Music, My life

Depressed but happy

I’ve come to realize that I’m depressed. I’m also happy, by and large. It’s an odd combination. I don’t feel bad or sad, I just struggle with motivation to do anything besides hang out with Alicia.

And now she’s gone. Something came up and she suddenly needs to be in Medellรญn, so I took her to the airport yesterday morning, and by just after lunchtime, she was there. We’re hoping she can be back by the end of the month.

In the meantime, I plan to do a lot of work on the house. Last night I was going to get the study ready for painting. I did do a little work, but mostly I sat gloomily in my room. Tonight went better. I mowed the entire lawn (half an acre), ate some dinner, showered, and now I’m watching a Jimi Hendrix biography on a PBS station.

I can’t get enough of Jimi. Incredible skills, gorgeous music, brilliant mind, and apparently desperately insecure. I’ve watched Woodstock and Monterey Pops Festival and a couple of biographies, and would happily watch them again and again. Can you imagine that Monterey crowd, watching this largely unknown musician put on a totally mind-blowing show that culminated with him setting his guitar on fire and beating it to smithereens?

I wonder what it would have been like to see him on stage with Stevie Ray Vaughan. They’re 1 and 2 on my list of great guitarists.

One source of my depression has been my finances. The expenses of weddings, moving, bringing Alicia to the US, buying a house, and setting up our home were already pushing me deep into debt. Then having to replace the septic tank at my Texas lake house early last year, and losing the renters, has been crippling.

Fortunately, we now have a buyer for that house. It’s not a great price, but there’s no realtor involved so no commission to pay. Besides paying off a couple of debts with the equity, I won’t have that mortgage payment each month, and at least can break even. I don’t know if this will ease my depression or not. It’s got to help.

Last week I was in Oklahoma City for a two-day course with colleagues from all over the country. It was great to see them. I played ping-pong with Chinese, Egyptian, Iranian, Filipino, and American guys (won most games but got beat badly a couple of times). I had long talks with former coworkers from Dallas. It was very pleasant.

Apparently part of my depression stems from having no friends here in Tampa. Alicia and I have each other, but no one else, really. In Dallas I was always manic on Sundays when my kids came over. I’ve seen them twice since I moved here. I hope I can visit Dallas sometime this fall to spend time with them and my friends there.

So, boys and girls, having a happy marriage won’t necessarily prevent depression, although it’s a lot better than the alternatives.


37 thoughts on “Depressed but happy

  1. theinfiniterally says:

    1/2 an acre is a big mow. Work is a good salve for depression. So is music.

    As strange as it is to say, I think Jimi might be underrated, at least nowadays. On top of the guitar genius, his songwriting was so creative and his voice so compelling. He wanted to lift people with his music and that really comes through.

    I think being depressed is understandable under the circumstances. I hope you find some way to get out and get involved where you can meet people. Or get a job at Disney World. No one can be depressed at Disney World.

    • Yeah, Jimi was the grounbreaker. Stevie Ray was a whiz-kid on the guitar but a lot of his skills can be traced to Jimi. From what they said in the bio pic, Jimi felt more alive on the stage than anywhere else. He was painfully shy. He had a strong poetic streak and was unbelievably perfectionistic.

      I find theme parks depressing. I wouldn’t want to feel obliged to be cheerful all day long. Crowd wrangling is not my thing. I do need more human interaction, though.

      • theinfiniterally says:

        I’d really like to catch that bio. Or perhaps I have, but there are always distractions around here and I don’t know if I would remember. lol

        Maybe it’s time to look for a guitar teacher. When you do move, you should consider Houston. It’s coastal and not too far from DFW.

        • The humidity and the traffic are enough to keep it off our list. Although now that I look at a map, I could probably live in the northwest and not even have to go into town, based on the location of my agency’s office. Maybe we’ll swing by and take a look sometime.

  2. sunsetdragon says:

    Loved the Jimi Bio too. Have always been a fan o this from the very beginning-fan of his and Janis also.
    Finances will do a number on you and sorry you are going through this.
    Sounds like a lot of adjustments besides finances and hope things turn around for you really quick.

    • Yeah, it was a stressful but happy year in 2012, bringing everything together, and now the stress is mainly financial. It should turn around with the lake house sale, and later this year, the end of child support.

      I hope Ali keeps doing well. I’m glad Tim’s okay. It would be a drag having both of them sick at once. Blessings to you, Ruth, and greetings to the bald guy.

