Splash Page

Two Goats and a Donkey Podcast!

Available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Overcast, Stitcher, Reason, and more!

Depression, Anxiety, and Thoughts of Suicide - Episode 6

Hello everyone! Welcome to the sixth episode of Two Goats and a Donkey podcast! Daaamn, 6 episodes already! I hope everyone is having a fantastic evening! Please be sure to visit for social media and email links. I'd love to hear everyone's thoughts about this episode! For tonight's episode, I'm drinking some Old South Blueberry Thrill wine. Old South is a Mississippi-made muscadine wine from Natchez with several flavors. And, as usual, not sponsored, but hey, I'm always open to negotiations! Tonights' episode will be very heavy, so before getting into it, I'd like to mention the highlight of this past week.

One of my job duties is to occasionally go to the bank with the deposits. Ok, don't get any ideas, I know kung fu! Haha, anyway, one day when I first started doing this, I was, of course, wearing my work uniform, which consists of a white button-down shirt and a tie. On this particular occasion, I was wearing one of my bow ties that's an Ace of Spades. I also have one that's an Ace of Hearts. Anyway, the bank teller saw the tie and commented that she loved it because her son's name was Ace. I smiled and said that was cool, and I think I even asked how old he was (although now I don't remember for sure). So cut to one day last week when I went in, and it was the same teller, so I casually asked, "How's Ace?" She looked puzzled and said, "Who's Ace?" I was taken aback and said, "Don't you have a son named Ace?" She replied, "No, but if I did have a son, that would be his name." Ok, did I fall into the Mandela Effect? There are 3 female tellers at this bank. One is an older lady whom I've been to once. A second is a younger lady that I've been to twice. Other than this other lady, whom I remember as having a son named Ace, I've only gone to two other tellers, both male. Now, I would think that maybe I'd gotten confused, except there's literally no one else it could have been and there's the fact she said if she had a son, his name would be Ace. I'm screaming! And laughing, wondering what the hell is going on. Am I going crazy? Or am I just crazy? Did the world suddenly change when Ukraine was invaded by Putin? Did I fall into the Mandela Effect? It's just so crazy that I distinctly remember her telling me her son's name was Ace and then to tell me she doesn't have a son but if she did....eek! Ok, let's move on now that I don't know if I'm just crazy or imagining things haha.

Like I said, this episode is going to be heavy. It deals with depression, anxiety, and suicidal thoughts. Now, before I even get started on this episode, I urge anyone with suicidal urges to call the National Suicide Hotline at 800-273-8255. Please don't wait and just call. Now, let's move forward.

Depression. What is it? Per Webster, depression is a mood disorder that is marked by varying degrees of sadness, despair, and loneliness and that is typically accompanied by inactivity, guilt, loss of concentration, social withdrawal, sleep disturbances, and sometimes suicidal tendencies. But what exactly is depression? It can depend on the circumstance; depression might be a temporary mood swing, or it might be something repetitive that comes and goes throughout a person's whole life, or it might be chronic, something that stays with a person and never really goes away. The term "depression" is used in a variety of ways in our society. It can mean a state of being "bummed", as in "So-and-so took the last slice of cheesecake. Now I'm depressed." So it can vary from just a short unhappy period to a major psychological undertaking. Now, let me take this moment to state that this podcast episode is in no way going to discuss all the states and degrees of depression in human psychology. I am not a medical or clinical doctor, or any kind of doctor, and that kind of thing is far beyond the scope of this podcast in general and this episode in particular. As I have stated many times, this podcast is basically a rundown on things that relate to my life in some way, and hopefully will relate to others as well.

Anxiety. What is it? Again per Webster, anxiety is apprehensive uneasiness or nervousness usually over an impending or anticipated ill; also an abnormal and overwhelming sense of apprehension and fear often marked by physical signs (such as tension, sweating, and increased pulse rate), by doubt concerning the reality and nature of the threat, and by self-doubt about one's capacity to cope with it. So anxiety can be situational, temporary, light, and passing. Anxiety can also be conditional, long-lasting, heavy, and stays with a person both consciously and unconciously, or maybe I should say subconciously. Anxiety can be as simple as a student feeling apprehensive about an approaching test and being expressed through nervousness, or can be as serious as rendering a person unable to cope with situations and withdrawing into themselves. One example that comes to mind (and this may be a spoiler for anyone who hasn't watched the episode yet) is Stevie on Schitt's Creek, in Season Four, Episode Six. During a photoshoot for the motel web page, Alexis decides to focus on Stevie as the figurehead for the motel, and Stevie's anxiety, from being overwhelmed with how fast everything is going, causes her to withdraw into an almost fetal position on the sofa in the lobby, getting away from all the attention. Fortunately, Alexis and John sweep in and set her mind at ease, but her anxiety was severe enough to debilitate her for a while.

And as long as we're mentioning that episode of Schitt's Creek, I'd like to discuss how this episode so often makes me cry haha. In this episode, David and Patrick host an open mic night at the Rose Apothecary in an effort to get more customers. David is, of course, opposed to an open mic, and is horrified, although he thinks he's hiding it, that Patrick wants to perform. I'm not sure what exactly David is terrified of, although his mom, Moira, certainly shares his trepidation and offers to pull the fire alarm at David's signal. Of course, this is, arguably, the most beautiful scene of the entire show, when Patrick proceeds to serenade David with his moving rendition of "Simply The Best". I watched this episode again today just to make sure I had the Stevie information correct for the podcast, but of course I had to see everything, and tears unashamedly rolled down my face while Patrick was singing and David was looking as though he was going to melt from the love he was feeling. Ok, just had to interject that, moving on!

