Disclaimer: this is going to be a long and (somewhat) harsh post about certain realities of life most of us are trying to evade by all means possible.
I am not writing this post out of empathy. I am not writing this post because I read some articles and now I am trying to pass along the knowledge.
I am writing this article because I understand.
I understand the difference between the burning pain of suffering deeply and the general apathy and hopelessness of depression. The emptiness. The lack of interest, joy, passion. I understand the despair, the loneliness, the reluctance to discuss about it all, the very fatiguing job of hiding it all behind a smile, or an “I’m fine” delivered in the worst way possible.
I understand wondering why no one can see how you feel, how are they so blind, and why are they so reluctant to believe you when you do tell them.
I understand because I’ve been that person.
When you’re almost suicidal, you have a problem. That was last March, when I felt there was no hope left, no way to solve all my issues, and the only person I had the trust to tell my problems to didn’t pick up the phone…
I do not intend to go into too much detail. I try to keep my personal life out of this blog, unless certain aspects of it are educational somehow.
I felt that someone, somehow should save me. That the world was big and scary and that people were mean and selfish and stupid. But someone… something had to happen. I hoped and I hoped and I waited and waited…
No one really saved me. No one offered me the help or the love that I wanted. No one came into my life to cure me of my loneliness, or my hopelessness or my apathy towards everything.
But, you see, I don’t have much patience, so I just said fuck it and saved myself. How did I do that? Well… the thing is that we are not depressed always. Like 24/7.
I’m going to use this video of singer Sinead O’Connor to illustrate this. One minute or so into the video, she talks about her doctor. Notice her smile? All those tears, and there’s that smile.
Yeah, that’s a state break. She effectively broke out of depression in the middle of a rant about depression.
Here’s some mindfuck for you: we’re terrible at being a society. We’re terrible, because societies have one goal: to be as productive as possible. To create as many individuals as possible, to create a higher standard of living, to create the right tools and technological developments so we live longer and longer and in as much comfort as possible.
Societies are not about making us happy.
Our happiness, as human beings, is such a simple thing that it even transcends what we understand as society. It transcends what the fucking doctors are saying, what the shrinks are saying, it’s…
Our psychology has remained the same for the past seventy two thousand years. Yeah, you read that right. Seventy two thousand. When we were walking twenty miles a day, hunting. When we were warriors. When all that we owned we could carry on us. When we lived in small groups of people… the best fucking hunters this world has ever created…
This is the funny thing. We think of our intelligence as being the only thing we’ve always had going for us. And we are weak ass animals, thus we must be something else.
You know what’s the most terrifying thing to any animal that’s ever lived?
A group of humans running after it shouting and yelling, carrying spears and spikes and bows and arrows…
You know why?
Because there is no fucking animal on this planet that can outrun a group of humans. Not for long. No. It’s going to collapse on the ground sooner or later.
That’s what we were. That’s what we are. And we sit at our desks, we get stressed when the lady at the cash register takes too long to take our money, we get stressed when we see some news about something happening half a world away. We become attached to things we don’t even own…
We are the slaves of all these things… all these truly wonderful things, yes, that we’ve designed and built ourselves, but we are their slaves. We are afraid of losing them. We are afraid that someone is going to rob us, that our spouse is going to cheat on us, that…
We are no longer free. That’s what I am trying to say.
That being said, if we are so bad at being a society, what makes you think anyone knows anything about the human brain? Or enough to really understand how to make it feel better? Because they don’t. I don’t.
I only know that this beautiful brain of ours can create about a billion different states of emotion. And we go through life cycling between five or six. No. We can do so much more than this. And we can use them in any way we want.
But social conditioning has got us all fucked up.
There’s so much to write about. I mean, there’s the difference between being proactive and being reactive. Our desire for comfort that turns us into weaklings…
Remember this: whenever you try to avoid suffering, you suffer.
That’s how you develop anxieties, phobias, and a general disliking of certain stuff. You once avoided to face your fear of something and it’s become easier to avoid it than to confront it.
The same goes for depression.
I cannot stress enough the importance of being active. Just active. Doing physical stuff. Truly amazing. I cannot explain it in simpler terms other than the fact that you feel like freaking Superman. That you become smarter, more emotionally intelligent, less emotionally reactive.
It’s the best fucking medicine there is.
I know some of you will say that’s bullshit and you know, it doesn’t really work because bla, bla, bla… but if you’re sitting on your couch binge watching Netflix… I do not care about what you think.
Then there’s the whole part of developing a mindset. Of catering to your thoughts.
First of all, there are some truly horrible things in this life. Accept them. Just accept that life’s shit and you’re going to die. Yeah, ok. If that’s how it is, why cry about it anyway? If there’s nothing you can do about it, why worry? Ok? Now, laugh about it. I mean it. Make it as funny as possible.
It’s like a lot of small steps. A lot of them. And I’ve tried a lot of things, and none of them seemed to work, but I kept doing it because, well, I just didn’t really wanted to feel like that anymore… and one day it all worked…
I am still fascinated by this.
Early on, about three or so years ago, I decided to do affirmations. Well, I also tried binaural beats and hypnosis and meditation, but I wrote some positive affirmations and, you know, I wrote them in the second person because I read it somewhere that that’s how to trick your subconscious… and they were truly nice things… positive stuff… what I wanted to be, how I wanted to be.
And I’d try reading them aloud and start crying. They’d make me sad, because those qualities… I’d never have those qualities. Reading them over and over again was so damn hard. My voice would shake…
No human being in their right mind does this over and over again, on a daily basis. It is masochism, if you think about it.
But I did.
And you know what’s the first thing I do when I wake up in the morning?
I look myself in the mirror and I go, “Cristian, I love you.” And this makes me smile. First thing. Before anything else. It’s just wonderful.
Considering that eight or so months ago I wanted to kill myself, I’d say this is quite the improvement.
Social interaction is important, I’d say.
Doing things that you know you should. We all have this mental list of all that’s wrong with us. But we seldom take the appropriate measures to fix them.
There’s a lot of stuff that doesn’t take much energy to get done.
The idea is to create a multitude of those state breaks. To be so fucking busy you have no time to be depressed, to be anxious, to have low self-esteem. You are busy, motherfucker. You are busy living life, smiling, laughing, talking to friends and family, having a good time. Trying out new stuff, doing what you’ve always wanted to do…
The more energy you use, the more energy you have to use. Crazy, right? But it’s true. You gain momentum slowly, but then… just like an avalanche, you become unstoppable.
You can create your happiness, you can create anything you want. But it’s got to be you, and you alone. And you have to accept responsibility and you have to know it in your heart to be true.
Remember when we were warriors?
Be a warrior, not a worrier.