, the only time you’re exposed to them is watching them play their sport. Maybe a news piece highlighting efforts to give back to the community.
We never think about their feelings when things don’t go their way, like losing. Not that we should, that’s not why most of us watch. But we shouldn’t dismiss their feelings either. Win or lose, players fly on chartered planes, have their warm cars idling at the airport by a team employee and drive home to mansions or luxury condos; but that doesn’t ease the sting of failure. We know that’s not how it works. They didn’t get to that level without holding themselves accountable. Add to that the expectations of people they’ve never met and the weight of exorbitant salaries; that’s enormous pressure. Laura standing over my shoulder while I write makes me uneasy. No one likes to fail, regardless of the stakes. We fear disappointing others more. Professional athletes are human, meaning they deal with the same stressors and problems we do.
Emily moved in with her mom Monday, so we’re empty nesters at 27. I was sad Sunday night, but it never hit me hard. As Monday wore on and I spent the day keeping her out of the way while moving her stuff, the feeling wore off. Like a slow-release capsule, the sadness slowly trickling into my bloodstream. Laura worked from home yesterday, so today is my first full day alone in months. I miss Emily, but I feel refreshed and energized. Laura’s come down with a case of the feels. Before Emily joined us, Laura thought boarding school would be good for our future child. Now she’s in favor of home school.
Living with a 4-year-old taught me a few lessons and reminded me of others:
I don’t have much today. Laura told me I’m being distant again. I’ve felt it. Not nearly as bad as I once was, but there’s enough slippage that she notices. I’ll always go in and out of depressions, but I’m working on not letting them affect my relationships. Communicating them to her helps, but I usually don’t. It’s a challenge, but I’m ready. I know I can do it because of how far I’ve already come (with her help). The first long run I did after being diagnosed, when I first started running, she rode her bike alongside me. I was so pumped because I felt accomplished for the first time in years. In that moment, she told me she hadn’t been sure she would ever get me back. We’ve come a long way.
When it comes to writing, it’s much easier to get stuff done when I relax and don’t get overwhelmed with other things. Focusing on one task is easier (& more efficient) than working on one & worrying about 3 others.
Also, I’m going to change the layout of the site soon. I really want to get rid of the scrolling featured posts on the home page and just have a list of recent posts. That’s how I like seeing blogs, especially new ones I’m checking out for the first time.
I’ll leave you with this song since we’re listening to it in the office.