I know I write about depression and emotional stability often on this blog. For me, it’s a way of showing people who battle with it that they’re not alone. And trust me, it’s not a “struggle”, it’s an all-out fucking war. For the last six months or so, I’ve been medicated for depression, a moderate dosage of something that’s supposed to be used to stop seizures. But, it’s working. It helps to even out my moods and keep me from backsliding into that darkness it may take me days to escape. I take it every day, twice a day, and have alarms on my phone to keep me from forgetting – because it’s important.
I write about depression not only for the people who battle with it, but those who don’t, because there are people in my life who don’t understand depression. They think I should just snap out of it. Get over it. Think of something happy. If I were able to do that, I’m pretty sure that I would. Depression isn’t something that you strive for. It isn’t a goal. It’s a blackness that takes over your life and stops you from seeing the sun. Personally, I happen to like the sun.
A couple of months ago a friend told me that I needed to take responsibility for my depression and my resulting behavior. I’ve thought a lot about that, and I think he’s right. So, in the last few weeks, I’ve concentrated on something that’s important to my emotional health – I have let go of things I cannot control. I can’t let these things infuriate me. Worse, I cannot let these things hurt me.
I cannot control the horrible things people say to each other on social media, I can only control what I say.
I cannot control what people post on blogs, I can only control what I post.
I cannot control whether people want to spend time with me, I can only spend time with the people who do.
I cannot control if people answer my texts or interact with me on social media. I can only engage with the people who do.
These are the things that get under my skin and cause me to have those imaginary angry conversations with nobody. You ever have those? All those things you want to say, and don’t. I have those a lot. They make me cry, they keep me from sleeping, they fuck up my mood for days—those are the things I am working to let go of.
So, I will write my books—I can control everything that happens in the book (through my characters because my characters are still me). I am Aaron. I am Brian. I am Julian. I am Anthony, my new invisible boy. Every one of these characters comes from somewhere inside me, something that I struggle with, something that I am at war with. They help me tell my stories in a constructive way—detaching myself from the pain by writing it into someone else and giving that character (and myself) hope.
I will hang out with the people who want me to be there. I will talk to the people who want to talk to me.
I will walk away from Facebook fights because, really, what the hell do they solve besides pissing people off? It’s not like we’re going to solve the problems of the world on Facebook.
I will focus on what keeps my emotions in check and my life in balance – because that helps to stop the darkness.