Episodes 1 to 4 Inclusive of Living with Depression by Ken David Stewart


Living with Depression by Ken David Stewart

I have had to live with major depressive disorder for most of my adult life. I would estimate that this disease has consumed about forty percent of my productive years.

A few of the symptoms of depression are much more disabling than others. One of the most frustrating symptoms in my life is the severe and chronic fatigue that is commonly found in persons with this disorder. The chronic fatigue may be significantly prevalent for weeks and even months. Sometimes, I find that the fatigue and heaviness appears to go into remission for part of the year.

Why this happens, I am not sure. I am just extremely grateful to get these short seasons of relief. I tend to perk up a bit when the summer season comes along. This could indicate that I also have seasonal affective disorder.

The chronic fatigue that often accompanies depression may cause financial distress. Unless you have good group insurance benefits at work, you may find that your household income can be significantly depleted for parts of the year. When this occurs, worry and fear will usually appear.

I should state at this point that all chronic fatigue may not be attributable to the disease of depression. I have often found that a severe lack of energy may ensue after I have a serious viral or bacterial infection. When my cold and flu symptoms dissipate I have often found that my debilitating fatigue will continue for weeks or even months after. It is quite likely that I suffer from another illness known as CFS or chronic fatigue syndrome.

Episode two

Chronic fatigue will almost always negatively impact one’s relationships with other people. Especially if they have a significant other. The depressive’s spouse finds that her husband/wife/boyfriend/girlfriend chooses not to go out with them or do much of anything, especially if the activity involves other people and socializing. The partner that is unaffected by major depressive disorder may find that they are spending an inordinate amount of their time alone, or are doing many extra curricular or social activities by themselves.

 

It’s not always that a person suffering with depression does not want to attend the occasional social function. Sometimes they wish they could go to an activity with their partner, but simply don’t have the energy to do it. Even if they occasionally feel that they may be able to ‘push themselves’ to go out, they may be worried that they will bring other people down. Who really wants to hang out with a depressed individual anyway?

When I am in my worst phases of depression I feel that I don’t have the energy to carry on a conversation with anyone. When the depressive thinks about going out for social or group or church event, all they can think about is how much of their already depleted energy it might take to shave, shower, brush their teeth, select and put on clean clothes, etc. The contemplated energy consumption may seem overwhelming to the depressed person. If the depressed individual owns a car they may ask their partner to drive as they believe that they may be too fatigued to operate a vehicle safely. Worry and guilt are two emotions that a person with depression will frequently encounter.

Episode three

 

For the past two weeks I have been feeling relatively well. For most people there should be nothing special about this. For a person suffers from major depression disorder one good day is a day to be celebrated.

 

When I experience one or more happy days strung together, I started to get uncomfortable. I struggle the feeling of happiness in my life. It seems to be such a rare phenomenom for me. I’m so used to feeling depressed, without hope and having very little faith that my life will ever get any better. I was on my default setting when I was feeling exhausted and plagued by physical and emotional pain. I’ve have often thought that this was just my lot in life. I believe that this is why I am probably happier than the average person when I ocassionally experience a good day.

 

I went through a very rough winter season that seems to have started in November of 2016. I suffer from what my doctor termed a mild case of COPD. This illness appears in a mild form when I don’t have an upper respiratory infection. When I catch a bad cold or flu, everything changes for me. I’ve become so ill that I barely have the strength to get out of bed.

During my episodes of severe COPD in the past, I’ve been able to continue with my fiction writing, but not my substitute teaching. This time, however, even my writing was a ‘no go’. Not only did my body feel shut down, so did my mind. I couldn’t seem to string together two cohesive thoughts. I have been writing fiction novels and plays, oft and on, for several years now.

Although I am technically retired, I work part-time as a substitute teacher. I enjoy subbing very much and take as many assignments as much as my health and energy and energy levels allow. Presently, I’m on holidays and have been enjoying the last two weeks immensely.

I’ve experienced long periods in my life where I cannot feel joy in anything that I do. This affects every area of my life as why would I want to pursue activities that no longer give me any pleasure? This is what is known in the psychiatric literature as a condition termed adhedonia or the inability to feel pleasure in the ordinary experiences and activities of daily living. This is a very painful place to be.

Feeling somewhat better in December 2016, I returned to my work as a substitute teacher. The Christmas holiday season actually went relatively well for me and that is highly unusual. This was probably due to the fact that I had quality time to spend with my wife and my goddaughter. I will never forget the night all three of us watched Christmas videos. Most of them were very funny and I ended up doing something I haven’t done years. I laughed out loud.

