\tThis story is a follow up of Alice's experiences (https://alethe.me/alice_attarado/hunt%20your%20joy%21/) of dealing with emotional hard times like a breaking with a boyfriend. No doubts, a broken heart is a terrible thing especially if you're young girl, but nevertheless I'd say it is still the most basic and easiest to recover from case of a metal trouble. The painful event is relatively short, the victim is young and full of energy so a week or two of hearty woes usually makes it a good breather from love affairs. \n\n \tWhat I'm going to tell you is true big man depression story. Endless, grueling, senseless, causeless, giving no clue how to deal with it. \tTo start I must return to my early years when I lived mostly with my mother while my father worked and lived in a city a hundred of miles away and could see us only couple of days in a month or two. These days were full of action - playing games, visiting friends, going to the movies. I enjoyed all this a lot though I perfectly remember sensation of some sort of a danger of spoiling it, fear of getting a poignant reprimand or angry shout. Fortunately my father was perfectly able to start a friendly chat with me a minute after a fierce spat so I didn't suffer much from these educative bouts but they were scary enough to leave a trace in my memory. \n\n Once I put on my old a bit shabby pair of pants for a visit we were going to make to his friends and immediately got scolded:\n \t“Your aides will laugh at you if they see you dressed like this. Go get decent clothes!”\n \n \tHe worked as a manager in a grocery store and dreamed about me becoming big boss. As it appeared later I would fail his expectations but I didn't know it yet and was trying to please my father as best as I could.\n \n \tThe days with father were so full of events and had been running so quickly that I could still hear his voice in my head days after he had left. Everything looked different without him, empty rooms, deserted garden, untouched newspapers he hadn't time to read. I hated all that sudden emptiness. The days stopped their run and started to ooze and I started to fear. Endless, grueling, senseless, causeless fear. Fortunately dad found a place in our town and moved soon in so our family reunited and my fears have gone.\n \n \tI have completely forgotten about these days and the feeling of the emptiness until almost thirty years later found myself in the same house alone. This time dad has gone to a better place for ever, mom passed away few years earlier I divorced and moved to the old place permanently. And at first I didn't sensed anything spooky - funeral, problems at work, small fixes at home I had to do myself here and there because I completely ran out of money. All those chores kept me occupied so I had absolutely no time for overthinking. \n \tAll suddenly changed after I got a call from my daughter. The line was noisy so I attached headset to better hear her. I already don't remember what did we talk about, another trouble in school perhaps, but when I took headset off the silence stroke. The creepy whooping silence. I even broke into a cold sweat. In one moment I remembered endless, grueling, senseless, causeless fear, oozing days and feeling of emptiness. It was like a time machine which threw me thirty years back. It took no less than couple of minutes until I come to my senses though strange sensation of vague worry remained. \n \n \tI went on with my usual stuff, preparing for the lectures I had to read next day, then a bit of cooking, reading. I felt the worrying feeling flying somewhere around me but didn't pay much attention to it. I didn't sleep well last night and thought that moderate weird mental drivel should be quite normal because of it.\n It was a windy and rainy evening, about nine p.m when I heard somebody knocking on the terrace window. Should be neighbor again came to complain about branches of my tree scratching her roof. Sure, there she was. Fury crone was standing on my porch, her mouth silently moving in a fierce attempt to express her anger. Finally she managed to fill it with air and announce:\n \t“You're ruining my house!” \n \tI tried to assure her that there is nothing to worry about and I'd saw the branches off as soon as the weather allows but she already went on ranting:\n \t“You've always been ruining everything!” this must be a reference to her mailbox post pole I broke when was thirteen or so. \n \t“You ruined Cynthia's life and you ruined your life too!” that was certainly enough.\n \t“I'll saw goddamn branches off right tomorrow, good night” said I and shut the door right in her face. She stayed on the porch almost a minute until I've heard her steps away. It was nasty cold autumn rain she was under I even rushed to search for an umbrella to offer her but didn't find any. This was the first time in my life when I shut the door in front of a person and felt really bad about it. I should see her next day and say sorry. My not so happy relationships with Cynthia were very well known to all my neighbours thanks to my dad and I got used to hear from them all sorts of advice elderly people endow youth. Sometimes it was even funny and I always had quite ironic attitude toward our marriage so it was never bothered me much.