(Note: this article is about how I have helped myself through depression. If it is not helpful to you then you don’t have to read it. This includes the title. I have a zero-tolerance policy for hate, and will block you from contacting me in the future if you make the choice to use your energy to send me a hateful message.)
Life is infinitely easier when you’re a victim to everything. Becoming a powerful fucking beast that makes some people not approve of you, gets you uncomfortable and puts you at risk for not feeling safe is, needless to say, harder by quite a few measures.
I remember in grade 12 when I first learned that I was allowed to ‘get sick’. Up until this point, I had perfect attendance. Magically, if I became sick, I wouldn’t have to do anything. All my problems went away.
I didn’t have to go to school, see people I didn’t feel like seeing, and do work I didn’t feel like doing. It was the ultimate key; pure magic available to me anytime.
At first, I used it sparingly…
Fun little sidebar on what’s behind being depressed
(please take note of my word choice in the next section. each word is carefully chosen, and probably very different than the language a depressed brain is used to. language is the schema with which your brain - and life - are written.)
Once life became more difficult than I felt I had the resources to handle, I looked for ways out. This part is key.
I actively chose to avoid life - specifically pain - because I didn’t think I could handle it. I saw avoidance as a much better-feeling way of managing the pain I was coming up against. This part coming up is key - more important than the rest of the article if you truly understand it.
Avoidance multiplies problems, and is always more costly to fix in the long run.
The best way through anything is straight fucking through it. The less frequently you look for escape hatches - let alone take them - the more frequently you will ride life out, and make it to where you want to go. Once you realize that merely looking is a waste of energy - often in the form of taking your emotions too seriously - and that taking action paths that feel like escape hatches are always slower in the long-run, you will be able to see your Self with honesty.
Once you can get out of your own way, and realize how insanely powerful the You that is inside of you is - and how badly it wants you to let it out - you’ll eventually get set on the Perfect Path. The Perfect Path is when you’ve accumulated so much momentum forward that you simply don’t have the option or time or resources to assess any escape hatches. The Perfect Path is when you’re so focused on moving forward, you simply don’t speak the language of any other part of the world. You will never take escape hatches again, because you won’t be able to see them.
And more than that, you will hold the deep-seeded True belief that you do not want to avoid life, because you are worthy of the full, consistent expression of yourself (believing that you are not enough is the root of all that gets in the way of you living the life you want by the way). Because you know you are honestly more afraid of impeding your success in any way than you are of getting in the way of your comfortable, easy, familiar failure.
Truthfully, despite your previous actions, deep down it is most intuitive to you that you are more afraid of impeding your success in any way than your comfortable, easy, familiar failure.
Once I started using it (getting sick as an excuse) frequently, I found a better solution: ‘being depressed.’ Confused with your life direction, overwhelmed with emotions all hours of the day, and convinced you’ll never be successful? Tell people you’re ‘depressed’, and it all becomes okay.
No longer do you need to do anything about your lack of direction. Not feeling good today? That’s okay, you’re depressed. You don’t need to do anything at all. After all, you can’t, because you’re depressed.
It’s a word with a lot of weight, and the ability to distance even your closest friends. Most offer nothing more than their apologies for what you’re going through, and an empty offer to be there for you when times get tough. What results is distance, disconnection, and the disappearance of pretty much everything one might need to work their way out of depression.
For me, the day came when I realized that I wasn’t really living when I was thought I was just going to kill myself. It was the ultimate sacrifice of responsibility: I don’t need to take control of any part of my life, since I’m just going to die soon. It was as though I was living a borrowed life, and it fucking sucked.
THINKING ABOUT KILLING YOURSELF
ALL THE TIME ABSOLUTELY FUCKING SUCKS.
If I’m going to live at all - which I am blessed to continue doing - I might as well live as though I am going to stay living for awhile. Constantly looking to escape with the catch-all of being too depressed to do anything about my problems left me living a life that wasn’t mine anymore - or at least one that I wasn’t responsible for. I was making decisions of what to do with money that wasn’t mine, choosing to spend time that wasn’t mine, and suffering the consequences of all of these decisions, yet still not owning them as mine.
I was depressed, and my life wasn’t mine. There was no point in going for anything good since I was going to die before I actually reaped any significant fruits from my labour.
The escape was as simple as a decision: to stop being a little depressed bitch, and start taking responsibility for my life.
Sure, the tremendous amount of discomfort that comes with changing thinking patterns that have been ingrained over years (and sometimes one’s whole life) isn’t exactly easy to deal with. Finding enough supportive people to get out of the pit is pretty fucking hard.
Making the decision to embark upon the path out is, at least, simple.
Out the other end, looking back on the whole thing, I wish I focused on the simple binary decision of going on another day being depressed, not responsible for the choices I made that day, or actually deciding I wasn’t ever going to kill myself, and picking things that I was actually willing to suffer the consequences for.
Instead, I focused on all the difficulty I expected to come, and how complex the journey seemed from afar. In reality, this just kept me on the most difficult path of all: going through life as a whiny little bitch unable to affect their surroundings, overburdened with the problems of the world, and no energy to affect any of them.
Moving on, I recognize depression never goes away. I am honestly stoked that I have yet to come across the worst of it in my life - in fact, I honestly hope I haven’t. I made it out of this thing, and I cannot wait for the challenge to make it out of something harder.
I have made the decision that I am not going kill myself, and it’s not going up for debate ever again.
As part of this journey, I realized that some higher power exists, who pulled me all the way through. I also realized I’m able to ask for help from him any time that I want. It’s one of those rare relationships that gives you more when you ask more from it.
I also realized that my life is about so much more than me. The most trapping part of depression for me was the reactive, incessant thought that no one else cared about me. That my life didn’t affect anyone else. Now, realizing the gravity of the opposite truth, I feel unstoppable. What’s more than that, is the opportunity I see now to more deeply connect with the humans I have the chance to connect with (because I am lucky enough to be alive).
I realize now that I can raise my standard of living from ‘not killing myself’ to ‘making as big a difference in as many lives as I can’. It’s a path that doesn’t just keep me away from depression, but it strengthens my ability to combat it with every step that I take.
The further I get in connecting to you, and every other beautiful part of this world, the further away I will get from wanting to escape it.
I’ve always thought my greatest fear was not being good enough; not getting the love I wanted from you, my family, and my father. Now I realize it was actually the exact opposite.
My greatest fear has always been actually receiving love at all.
And now that I’ve identified this, and am working to accept all the love I can, I cannot wait to explore what’s on the other side of this beautiful wall.
And I could not be more excited to share what I find with you :)
Sam signing off, dedicated to building the best you.