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Depression is a time of the year

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Written by “El Giuanin” for BausciaCafe.com

Original article at https://www.bausciacafe.com/editoriale/la-depressione-e-un-periodo-dell-anno/


This is the title of the single by rapper and songwriter Willie Peyote, released on November 13, 2020. The song represents a negative reflection of the artist towards the management of the COVID-19 pandemic in Italy and the world and, at the same time, pulls the sums of what was the first part of 2020.

As has often happened in other songs, his criticism spares no one: from the unprepared politician to the truth-crying guru, passing through the indictment’s main subject: us. It is precisely the people who suffer the central invectives, such as the emblematic “We had to come out better, shit is already a lot if we came out of it” and it is the author himself who tells us that with this song “I took a picture of the last months with the usual joie de vivre. It is released on Friday the 13th, not surprisingly, in the red, yellow and various shades area. We had to come out better, right? “.

The Turin author is not new to dealing with delicate issues like this one. In “E allora ciao”, the last track of Educazione Sabauda, Willie Peyote deals with a very intimate and delicate subject: suicide. On more than one occasion, he himself would have found himself touching the extreme gesture with his thoughts.

To understand the reason why I’m writing all this to you, you’ll have to be patient a little longer.

When a month ago I sat down to organize the blog post calendar I imagined that we could take advantage of the national team break to take stock of the latest events that took place at the Nerazzurri. Only that all this was not possible due to the positivity to Covid-19 by four players and two members of the team group. Due to these new cases, the last game played remains the one 10 days ago with the success of Turin.

Then in my head, various ideas started to be developed, until I got to have two valid arguments to talk about: one goliardic and one authoritative. I would have left the last few days to decide which one to develop and brighten your reading. Then it happens that on Tuesday 23 March, so three days ago, Fiorentina announced the resignation of Prandelli, who decided to greet the purple people with a farewell letter

And it is after reading the letter that my perspectives on writing today’s post have changed. Change because the words read within that letter cannot leave indifferent a human being with a minimum of sensitivity, and they cannot leave me indifferent that “that absurd discomfort that does not allow me to be what I am” and “that shadow that grew inside me that also changed my way of seeing things ” I experienced them firsthand no more than two years ago.

In this moment of my life, I find myself in an absurd discomfort that does not allow me to be who I am…

Whoever goes on the pitch at this level undoubtedly has a specific talent, whoever has talent is sensitive and I would never want my discomfort to be perceived and affect the team’s performance…

In recent months, a shadow has grown inside me that has also changed my way of seeing things…

I am aware that my coaching career can end here, but I have no regrets and I do not want to have any. Probably this world that I have been a part of all my life is no longer for me and I no longer recognize myself in it. I will certainly have changed and the world is going faster than I thought. This is why I believe that now the time has come to stop being carried away by this speed and to stop to find who I really am.

Cesare Prandelli

My first reaction, once I finished reading, was to ask myself “What really matters” and go and reread Vujen’s beautiful post from last year, because often and willingly in this world – which despite the ongoing pandemic continues to travel to high speeds – we do not take note of what the real values and priorities are to be given importance. We live in a world in which we excessively idolize the figure of the super-man, advancing him on a pedestal because he does not show fragility, the same fragility that weak people – as we mistakenly like to call them – show, even extending their side to us. And the same thing we do with depressed people. We categorize them as weak and different from us, but being depressed doesn’t mean being different. Not understanding and failing to process something that is outside of one’s direct experience leads to this error.

The worst part about having a mental illness is that people expect you to behave as if you don’t.

Analyzing it, Prandelli’s story actually looks like a serious depressive episode. And to hear the words of him after Benevento – “I am very tired, a little empty. Reasons? Nobody, I’m just tired ”- it almost seems to define it. In this case, there seems to be a psychopathological substrate. Professionals at that level are indeed under enormous pressure, but this happens in all large companies: when you get to certain levels it is clear that expectations and responsibilities grow, but if you have got there you should also be able to handle them. I believe that Prandelli’s anxiety-depressive syndrome (for which we are really sorry from a human point of view) is independent of the pressures he has received. It would have broken even if he had been a sales manager at a food company.

It is also true at the same time that football, and everything around it, has changed a lot in recent years. Just look at how Manchester City have hired four astrophysicists to enhance the data area, or how Liverpool have long had the analyst department led by mathematicians with PhDs in Cambridge, and create new models to transform what happens on the pitch into data, hiring physicists, other mathematicians, often people who don’t know much about football.

All added to the fact of returning to high levels after years of inactivity, and combined with the physiological decrease in energy due to advancing age, has probably meant that with Prandelli this situation was reached.

Situation not to be underestimated but to be kept under control and always monitored, even in a world, the sporting one and that of football in particular, where it continues to be taboo.

It’s like having a black dog whose name is depression. Whenever the black dog appears to you, you feel empty and your life seems to slow down. And he surprises you with his visits for no reason or special occasion. The black dog makes you look and feel older than your years.

When the rest of the world is enjoying life, you can only see it through the black dog.

The things you used to love to do no longer interest you, it eats your memory and your ability to concentrate: doing something or going somewhere with the black dog requires superhuman effort. On social occasions, smell your self-esteem and make it disappear.

The thing that scares you most is to be discovered: you are afraid of being judged.

Due to the increasingly larger size of the black dog, you live in fear of being discovered, you work hard to try to hide it. Living with an emotional lie is exhausting. The black dog makes you say and do negative things. It makes you irritable and it’s hard to be around you. It takes away your love and buries your intimacy.

The thing he loves most is waking up in the middle of the night and keeping you awake with pounding and distressing thoughts and all you do is fear how exhausting the next day will be.

Having a black dog doesn’t mean feeling sad, a little down, or unmotivated. It is much worse: it is feeling deprived of the ability to fully feel things.

Over time the black dog gets bigger and starts hanging around you all the time.

You want to chase him away and use any way you think can make him go away. You think they make him run away, but most of the time he won it, and letting himself go down becomes easier than getting up. So you become good at healing yourself, and you don’t help yourself at all; in the end, you feel totally isolated from everything and everyone.

The black dog managed to kidnap your life. When you lose all joy in life you start wondering what the purpose of all of this is.

Fortunately, you decide to ask an expert for help: this is the first step towards recovery and a great turning point in your life. You learn that no matter who you are, the black dog afflicts millions and millions of people, it doesn’t look anyone in the face.

You learn that there are no magic pills – medicines can help some, but others may need a different approach. You also learn that sharing your feelings with those around you can change things.

The most important thing is that you have learned not to fear the black dog: now you have a few tricks to teach him. When you’re tired and stressed, he barks louder, so it’s important to learn to calm your mind.

Regular exercise is clinically proven to limit moderate depression in the same way as antidepressants: so take a walk or a jog and leave the bastard behind. Keep a journal of your mood – seeing your thoughts in writing can be liberating and sometimes enlightening, and remember to write down the things to be grateful for.

The most important thing is to remember that no matter how bad things go: if you take the right steps, talk to the right people, black dog days can go away and they will.

You are not happy that you had the black dog, but it has taught you a lot: it has forced you to reevaluate and simplify your life. You have learned that instead of running away from your problems, it is much better to embrace them. The black dog will always be a part of your life, but it will never be the monster it was: now you have a deal.

You have learned from knowledge, patience, discipline, and humor that the worst black dog can be reduced and healed.

If you are in trouble, never be afraid to ask for help, don’t be ashamed: the only shame would be to give up when it comes to your life.