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Depression: I Guess You Have To Be There

Dave Wilber

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I think a lot of Turfheads are realizing that without their Mental Health, their Agronomy means nothing at all.

There has been a ton of talk lately about Mental Health. That's good. While I am not being on the overused phrase "Creating Awareness", I also know that most people will never get or understand the topic. They should count their blessings.

Image result for depressed monkeyI have never been shy about writing and speaking about myself. A certain lack of filter, perhaps. Sometimes, a cry for help. Sadly, a need for attention, in hard moments. Often, a simple therapeutic technique to talk about the hardest things. But mostly I just don't get not being real. I lost a blog sponsor because I did too much "Wilber about Wilber" and I am still gobsmacked about why that was an issue at all. That one may never resolve in my mind. I think a lot of Turfheads are realizing that without their Mental Health, their Agronomy means nothing at all.

Fashion has become to speak about job stress and mental health. A lot of opinions about this area started to show up. One such opinion (the source doesn't matter) seemed really off to me, so I reached out to that person. As it turns out, they themselves have never experienced any Depression or Anxiety, but they were more than willing to talk about it to "create content". Oh, OK. So we had a very strong conversation...and my bottom line was that maybe they should stick to talking about something they actually had a clue about. This person had none. The "don't worry, be happy" method doesn't work, but they believed that it just might. 

I fought my depression battle for years in silent screaming. I was a true performer. I could rise to the occasion of a work day or an event and seem just fine. But the Black Dog attacked when I was alone, drawing blood, but leaving no visible marks. And that was my life from my early 20's until just before I turned 40. It worked. I managed it. And then I had my first episode of chronic pain. In my case, it was a knee injury caused by playing Paintball with some people lots younger than me. I came home from that day with golf ball sized welts all over me, and a badly messed up knee. However, just as I had managed the pain between my ears in silence, I also tried that with my busted wheel. A botched surgery and I endured even more. And on. And on. That was the start of me reaching what is called in clinical settings my distress management profile maximum. Simply, I ran out of tools and my body chemistry had taken over.

I have really good hindsight. We all do. And so it is easy to see now where I could have asked for help. Could have stopped trying to grind it out. Could have stopped faking it to make it. Another term I despise. What I also know now is that depression will never really leave me. It's around. It hangs out and waits until my triggers get pulled. And the Black Dog bites. Hard. But now, I let it happen. I realize what I did or did not do and I manage the situation. I have a tool set all stocked. My particular set of tools is unique. It works for me. It won't work for anyone else. Maybe parts of it might. But my own tank mix is my own. So it does no good for me to tell you the steps. To tell you when I use what for what. It's doubtful it would even make sense.

I fought my depression battle for years in silent screaming. I was a true performer. I could rise to the occasion of a work day or an event and seem just fine. But the Black Dog attacked when I was alone, drawing blood, but leaving no visible marks.

Through the discovery of my depression first aid kit, I intersected with a lot of different ideas and people. But for sure, without a doubt, the ones that helped the most and offered the best ideas were the ones who were there themselves. That was a key. You can't know the attack of the grizzly bear, until you have been bitten by one yourself and until you have learned to pet the bear and teach it tricks. Until you have stood in the river and fished with it, you can't know how to peacefully coexist with it. Some of my "helpers" were well studied, and that gave them much insight. But they lacked the scars themselves. And I learned to tell. Kind of like when we realize that someone giving us grass growing advice has only really ever mowed their own lawn at their home. They don't know the first thing about the preparation of a high quality sport playing surface.

image.jpeg.bd4321faf2fee294eca23f26f635a9dd.jpegSo...why write all this. Simple. I'm telling you that if any of the talk about depression, anxiety, mental health, suicide or anything along those lines has resonated with you then you owe it to yourself to find qualified counsel. To seek help. To be honest with yourself and your loved ones about your silent screams. And to realize that the beginning of your awareness is also the beginning of a journey. You will stumble. You will fall. You will create affirmations. People who you think should understand you won't understand you. You will have amazing days where you could never imagine anything was ever wrong. And you will have darkness so dark that you won't think the sun will rise ever again.

 

How do I know? I've been there. I am there. And I am glad to be vulnerable and share so that you can realize that if you or someone you know is faced with this, there are answers. 

(If you are feeling like suicide is the only way out, please Call 1-800-273-8255, the National Suicide Prevention Hotline. Help is there 24/7. How do I know? I've been there!)

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Dave, sponsors come and go. The best stuff any of us ever communicates is from the heart and the Wilbur on Wilbur stuff is genuine. Maybe a bit odd to some but pure gold every time. Thanks for being you. 

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16 hours ago, Jeff Johnson said:

Hammer hits nail. Truth! 

Jeff....coming from you that is a wonderful compliment. I'll take it.

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1 hour ago, Matt Crowther, CGCS said:

Dave, sponsors come and go. The best stuff any of us ever communicates is from the heart and the Wilbur on Wilbur stuff is genuine. Maybe a bit odd to some but pure gold every time. Thanks for being you. 

Matt...you are pure Gold, I am but the Iron Pyrite. Thank you, Old Friend for always being you!

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God Bless you sir.  The Black Dog bit me severely during the 2018 growing season.  Stress always brings the black dog out to play for me, and is so important to build a toolbox, a network of supportive people, and professional help as needed. One important consideration here is STOP DRINKING.

Thanks Dave

 

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Dave.... glad to read your words again..... please contact us when you are able..... 

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Great on every point. Every day that I make it to the next is a good day. Hard to describe the battle that never stops. You are so right- it is hard to understand unless you have been there, or are there. 

I have accepted my depression  for what it is and that it is a part of me,  and I have accepted myself for who I am. Having done this, I am able to continually  learn and relearn ways to manage this ever evolving  storm.

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On 1/18/2019 at 7:20 AM, Jonathon Scott said:

Just keep being you, Dave, and to hell with sponsors who can't abide that.

Jon....Its not the easy path...but I believe it to be the best.

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On 1/18/2019 at 5:44 PM, Robert Winter said:

God Bless you sir.  The Black Dog bit me severely during the 2018 growing season.  Stress always brings the black dog out to play for me, and is so important to build a toolbox, a network of supportive people, and professional help as needed. One important consideration here is STOP DRINKING.

Thanks Dave

 

I'm gonna address substance abuse in a coming blog. A tough subject for many. Thank you!

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On 1/21/2019 at 6:01 AM, Ken Thompson said:

Great on every point. Every day that I make it to the next is a good day. Hard to describe the battle that never stops. You are so right- it is hard to understand unless you have been there, or are there. 

I have accepted my depression  for what it is and that it is a part of me,  and I have accepted myself for who I am. Having done this, I am able to continually  learn and relearn ways to manage this ever evolving  storm.

Great words, Ken. Thank you!!

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On 1/19/2019 at 5:25 PM, Di kegeles said:

Dave.... glad to read your words again..... please contact us when you are able..... 

I will do that! Thank you both for reading!!

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