Calling Time When You’re Down 0-365

I remember those nights
that edged into day where
I’d sit, pencil in hand,
pondering how to overcome
that day’s opponent…
every night, every day, too.
Obsession and fear kept me
drawing up new tactics that might
steal a victory once the clock
started running. Should we press
from tip-off to buzzer, trying
to impose our weak will to turn
them aside from our goal?
No, that’s a task too difficult
to accomplish one-on-one. Inevitably,
we’d opt for a passive defense,
hoping to shield and slow them from
getting inside. But that merely
prolonged the inevitable, just like
every other time. I’d crawl off
to bed, resigned to another defeat
in this seemingly endless season
of losses. It’s record was 365-0 and
I couldn’t take the losing anymore.
It was then I admitted, pride be damned,
I’d ask for help. Even I couldn’t beat
Depression alone.

Day 20’s NaPoWriMo poem, combining prompts for a task poem and one incorporating terms from a sport or game. After thirty years of coaching basketball, I knew more than enough jargon. After more than thirty years of the fruitless task of trying to beat depression by myself, I finally took on some assistant coaches. Still don’t win all the games, but my record’s improving all the time.

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2 thoughts on “Calling Time When You’re Down 0-365

  1. The main thing I’ve learned in dealing with my type 2 bipolar disorder is not to beat myself up for the depressive states. I wasn’t properly diagnosed until I was nearly 40 because type 2 presents with hypomania rather than full mania and thus can be difficult to recognize.
    When a counselor I was seeing managed to spot the pattern, I started seeing it too. Before my diagnosis, when I would come out of a depressive state, I would admonish myself that I would never go into such a state again. When I inevitably did, I was extremely hateful to myself for my “weakness.”
    Closing in on 15 years after my diagnosis, I’m able to “talk” to my depressive state. I have something of a truce with it. I can’t say it’s my friend, but I no longer fight against it and most of the time I don’t think of myself as somehow less human for having it.

  2. Thankyou. Being a ‘self confessed nerd’ now that nerds are cool again, I often forget about the sporty types. Here in New Zealand they are big on Womens netball, the major difference between Netball and Basketball is that once you catch the ball, you are not allowed to run with it, you are however allowed to pivot on one foot to pass. Ta for the inspiration. When I grow up, I think I might like to be a writer. 😉

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