Here it is, the first day of the New Year. It is the year, 2020 which is not to be confused with the description of perfect or “Normal” vision of 20/20. No this is just the first day of the New Year, which is really no different from any other day—it’s just a different name. That’s all.
Truth is I am like anyone else down here on Project Earth. The fact remains that I just want to live, feel, be, think, and breathe to the best of my ability.
I am like anyone and everyone else in this world, in which case, I mean there are times when I am lost or scared or confused, which is fine to be honest, because pretending to be otherwise is not always beneficial.
For whatever reason it may be, we seem to forget the commonality of emotion and fear. Whether rational and otherwise, we seem to forget the commonality of the five (5) basic emotions know to us, which are fear, loneliness, anger, pain, and pleasure. These are natural. This is part of us. Period. End of sentence.
(There is an acronym for this, which is helpful to remember F.L.A.P.P
Fear, Loneliness, Anger, Pain, and Pleasure, which is sort of messed up if we think about it because four 4 out of 5 of those emotions are seen as weak and apparently suck.)
For some reason, however, we try so hard to pretend none of these emotions exist, in which case, I have come to the conclusion that I need to reject this idea.
There is nothing wrong with having either of these emotions—especially when all are normal parts of us, and furthermore, I have decided to drop the mascaraed of trying to pretend that everything is fine (when it isn’t) and in times of despair or personal struggle, I give myself the permission to not be “Okay,” when things are simply not okay.
I think part of the biggest struggle when it comes for a person to be themselves is the struggle we feel when we are not “Happy” like anyone or everyone else.
The pressure we feel to “Be” like others and “Be” happy like everyone else can be punishing at times, or lonely, in fact, which is why there times when above all else, we need to give ourselves the permission to say, “It’s okay to not be okay.”
Part of the struggle with depression is the trapped-in feeling we get; when in fact, all we want is the same thing that anyone else. We just want the freedom to feel pleasure.
There’s that word again: “Just” it’s a funny word that we are about to get into in a few short paragraphs.
However, while stuck between the margins of rejection and regret—let’s be honest, it’s hard to feel free enough to believe that we can be anything else but trapped in our own ideas of good, bad, right or wrong.
Sometimes, you really just want to jump out of yourself. Sometimes, you want all the worry to just go away. But this doesn’t happen.
And there are times when the ideas ahead of you seem too trying and too tasking to even consider the effort, which we would need to get back up and try again.
And I am not sure why we fail to allow ourselves the freedom to admit this truth. I am not sure why denying this fact is beneficial, because it isn’t.
First and foremost, I believe in the importance of acknowledgement. I do not believe anyone can build a personal change based upon personal lies. I have never seen any evidence that suggests denying one’s thoughts or emotion is beneficial, Instead, and more accurately, the most success I have seen comes when people honestly assess themselves and find a way to navigate their way through their own mental obstacle course. In fact, this is where empowerment begins; to acknowledge, accept, to know, and to understand one’s true self is the key to personal redemption.
Pretending that pain does not exist has never made the pain go away—instead, the pain kept it there, stuffed in a little box that we call our brain, pent up like an energy that adds up, one after another, until the box in our head was too full to carry anything more.
This is when people explode. Did you know that?
This is why people trip the wire and fly off the handle. One thing became two things and two became four, then eight, and then so on.
This is the buildup of emotional cancer, which eats us away from the inside out and decays our ability to adjust ourselves or think strait —and it comes to the point where there is just too much to consider.
There’s too much to identify and too much to process; therefore we shut down. We implode. We literally disintegrate our sanity with one thought after the next until the fibers that held us together become weak, and eventually, unravel.
Depression is this:
It is a buildup of pressure which becomes insurmountable.
Depression is a series of cancerous ideas that act like a weed and steal the nourishment of our dreams. and after a while, nothing else grows in this here garden — nothing good grows at all.
It’s a malfunction in our idea machine; it’s something that gums the working gears that turn in our minds.
Depression is the idea of being a victim to everyone and everything and the idea that even circumstances, which are beyond our control, are somehow our own fault.
Depression is a personal blame system, built by the bricks of regret and shame and held together by the mortar and cement of two parts rejection, three parts insecurity, four parts humiliation, and five parts fear of all the above.
Depression is the overreaction to ideas that come upon us as threats; suddenly, the irrational is not only rational, but worse the irrational become so real and so threatening that our mind becomes tricked by the illusion of events that never even happened yet.
We expect the worst. We fear everything. And then we wait, anxiously too, I might add; and meanwhile, it seems unfair because the rest of the world appears to be “Okay,” and then here we are, stuck with fixed grin to pretend and act “As if” we are okay.
The idea of desperation is simply the need to breathe freely. But how? How does one free themselves from their own prison, especially when they’ve learned to become comfortable and accustomed to their own captivity?
Depression is a raw, dependable thing, which we learn to understand and become familiar with to the point where we struggle with what seems to be like a self-induced Stockholm Syndrome, which is a psychological syndrome in which a person being held captive begins to identify with and grow sympathetic to his or her captor. And in this case, we are both captor and prisoner.
