I’ve suffered from depression a lot in my life. In the late 1990’s, approaching 40 years old, I fell into a deep depression my wife later said I should have been hospitalized for. I was overweight, had left my job and sold our home hoping to follow my dreams. I was (and still am) married with 3 of my 5 children still at home. The 2 oldest had started college.
The money I made from selling our home began dwindling away. I didn’t have a concrete plan or goal as to what I wanted to do but just a vague idea. I ended up moving my family to my parents in Texas as I couldn’t function in reality anymore. Suicidal thoughts kept creeping in but I knew I couldn’t give up and hurt my family.
Being about 40 pounds overweight I knew I had to lose weight. Even though depression never left me I began going to the city gym on a daily basis, First, I would just walk the gym for a mile. I began to walk faster and longer over time. I knew nothing about weight lifting but met Charles who taught me correct weight training. I had always loved playing racquetball but was never great, Charles, who was ultra competitive and quite an athlete, and I began playing. At first I would wear out easily and never win a game. But the 100 degree Texas heat inside the gym (there was no air conditioning just fans) and hour and a half long racquetball matches 5 days a week burned off over 40 lbs in less than a year. I became fit, running and playing racquetball and basketball as I’d never, ever done! I began beating Charles at racquetball.
Losing weight, getting in shape and achieving goals, physically, I’d never dreamed of help pull me out of depression. I hadn’t achieved any of the vague goals I originally set out to do but losing weight changed my life and added years to it.
I’ve maintained my workout regime and 16 years later I’m still in shape. A number of years ago depression reared its ugly head but I made up my mind I would not give in to it. I realized my depression was in part due to feeling sorry for myself. I shut the door mentally on it.
Every once in a while I get the blues. But they don’t stick around. My wife says she’s amazed at what I’ve gone through but that I always come back fighting another round with new ideas and enthusiasm. I can do that because I know the other side is dark and evil.