 

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Episodes One and Two of Living with Depression by Ken David Stewart


Living with Depression by Ken David Stewart

I have had to live with major depressive disorder for most of my adult life. I would estimate that this disease has consumed about forty percent of my productive years.

A few of the symptoms of depression are much more disabling than others. One of the most frustrating symptoms in my life is the severe and chronic fatigue that is commonly found in persons with this disorder. The chronic fatigue may be significantly prevalent for weeks and even months. Sometimes, I find that the fatigue and heaviness appears to go into remission for part of the year.

Why this happens, I am not sure. I am just extremely grateful to get these short seasons of relief. I tend to perk up a bit when the summer season comes along. This could indicate that I also have seasonal affective disorder.

The chronic fatigue that often accompanies depression may cause financial distress. Unless you have good group insurance benefits at work, you may find that your household income can be significantly depleted for parts of the year. When this occurs, worry and fear will usually appear.

I should state at this point that all chronic fatigue may not be attributable to the disease of depression. I have often found that a severe lack of energy may ensue after I have a serious viral or bacterial infection. When my cold and flu symptoms dissipate I have often found that my debilitating fatigue will continue for weeks or even months after. It is quite likely that I suffer from another illness known as CFS or chronic fatigue syndrome.

Episode two

Chronic fatigue will almost always negatively impact one’s relationships with other people. Especially if they have a significant other. The depressive’s spouse finds that her husband/wife/boyfriend/girlfriend chooses not to go out with them or do much of anything, especially if the activity involves other people and socializing. The partner that is unaffected by major depressive disorder may find that they are spending an inordinate amount of their time alone, or are doing many extra curricular or social activities by themselves.

 

It’s not always that a person suffering with depression does not want to attend the occasional social function. Sometimes they wish they could go to an activity with their partner, but simply don’t have the energy to do it. Even if they occasionally feel that they may be able to ‘push themselves’ to go out, they may be worried that they will bring other people down. Who really wants to hang out with a depressed individual anyway?

When I am in my worst phases of depression I feel that I don’t have the energy to carry on a conversation with anyone. When the depressive thinks about going out for social or group or church event, all they can think about is how much of their already depleted energy it might take to shave, shower, brush their teeth, select and put on clean clothes, etc. The contemplated energy consumption may seem overwhelming to the depressed person. If the depressed individual owns a car they may ask their partner to drive as they believe that they may be too fatigued to operate a vehicle safely. Worry and guilt are two emotions that a person with depression will frequently encounter.

 

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Living With Depression by Ken David Stewart Introduction


Living with Depression by Ken David Stewart

I have had to live with major depressive disorder for most of my adult life. I would estimate that this disease has consumed about forty percent of my productive years.

A few of the symptoms of depression are much more disabling than others. One of the most frustrating symptoms in my life is the severe and chronic fatigue that is commonly found in persons with this disorder. The chronic fatigue may be significantly prevalent for weeks and even months. Sometimes, I find that the fatigue and heaviness appears to go into remission for part of the year.

Why this happens, I am not sure. I am just extremely grateful to get these short seasons of relief. I tend to perk up a bit when the summer season comes along. This could indicate that I also have seasonal affective disorder.

The chronic fatigue that often accompanies depression may cause financial distress. Unless you have good group insurance benefits at work, you may find that your household income can be significantly depleted for parts of the year. When this occurs, worry and fear will usually appear.

I should state at this point that all chronic fatigue may not be attributable to the disease of depression. I have often found that a severe lack of energy may ensue after I have a serious viral or bacterial infection. When my cold and flu symptoms dissipate I have often found that my debilitating fatigue will continue for weeks or even months after. It is quite likely that I suffer from another illness known as CFS or chronic fatigue syndrome.2017-06-19 09.04.03

Episode Eight of Keith Ross, a Novel by Ken David Stewart


Episode Eight

“After lunch do you want to take your dog for a walk? We can take mine too. He’s an American cocker spaniel. I left him at Grandma’s house,” Tamara asked.

“That’s a great idea. I usually take Rex out for a walk just about every day. We only walk for about ten to fifteen minutes. Rex is pretty strong and I’m an old man. I’m planning to get myself in better shape this summer, though. Do you have a bicycle, Tamara?” he asked.

“Yes, I have a red and white Trek,” Tamara answered.

“Would you like to go for a bike ride with me? I like to cycle around St. Vital Park.”

“I would love to. That would give me more motivation to exercise,” Keith responded.

Just as Keith took a long sip from his glass of water, he saw two police constables walking up to his front door.

“I wonder why the police are coming to my house. I didn’t call them,” he said looking puzzled.

When Keith opened the door for the two police officers, a young male constable looked Keith in the eye. “Do you have a young lady named Tamara Cameo staying with you?”

