I don’t know if I’ve talked about it before in a blog post, but in my “About Me”, I mention that I’ve been dealing with depression for years. I’ve had it since the 7th grade and my life since then has really been a struggle to stay afloat. And I say “stay afloat” because depression makes you feel like you’re constantly sinking, drowning in some kind of crappy shark-infested ocean. It makes you feel as if there’s absolutely no hope, and after drowning for long enough, you grow accustomed to it. You start to believe that this is where you belong and that there’s nothing better out there. Every once in a while someone will throw you one of those life-savers or whatever and you’ll try to cling to it, but nothing really helps as much as learning how to swim.
I learned how to “swim” out of necessity. Depression had viciously claimed me and instead of easing me into a pessimistic life-style, it decided to drag me into the deep end. Life felt heavy, and seemed to grow heavier with every passing year. In the years that followed, I complained a lot; it was the only way I knew how to express how unhappy I was with the world. I didn’t see anything that made this life worth living, so I saw no reason to try and tell people otherwise. Eventually, I grew tired of always being pessimistic and suicidal and started to search for some way that I could change that aspect of my life (I call it a life, but I wasn’t really living). Toward the beginning of 12th grade, I realized that a person’s perspective is instrumental in shaping their experience in this world. In simple terms, if all your eyes look for in the world is shit, all you’ll see is shit. It was time to start looking for the beauty in the world. I wasn’t cured of my depression, but I knew that I was making progress.
I’m going to reference something I tweeted last night on Twitter. Yes, I know what you’re thinking… How could anything posted to Twitter be “blog-worthy”? Well, here’s something that might cause you to think otherwise:
“My depression originated in my habit to constantly reduce the beauty of the world I lived in. Now, I am inspired by the complexities that I could never appreciate.” – @TommyMaverickIV
There are many things in the world that are beautiful, even simple things like the way trees sway in the wind, the way that bugs crawl around and kind of just go about their business unnoticed (why can’t I remember what this is referencing? All I know is that it was a really good short story. haha), the intuitive bond between a mother an a child, the feeling of watching your favorite team win the game, SO MANY THINGS! I had become unable to appreciate it because my eyes filtered it out and my heart had grown numb to it. I had become some kind of Grinch-like creature… Sometimes, I revert to that, but I have become increasingly better at catching myself when I do and snapping myself back into a positive mindset. You can’t allow yourself to sink. You’ve got to learn how to bring yourself back from the depths. Sadness is not a friend that you need or want to have. Sure, he might always be around, but he’s also the reason why no one else is.
After years of letting my depression control me, I started to believe that being depressed was okay. All the pain and tears felt like home to me… and the world around me seemed like a prison. But the truth is that this world is only a prison if we observe it as such. If we look for the bars, we’ll find ourselves encaged ; if we go through life feeling like a victim, we will never be able to save ourselves; but if we can challenge ourselves to see all the opportunity and beauty in the world, we will find only opportunity and beauty in all things.
Thank you for reading :)
– Tommy Maverick
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