The month is May.
I’ve just spent the past several months in a repetitive day job. The future looks dim. While groups of people are playing by the lake, I’m lying on the beach wondering how I got here and where I’m headed. I project my anger onto everyone around me, using my knowledge to rationalize the evil and shallowness of society. In reality, I’m angry that this place is not designed for people like me. I’ve lived my life as a drifter and a social chameleon, simultaneously blending in everywhere and belonging nowhere.
In a deep place of self-loathing, I begin to slowly kill myself with orthorexia – an unhealthy obsession with healthy eating. Masked as a feeling of superiority, I spend the next several months in a neurotic raw vegan frenzy, learning all I can about diet and detoxification. My trips to the grocery store become more hellish than navigating a minefield. By July, I’ve lost 30 pounds, can barely form sentences, and am rejected by yet another girl, to boot.
The orthorexia is not sustainable. I spend the end of July binge eating vegan junk food. When I’ve finally had enough, I decide to quit my day job and go home.
I feel defeated. Isolated. Depressed. Hopeless. Heart closed. Anger projected onto my parents and siblings. On my bed, collapsed, not wanting to get up. Ready to die. Ready to give up completely.
True, existential depression. How all-consuming it can be. How misunderstood it can be, if you’ve never gone through it before.
Now I understand people with true depression, when they say that they just can’t. How even when given the greatest advice, they won’t follow it. Their mind and body doesn’t let them. It’s like being stuck in a glass coffin: You can see through the glass all the things you need to do to get better, but you can’t escape the coffin. All you can really do is just lie there and surrender. No motivation to live, no motivation to die, no motivation to do anything. Just lying there, waiting for nothing.
The mind is a tricky beast. Thoughts are just the tip of the iceberg. If thoughts are the word “banana,” beliefs are the taste. Subconscious energetic patterns based on deeply-held beliefs comprise the majority of our decision-making. But these beliefs, especially the limiting ones, lurk in the shadows; they don’t like to be exposed. They will use every defense mechanism to prevent themselves from being known.
Depression is one of these defense mechanisms. If untamed, it leads to suicide – the ultimate defense mechanism.
But something in me says that there’s more to life than this. I’m not done yet. This is only one threshold guardian of many to come. So I get out of bed and take a walk.
That walk saves my life.