It’s like—it’s like you have to step away from your own internal, intimidation—but the fact remains—it’s intimidating.
The idea of moving in a new or opposite direction is uncomfortable at best. The idea of change is something that not only seems unlikely, but furthermore, the desired outcome seems impossible and the ideas of impending failure make it so that you hardly even want to try.
And you’ll hear people say, “Don’t worry,” or “Calm down,” and they’ll use the word “Just,” as in “Just don’t think about it,” Or “Just don’t do that to yourself—meanwhile, if it were all “Just” that simple; I suppose there would be no such thing as depression or mental illness.
Telling someone to “Just calm down,” when they’re in a fit of anxiety or “Just try to be happy,” when they are stuck in their depression is the same thing as telling someone with food poisoning, “Just don’t throw up.”
This is the same thing as telling someone with color blindness, “Just learn to see n color.”
Is it “Just” that simple?
We are series of programmed thoughts, opinions, and ideas. We are system of personal biases. We are subconsciously programmed to be, think, act, and respond in such a way that to ask someone to “Just” change their ways is no different from asking someone that has written with their right hand their entire life to just switch to their left.
The mind is the trick. The mind is a series of habitual patterns, which lead us to the same pre-conceived opinions and causes us to jump to conclusions. This is because of the math we do in our heads. This is the simple inaccuracies of our addition and the poor multiplication of unknown factors that we place in our equations.
Sometimes, I swear the ideas we have are like heavy chains that we carry, which are apparent to us, but yet, invisible to anyone and everyone else, —and meanwhile, we look around and we wonder things like, “Am I the only one that thinks this way?”
“Is it ‘Just’ me?”
Today is the first of the year. And for some folks, this time is a joyous time with family and friends. For some people, this time is a lonely time because they’re not with the ones they love. Or, maybe the ones they love refuse to love them back, like say, their child or a relative or anyone that refuses to reconnect.
For some, this time is a painful because all they can do is look around and see the lightheartedness of others and with a heavy heart, they wonder what’s wrong with them because they don’t feel the same as others.
What if for today, instead of acting as if or pretending to be, think, or feel in a way that is untrue; what if we just acknowledged ourselves, —whether we do this out loud or through some kind of personal cooperation in accordance with our own truth, and rather than deny us the right to feel—what if we just gave ourselves the permission to say that “It’s okay to not be okay?”
The truth is depression is just a word sometimes. It’s an idea. it’s a thought that separates us and leads us to believe we are unlike anyone else and incapable of being, thinking, or feeling like everyone else.
We think this way because deep down, we are stuck in our own prison. And like any prison, the only way out is through the warden, who is us too, —which is why we need to learn how to pardon ourselves.
We have to forgive instead of repeatedly punishing ourselves to the sentence of solitary confinement.
I can say this without question; it is not easy for one to set themselves free.
It is hard to face the intimidation of self.
It’s hard to stand up when your heart seems broken and your legs feel weak.
More so, it is hard to face the fears, which have literally degraded us to our own internal prison—and the idea of freedom, the idea of sunshine and sunlight, well, it’s there but the idea is too pure to touch —it’s too raw and the sting from its purity is too much to consider.
I would rather be honest and say this is the case than pretend and tell people how they “Should” feel or see themselves.
I would rather be honest and forthcoming than tell someone to “Just” calm down because the truth is it is “Just” not that easy.
No one asks to feel badly. No one wants the struggle, —but want it or not; in the case of us vs. depression —if we have it then we have it and pretending not to have it will only make matters worse.
The first step to any idea of improvement is to embrace our truth, no matter what this may be. Embrace ourselves, honestly, and give ourselves the permission to be as we are instead of “Acting” the way we think we “Should” be.
I use these quotes to emphasize the words and to the mind of some, they will understand and see this differently from someone, like say, someone that cannot relate.
Truth is depression and anxiety does not care about holidays and the holiday season. In fact times like these are weakening, like kryptonite, and no matter how we try to empower ourselves —the fact remains, there are these invisible chains which hold us down that are apparent to us, but invisible to others —at least it seems so.
Whether clinical or situational, life is not always an easy thing. More to the point, life can be even harder if we refuse to allow ourselves the honesty of emotion.
Someone once told me a long time ago, “Hey kid, do you want to feel better?”
He told me, “Than stop trying to fight yourself all the time.”
“Stop trying to act like you can control things that you have no control over because to be honest, that’s when you’ll feel the most out of control.”
I remember him telling me, “Just give yourself the permission to be the way you are.” and then he told me, “Not to worry. We can figure this out together.”
Sometimes, the best help we could ever get is not the answer to our questions, but instead, the best help is to know that we are not alone on this trip, with no judgement whatsoever, and we have the support to help us gain strength, so this way we can stand up again and give it one more shot.
Today is the New Year—and like I said, it’s just pretty name for the day. And I can use the word “Just” in this sentence because sometimes, I “Just” need to simplify things before my mind complicates them into mores brick and mortar for the prison, which used to keep myself trapped in.