      • sunsetdragon says:

        Ty so very much and Tim is doing ok and his eat infection is better.
        The dementia is progressing but he is a gentle spirit and a joy.
        Blessings to you and Alicia and tc.

  3. Yay for house sales! As an adult, how does one go about making friends? I am not good at that myself. I finally joined a sorority (a grownup one-no keggers) which helped some.

    • In Dallas my best friends were from church, and one guy at work. I didn’t have many, but they were good friends. I think organizations help. My handyman business also helped me interact with people. Here in Tampa we haven’t attended church often, and at work I don’t hang out with anyone. My handyman business is nonexistent here, and Alicia wouldn’t want me out in the evenings even if I had clients. She’s home alone most days. She now has a walking buddy for the mornings. In Medellรญn she has some very close friends.

  4. well then if it survived the neglect I’ve a crate of beans to salvage, the potatoes shall be fine… I’ve a nice corned beef and enough beer to prepare it…and perhaps just enough time to work out tv troubles for mom ๐Ÿ˜€ which will mean that crate of beans will be buttered and almonded…wait, didn’t I choose that as a screen name? better avoid late night coffee though. ๐Ÿ˜€ thanks for the reminder it’s there for us to chose and there are alternatives ๐Ÿ˜€ but waiting for reen bean funk….um ๐Ÿ˜€

    • I grew up having green beans with bacon. We didn’t do almonds. And broccoli was nearly always with cheese. I never do it now, but I should. Alicia does potatoes (the tiny golds) with cheese, too.

  5. I think I know just what you mean by ‘depressed but happy’. I think I know that feeling.
    I share your love of Hendrix and Vaughan. For me, Albert King is the bridge between those two, and is also huge on my playlist.

    • Listened to Albert King with Stevie Ray today. Albert was a guitar genius in his own way. Had a very strange way of tuning and playing; upside down, for one thing, and tuned completely different from the norm. Somehow he made it work. It sounds like he was a mentor to Stevie Ray; he mentioned letting Stevie Ray sit in in Austin when Stevie was a teenager.

      Then I put on a blues event in Tokyo where Albert and BB King both played, and I realized I enjoy BB’s playing even more than Albert’s. Very different styles. BB’s is sweeter.

  6. I know the feeling–except for the happy part. I struggled with lack of motivation for a long time. To get going, I would convince myself that I was about to have guests; crazy, but it motivated me to clean.
    I hope you get over the depressed part soon, and can get on with the happy part.

    • In Dallas, the only reason for cleaning my house was because my kids came over on Sundays. I have a guest coming next weekend, so I’ll keep the house clean now (Alicia did a thorough cleaning before she left).

      It always feels wonderful when Alicia gets back. And it’s nice to hear her voice on the phone a couple of times a day.

  7. You’ve had a lot of transition in your life in the past two years. It’s no wonder you feel a bit stressed and depressed and lacking motivation. Things will change, in positive ways, as your life and plans together move forward.

    I think “face to face” friends are a key. I think no matter how much a person loves being with their spouse or SO, the need for friends, and interacting with them, is still there. Friends can help us through so many things…good and not-so-good. ๐Ÿ™‚

    I make friends in my volunteer work, and in hanging in places with people who enjoy some of the same things I do…like listening to bands, at a book club, etc. ๐Ÿ™‚

    As a parent, it’s also difficult ๐Ÿ˜ฆ to be far away from our kids. But, they have their own lives (often have to go where their jobs take them). So, yay for phones, and texting, and skype etc! ๐Ÿ™‚

    You and Alicia are in my thoughts and prayers! Hang in there! Enjoy your love! ๐Ÿ™‚

    YAY for Jimi! ๐Ÿ™‚
    HUGS!!! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Thank you, Carolyn.

      My kids do seem to be doing fine without me. They’ve seen a lot more of me than I did of my own dad during my high school and college years. He didn’t even write letters; Mom did that, back in the pre-Skype pre-cheap-international-phone-calls days. She wrote every week, faithfully. I wrote every couple of weeks, but only saw them once a year or even less, once I went away to college.

      I got a coat of primer on half of the office this afternoon, while listening to Albert King and BB King. It feels good. Nice and bright in here now. I’m painting everything white, and putting in a wood floor.

