Somewhere I read that it's easy to mistake the social media with the therapist' office. Let's make clear I am not seeking for my friends to give me therapy. I don't want them to convince me I'm "normal", whatever that means. I am what I am, and at every moment I'm the best I can be. That's all that matters really. Where is that on people's standards? I couldn't care less. The purpose of this post is just sharing some thoughts about depression. I could have posted it for the IWSG but it will be much longer than 300 words. If you don't suffer of depression (Congratulations!) you may want to skip it. If you do at some point, then you may find this useful and worth the time spent.
Depression is like the seasons to me. I live it periodically. I've always had. It can get so bad in my case it might be labeled as suicidal. Centuries ago, I sought death actively. Until one day I vowed to myself I would not, under any circumstance end with my life. I gave my word of honor and dragons do not give their word lightly. Nevertheless, I still think of death. Sometimes I find myself wishing badly for it. I come to feel so tired of this endless war that I long for death with heart and mind and soul. Can't help it.
Through the centuries I also learned one doesn't need to put a gun in one's mouth, (or in this dragon's case, a bazooka) or eat the poison, or jump off a cliff, or something radical like that to end with one's life. I learned that one can also commit suicide by getting oneself ill. Bad diet, bad lifestyle, unhealthy habits, all those things that shorten the life span and are deliberately done, even if slow, that's also committing suicide. It's just not so frowned upon and condemned as taking radical measures but in blunt honestly, it's suicide all the same.
Ever since I promised I would not kill myself, but learn to control whatever wrong is in my head, and make the best of life and make my best to be the best I can be, the Higher Powers have crossed my path with Masters of Life. Once I was told I had schizophrenic tendencies.
Another time I was told I had sociopath tendencies. But there was one Master of Life who saw potential in me and gave me the choice of the blue pill and the red pill (The Matrix reference). One pill would drug me and make a world for me to live "comfortable" (and enslaved to it and its side-effects.) The other is the raw truth, but if I was strong enough, if I believed in myself, I would find out I was stronger than I ever imagined. I would learn who I truly were and what's my mission here, and I would be truly free.
I am one of those who laugh the hardest when I'm the saddest. The one that hugs everybody when I am in the greatest need of hugging myself but can't ask for it. I'm one of those who stays silent when everything is yelling in rage inside or that seeks to comfort people when I'm praying to get some comfort myself. As a suicidal, I feel the wish to die but I don't act upon it. On the contrary, I actively seek for the healthiest habits. As a dragon, I sometimes feel murderous anger but I don't act upon it. As an anti-social person, it is sometimes a triumph in itself that I have not closed this blog, my FB and Twitter accounts, let alone post often or visit others' blogs.
Individually, I can deal with people, but in crowds they unnerve me. One of the biggest reasons why I will never again participate in an A to Z Challenge. I can't stand the pressure of visiting all those who visited me. I even wished no one would visit me or to disable the comments. I like friends, I just don't like to feel forced into anything. One to one, you give what you can give, and I give what I can give. Maybe you give more and give less, if measured by others' standards, but know this. The fact that someone doesn't love you the way you want, doesn't mean he doesn't love you with all he's got. You can bet all the dragon gives (even if just a smile sometimes) is the VERY BEST he can give.
You may read the words "sociopath" and "schizophrenic" and think you're dealing here with a potential murderer (regardless the context). An hypocrite that fakes smiles and laughter because as a matter of fact he suffers from cyclic depression. One who tells others to be strong and positive when he has confessed he wishes for death. One who gives advice but keeps none for himself. I thought that too, once. I identified myself with a certain poem called To Laugh Crying -Reir Llorando- by Juan de Dios Peza (Find it at the bottom). It speaks of an incredible successful comedian who could make anyone laugh and forget their sorrows. Yet he was the most miserable, saddest man on England. Very often, people around me cannot fathom I can -and actually suffer- any kind of serious sorrow.
The truth is I might be one of the most honorable beings on this planet, but you know, not all honorable beings are flawless, perfect, beautiful and free-of-all-demons characters. I would indeed be an hypocrite if I would be like the Garrick from the poem. If I would encourage people to be brave but my acts would not prove my words to be true. Yes, I laugh loud when I am crying bad inside, but I don't use laughter as a mask, the carpet under which you hide the trash. I laugh with the honest intent to feel better, to remind myself life is still worth living. I encourage people when I feel like shit because the answer to my problems is nowhere but within me, and by listening to myself, my thoughts and answers become clearer.
When I am beyond talking and laughing, there's always a hug. I also think if I were not me, but one of my dear friends, what would I tell them to make them feel better, to give them hope, to make them see they are strong enough to live through this. Remind them that the darkest hour only lasts 60 minutes and no night is eternal. Whatever would come to my mind then will do the job for me, because whatever I say I truly believe in it, no matter if it's for my friend or for myself.
"Hold your guts, put them back in place and take a step forward. Just one step at the time. Don't think on fear, don't think on pain, don't think on how long is the journey or try to understand the reason why you have to go through this. Don't think about how lonely you feel or how thick the darkness that surrounds you. Just think on one step forward. One step, one inch, one push, one deep breath more. There is no greater victory or truest honor than that of the one who keeps in the right path, in spite of all odds."
So don't content yourself with just faking the smile to save face. Make the laughter worth it. Give it purpose.
To Laugh Crying
Watching Garrick – an actor from England -
the people would say applauding:
“You are the funniest one on earth
and the happiest one…”
And the comedian would laugh.
Victims of melancholy, the highest lords,
during their darkest and heaviest nights
would go see the king of actors
and change their melancholy into roars of laughter.
Once, before a famous doctor,
came a man with eyes so somber:
“I suffer – he said -, an illness so horrible
as this paleness of my face”
“Nothing holds any enchantment or attractiveness;
I don’t care about my name or my fate
I die living an eternal melancholy
and my only hope is that of death”.
- Travel and distract yourself
- I’ve traveled so much!
- Search for readings
- I’ve read so much!
- Have a woman love you
- But I am loved
- Get a title
- I was born a noble
- Might you be poor?
- I have wealth
- Do you like compliments?
- I hear so many!
- What do you have as a family?
- My sadness
- Do you go to the cemeteries?
- Often, very often.
- Of your current life, do you have witnesses?
- Yes, but I don’t let them impose their burdens;
I call the dead my friends;
I call the living my executioners.
- It leaves me – added the doctor – perplexed
your illness and I must not scare you;
Take today this advise as a prescription
only watching Garrick you can be cured.
-Yes, Garrick… The most indolent
and austere society anxiously seeks him;
everyone who sees him, dies of laughter;
he has an amazing artistic grace.
- And me? Will he make me laugh?
-Ah, yes, I swear it;
he and no one but him; but… what disturbs you?
-So – said the patient – I won’t be cured;
I am Garrick! Change my prescription.
How many are there who, tired of life,
ill with pain, dead with tedium,
make others laugh as the suicidal actor,
without finding a remedy for their illness!
Alas! How often we laugh when we cry!
Nobody trust the merriment of laughter,
because in those beings devoured by pain,
the soul groans when the face laughs!
If faith dies, if calm flees,
if our feet only step on thistles,
the tempest of the soul hurls to the face,
a sad lighting: a smile.
The carnival of the world is such a trickster,
that life is but a short masquerade;
here we learn to laugh with tears
and also to cry with laughter.