With this being a month of awareness, I wanted to add another entry about a topic which is familiar to us all but seldom spoke open so openly and honestly. This might be helpful to someone that feels lost or hopeless. Maybe they feel that constant sense of impending doom. Or, maybe this will help someone that literally feels like they are drowning, slowly and sinking in, and yet, it seems like there’s nothing they can do to stop themselves from being pulled under.
Depression is like drowning alive in the vast unknown thing, which is invisible, but yet, we know it’s there.
It’s like a barrier between us and them or them and us. Depression is a wall that keeps us fenced in, and on the inside, we miss out. We miss out on life and visceral experience.
Depression—the bravest thing one can do is smile because happiness is a short momentary thing, which painful enough because in the mind of the depressed, happiness is hope, and with depression hope is dangerous because when hope is let down, the aftermath is disastrous.
Everyone has a life.
So why can’t I?
Everyone seems to be able to live and laugh and get by just fine.
Why can’t I?
Everything is a comparison.
And sometimes, nothing matters.
Depression — you want to feel good, but you just can’t. You want to be happy but nothing seems to work out. And, I mean, let’s be honest here; it’s not like anyone asks for this.
In all my life, I have never met anyone that asked to feel odd or strange or awkward. I have never met anyone that literally chooses this life. No, it seemed to me like depression chose me. In my case, nothing seemed like a choice. In my case, I was swarmed by tragic ideas and unfortunate thinking.
I have spent time learning and speaking with others and trying to weave together a common thread, which may not always originate from the same sources or come with the same reasons; however, all roads lead back to a similar thought process. All have a same idea, which is in the end, we just want to be free. That’s all. We want the world to stop turning. We want the thoughts to stop spinning and the anxiety to just . . . .go . . . .away.
There are moments when all seems blank or pointless. Life might get to a place where all feels empty or void; there is nothing more than a plague of uncomfortable misplacement and the level of frustration becomes too insurmountable.
You might ask yourself, “IS it really that hard to just feel normal?”
There may come to a point where there seems to be no reason; and you wish there were. You wish there was a reason because maybe t would be okay to have a little hope. You wish there was some kind of purpose that makes sense to you because then there would be something else to focus on besides the randomness of lonely ideas, which we do to cope with the thought machine. In times like this, nothing makes sense. Nothing works. Everything seems to be mismatched or out of sync. You just can’t catch a break.
You just want to feel okay, as if you can breathe for a minute and say, “Ahhh.” For some people, depression is the constant struggle of avoiding the panic or anxiety. We want to get away but there is no way out. There is no escaping our mistakes. There is no getting away from our decisions, which, let’s face it; our choices and decisions were made on behalf of our internal narrative. The hardest thing to see is our own reflection. Can’t stand the sight of ourselves. Don’t like the way we look or the sound of our own voice. Maybe in some cases, we have to keep up with the facade we built; we have to keep the mask on but the mask becomes heavy. So does the facade; meanwhile, all we really want to do is just rest for a minute.
You might wonder if you’re alone. You might ask yourself how life got this way. You wonder if there is anybody out there that understands or sees or gets it. Maybe the answer is yes or maybe no. Maybe no one gets it, which I tend to agree with. I agree because no one understands what weight feels like to you. I know what weight feels like in my hands I know what weight feels like on my chest. I know we might find that our symptoms are similar but yet still, we are both unique, which means we all feel things in a unique way.
I remember a morning. I was in my home, all alone. Or at least it seemed as if I were alone. In fairness, I was never really alone. In all honesty, I was never alone at all. I just believed I was. The idea of my loneliness was so intense that all I could do was look at my life and see everything as a failure.
Nothing was real to me—or better yet, nothing was real the way you or maybe someone else might see it to be. I was in no other words, just this thing. I was this thing which I cannot describe as anything else. I felt this thing, which was always with me and always talking. There was always a whisper in my ear. There was always doubt. There was always rejection. Everyone hated me and if anyone liked me, this could only be temporary at best or more accurately, this was fake or one-sided.
And to me, everything was so distant. I believed I was always failing behind. I believed that no matter how hard I tried, no matter what I did, I would never be able to move ahead or catch up. Nothing was colorful. Nothing ever lasted and everything was only fleeting, except for this, my depression.
I asked myself in quiet, lonely times, why was I born this way? Why do I look the way I do? Why do I act the way I do?
Why can’t I just feel comfortable being me?
I came to a point in my life where I just wanted to step away from everything. I wanted to get out. I wanted to run away but there was nowhere for me to run. There was no way for me to get there either. I was just stuck.
Everything I hoped for was like, God, please just give me this one little thing. But it always seemed like God said no (If there was a God, that is.)
Life as it seemed just wasn’t working out. And if the truth needs to be told, then the truth is, I’m not sure how I learned to move away from this kind of thinking. In fairness, I was ready. I made plans. I was finished.
I was done . . .