  8. Oh!!! Hugs Tim for going through depression. I know how it feels, as I have it too. I think you must be feeling it a lot, right now, may be b/cos Alicia is gone.
    Marriage is not going to stop you from having depression. And specially since you don’t see your children.
    Reading this, one thing I am glad about is, that you like to paint the room and do some work. ๐Ÿ™‚ Otherwise, in my case I have been so depressed, that I have not felt like doing anything. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ
    I hope you will be able to find another hobby or find some friends close by, with whom you can have friendship. ๐Ÿ™‚
    Take care, hugs! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • People contact does seem to make the biggest difference. Productivity helps a lot, too, when I finally get myself started. We’re hoping to move closer to my kids in a year or so, and that will be a big relief.

  9. It’s no wonder you’re feeling a little depressed after all the changes you’ve gone through in the last year! And with money worries on top, the sky can really fall in! You’re right that finding people with similar interests will help — as will working on the house and the yard! The world will feel better when Alicia returns, too, and you probably need some couples friends too ~ ~ ~

  10. I’m glad you’re getting some of your debts and bills cleared away. That is always good. I wish this house would sell. I don’t want to spend another winter here.
    Friends and family are great. My kids are out of reach for easy visits. Of course I have Christy and her family for friends and that is nice. I see them a couple times a week. It helps a lot. Hang in there. You will meet people and broaden your friend base.

  11. I’ve had periods of low motivation that could have been mistaken for depression that were really just needing time to recover from big life changes or periods of great challenge. Maybe that’s what you’ve run into? Just a thought.

  12. If you’re planning to move away in two years, there hardly seems any point in making an effort to get out with other people. Perhaps you should be permitted to be a little gloomy when Alicia is away. I also have no doubt we’ll see some photos of the work you’ve accomplished while she is gone.

  13. oh Tim, I’m praying for you – and, I can definitely relate lately. I was hanging out with my best friend Mark so much that didn’t cultivate new friends or maintain old as much; it’s a slow process but I am starting over again doing so. Grieving too over loss of my dad was one reason for isolating a bit, but Mark making new friends has been a catalyst for me to begin again too. I’m kind of in limbo while still exploring churches in the area, as well as my family is out of state and many of my friends have been either very ill or on vacation or out of state themselves. I’m looking forward to the school season starting and trying to take Mark’s lead of exploring local meet ups and volunteer opportunities. My only concern is I have in the past been overly involved in volunteering and projects, so I am exercising real caution there not to over extend myself or say yes too frequently.

    Are you both pretty sure you’ll stay in that area then? Is it possible you hesitate or having difficulty because you are not sure you want to be invested in friendships where you may have to say goodbye again? I believe you are already halfway there to feeling better just for identifying what you are struggling with and what you think you may need to do. You’ll figure it out. I have faith that you will. God bless.
    thanks for your condolences and kind words. Praying you have an awesome reunion with Alicia when she returns. Maybe take her dancing! =)

  14. ordinarybutloud says:

    happy + depressed is like a sunshiney rain. I’m sorry you’re lonely and stressed about finances. Those are compelling circumstances, in my experience. When we first moved to Podville I was terribly, terribly lonely. Things have improved, but it took time. I had to shake up my routines a little to encounter more people. I find that it takes exposure to about 50 people for me to acquire one more good, real friend. That’s why I joined so many groups. But then, once I acquired a few good, real friends, I didn’t feel good about quitting the groups, which was stupid. Anyway, enough about me. I hope things improve. Also, traffic in Houston is not bad, and the humidity is no worse than it is in Tampa.

    • The three things going for Houston are: My pay would be higher than it would be anywhere else, I would be close to my kids, and international travel should be easy. The cons are heat and humidity (similar to Tampa). It looks like my agency’s office is in an area where I could avoid the worst of the traffic and possibly live close by.

      We will definitely check it out.

  15. I am not so surprised Tim you feel a bit depressed . The contrast with a period of great excitation and a calm period may be a factor . Add to this the financial worries. .I understand what you feel . But as you always have projects for the future you will be quickly out of this depressive situation.
    In friendship


  16. I think i can understand what you are saying. it reminds me of the ending lines from Jeremy Rener’s movie “Hurt Locker” when he’s talking to his infant son. Basically, he says that as one grows older they just love and derive satisfaction from less and less things until there’s only one or two.

    I have thought about it and I’m not sure I buy this idea about having this all encompassing happiness. the more I explore this new phase of middle-age(ness), I realize that while there’s not alot to be happy about perhaps the one or two things might be all that we need. and that the rest of what we leave on the table is just qualified as depression.

    at least, that’s how I think to see it.

    but in the big picture, you have gotten a significant amount of help from selling the house and with your wife being in your life. perhaps the depression acts as a balancer, no?

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