50. It’s Never Too Late in the Afternoon to Make Changes-1

This post continues on from the last blog – “Drawing a Line in the Sand.” We continue on with a conversation between Mitch Jasper and Dave Logan from my book TOO LATE IN THE AFTERNOON: One Man’s Triumph Over Depression. Read on….

I listened to Dave intently. But instead of absorbing his words into my heart, I was thinking how to poke holes in his philosophy.

I said, “You made three major changes in your life, but look at the time frames. The drinking and fighting occurred over less than half a year. The fling with your co-worker lasted a few months. Your being filled with pride happened over three years. My bad habits have become ingrained in me over a period of 40 years. With that length of time, personalities become defined in concrete. Thought patterns become deeply etched fissures in the brain. The traces in the soul become darker and darker, until they are a permanent dye.”

Dave pounced on me again. “It’s never too late, never too late. Think about Scrooge in A Christmas Carol who underwent a profound experience of redemption over the course of one night. Scrooge was a financier who had devoted his entire life to the accumulation of wealth for himself, more than 40 years by the way. He held anything other than money in contempt, including friendships, love, and the Christmas season.”

I was familiar with the story. “I’ll grant you that one,” I said, “although it’s not a story based on a real character.”

“Stories don’t appear out of thin air,” responded Dave. “I expect Charles Dickens was familiar with a real person who had made such a change at an advanced age.

“If you want a real person, take my Grandfather Alex. Do you remember him when you came over to our house when he was visiting?He was a crotchety old man and had been tight fisted and a hoarder of money for 37 years of his life. He was greatly affected by The Great Depression, and his personality and thinking were cemented from that time on. My grandmother told my mother Grandfather Alex was the sweetest and most generous man in the first 15 years of their marriage. When he was 40 years old in 1935, he lost his job, his house, and all his savings. He had to start all over again. He became very successful in real estate but always thought another Great Depression was around the corner. That thinking robbed him of most pleasures in life. He had a constant anxiety that life would throw him back to where he was when he was 40.

“In 1965, when we graduated from high school, he was 70 years old. When he was 77, with 37 years of being a miserable old man who was heading to the poorhouse, he got a wake-up call. He was diagnosed with inoperable brain cancer. He underwent chemotherapy and was in remission the last ten years of his life. Six months after the diagnosis, we started to see a remarkable change in him. He became a new person. He was joyous, generous, a very kind person, and someone you wanted to be around all the time. It can be done. You had a major heart attack a year ago. You’re living on borrowed time. You could just as well be dead. You can become a new person just like Grandfather Alex—today.”

To be continued in the next posting. Don’t miss it.

About Patrick Day

In 2010, I escaped from four long years of deep, dark depression. This blog shares lessons I learned from those years as depicted in my autobiography - How I Escaped from Depression - as well as other insights about depression and anxiety that only come from someone who has gone through it. When you have a heart attack, you become an expert in heart attacks. When you have diabetes, you become an expert in that condition. As such, I am an expert in depression, with a four-year experiential degree and graduate studies in how to live a life going forward that keeps the ever-lurking Depression at a healthy distance.
This entry was posted in Depression, Living a Spiritual Life, Making Changes in Your Life, Overcoming Depression and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to 50. It’s Never Too Late in the Afternoon to Make Changes-1

  1. Kathy Maki says:

    Hi Pat, Enjoying your postings. Larry Mickelberg and I are out in Lake Havasu, Az. for the month of January. I have been reading some of your work and it has great meaning since we both have the high school connection with you. I also did not know that you have lived with depression. It is wonderful and an inspiration to read your blog. The Brekkens are also out here so we have enjoyed doing things with them. May God keep you and your family safe, Kathy Maki

    • Patrick Day says:

      Thanks for the kind coments Kathy. Diane and I will be in Palm Springs the middle to end of February at my sister Kay’s, if you remember her. The depression I went through was pretty bad, but God brought me out on the other side. It is by His grace that am now able to write this blog.

  2. Jack Harrold says:

    Something, but not exactlhy, like the “glass is half full” axiom.

    Or the “you see what you’re looking for” theory.

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