My previous post had an unprecedented number of views… and I have mixed feelings about this… On the one hand, as a writer it means a lot to me that people would read and appreciate my posts. On the other, it means that depression is a theme that resonates with a lot of you… and that by no means can make me happy… As such I feel my work is maybe not totally done here. Thus the reload.
In my previous post I developed quite a bit what to do and no to do when you are around someone struggling with depression… directing it more to people around was not intentional if I might add… it just came like this… Maybe because for me the lack of understanding and the unfit help I received from people whom I know loved me was one of the biggest struggle. Also because I do feel that when you are in it you need outside help as it is very hard to ‘shake the feeling’ on your own. However, it occurred to me I didn’t develop much how I got to finally see the light and this is what I would like to address here. Hoping it will help some of you….
Fundamentally the biggest thing that is ‘wrong’ with you when you are depressed is that you cannot see any light. All hope has vanished from your view of existence. It is cold down there. It is dark and there seems to be no way out.
I addressed how to reconnect slowly with life and its little pleasures. It’s an important step to start functioning again but seeing the light is a different ball game.
I went through 4 cycles of depression in my life but my first one was the biggest. I was 26 and everything around me collapsed at the time. My job, my love life, the whole day to day structure I was accustomed to. All my pillars were gone and I was left with nothing. The thing that I know now and that took me time to realise is: those pillars should never have been mine in the first place. Let me explain…
I grew up with the benchmarks of success that are defined by our society: academic achievements, high profile jobs, marriage and kids, status, money. Although I was an impossibly spiritual child, at the age of 13, I had decided to reject the divine (read this if you want to know the story of why) and had forced myself into a materialistic, cold, intellectual view of life because this is what smart people do right? So when all the benchmarks, those pillars so carefully crafted, collapsed I had nothing to turn back to.
What I didn’t tell you though is the following: I was not only diagnosed with depression, the first time I came out of it, or flew out of it to be precise, I got diagnosed with ‘bipolar disorder’… I will not get here into another rant on labels, if you want to know what I think about labels such as ‘bipolar disorder’, read Words… Anyway, the way the first ‘manic episode’ (well ok, I will tell you though that I absolutely hate this word but I will use it for the purpose of this exercise, I prefer to refer to it as my ‘elated state’ but hey…) came through is a bit unclear. The most logical explanation is I got over dosed with medication and that uninhibited me in such a way that I started seeing things… It is a fair rational explanation but note that the other times it happened it is actually because I stopped medication… go figure…
The why is not so important. What is important is what I saw. I had visions of ascended masters, I saw the beginning and the end, I was one with the universe, I was channelling messages constantly. Messages of love, peace, messages from another place for a new world. Why it scared so much people around me is still a mystery to me. What I could see and was talking about was intrinsiquely beautiful. I could see the connection between all beings, I could see the incredible, powerful Force that is around us and how amazingly creative it is. In few words, I could see the magic in life that so many of us cannot see. And that scared the shit out of people. So I was locked up, drugged til there was no tomorrow and got sent straight back to… depression… And that happened 3 more times. Great. Done. Check.
I will not dwell on what I think about Western medicine and how it deals with such episodes and symptoms of ‘elated state’. Let me just tell you that in other societies, doctors/shamans actually accompany the being that is going through this as it is known as a spiritual awakening… a good thing… while Western medicine classifies it as an abnormality and basically tries to shut you down by hook or by crook.
Now I don’t think that going through what I did is necessarily the way out. It was extremely violent and extremely painful. Sometimes I wonder how I got through it alive. At one stage I got so experimented on that I was actually starting to go in some sort of coma until a new doctor realised that what I was under needed some sort of ‘antidote’… yes seriously… That was the most difficult thing I ever experienced. My brain had shattered into millions of pieces and I felt like Rain man saying repeatedly ‘who is on first base… who… who is on first base…’.
No, what I went through was my path and it doesn’t need to be yours but I can still share the learnings…
The fundamental reason why I got into depression is because my life was not my own. I was trying to fit in what others had defined as ‘the right way’, the ‘normal way’.
I personally think that if you do not go through depression in the world we live in there is actually a problem with you… I am sorry for being so blunt… This world is an illusion. The benchmarks of success are an illusion. Happiness does not exist in a world of cold, rational, materialistic, violent and disconnected truth. Happiness exists and flourishes in a world of emotions, intuition, connection, love, peace, harmony. And our world does nothing to nurture this.
If you are struggling with depression, chances are it is because you cannot live in that illusion anymore. You tried and it is killing you.
Life is so much more than success, status, money, being married at 30 and having 2+ kids. Life is magical. Life is freedom. Life is love. Unconditional love. Control and power are the illusion.
Depression is a huge warning that your soul is sending you to tell you this is not you. This is not your life. This is not your path.
Please don’t get me wrong here. I am not telling you: quit your job this instant, get a divorce, abandon your kids and go live in an ashram somewhere. I am not in an ashram, I work (part time now, granted), I have a house, I pay bills and I am married. I live in the ‘real world’ (‘real’ being used very loosely here) but with my own take on it, my values, my views, my ‘reality’. It took me years but I crafted my reality, my life, my happiness. And I have never lived life so fully as now. And there is still so much more I can do.
Depression is not the end. It is the beginning… of you… the real you. The unshackled you. The greater you. The amazingly beautiful and powerful you.
Who you are I cannot tell you. Only you can. But I can encourage you to remember your childhood. Who you were then. What you dreamt of then before society told you what to dream about. Look at what you like and what you don’t. Forget what people might tell you you should like. What is it that you love? What are you good at? What sends you into mega vibrating mode? What are the places that feel magical to you? Who are the people that make you feel good? If money and time were no issues who would you like to be? Where would you be?
If you do not have all the answers to these questions now it is ok. It takes time to get out of all the conditionings we are under. Just feel. Feel with all your heart. Shut up your mind for a bit and feel. Your mind will help you at a later stage when you will have to get organised about your new life. For now just feel, dream and go big. I can assure you when you start connecting to your higher self, when you start connecting with the world without the veil of what should or should not be you will discover a totally different world.
Feel… Try with all your soul. You have tried the other way all your life, the way of reason and control, and it is not working. Try another way then.
It is not easy. It is a bit scary but the ‘reward’ (to use another word that our society loves so much) is incredible. You will discover freedom and connection. You will discover incredible love. You will discover life. The real one, not that confined illusion that put a spell on you for all those years.
I will tell you two more things…
One, and I know you will not understand that now but I hope you will later: depression only exists in your mind. It is as unreal as the world our society wants us to believe in.
You are the one crafting that horrible hell you are living in. I am not saying you do not have good reasons for being there, I am saying you can actually put all your energy and your creativity to craft a different reality. You are not sadness, you are not darkness, you are not helplessness and most importantly you are not alone.
Two: ask for help. Not only verbally to the ones around you. To the Universe.
Yes I know it sounds all very new age hippy. I can assure you I am nothing of a new age hippy. But I have been on the other side. Ask the Universe/God/ the Force, whatever word works for you, for help, ask to be able to see that other reality and pay attention to what comes next. The books that are put your way, the movies, the new encounters, the dreams… What do you have to lose? Let go of what you think you know and see what comes your way. It is not instantaneous. That communication takes time. It has always been here but you never learnt how to listen. Try. Open your whole being to the answers.
Trust yourself. Trust your heart. You actually know. You have just forgotten. You actually don’t need me, although I will be here if you do. You need you. Your higher self. The unaltered you. The powerful you. And it is here. Believe me.
All my thoughts accompany you on this difficult journey. But you will get out of it. Just know that. This is only the beginning of a much happier story…