A few months ago I was dealing with depression thoughts and resorted to pen and paper to try and well, fix it. And Monologue of the Déprimé was born which turned out to be more of a dialogue. I feel gratitude for the conversations that followed and for the daily vitamin fix that proved unexpectedly helpful (did you know that vitamin deficiency is linked to depression?). But what about my soul treatment?
I have emerged safe and sound (and perhaps sane too?) from the dark place I thoroughly described previously. Only to stand here before you today with the weight of an entire year of misfortunes and complications. And a mind that never shuts up but who (not which but who because it’s a being of its own) is constantly plotting to bring me down.
You cannot grow without suffering, they say. Well, it’s true. You not only grow, but multiply and challenge yourself and your entire system of beliefs. So I will arm myself in the years to come with what I’ve learned this year. There has been a lot of learning, introspection, and reflection, but a lot of unlearning too. I have allowed myself to question what I know, believe, want, think. Imagine the chaos of not being able to hold on to any solid pillar. I could go on and on about how much I’ve been through lately and turn it into a success story to sell and set an optimistic tone and leave you with a happy-ending. But if I do that, I will probably fail at this post as well. Because this year has been about failure, including failure to see the light at the end of…darkness (but aren’t they always one at the end of the other?)
This year has also been about death. I’ve lost a dear friend and the shock waves of recent events in Romania (read more here) are still sending chills down my spine. My nephew lost a grandfather, my sister a friend. Death of dreams, illusions. Faced with death, I was forced to look at things with a more clear vision. But then I would again lose sight of what is important. And I would feel tired. Exhaustively so. And it felt like my access to happiness had been (almost) entirely blocked during this whole time. But things don’t always turn out how you plan them. If I take the corpse of my late(ly) being and cut in search for whys, excuses, lamentations, I will find plenty. Sadness and remorse. Disease and despair. Growing tumors of rotten ideas and bad habits. Black thoughts and quitting scenarios. All enveloped in a tiny corpse, dead on the inside, flashy and smiley on the outside, living in death. Chaos has been howling, between my sheets, between my cells, between these lines, between my acts.
In the end, if I can’t make sense of myself, who will? The little red notebook in which I write, or the red pen that paints these signs we magically call language? My mind strives to make sense out of everything that happened, give it a value, a meaning. But what if there’s more random than we’d like to think? No control, no free will, no freedom? Just random? I have quarreled with myself a lot this year, and have not reached any fixed conclusions. They are all free floating. Ideas, opportunities, beliefs – instead they have made room for an open field, a space of growth. I’ve been in desperate search for solutions, escapes, right choices, right decisions. And it’s the end of the year and I’ve almost come full circle. And I realized I have the right to not know, to be unsure. To seek. To try-error-try-error. Even to delude myself every now and then. And I feel determined to let myself catapulted into what releases and magnifies my spirit and build bridges between dreams and reality, actively working at what remains meaningful to me: singing, writing, reading, giving people chunks of my time, traveling and staying focused and grounded.
The question remains: how do you take a look at the world around you (there are as many worlds as perspectives and standpoints, but still) and not fall into a deep depression that no amount of pills could cure? I don’t have an answer, but I can tell you what I do. Build threads. Of HOPE. Threads, bridges, and occasionally knit fire escapes. I’ve done more writing than ever this year and started this blog as a means of coping with what I usually keep bottled up; also for a sense of belonging, community and to have a venue where I can express freely artistic thoughts and the maddening torture behind the mind of the ever moving pen. A clamor and clutter that master my mind, with nascent colorful flowers that bloom into letters, words, lack of punctuation, poetry, and politics.
Leave not my side for the journey continues. I am forever in gratitude to every person who’s read my tiny works. And tell me, what are you leaving behind this year? What are your future projects and dreams? What are you spiraling/aspiring to?
Here’s a New Year resolution. I want a happy new year. Some stability, peace, harmony. All those things you can’t buy at your local supermarket. And I aim for labors of love. FREEDOM. Music. For no more turning away from what is meaningful and elevates the spirit.
For all those struggling with depression, have faith that you’ll get better next year and be able to find a way out of it.
For all those struggling with life, strive to find a way in. Into what matters the most to you. And all the other clichés. Laugh. Love. Blog. Breathe in and out and wonder. And seek. Just seek. The finding is not so important. Take the night train you’ve been longing to take – and in the nowhere, seek the somewhere.