\n \n \tBut not that day. The spirit of worrying woke by Susie's call slowly was getting hold of my head and I understood that the idea that “I ruined my life” doesn't sound funny anymore. \n \tNext morning was full of scurry - I didn't sleep again and was fifteen minutes late for my lecture then had a not very pleasant talk with the dean, had to buy new saw to save my neighbor's house from being destroyed by my tree, then sawing it, swathing arm wounded while sawing the tree, fishing out branches fell on her side and finally chopping. When all housekeeping duties were finally done I was absolutely tired but it was too early to go to the bed and I decided to take a nap for an hour. \n\n \tThis was fatal mistake. Creepy angst crawled together with silence. What did she say? Ruined my life? Did I ruined my life? I felt I was about to burst into tears and jumped from the bed to avoid this humiliating scene. I went to the window and touched with my forehead its cold glass. Am I having depression? The idea was as obvious as unbelievable. Can I ever have a depression? I always been sure that it's a fate of the addicts of all sorts, ignorant lazy losers, hicks and alikes. But me, philosophy professor, who knows all about deepest secrets of humans' thoughts, how can I be depressed? That's what I used to think about in minutes of bad mood before and it helped well. Not this time. The other part of the truth I usually successfully ignored brazenly stepped forward and loudly proclaimed: “You're still an assistant professor, you work in a shitty college, you didn't publish any works, you lost your best years living with a wife you hated and she hated you. And now your daughter hates you too. You're loser”. \n\n \tIt was like somebody flipped a coin of my self-reflection and it fell wrong side up. The the other day I'd easily shrug off all those stupid thoughts - I cared about knowledge, not a title, I found ways to share my views with people I valued instead of crunching silly publications, and lots of people are in unhappy marriages, my wife was at least not a fat ass cow. I still knew all this and even tried to pronounce aloud but it didn't work. But I'm not that easy, I knew the stupid depression is simply a malfunction of some part of my brain and I should be able to get rid of it simply by thinking logically about my situation. \tSo I started to study. There are thousands of all sorts of guides, courses and lectures on the topic available online. Getting through them was already somewhat helpful. That's probably because I felt safe at my desk - reading, making notices, categorizing, detecting contradictions - is what I love and always was used to do. Finally I come up with a couple of most important ideas or rules I had to stick to fix my poor mind:\n \n \t— don't let your woes rule you (they often mention it as 'don't set impossible goals'). The idea that “I ruined my life” materialized in the notion of my soon to be lost professorships and divorce. Both were absolutely impossible to amend and realizing this was causing even bigger pain. And if in my normal state I simply didn't care about either now I had to strive hard to ignore them. Why ignore? All what you can't translate into a plan of concrete realistic and precisely executable steps is a waste of time. And hence comes the second rule:\n \n \t— keep yourself occupied. Good if your activities are well thought through and contribute to your self esteem and wellbeing. Not too bad if they do not though - anything capable of keeping you busy would do. The less time you have for ruminations the better. I saw many suggest listening to the music. I'd advise against it since it a perfect opportunity for gruesome thoughts to get hold of your head. \n\n \t— sleep well. This appeared the most challenging for me to achieve but I'm sure it's absolutely necessary to get through depression. I kept tracking the days I didn't sleep and the most severe attacks of overthinking and the latter almost always followed first. To enforce healthy sleep I used the very basic approach of walking plus hot bathing and keeping air cold in the sleeping room.\n \n \tThat's actually it. There were no precise 'recovery' moment like the one when I plunged into depression. I just noticed once that the idea that I 'ruined my life' doesn't sound very compelling to me.\n is it the really an 'endless' depression? I can't get out of mine for years. you had your job, you was already on track, you just had a live through couple of bad days or months, that's it.