Friday, December 2, 2011

A Tale of Joy

Yes, I'm taking a mini-break, but I wanted to share this important post from Prost Amerika. If there is one concept I admire and value above all others, it is fearless honesty. I'd say this fits that category.

In the post, former RSL and St. Pauli defender Ian Joy shares a very personal story about his prior struggles with depression. Naturally, everyone endures the temporary form of depression at one time or another, as it is generally born out of strikingly unpleasant events.

The kind Joy talks about is more lasting and more serious, and is not always necessarily based fully on how things really are. Quite often, this clinical form is in part due to the sufferer's perception, one likely turned gloomy by these aforementioned real events that would get anybody down.

Studies vary a bit, but essentially 1 in 11 people face clinical depression in their lifetime, often for years. It is not uncommon. I know... the early part of my teens and the back half of my 20's were outright torture for me. Now that I've figured out coping mechanisms and can manage to see life clearly, those years seem as though they were wasted by me. You see, there's only one thing people cannot create: time. I mostly tried to handle it all on my own, which in hindsight was fantastically stupid. I did not need to spend years in those fogs.

That's the thing, though; depressed people don't always make sound decisions. Sometimes, they make decisions that can't be undone and it's a shame. It doesn't have to turn out that way. Fortunately, I have this weird, unrelenting stubbornness that does not ever allow me to quit. Maybe Ian has this same quirk. Maybe it saved us both. But it is weird, because a great many people do give up on themselves. This need not be.

To the point, anyone who is depressed in this manner just needs some help - one friend they can trust with everything, a doctor, a sibling, whatever works best. I guess my message is here to piggyback on Ian's. Get some help. Just do it. There's nothing to be ashamed of. Brains are silly. People have brains. It's not brave to go alone and eat the pain. It's brave to ask for help. Courage comes from facing adversity and only from that.

I'm very proud to call Ian my buddy and I'm sure as hell glad he stood up to depression. I happen to have an unusual outlet to be heard and this gives me a responsibility. As Mr. Joy says, if one person can find the way to turn it around, then sharing this stuff is more than worth it. The more we talk about things, the less difficult they become.

Oh... and I'll tell you something else right now: my already fairly steep respect for the entire Real Salt Lake organization went to the summit upon reading this. Thank you, RSL.

- Greg Seltzer

1 comment:

Matt said...

Cool post, Greg. Glad you (and Ian) have figured out mechanisms that work for you.

Now, get back to your break. We need you rested for what is to come in January.