Depression is a liar and a killer in a very literal sense. "My ideas aren't good enough. My work isn't good enough. I'm not good enough. I'm not a 'fit' anywhere, after all." This is depression talking. I've heard these words. I've believed these words. Sometimes, I still do. But they're lies. You need to fight them, remembering that they're not true.
Think of it this way. If you had an asthma attack, what would you do? You'd take a puff from an inhaler, right? Your lungs are malfunctioning and you do what you need to fix them, right? Well, your brain is an organ, too, just like your lungs. One of the symptoms of your brain malfunctioning is having it telling you lies. You need to get this fixed. I'm no doctor or psychologist, so I can't prescribe your specific solution. However, this can be fixed, be it by medication, professional therapy, or even simple communication with a friendly group of people who know what it's like.
I can't promise a cure. I can't promise you much of anything. But what I can promise is this: we'll be here for you. If what you need is time alone to work something out on your own, we won't push. If what you need is advice, we'll be here pooling our knowledge and experience. If what you need is to express your feelings and tell us your story, we'll be here with open arms and open ears.
Regarding what triggered this episode, I offer you this. You submitted projects to Desert Bus for 5 years straight. That's quite an accomplishment in its own right. I've only submitted 1 project myself. But maybe you're in a rut. Are you letting this define who you are? Is this an intrinsic, integral part of who you are? If it isn't, can you let it go, no matter how tough that might be? And if it is, can you define what it is about it that makes it that? Like James said, does it have to be Desert Bus? Is it the crafting? Is it the part where you raise money for a good cause? Is it the community? While Desert Bus will always be unique, you can find similar expression in different places. If it's about the crafting and the giving, you don't need to send it to Desert Bus for that. If it's about the charity, there are other marathons for a good cause out there. You could donate your craft to one of them. If it's the community, that's not going anywhere. We'll be here to experience the magic with you, craft or no.
Maybe this "set-back" is just the kick in the pants that you need to examine just what it was about what you were doing that made you happy. I'm reminded of this comic and our 11 7-year "lifetimes" we have. You had 5 years of this, which is close to 7. Maybe it's time to let it go and pick up something new. Or maybe it's time to double-down and really find out for yourself what makes this a part of who you are. By doing so, you will inevitably morph this into a new and different form in the future, even if the core is the same. Only you can answer any of the questions I've posed, though, through introspection. Take some time to think about this... And I mean literally schedule some time, just to be alone to think. It doesn't have to be long. Could be just 5 or 10 minutes even. And you don't have to get the answers on the first try. If you come out of your first thinking session still confused, still depressed, with nothing made clearer, don't worry. It's possible to figure it out on the first try, but definitely not the norm.
If you've read this far, thank you. We all should keep each other accountable here. You keep me coming back here, preventing me from going postal or jumping places I shouldn't. I'll keep fighting the lies that depression is telling you, thereby helping you realize your worth. Even if your life is going to crap on its own, maybe we can all keep it together, by being together.
I'll leave you with a quote that inspires me:
After going over this again, I'm wondering how much of this is me talking to you and how much is me really talking to myself about my own struggles... That's a tough one.Michael Jordan wrote:I've missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I've lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I've been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I've failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.