I’m having a bad day. And that’s OK.

Side-note: I originally wrote this back in the height of COVID, before my cancer diagnosis in the days when I thought I was just a fat old fart. Hence the waist-line comment. Which happily no longer applies.

Apathy, lethargy, mild below-the-surface irritation (anger?), lack of focus… I’m not entirely sure what’s brought me down today, maybe I’m a little tired (not been sleeping well)? Certainly I’m feeling the long-term fatigue of lockdown, just like everybody else. The pressures of work? The shitty weather preventing most of my decompression activities? The complicated family life? Car problems I can’t afford to fix? My ever-expanding waistline? The cramped living conditions? The worry over how I safely get my youngest back to university in Bangor? Probably all of the above.

Let’s call it what it is: Depression. I’m depressed. AND THAT’S OK. I’M ALLOWED. Now I have to deal with it. I don’t have to “get better”, “suck it up”, “stop feeling sorry for myself”, “cheer up” or “snap out of it”. I do have to acknowledge the fact that I’m depressed, and figure out how to function as a whole person and a professional while I work my way out of it.

I guess in a way I’m fortunate that I’ve previously survived life-threateningly-severe depression. Fortunate? Yes. Blessed, even. Because the experience and recovery equipped me with the tools and techniques I can now use to manage when life throws me a curve-ball. One of these tools is “naming the beast”, like I’ve done here. It’s depression. And I know how to put that beast back in his cage. It never gets any easier, but I do get better at it. Things are a little less scary once you can name them. (You don’t have to publicly shout about it, this is just me sharing)

If you’re having a bad day too: that’s OK. You’re allowed. And you’re not alone.

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I'm a grumpy old fart. I know a lot about leadership, culture & agility, something about wellbeing, and a little about woodworking.


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