Essentially, I am only eight years-old. I say this because of a decision I made eight years ago. And the decision was simple.
It was to say the words, “Never again.”
At the age of 33, I came to a crossroads. I came to a place where I had nothing left behind me. There was nothing in front of me and there was no one to my left or to my right. I had very little as far as clothing or possessions and my bank account was mostly empty. Aside from financially, I found myself emotionally bankrupt.
I was alone, and in the face of my heaviest downfall, I looked around at the few things I had left. I thought about the used car, which I had been paying too much in monthly fees because of my poor credit.
I looked at my pile of old bath towels, as well as four dinner plates and a box of silverware. I had an old pot, and a spaghetti strainer, which came with my small rented apartment. Then I looked at the iron, and an ironing board, which I kept in the pantry.
This is when I thought to myself, “Never again.”
“I will never let my life be like this again.”
In the wake of my sadness, I looked at the progress of my depression as well as the choices I made on its behalf. I considered the times I sold myself short and the people I involved myself with.
I thought about the company I kept and the way I modified my behavior in order to fit with my surroundings. I realized this contributed to my downfall and those who let me down, hurt, pulled, or took from me, were only able to do so because I let them.
And I said to myself, “Never again.”
Never again would I allow my happiness to hinge upon someone else’s.
After 33 years of life, I decided that I would no longer submit to my depression.
I decided not to involve myself with people that took without replacing.
Never again will I pay the emotional tax that comes with bad relationships. I made the decision to sever the ties, or push myself away from the tables where I sat for too long and I said, “No more.”
No more trying to fit where I do not belong. No more trying to accommodate my awkwardness by pretending to be anyone other than myself.
No more one-sided conversations, arguments, or one-way conditions that kept me from healthy and mutually beneficial relationships.
No more worrying about what other people think, or say, or do behind my back.
No more overthinking, over-analyzing, and second guessing.
No more lying in bed for an entire morning, looking at the ceiling, but not moving because I had no motivation.
My bout with depression is very real to me, as is my bouts and recovery from addiction, and other self-destructive behaviors.
In a moment of clarity, I opened my eyes and felt the presence of something greater than myself. Either it was my strong desire to feel differently or my weariness, but in that moment, I found myself on my knees with tears streaming down from my face.
I was beaten and weak. With all I had left, I extended my arms outward and leaned my head back. I looked up towards the ceiling, as if Heaven were on the other side, and I pleaded with the last ounce of my sanity.
“Please take this from me!”
The ideas of suicide were unacceptable. I had a child, and though she was young; I did not want her to mature knowing the sting of what happened to her father. I had seen what suicide does to families. I had failed in my own attempts at a younger age, and while emotionally beaten, I finally hit bottom.
Depression is like a clear film, which covered over me. And while others may not have noticed, I could see nothing else but the apparent difference between me and everyone else.
True, I was able to laugh and have moments of happiness, but I never knew what it meant to be happy.
I could see colors, but they were somewhat muted. I could hear laughter and good news, but I never felt its affects.
I felt distant, or unreachable.
I felt as if the things I wanted most were just beyond my reach, as if I could almost feel what I was grabbing for…but it was just beyond my grasp, and therefore, I believed I was undeserving and incapable of being happy.
I view depression as an emotional deprivation, which suffocates the mind, body, and soul. I see this as a thought process that becomes cancerous. And very much like cancer, depression absorbs and feeds from the inside out, like a parasite, or leech.
I lost most of my childhood because of this. I missed out on special events that come along with young life. I missed out on the rites of passage such as going to high school or attending my junior and senior prom.
I never had a high school sweetheart or a true college experience.
I hid behind loud and abusive behavior. I screamed with opened wounds, and if life were truly a cycle of good and bad, I believed it was my position to ride in the underbelly of that cycle.
In which case, I was furious. I was outraged and I allowed that fury to bleed through my skin, literally.
In fact, I still have the scars to prove it.
But never again…
I had to ask myself, “At what point is it your turn?”
“When is it your turn to be happy, or comfortable in your own skin?”
“When will you be willing to go to any lengths to change into who you need to be?”
Essentially, I am eight years-old. And I say this because eight years ago I made the decision to say, “Never again.
I made the decision to push myself away and say, “No more.”
Eight years ago, I made a commitment.
I made a decision and I put effort behind that decision.
And from there, I gained momentum.
Slowly, the momentum picked up and I began to move forward.
With regards to depression, some call what I have done progress,
but I call it freedom because there is nothing so freeing as a clear, conscious, decision.