I just got off a meeting which ended at 5am.
Started at midnight, it did. And it was a real work meeting, done in my prime or optimum time these days.
And when they left my house, I felt an emptiness and a sense of depression come over me.
That always happens, when there is a change in energy, fluctuations, whatever.
Since I was in my teens, I have been dealing with depression. Surprise? No?
Well, every time I wake up, and every time there is a change or fluctuation of circumstances all throughout the day, the first thing that would hit me would be depression. What follows, depends on how I respond to it.
I would like to say that my mental and spiritual exercises have allowed me to keep it under control. Most of the time, it does. Sometimes, it doesn't. Though it has slowly gotten better throughout the years.
Disclaimers on. I am not a suicidal, in-the-closet, self-loathing gay person, or a gay-person of any kind. In fact, gay is the direct opposite of me. I am straight and sombre. I am not that funny, and that is how I appreciate comedy.
I explored spirituality in many forms simply as a means to cope with depression. Not to be happy, but simply not to get lost in it. I was lost in depression when I was 18 all the way to 23. Five years of wallowing in self-pity, I attracted around me people who would treat me badly.
I told myself, that I deserved it. One of the first reactions I got from one of the biggest bitches I know was, "I don't need people who self-flagellate themselves." And that got me depressed, until I figured it out years later.
I used to agonize over every single thing.
A friend asked me some time ago, "These model chicks have panic attacks. What the hell are panic attacks? I have never experienced a panic attack. What are they? Do you know?"
I avoided the question several times, before admitting that yes, I know very well what panic attacks were. And had experienced them twice in 2006 and 2007.
The fact that I survived to this day, stems from my actions to cope with depression, and find out what it really means to be happy. This, you could say, is my life quest.
I do not believe in psycho-active drugs. I know it works for some people, but drugs and me, we don't mix well. I have a very addictive personality and taking drugs would mean I would die of an overdose three months down the line.
I met the very real, clinically-depressed people when I was younger. I know what that looks like, and that is not what I have.
What I have was simply normal depression.
Justify it how you will. I tried them all. I'm a genius, and all true geniuses are depressed. No one understands me because they are little more than evolved lemurs. Smart people are always unhappy.
This is why, Eminem's work appealed to me. He was working through his own depression. He of course had a rougher, tougher time. And he's also a multi-millionaire, turning his pain into best-selling records.
I was also a fan of Edgar Allan Poe - the alcoholic, depressed man. Virginia Woolf, the suicidal writer-housewife. Kurt Cobain, who would rather die than be cool. Good company, no? Their work sometimes represent or perhaps resonate with some situations, others are just meaningless gibberish to me.
Nope, I knew, instinctively, from very early on, that my only treatment, my only solution, was to deal with it my way.
To this day, whenever I wake up, I would realign my head and become present. I learned that to experience happiness, I would have to choose to manually allow myself to be happy. It is a very present happiness. Non-automatic.
Happiness is not an ice-cream cone. It is, at the very core of it, acceptance. The word 'Islam', is translated by some people to mean surrender. Or maybe that was 'tauhid'. I don't give a shit. But the philosophy behind it is to accept God, and God is defined by these religions as the existence of the entire universe.
So, accepting the situation, and not repressing or resisting it, is key.
I don't agree with a lot of things in religion, but this one, I like.
It has been a slow and arduous journey. There were victories, and some defeats. Milestones and tombstones.
I would very much like to say that I have all the answers. I'm sorry, I don't.
But I would like to say, to anyone out there, if you are depressed, that you are not alone. And if you know anyone who is, please don't tell them to snap out of it or that being happy is easy. And don't give them too much attention either.
Give them space, but not too much. I sometimes need some space as well, though coming to me, inside my space, does not mean I will burst into tears or take a shotgun to my mouth. Or set your face on fire.
And no, being in pain is not cool. And you do not want to be addicted to pain, I can tell you that. I spent five years in that hell. Right after the hell that was high school. And I am not being overly dramatic.
I hope I didn't disgust or confuse any of you. If I do, then what can I say? Feel and think as you will. I am not asking for special treatment. That would depress me. Continue as you would. Let me sort out my own shit.
It's just like having gastric. And most everyone is depressed in some way or another, at one point or another. Depressed people out there, please note that you are not special, and feeling special is also a route to depression.
I have learned that everything is connected. And that accepting the world, and accepting yourself - the situations you are in and whatever - is one of the true ways to be happy and free of despair.
Know, whether you are depressed or not, that anything and everything you experience or feel, is committed not by other stimulus, persons or parties, but by yourself. And that you have more control over everything than you imagine.
I don't know if any of this makes sense to any of you. I know that I wrote it, so I could read it. And I think it's working.