How the New England Patriots are helping me cope

I’m really glad that the New England Patriots are on a winning streak–for more than the obvious reasons.

I’ve been a pro football fan all my life. And when the Pats beat the Jets last week for their third straight win, I actually thought to myself, “If I do something crazy to myself, I won’t get to find out if the Patriots make it to the Super Bowl.” That’s right — the Patriots are keeping me from attempting suicide.

Let me be clear–there’s a difference between thinking about suicide and actually having a plan for it. It’s actually common for people with depression to think about suicide often. It’s also common to be embarrassed to admit that. But I want to rid myself of shame and embarrassment. That’s one of the reasons I started this blog. So yes, I think about suicide often. But I am not suicidal. I do not have a plan. Fortunately, there are many reasons for this. And one of them is that if the Patriots make it to the Super Bowl, I want to be around to see it.

No matter how I feel before the game, the Patriots make me euphoric when they win. Same thing with the Red Sox. (Yes, if you haven’t guessed by now, I live in Boston.) The year I moved here was the year that the Sox won their first World Series in 86 years. I will never forget the shear, unbridled joy that swept through this city. And I will never forget being a part of it.

When I’m in a deep funk, I tend to forget that I can and have experienced joy in my life. Many times. I’m grateful that I thought about that when I watched my Pats last week. They are one more tool in my “mind trick” arsenal. When my depression tries to tell me that there’s nothing worth living for, I can fire back: “You LIE, you big black dog, you. There are SO MANY things to live for.” Like watching Tom Brady and the boys. Look out, Chicago Bears. You’re next!

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