Hi, guys! In a few hours, it’d be the new year. And with it, I hope comes better and brighter days for you and I both. Wow, that just sounds like a toast. Anyway, there a few things about 2011 that I want to let go of — and I found this draft in my blog. I wrote it last November; yes, it was pretty recent and I wanted to share it in the hopes that it would, well, at least maybe help me or you in figuring out life and living it.
So, fair warning — this is a little bit melodramatic. As you all know, 2011 wasn’t one of my best years, in fact, I was drowning in melancholy for maybe 60-80% of the time. But looking back on it, it was an “oh well” kind of experience that comes with a pat on the shoulder. The year is over and I survived it without seriously doing something stupid, regrettable, or cringe-worthy. So, to welcome 2012, I decide to let go of my 2011 self — that sad, depressed, woe-me git that I was:
It makes me wonder, sometimes, you know. Death. How it would affect the people around me. Would they care? Who would cry? Will I cause sadness to the people I know?
I wonder what other people think every time death comes through their minds. The possibility of dying has been around for months; it is no stranger to me. Every once in a while, my mind drifts off to this conclusion of just dying. So what if I just die? That wouldn’t be so bad for me. At least I don’t get to worry about tomorrow and the series of it we call the future.
If I die, that would be it. My life ended with a dash instead of a period — ended too soon; ended before life really began. And I guess there’s a beauty in that. I’m always a sucker for such tragedies. Why should I stop writing a tragedy for my own?
It was only recently that I realize that I might be a bit addicted to melancholy — to sadness, to drama. My life lately seems to drift on a running current of sadness and depression. But no matter how awful I feel after reaching that certain peak of depression, I welcome it with open arms anyway. Feeling depression – the emptiness, the worthlessness, the sadness, the yearning – I always thought that it’s better than feeling nothing.
Yesterday, I have come up with the conclusion that I may have been okay — better than the past few weeks. The last time I’ve had a breakdown was maybe a month or two ago, and I haven’t stayed up at night crying my eyes out for those thoughts that wouldn’t leave my head.
If you think logically about my situation, depression seems to be a total waste of time. For one thing, I did not lose anybody in my life. Nobody close to me died. I did not break up with anyone. I haven’t got my heart broken. I have no problems with boys whatsoever. I didn’t fail school. The only thing pressing down on me is the impulsive choice that I have made earlier this year. These were the choices that I thought I needed to get through my starting depression. And so I quit my job, convinced that it would lift a heavy weight off my shoulders. It did, though, but in a matter of a few days, I realized that my problem was more than just that.
It was the loom of the future that has been weighing me down these past few months, or maybe year. It’s the feeling of being powerless over it that scares me, no matter how many people direct you to, “Life is what you make it.”
Life is what you make it, I know that. But life happens too. Life kicks you around and punches you in the face, and beats you down until you can no longer fight back. Just as I was writing the sentence down, a voice inside me escapes, telling me, “Fight back!” I have been fighting back. I have been fighting back the whole time, twisting and turning in my bed to get some sleep and rise out of it the very next day. I have been fighting, trying to find interests, things that will keep me entertained, amused and intrigued to keep me wanting to learn more. I have been fighting – maintaining connections, at rare times, making new ones, to have enough inspiration and strength to carry on. I have been fighting – trying to express my worries about my depression, making a friend and my sister know that I really do think something is wrong with me and maybe I need to talk to someone — because it is recurring, and it rears its ugly head when it feels like it, even if I have no specific reason to feel bad or worthless or sad.
The worst part of it all is I could feel it coming. It gives me a heads up before it attacks me, settling into my body, grabbing a hold of my heart and messing with my mind.
I have been fighting, writing different versions of this in my head, in a piece of paper, and now, here. And for what reason? To keep track of my feelings. To check if this state gets any better. To ask for help, maybe? Even if talking doesn’t seem like an entertaining idea now. At the back of my head, I think, to write fiction. To use this material and make these thoughts some character’s thoughts. Make her story speak of the horrors of these feelings. Make her a tragedy like maybe what I was growing to be.
In a few hours, or sometimes days, a voice will click and will tell me to suck it up. And so I will. But sometimes the whole thing gets exhausting. You wake up a series of days feeling okay, better than these days, and you’re almost convinced that you have gone through this horrible, horrible phase. And then one moment, it creeps up on you, and before you know it, it has already taken your body and senses over.
And that’s where dying comes in. When the fighting and the pep talking gets exhausting, I think, hey, it wouldn’t be bad if I never wake up at all. I don’t dare think of ways to kill myself, since it was probably embedded in my mind, at a very young age, that it is wrong — but it doesn’t stop me from imagining myself sticking a knife into my stomach and how that might hurt. And so I wish for the easier route – to not wake up at all. To have someone find me, pale in my bed, no heartbeat, no pulse. Then it wouldn’t seem as if I intended it. It wouldn’t seem like my fault at all. I would just be a victim.
I am open to the fact that in the next few years, I would be looking at this, laughing at myself for sounding so weak. But being hounded by fears and worries and sadness isn’t a cup of tea. It feels like having a bad day stretched on for weeks, months, and then a whole year has passed by. You wish you could go to where you were a year ago where you were just fine. You see the world differently, and maybe you were a bit naive, but you had such interest and passion in life that you go through day by day without any thought of death.
So maybe you ask, well, what happened to you? I honestly have no idea. I did not have any big event to lit the fire, but I’m convinced that it is here and it also seems like it was here to stay. I can’t wait to be done with depression, and every time it fools me to think that I have overcome it, it pays me a visit.
No, this isn’t just feeling sad or feeling pressured. This is something more. It’s different enough for me to ask for a psychologist’s number — one that I never got to call because I wouldn’t know where to begin with and how to set an appointment for such.
I wasn’t able to finish this draft. Maybe because I wasn’t sure if what I was writing was going anywhere and if it had any good endings. Let me tell you something, though. After reading this draft, I didn’t laugh at myself like I was expecting myself to. Because this, up to now, wasn’t petty. It was real. And I’m pretty sure that at some point people felt this way too, maybe even worse.
So 2011 may not be the best year of my life, but it was a challenge that I’d like to think I powered through. I’m not saying that this, whatever was written above was over, but I’m still fighting. I’m happy to say that things are looking up. Before 2011 ended, I took a job that I genuinely think I like and am truly interested in. It wasn’t like the job I had before where I already knew that I’d be miserable in it even before sending in my resume. I started meeting up with old friends again, which was nice and I even started making new friends in my new office.
So if there are any lessons that I could share to you about this year — it’s this: Don’t be afraid to take some time to breathe. I know that the world feels like it’s always rushed, like by this age, you have to have this, and you have to be this, or that — but never, ever, ignore what you feel. If you feel tired, take a rest. If you feel unhappy, stop doing what you’re doing and find what makes you happy. Take care of yourself. Be kind to yourself. Listen to your intuition.
So, there it is:
Goodbye 2011, you have been quite a lesson.
Hello, 2012, and may you be kinder. 🙂
Benjamin Francis Leftwich – Shine
I have been waiting for the perfect time to use this song, and looks like this fits the post just fine.