Thoughts of suicide. I don't think we need a Webster's definition for this. Thoughts of suicide tend to be born from both depression and anxiety, along with other causes, but the meaning is quite clear - thoughts of ending one's own life. This has often been called a permanent solution to a temporary situation or problem, and while in most cases this is true, the person having those thoughts at the time doesn't consider the problems or situation to be temporary. Indeed, to be having those thoughts, usually it's from something that's completely overwhelming and where there just doesn't seem to be a light at the end of the tunnel. Those accolades about the situation being temporary certainly won't be heard by those who are the most desperate. At some point, all of us have experienced all three of these. Growing up gay in the 70's and 80's, I certainly went through all of these. In fact, I can remember contemplating suicide every single day of my life up through my 30's. I went through severe bouts of anxiety and depression, but had to keep all of it bottled up and inside myself. Although certainly there were times when keeping it all inside caused me to blow up at family members. I mean, you just can't expect someone to be depressed and not express it somehow. Every single day of my life I had to keep who I was a secret from my family and classmates - I won't say friends because I didn't really have any. And keeping who I was to myself caused a great deal of anxiety that people would find out I was a fag, as gay people were generally referred to back then - certainly they still are, especially by the Phelps cult at the Westboro "chuch" (air quotes) in Kansas, but not quite so much by other people these days. Feeling so alone, and being so isolated, I certainly was very depressed as well as anxious. And as I stated, not a single day went by where I didn't consider just ending it all and not having to live that life. Yet somehow I made it through and managed to survive to the ripe old age of 54 (and counting).

And yet even now, I go through periods of depression. I go through times when I don't think I'm good enough for anything, where I feel like I'm a burden and a drain on my husband, where I get so fucking depressed that he and I can't have a normal life together and be together more often than on the weekends. Throughout the week, I go through phases where I wonder if he's cheating on me, if he's tired of me, if he'd be happier if we weren't together. And sometimes I feel like it's time for me to go Home, to shed myself of this plane of existence and go on to the Higher Plane. It's truly a struggle at times to want to stay alive. But I remind myself, during those times, that I have a dog and a cat that love and depend upon me, I have Steve even if there are times it just doesn't seem like the life we have together is enough, and that I just need to keep pushing on through because tomorrow will be another day. I allow myself to get bogged down about finances, or about other circumstances going on in my life, and I will entertain the notion that it'd be for the best just to let go and move on. But fortunately those feelings come with much less frequency than when I was younger. And those feelings never last very long. But they do intrude upon me when I get to thinking about how I don't have the relationship with my family that I'd like to have, or when I think about how Steve and I have been together for over 15 years, yet we're still in the same situation as when we started out, or when I think about where I am in my life and how I'll likely never have the farm that I dream of having. It's when I'm feeling low during those times that those thoughts come poke poke poking around the edges, that they prod and seep into my mind. And I imagine this happens to everyone at one time or another.

I can say that since I came to know God, those feelings have definitely backed off. But sometimes when they come intruding, I'm reminded of an episode of The Jeffersons, where Florence was attempting to die by suicide because she felt it was time to go on to be with the Lord. My mind goes to that because it's also thinking the same thing - it's time to go and be with the Lord, and with my parents who are both waiting up in Heaven. And I become hungry to go to that Afterlife - or whatever the afterlife would be, whether it's as I imagine or if it's something else entirely that our mortal minds can't even begin to imagine. But so far, I've managed to bring myself back from those thoughts each and every time. I don't believe I'll ever give in to those thoughts. I love Steve and my fur babies far too much to leave them, but occasionally my mind does get away from me, when the blackness of depression descends over me. But I love myself enough to get through those episodes and hopefully anyone listening to this that's struggling will love themselves enough to get through it too.

Lots of things can bring on these thoughts. Grief over losing a loved one, despair over not getting that sixth job you've applied for, loneliness when you have so much love to give and no one to give it to, days or even weeks of insomnia - all of these things and more can cause us to entertain thoughts of giving in, giving up, and ending it all. The trick is to remember the things that are worth living for, that are worth fighting for, that are worth trying again and again, as necessary, for. No matter how bleak the situation, how dark the night, how exposed and lonely you feel, there is always something that matters, something to hold onto, something to keep us from jumping into that abyss. Whether it's a beloved fur baby, a beloved friend, or just fucking not wanting to let the bastards win - HANG ON. Don't give in. As I said earlier, since finding God, those thoughts are fewer, but definitely not completely gone. But God Himself gives me a reason. Find a reason. Find a reason to hang on. Because, even though it's trite and doesn't feel like it at the time, every situation is temporary. Suicide is not.

Ok, now that I've totally exposed my most vulnerable self to the three people who listen, haha, I'm going to end this episode with a reminder that if you're feeling suicidal, please call the National Suicide Hotline at 800-273-8255. That's 800-273-8255. Don't let depression win. Don't let suicidal thoughts get the better of you. Reach out to someone who can help. Call a friend and tell them how you're feeling. Believe me, they'd much rather talk to you and help you through it than attend your funeral.

Now, I don't want to end this episode without stating, for the record, that I love Steve with all my heart and soul, I love our relationship, and honestly, living apart is probably why we've been together as long as we have, haha. It's only occasionally that those darker thoughts creep into my brain, but I wanted to use them to illustrate how those thoughts can contrive to make us doubt, doubt ourselves, doubt our relationships, doubt our very existence, our very worth. When those dark thoughts intrude, we must light a torch to scatter them from our minds! And to end, please like, subscribe, and rate Two Goats and a Donkey, and remember, It Gets Better and please don't give up!


©George Booth, 2021, 2022, All Rights Reserved. You do not have permission to copy photos, articles, videos, or anything else from this site without written permission by me. Questions or concerns can be emailed to me, George Booth.

free Hit Counter