Tag Archives: Boston Red Sox

Today, baseball, and the Boston Red Sox, make me happy

Alan Bosox cap

Me in my Opening Day headgear. Go Boston Red Sox!

Even with my depression and anxiety, there’s no way I’ll be down today.

Why? It’s opening day for Major League Baseball. No matter what happens between now and September, I know that my beloved Boston Red Sox will be a constant part of my life.

Though I’ve only lived in Boston for 10 years, I’ve always loved the Red Sox. I grew up in Miami, but that city didn’t have a team when I was little. So I adopted the Red Sox. I have relatives from Boston, but that’s not the reason I fell for the Sox. What hooked me was their penchant for feeling they were cursed.

This affliction even had a name: the Curse of the Bambino. The Sox won the World Series often during the early 1900s. But then they traded Babe Ruth to the New York Yankees. After that, the Yankees won World Series trophies by the truckloads. But for the Sox, it was bupkis — for 86 years. Hence, the curse.

It stands to reason that I would fall for a cursed team, because even when I was little, I felt cursed myself. My depression and anxiety would not be diagnosed for years, but I sure felt different–and even shunned–from other kids my age. In my young mind, I thought that all those cursed ball players could somehow relate to me.

I moved to Boston in 2004–the same year that the Sox finally broke the curse and won the World Series. I will never forget the euphoria that swept this city afterward. I remember going to Downtown Crossing the day after the Sox won. People were still partying. A guy dressed in nothing but a white sheet introduced himself as the Ghost of Babe Ruth, and kept yelling, “you’re free now, Boston! You’re free!” It was magical.

Since then, I’ve celebrated two more World Series championships. But there have been the down times, too. Last year was especially disheartening, because the Sox wound up in last place, even though they won the World Series the year before. How, I wondered, could they be so up one season, and so down the next? And besides, I was coming out of a major depression by the time baseball season started last year. I counted on the Sox to lift my spirits. Boy, did they let me down.

But I still watched them–and I still love them. I’m there for them no matter what. I’m not one of those people who watch every single game. But it’s comforting to know that I could if I wanted to. Especially when I’m in one of my down periods, I try to think about things that make me grateful. No matter how the Sox do this season, I know that for the next few months, they’ll be constant fixtures on my list.

But as for right now — play ball!

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Hanging on to hope

Yesterday, I posted about my tough time coping with Boston’s record snowfall. In the past two weeks, we’ve seen 6 feet of the white stuff, and no, I am not exaggerating.

We all have our ways of coping, or not coping. Most people I know–myself included–have been complaining. A lot. That’s why a Facebook post from one of my friends stuck out for me yesterday. It simply read:

The Boston Red Sox equipment truck heads out for spring training in Florida on Thursday.

Mind you, that’s not that spring training is starting, or that the Red Sox themselves are leaving for Florida. Their EQUIPMENT TRUCK is heading out.

“This guy’s really grasping at straws,” I thought to myself. Just then, one of his friends responded with, “Yeah, the truck will leave–WEATHER PERMITTING.”

I knew I couldn’t top that, so I didn’t. But my friend has the right idea. Even if he is grasping, he’s hanging on to hope–and reminding us that, even if we don’t believe it now, spring will come very soon. It sounds corny, but I see a parallel with my depression. When I’m in one of my dark periods, I think it will never end. But just like the snow and the winter, it does.

Instead of telling my friend that he was grasping at straws, I responded by thanking him for reminding me that this winter will soon come to an end. It was something I really needed to hear.


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.”┬áLike watching Tom Brady and the boys. Look out, Chicago Bears. You’re next!