This article is written by Zero Forbidden Goals and National Poetry Slam poet, AndYes. To hear his work, and support his art and his message of love, go to AndYesPoetry.com.
Author’s note: I wrote these in 2014, during Depression episodes. They were written with the purpose of people being able to see directly what is in my head and what is going on.
During that year, I lost my job and my apartment because I became too Depressed to show up to work on time. And I attempted suicide shortly after.
The 7th entry is a month later, to-the-day.
These writings are intended for people who haven’t had Depression, and want to learn. And for those who have Depression but don’t understand it.
* * * * *
It’s hard feeling strong emotions, again. Sometimes I get lost, losing track of my life while I’m just sitting there smiling. People ask me why I’m laughing, or why I’m happy, and I really don’t know how to answer that question.
Why did you ask the question? It just occurred to you to ask, right? It just occurred to me to laugh, or grin.
A nerdy-parallel (that none-the-less applies): Star Trek: The Next Generation fans will likely remember the episodes where Data had his emotion chip put in.
It’s the same exact thing. I’ve gone from destitute Dispassion (with comparatively brief reaches into feeling), to having this torrent of things I haven’t had to deal with since I was much younger, like: joy, frustration, jealousy, amorous feelings – my head’s been dusting off old programs and hitting the play button of every song until I can’t hear the notes anymore. It’s just sound.
I keep trying to re-center myself. But it’s been hard.
It’s been hard to keep centered because, the more I think about it, my ability to keep centered was rooted deep in my Depression. I was centered without trying. There were no emotions to contend with, at the almost-lowest points. I was cold. Able to drop into a deep meditative state in minutes. And yet that feeling of Centered still calls out to me as being “normal”, so now that the Depression is receding, all of these feelings seem out-of-place. Foreign. Overwhelming.
There’s this idea that runs like a bassline to a song: “I need to suppress them.”
I’ve had glimpses into this, before. Inevitably, I get overwhelmed to the point of collapsing back into Depression. It almost happened yesterday. I felt my routine creeping back in.
To deal with Depression means you have to recognize these signals. I’ve written about this, before. And I’m thankful for the checklist of symptoms I made. It’s given me power over something that, my entire life, has been overbearing in its ability to overwrite everything that I am and break me down to the point of staring at a wall for hours-on-end. Almost catatonic.
I’m not perfect. I still fall back into old problems. I also know how to forgive myself when I do it. It’s another part of dealing with Depression: own your mistakes, but they don’t have to dominate your every waking moment.
Life, right now, is hard. As I mentioned, this is usually the point where everything I’ve built falls apart. But I can see it coming, this time.
It’s how I improve. It’s how I learn.
I make mistakes without recognizing it, learn how to recognize them while I’m making them, and then get to a point where I can see them coming. And then I learn how to avoid them.
I rarely directly talk to the reader. I hate doing it. But I do want to say this to you, as a sort of conclusion:
You can always improve. Life can always be better. Just push for it. Surround yourself with people who push you.
You’ll get it. It might take awhile, but you’ll get it.