As a teenager, I realized I needed help. I was becoming more and more dysfunctional and thoughts of dying were quickly becoming my only source of relief.
Instead, he diagnosed me with a rare form of bipolar where instead of swinging from high to low, and drew a sine wave which represented my life, way below the normal baseline of human experience. In that moment, all hope was vacuumed out of my soul with unbearable force.
It seemed that once again, I was being forced to conclude that believing in my own sanity was just another component of my mental illness.
At this point, I felt like I had lost all hope and had been completely abandoned by whatever higher power I still believed in and so, I decided to die. I disconnected emotionally from anyone I still held onto in my heart.
It was here, in this space of total blackness, that I found there were just two tiny details that I could not let go of.
Was the joy and tranquillity I dreamed of, that I remembered from so long ago when I was very small, all just the delusion of a sick mind? Was there really such thing as a fate to suffer so carved in permanence that there was nothing I could do to change it?
I realized that I still needed answers to these questions. There was only one thing I could see that I had not tried yet: listening to that small voice deep within that never, no matter how medicated I was, stopped trying to tell me: I am not mentally ill. There is something greater in store for me. This is not the way.
I can’t explain why detoxing off all the meds seemed like the next logical step, but at that point, that's what I felt I needed to do.
I think the greatest difference is just waking up in the morning and feeling joy over nothing except my own existence.
That is the feeling I was desperately seeking all of those years, and it brings me to tears to realize I have finally lived my way into it. What I have come to understand is that depression is a suppressed level of functioning caused by many distinctly identifiable things. If you resolve these things, the depression resolves itself. Permanently.
People who are depressed live in a thick, murky soup of confusion over their own truth, anger that has been so stuffed down they don’t even know it’s there, pain that they don’t have language for, grief that hasn’t been allowed to evolve to a healed state of acceptance and gratitude, loss that is not so straightforward, trauma that is often complicated and psychological (if not physical) and tremendous sensitivities all sealed inside a pressure cooker of the body with a hefty sprinkling of shame.
When you begin to understand this, suddenly a very faint map starts to appear. Routes to freedom appear. A logical progression of the things that must be done to heal. Ways to grow. Suddenly there is room for excitement. Empowerment. Hope. Life.
I think that everyone struggles with these things at least in small ways but had I not suffered so extremely, I might never have been forced to look so closely at them. There was a message buried deep in my depression, one that revealed itself when I finally started to listen. It was actually a calling to break myself apart, examine all the pieces, and build something entirely new.