My battles with depression and anxiety started in my teens. Stemming from childhood trauma, these mental health issues went undiagnosed for years. Self-medicated by alcohol, drugs, and material belongings for over two decades. A Guinea pig to the medical professionals and their endless barrage of shotgun blasts of pharmaceuticals. Here recently, I found myself at the end of my tolerance to exist. Having weaned off majority of the medication prescribed, I was down to one, in which I am weaning off of as well. They just do not work anymore. The emptiness that consumes you, self-doubt, shame, loneliness, and all the other feelings and emotion that engulf you when both depression and anxiety tag team your entire soul, it had consumed me. I was done.
Not being one to prescribe to the premise of any religion, I am however, neither agnostic nor atheist. This is not a complicated subject, but one I believe has made me who I am. However, I have been down this road with mental health issues many times, and to the point of suicide. More than once. The half dozen or more times I have been to that point, something has always brought me back. Most of those times, it was looking up from the tool I was going to use to end my life, to see the eyes of one of my dogs. Looking at me confused and worried. They relied on me. Unbeknownst to me, I relied on them. The unconditional love of a creature saved my life more than once.
A few days ago, that feeling of complete and utter hopelessness came again. My depression and anxiety had increased its hold on my whole being in the last few years. It had now reached its pinnacle, yet again. Just finished work and logged off my work laptop. It had taken everything I had mentally and physically to make it through the work week. Walking into my living room and seeing my German Shepherd stare at me concerned, I tried to hide the pain and the suffering. Taking him outside to play with his favorite red ball, I knew this would distract him from his discernment of me. Thing is, of all the days, he dropped the ball in the yard, sat down, and just stared at me deeply. I could not even hide this from my best friend anymore.
The consistent barrage of financial stress was wreaking havoc on my wife and I. Living off the bare essentials for food substances for eternity it seems, as our checking account always reflects a negative balance. Both my wife and I just had our payroll direct deposited into our account. Yet, after the basic bills were paid (internet, phone, rent, utilities, vehicle payment), we are again, left with nothing. This has been going on for two years now. Having cut out all frivolous and unnecessary expenses, we are not making it. The constant phone calls from being late, having to use micro-loans to purchase basic food staples, and the inability to even save. Anything. When does it stop? I owe everyone money.
Since I went remote and started working from home, I have not really left my home much. Well, really any. Getting groceries is a chore and most of all my life’s transactions are online or virtual. Including my therapist and primary care physician. When I try and venture out into the world, I am met with people living in an alternate reality to mine. They love to post their “blessings” on social media and brag about material gains and purchases. Therefore, I stay here hidden in the realms of my home. My dog nor my cats bullshit me or try to wear a mask. They are pure, they are true.
Here I was, at the end. I was upset at myself for getting here. Of course, I had some help. A huge loss in 2018, just to start to recover and 2020 blow it completely away.
- Why do I want to live?
- We work our asses off for what?
- My wife’s health is a mess due to stress and depression.
- Every time I try to just read what is going on outside my bubble, it is horrible.
- Why am I here?
Walking into my closet, I saw it out of the corner of my eye. The one thing I could use to stop all this nonsense. When my eyes turned completely within its view, a weird feeling came across me. The feeling of absolute and sheer reality. This is it. It is time.
At that moment, I broke down inside. My head bowed as if shame ripped through my torso and was dragging my head down. Walking into my bedroom, I sat on my bed. It is at this time, I prayed. Not like in a religious sense, but I opened my mind and heart and asked for help. Answers. Some fucking guidance. I gave myself up to whatever the hell would listen to me and help. The echos of the voice of the man who raised me danced in my head, ” Weak ass. Get over it. Move on. Your fucking mother is nuts, so you got it too” Instead of anger coming, as it usually did at this point, something else happened. I found myself asking something I could not see to help me. Push me through this, as I cannot do this to my wife and animals. Screw my estranged narcissistic family.
I got the sense that I needed to get up and take a shower. Had not done it in a few, or more, days. That shower was the hottest it had ever been. I stood amongst the water stream and cried. I never cry. This is strange. Grabbing a new bar of soap, I scrubbed myself clean of whatever I could.
When I got out of the shower, I felt somewhat different. Walking into the kitchen, I made myself a cup of Earl Grey and sat on the couch and turned on the television. Typically, not a huge TV person, aside from documentaries, I read. Going to the YouTube app, I figured I would watch music videos or a documentary. These are what I usually do on the video streaming service. Hell, my history is littered with it in the settings. When the suggested videos came up, all the normal stuff appeared, except, there was a TED talk video suggested. What the hell? Why would there be a TED talk suggested? I am very acute in how marketing works, and none of my YouTube habits would substantiate this suggestion. It gets crazier, I tried using the remote to toggle through the list or even search. When I got a little concerned for the operation of my remote, I figured the cheap ass Amazon batteries had run their cycle. Hitting the enter button on my remote, queued the video of the TED talk up. Fuck it, I will watch it.
This is what I saw
After watching this video, I felt a ton of bricks lift off of me. I cannot explain it. You have to watch it in its entirety. Having read many books on the subject of depression and anxiety, this guy actually made sense.
It gave me newfound inspiration into a mission with Life Indiscreet. A mission to help others understand. This is just the beginning of a long road of healing for me and changing the tide for the worked to understand we are fixating too much on rotten reasons for existence. We are here for reasons other than personal gain, beauty, and material wealth. Yet, this is where I have to ask a serious question.
Did some God lead me to this?
Either way, thank you, Johann. You saved a life.
By the looks of his other books, the guy is on to something.
More to come.