Keith shrugged. “Yes, but I just met her. She just came over for lunch.”

Tamara stepped in front of Keith and confidently confronted the constable. “I know why you’re here. You’re going to pick me up for breaching my parole last night.”

“That’s right,” said the other constable, a young, attractive female police officer. We were just at your grandmother’s house and she told us you might be here. Place your hands behind your back. I’m going to have to handcuff you.”

“Just as the police constable was putting the handcuffs on Tamara, her grandmother crossed into Keith’s yard to see what all the excitement was about.

Brenda Cameo had a slim build and was an attractive lady who had just celebrated her fifty fourth birthday. She presented with a calm demeanor as she approached the police officers.

“Sorry about this, constables. I was just telling Tamara yesterday how important it is to meet with her parole officer.”

“I didn’t think that they would arrest me today. I just got caught for selling a little bit of weed,” Tamara said as an annoyed look spread across her face.

“The court takes skipping mandated appointments very seriously, my dear,” the young, blonde police officer said as she checked to see if she had positioned the handcuffs correctly.

“We came over to your grandmother’s house as soon as we were notified by your parole officer that you failed to attend this morning’s meeting.”

“I don’t know what all the fuss is about. I was going to phone Sarah, my PO, to find out if I could meet with her later today. What the heck. Prime Minister Trudeau is going to legalize marijuana next year anyway,” Tamara protested.

 

The young, handsome male constable took Tamara’s right arm and started to move her towards the police car.

“That’s all well and good, but you still have to wait until next year. Maybe by then, you can get a license to sell weed legally and open up your own shop,” Constable Williams said with a grin.

Tamara started to chuckle. “That sounds like a plan, but I guess you guys have to take me to jail today.”

“That’s right,” said Constable Humie, the attractive blonde female constable.

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Episode Seven of Keith Ross, a Novel by Ken David Stewart


Episode Seven

‘How about you, Tamara?” Keith asked. “I don’t know anything about you yet.”

“Well, I just moved in with my grandmother,” Tamara answered.

“You mean Brenda Dawson? I’ve talked to her many times. She’s a really nice lady. She is still known as the pet rescue lady in the neighborhood. Brenda always has at least two stray animals that she keeps until she can find good homes for them. Where were you living before you moved in with your grandma?” Keith asked.

“I was living with my boyfriend, Blake Edwards in Orlando, Florida, not too far from the Everglades,” Tamara answered.

“Where’s Blake living now?”

“He’s in Manitoba right now getting free room and board in The Headingly Correctional Facility. He originally moved to Winnipeg with me and got himself a bachelor suite on Furby Street. After living there for only two days Blake tried to rob a Chinese restaurant two blocks away. The truth is that Blake is not a very smart criminal. It only took the cops about an hour to arrest him,” Tamara answered.

“When is he going to be released from jail?” Keith asked grabbing another corned beef sandwich.

“They’ll probably keep him for a few months as Blake gets into trouble with the law a lot. I think that Blake made a poor choice when he decided to be a career outlaw. The truth is that he is not very good at it, but he hasn’t figured that out yet.”

“Are you in love with Blake?” Keith asked as Tamara took a sip from her glass of water.

“It’s hard to say. I don’t really know what love is. If you are talking about a physical, chemical attraction to Blake, yeah, it’s there. I don’t approve of his lifestyle though. I wish he’d grow up, get a job and have some positive direction for his life.”

“It sounds like you want a quality life. How did you end up moving to Winnipeg?”

“That was Marilyn’s idea. She’s my stepmother. She didn’t want me living that close to the Everglades. Marilyn is worried that it’s too dangerous a location for me. About a month ago, she was watching tv and saw a story about a nine foot Burmese python that wandered into one of our neighbor’s yard in Orlando. The snake had eaten their dog. Marilyn phoned Brenda, my grandmother, and asked if I could live with her for awhile until I found a place of my own in Winnipeg. Marilyn didn’t know that Blake was coming to Winnipeg with me.”images 17

Episode 5 and 6 of Keith Ross, a Novel by Ken David Stewart


Episode Five

Keith was just about to begin work on chapter five after rereading and editing chapter four. Keith was  startled by a loud knock on his front door. When he got up from his comfortable, black leather office chair, he saw a young woman who appeared to be in her late teens or early twenties. The young female was dressed all in black and was probably a goth. Keith had run into the odd goth here and there when he subbed in some of his local high schools.

“Hey, I’m Tamara. I’m your new neighbor. I’ve been dying to meet you so I brought over some spicy broccoli soup and sandwiches. I thought that maybe we could have lunch and then hang out for a while.”

