There are thousands of people who suffer from depression, some get trapped in their own world and others even decide to end their suffering by opting for suicide. Nonetheless, there’s a few people who seek alternatives to survive and even fewer who look into helping others face their illness.
In our next interview for perlarico.com, we had the opportunity to talk with a man who identifies himself as a “depressed poet” who found solace in his poetry and podcasts and now wants to support others who live with the same disease.
Meet Doc “Pops” Dalton, The Depressed Poet, originally from New Jersey and diagnosed with depression for more than 35 years in conjunction with the pandemic that brought him other medical diagnosis, explains how a light shined on his path transformed his life and now seeks to help with his experience to those who live in a depressed world.
1. Thank you for the interview, to those who want to know a little bit more about you. Who is Doc “Pops” Dalton, The Depressed Poet?
Dalton: He is a husband, father, and grandfather, a man who cares about many things but gets trapped down mentally which takes him away from those things at times. He appreciates what he has and does not look for more because there’re times, when people get carried away with wanting more, while never realizing that there are many people out there today who would love to have what you have at this moment.
2. Did you decide to call yourself The Depressed Poet?
Dalton: Not at all. When I was in the hospital for depression a doctor called me that. Years later it was said again by a few people, and it just stuck.
3. We know that more than 35 years ago you were diagnosed with depression, what can you tell us about that?
Dalton: It controls your life to a degree that becomes scary. Your thinking process can go sideways. The way you act, feel, respond and think can take you to a different level.
“I have hosted several radio and cable shows and have walked away from them all because of depression. When I say walk away, I mean just that, one day it became too much to handle. I was drowning in fear, and I just walked away. It was painful, confusing, and sad.”-Doc “Pops” Dalton, The Depressed Poet
4. How has your life been with this diagnosis?
Dalton: At times difficult because you yourself are not sure what is happening. At times it is hard just to have a conversation with someone. Other times you do not want to speak to anyone. Like a scared child you want to hide. You lose faith in yourself. Days are long, nights are even longer. Nights turn into what I call, walking the floors of hell. But through these times you learn who your true friends are and who truly loves you, your family, no matter how difficult it is at times, is the key to survival.
5. You were diagnosed with COVID-19 Long Haulers and LEMS, how did it happened?
Dalton: Soon after my second COVID vaccine shot, I became ill and as time went on it became tougher to walk. Brain fog set in and was scary, things got even worse, the pain was more intense. Weakness set in without warning. Fatigue was like I never felt before. After several tests, it was determined that I had LEMS, which stands for Lambert-Eaton Myasthenic Syndrome. LEMS is characterized by weakness and fatigue especially of the muscles. There is no cure.
6. Where did you get the idea to start writing poetry?
Dalton: It was more like a suggestion that was said to me by a doctor while I was hospitalized for my depression. I thought the doctor was crazy but when locked in my room I said, “Why not?” To my surprise, I started writing and thinking about things I hadn’t thought about before such as God, heaven, nature, gifts of the world, the stars. I did not understand where it was all coming from, but I also didn’t care because it felt so good. Writing brings me peace, it gives my mind a vacation from all that is around me.
After publishing his poems, The Journey and Welcome Home, he decided to continue in the poetry world, even though Dalton has stated he is not a good writer but does not stop him from writing.
7. You’re about to launch your next poem, Old Dogs of the Whiskey Pie Trails, where can we find your next piece?
Dalton: It is a combination of short stories and poetry and is something that I have wanted to do for a long time but find difficulty doing because of all that is taking place in my life or in my head. For some it may be a small undertaking but for me, it’s like pushing a mountain while having no arms. It is both physically and mentally exhausting. As far as finding my other poems and info on the book, folks can visit my website at DocDalton.com.
8. We sure invite everyone to visit your site but lastly, what can you tell us about your podcast, The Coffee and Prayer?
Dalton: The purpose of the podcast was to have the opportunity to speak about things like kindness, respect, appreciation, gratitude, friendship, love, family and more. I started the podcast shortly before I became ill and did over 20 shows and have plans to continue. The reason for stopping at this time is, the people editing my show thought there was a problem with me because they would hear me slur my words and they asked me if I was okay. On one show, it was so noticeable that it sounded as if I had a stroke. This is one of the side effects of LEMS. So, until I get this better under control, I will step back for now and wait to start again. People can go to my website and click on the YouTube link, and my shows are all up there with a few more being posted shortly.
Fantastic, we hope you get better soon so we can listen to you once more doing what you love and it’s phenomenal to see you’re staying out of depression by being busy and setting an example to others on how to live a plentiful life.
Thank you Doc “Pops” Dalton, for sharing with our readers such a sensitive topic in your life, and your intention to help others is really valuable. We wish you success in all your projects.