In my life, I’ve been through a total of three serious bouts of depression. Not the “I’m sad this week” kind, but the kind that tries to swallow you whole while you’re still alive. All were purely circumstantial-turned-unexplainably-irrational. Sometimes being the loner just isn’t the easiest route.
The first was my late teens through my very early twenties. I masked it for a while, lived a false life and then became an expert in pharmaceuticals for about a year and a half and, as a result, regularly overindulged to kill the pain. Frankly, I’m lucky to be here after those years. After a friend passed away from an accidental OD, I snapped out of it and kicked my own ass sober. I never took any pill again until I got my wisdom teeth out a few years ago and even then I didn’t want to. After ditching the pills, I found this place called The Mercury and it ultimately saved me. That music and that movement saved me. My camera only left my hands when I was dancing. The year 1998 was one of the most inspiring and inspired years of my adult life — I saw a new world and lost so much fear that I had been sitting on. My super-shyness started to crack a little bit. I left Austin the first week of Jan. in 1999 and got on a massive health/exercise kick and found myself the happiest, most confident and most calm/at peace that I had ever been in my life.
The second was in my very late twenties and seeped into the first couple of years of my thirties and I moved back to Austin, on a whim. As a result, I just became a complete workaholic in order to tune everything else out. Work, work, WORK. That’s all. I missed a lot of other life fun for work. Luckily I found a job that introduced me to some of the best people and best friends I will ever have… and we REALLY DID have so much fun and i love them all SO MUCH — even typing about it brings tears of gratitude to my eyes. While I still never really fully opened myself back up except to a handful of people, I broke free of the paralyzing depression.
The third, well… the third has been over the course of the past two years. I’m 39. I’ve maintained the workaholic state. Now, however, it’s out of pure necessity. In addition to working all of the time, I’ve pretty much been drunk or sleeping for about two years — when I’m not working, of course. I’ve never considered myself someone with an alcohol problem. OCD, yes. Alcohol, no. My recent conclusion is that over the past couple of years these two things had an amazing love affair at my expense. My routine became to just drink and never let the glass become empty. There was even a rumor going around among some friends that I was bipolar. I only WISH I had manic episodes to break the monotony. I jest. But seriously, am I passionate? YES. Am I emotional and sensitive? YES. Am I smart enough to see bullshit around me when it’s present and not be afraid to speak up? ABSOLUTELY.
Why am I vomiting all of this emotional bile? Because i need to stop hiding and pretending that everything is ok. I’m tired of it. I’m ready to kick my own ass again. After only four days of no booze, getting back on the wheatgrass train, two nights of running at night after work and making various hot teas my new after work drink, I’m finally starting to see myself in the mirror again.
I’ve missed me.
There are a handful of people that are always in my life, even when I’m not in theirs and I just want you all to know how much I love and appreciate you. Pulling myself out of the quicksand would be a lot harder if I didn’t know you were out there somewhere on solid ground.
Be good to each other, you guys. Give hugs and smiles and if you think someone in your life needs help, don’t be afraid to offer it.
I love you. Be well.