I tried a few times. I tried a few other times in a much different regard, which were only halfhearted attempts. I sabotaged myself. I killed myself in a situational sense and more times than I can count, I dared the line to see how close I could bring myself. Maybe this way, I could rid myself of the fear. Maybe I could be like the song said and find the nerve to make the final cut.
In actuality, I killed myself in several ways on a daily basis though; this is a true fact of depression because while suicide comes to an end, being suicidal is like dying every minute, rotting from the inside out, and nothing and n one can stop this but me.
One morning, I woke up. The sun was coming in through the curtains from my bedroom window. I lay there, in my bed, just watching the tiny particles of dust move through the thinly-slit rays of sunshine that beamed across my room.
I thought of a time when I was outside near a mountain. It was cold and yet, I felt warm. It was the coldest day of the year and yet, I felt perfectly content.
I couldn’t figure out why I was content. I mean, what was the difference.
What was so different between that day and any other day in my life? Why did I feel better then and not on any other day?
I didn’t realize how I put my belief system to the side. I never noticed how deeply my beliefs could wound me or break my heart. It became apparent to me that for me t improve, I needed to change my belief system.
I tried to look back at my life before; and there is always a before. When did I turn this way? When was the ideas in my head so punishing that it seemed to make sense to end my life? When did dying make more sense than spend another minute thinking the same dreary thoughts.
Where did this come from? I know I never asked to feel this way. I never asked to be depressed. I never asked to have high anxiety. I ever wanted to be so uncomfortable in crowds that my fear literally crippled me.
I never asked to struggle in the classroom or stutter when I would read, out loud, and in front of the entire class. I never wanted to overthink and literally dissect every thought that came through my head.
I had to figure out where this programming came from. Where did I learn about my boundaries. When were they crossed in such a way that I never learned to shape or form my own appropriate boundaries?
Why do I always cross the line?
Why do I always feel so goddamned needy?
Why can’t I just feel okay.
Sometimes, we need to take a look around at our environment. We need to realize that people are toxic. Behavior can be toxic. In fact, life can be toxic.
I know where my thoughts were. I know exactly what I planned to do. I had been living and re-living this plan since my childhood life—and moving forward into adulthood, I entertained the ideas of simply putting an end to the thoughts that spun in my head.
I remember the day I chose to save my own life. I knew that no one else could do this for me. I knew it had to be me. I knew I had to save my life because otherwise, I would end it, tragically, and terribly.
I never wanted to hurt anyone.
I never wanted to be hurt either but then again, we don’t always get what we want.
I lived this way for so long. Too long, in fact, and it had to be that either I would die or somehow, find a way to set myself free.
I think of the people I interact with now. I think of what they say and the similarities of how I felt and the way I spoke in times like theirs.
I get it.
There is no judgement. There is no reason to call out their shame or bring more attention to an already shameful idea and emotion. Same as I had to learn this for myself. I had to learn to teach others how to disarm their own argument,
Somehow, I had to find the core of my true worth. I had to find out what my talents were. I had to find out what I enjoy—and this could not just be one thing. I had to find out what I could use as an outlet in as many was as possible; otherwise, I would have choked on my last breath and simply withered away.
I have always dreamed of me standing on a stage with a black curtain behind me. The crowd is in front of me but I cannot see them because I am looking upwards to the balcony, which is out of focus and plus, I am blinded by the stage lights
I think of me here, opening my heart to a roomful of people, telling my stories and sharing my secrets which can no longer harm me.
I have dreams of me here, opening the door to my tiny little dungeon and reveling the depths of my deepest secrets so they can no longer hold me hostage and hopefully set someone else free as well.
I see me with the lights on me. My eyes wet with tears. I give my presentation, and afterwards, I am awarded a moment of silence before the crowd lets go in a roar of emotional applause.
And when I end, I end with the words, “This is who I really am,” which allows me to be free.
I know what it’s like to wake up on the floor in the aftermath of an attempt. I know what depression is. I know what pain is too. I know what it feels like to believe that life is pointless and that nothing I do or say will ever amount to anything.
I know what it is like t be at the bottom; to feel unloved and unwelcomed; to feel uninvited and unqualified, incapable and inefficient.
I know what the word LOSER means because I spent decades defining this as me.
One day, I had to search my mental records to a time when I felt whole. I had to see what was it that made that moment any different from the others in my life. What helped change my perspective between now and then? What allowed me to want to live instead of allow myself to be submerged in the sad dreariness of depressive thinking?
What was my drive to live?
Quite honestly, the answer is you.
The answer is my dream on the stage. The answer is I must be here for a reason and for the rest of my life and so long as there is strength in my legs and air in my lungs, I am prepared to walk the Earth and find out exactly what my purpose is.
I have said before: We have to save out life on a daily basis, which is true for everyone.
We also have to improve our belief system on a daily basis. If (as it is written) man is what he thinketh, then we need to learn how to think better, one day at a time, on a daily basis for the rest of our lives.