Loneliness is not a phase…


I don’t know if I’ve ever mentioned this, but I have a bit of a problem with depression. To be fair it has gotten better over the years, but it’s still always there. And occasionally it tends to flare up.

I suppose you may wonder what this has to do with a music blog. Well, this disease has gone a long way toward shaping my tastes in music. Even though I don’t listen to either artist now as much as I did during my high school years I still consider Alice in Chains and Nine Inch Nails to be my favorite groups. I’ve come across a lot of bands that I like just as much or maybe more since graduation, but I’ll always have a place in my heart for those two. Listening to them really saved my life and helped me to realize that I wasn’t the only one dealing with these demons.

And I still haven’t found anything that can make feel better when I’m down than Dirt, The Downward Spiral or Jar of Flies. Although I’ve found quite a few songs that help; The Descendents’ “Cool To Be You,” Elton John’s “Madman Across the Water” and Tom Waits’ “Train Song.”

I’ve never written at length about this for a number of reasons. For one, I’m not looking for pity. I’m a grown man; I don’t need pity. I need anti-depressants. Which is another reason I don’t often speak about it. It’s rather embarrassing to admit you need a drug to make you feel normal. I’ve heard a lot of people say they got on meds and didn’t feel like themselves anymore. For me it’s the exact opposite. I tried to get off of them earlier this year only to realize how much I need them. And it’s not just a mental thing. I mean, it is a mental disorder, but without that in my system I have trouble sleeping, near constant stomach pain, lethargy and loss of appetite. I also get this weird feeling I imagine would be like sticking my finger in the light socket.

Robin Williams Depression QuoteSo if someone says they’re depressed, sure it’s a good thing to try to cheer them up; but remember you might as well be trying to cure the flu.

So why say anything about it now? Because I’m feeling depressed. I’ve been listening to AIC and NIN. I’m thinking about putting on The Wall. I guess I hope that sharing will help it to go away. Maybe if I put it out there in the open it will lose it’s power over me. I doubt it, but it’s worth a shot.

I’ve seen a lot of posts on this subject and a lot of them are very good. But no one ever really hit the nail on the head for me.

For me, depression is like a cancer. It’s not poisoning my blood or eating away at my lungs, but it’s polluting my soul. It prevents me from being the me I want to be and forces me to sit alone in the dark wishing I could just feel differently.

I want to say it’s like a tumor growing inside me. But that’s not right. It’s more like one of the Xenomorphs from the Alien movies. I can almost feel it moving and growing in my stomach like it’s just waiting to burst out of my chest.

Some people are have strange phobias. People are scared of all sorts of weird shit; snakes, spiders, Muslims or the boogeyman under the bed. But for me, the boogeyman is alive and well inside my head.

I hope maybe I’ve written something that might make some of you understand mental illness better. And if I’ve written something that you can relate to I hope you’re seeking help and will get better. Aside from being somewhat embarrassing, depression is a royal pain in the ass.

But you know what’s funny? Loneliness has been with me for so long that I bet if it were to go away… I would miss it.


17 thoughts on “Loneliness is not a phase…

  1. I’m not sure what to say, Zack. Other than saying that it’s something I’ve become more and more aware of over the years as folks around me come out and say that this is how they feel. Certainly doesn’t change a thing about who they are or how I view them.

    Thanks for sharing, fella. I know it couldn’t have been easy, but you’re certainly not alone – and hopefully, as Geoff says, folks talking about it will help everyone.

    Hope sharing did help a bit. We have a good community here and I reckon it’s safe to say we’re all here for ya.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sharing hasn’t really helped me much, but I think I may have helped others so that’s always a good thing.
      I’m a work in progress and I’m always trying to improve. Your support is greatly appreciated and makes me feel I’m on the right path.


      • If I may interject:

        I find having friends and associates to vent to very helpful. Just getting frustrations out of your head and in the air can sometimes relieve stress.

        Before I used to just journal which wasn’t enough for me. I needed someone to listen and provide feedback.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Thanks for interjecting! Part of the reason I wrote this was to start a conversation on the subject. Another reason was that, like you, I’ve found journaling doesn’t help me much.
          Friends do help, but I’m not very good at keeping up with relationships. I’m a bit introverted and don’t have many people to share stuff with.
          I am working on it though.

          Liked by 1 person

          • In my town, we are lucky to have a lot of support groups. Pretty much from 10 am to 9pm every day, you can find a support group of some kind. It may sound weird but I’ve been. Sometimes just telling a story and having people listen and offer feedback is enough to turn a rotten week into a better one. And if you don’t want to, you never have to see those people again. But if you do want to, you can start going regularly and eventually form friendships.

            Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you for this. I appreciate your honest approach. I am one of those people who struggles with antidepressants and I have gone on and off of them for years as I ride the depressive cycles. I’m glad to hear you’ve found coping methods, music surely sooths the soul sometimes.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Zack, thank you for writing and sharing this.
    In addition to the proper diagnosis and proper medication, what has helped family and friends dealing with depression was talking about it and realizing they are far from alone. It’s not ‘those people’ – it’s everywhere and the more people talk about it like you have Zack, the more it helps everyone, so thank you

    Liked by 2 people

    • I’m glad you liked it. I often look around the room at coworkers of whoever I happen to be with and wonder if anyone else has this much trouble. I kinda hope not, but then again it’s always nice to find a kindred spirit.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. I want to be somewhat vague in my response here. Like you, I’m not looking for a pity party. I wrote about depression a little bit in how it shaped Record Store Tales, but not much beyond that.

    I have had friends and associates who are no longer with us due to this illness.

    I’m grateful in Canada we have access to care. But it’s not enough. There isn’t enough support for those who need it. Finding a psychiatrist can be impossible.

    Music helps. It always has. The heavier and more aggressive the music, the more I feel it helping. Thank God for rock and roll.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Amen!
      I believe I have picked up on that in a few of your record store tales. That may be why I read so much of your stuff. I try to be vague to, but I just felt like it was time to say something. I’ve read a few blogs on the subject, but often they seem to say the same boring, milquetoast stuff about depression.
      I want it to say it the way Trent Reznor did, but I don’t have that much musical talent.

      Liked by 1 person

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