Tamara’s voice was a bit shaky and she probably had to really pump up her courage to knock on her new neighbor’s door. Keith noticed that Tamara was wearing the classic black Nirvana tee shirt, the one with a smiley face and gold lettering on it. She wore extra large, round, gold earrings and had several piercings through her eyebrows, nose and lips.

“Tamara, I’m pleased to meet you. My name is Keith Ross. I’m a senior citizen. There’s just me and my dog Rex living here now. I’d like it very much if we could have lunch together.”

“Cool,” Tamara said as she started arranging her food on Keith’s kitchen table. Keith’s furnishings were very modest. When he and his last girlfriend split up, she took all the good, newer furniture for herself. Keith and Tamara could hear loud barking coming from the backyard.

“That’s my dog, Rex. Do you mind if I let him come in the house?” Keith asked.

“No problem. man. I love animals. What kind of dog is it?”

“Rex is a German shepherd with a very sweet disposition. Rex loves people, especially young people.”

Episode six

As soon as Keith opened his back porch door to let Rex in, he immediately started to bark at the stranger. Tamara held out her hand for Rex to sniff. He handed over to Tamara a plastic baggie filled with chopped up Rollover Sausage and asked her to give his dog a treat. Rex jumped up for the treat so fast that he almost bit Tamara’s fingers.

After receiving his treat, Rex was now ready to make friends with Tamara and to get some affection from her. Rex turned over on his back signifying the canine submission position.

“Are you ready to eat lunch now, Keith?” Tamara asked as she moved towards Keith’s black with orange polka-dots kitchen table. Which drawer is your cutlery in?”

“The second drawer on the left-hand side,” Keith answered. Tamara found two soup bowls and dished out some soup in Keith’s red bowl.

“Thanks, Tamara. It isn’t very often that someone brings me lunch,” Keith said as he put a large spoon in his bowl of soup.

“Don’t you have any family or friends?” Tamara asked.

“No one that visits me much anymore,” Keith answered.

“Why is that?”

“Well the truth is that I outlived my only real friend. He passed on from lung cancer last year.”

“Were you close friends?” Tamara asked while putting some crackers in Keith’s soup.

“Yes, we were. I knew Paul from our elementary school days. We lived on the same block and sort of grew up together,” Keith added.

“That must’ve been a terrible loss for you,” Tamara commented as she put one of her hands over Keith’s left hand. Keith wiped a tear from his eye.

“How about family, Keith?” Tamara asked.

“I don’t see or hear from any of them very often. I have a brother and sister who are quite a bit older than me. Both live in managed care facilities now,” Keith said.

“Did you ever have a wife or kids?” Tamara asked.

“Yeah, I was married once. About thirty years ago. My ex-wife and I had one son together,” he said reaching for one of Tamara’s homemade corned beef sandwiches.

“So you’re divorced?” Tamara asked.

Keith nodded his head.

“What about your son? Do you ever hear from him?”

“Not very often. Maybe once or twice a year. I think he still blames me for the breakup of our family.”fantasy-2

Episode Five of Keith Ross by Ken David Stewart


Episode Five

 

Keith was just about to begin work on chapter five after rereading and editing chapter four. Keith was a bit startled to hear a loud knock on his front door. When he got up from his comfortable, black leather office chair to get the door He saw a young woman who appeared to be in her late teens or early twenties. The young female was dressed all in black and was probably a goth. Keith had run into the odd goth here and there when he subbed in some of his local high schools.

“Hey, I’m Tamara. I’m your new neighbor. I would like to meet you so I brought over some soup and sandwiches. I thought that maybe we could have lunch and then hang out for a while.”

Tamara’s voice was a bit shaky and she probably had to really pump up her courage to knock on her new neighbor’s door. Keith noticed that Tamara was wearing the classic black Nirvana tee shirt, the one with a smiley face and gold lettering on it. She wore extra large, round, gold earrings and had several piercings through her eyebrows, nose and lips.

“Tamara, I’m pleased to meet you. My name is Keith Ross. I’m a senior citizen. There’s just me and my dog Rex living here now. I’d like it very much if we could have lunch together.”

“Cool,” Tamara said as she started arranging her food on Keith’s kitchen table. Keith’s furnishings were very modest. When he and his last girlfriend split up, she took all the good, newer furniture for herself. Keith and Tamara could hear loud barking coming from the backyard.

“That’s my dog, Rex. Do you mind if I let him come in the house? Keith asked.

“No problem. man. I love animals. What kind of dog is it?”

“Rex is a German shepherd with a very sweet disposition. Rex loves people, especially young people.”fantasy 13