As I finished my cheap meal in Centra, an old man came to me talking about my bag, on which its printed “Do what you love”. He takes off from his jacket some lyrics that he has worked on: it’s a version he’s made for Hallelujah of Leonard Cohen, from which he’s removed all the romantic stuff and replaced it with poetic words of motivation about finding your purpose and do what you love.
As crazy as it can be, the words were not bad at all. He knew poetry, he knew Yeats, and it was so beautiful that I tried to memorize the maximum I could, for he didn’t let me take a picture for copyright reasons.
I ended up forgetting most of it. But something stayed tattooed in my mind:
“You were the dancer, the dancing and the dance
It should have always been a story, a life tale””
As I always say, to me, Dublin is the city of magic. And there are fairies all around.
I have seen many friends and family members lately taking medication for depression, and attending to psychiatrists. Some friends even compare the brands and types of tablets they take, some even find it cool. Brazilians love to say they’re taking medicine for depression.
Well, I’m not here to generalize nor judge. I came here just to give a testimony because I’ve been there, and yes, I have taken medicine, for the night I started taking it, the despair was so massive, that it was that or suicide. Anything is better than suicide, right? Even tablets for depression.
We are made by cells. But more than that, we are made up of parts even smaller than cells. But not only physically: mentally, psychologically and spiritually as well. We are made of several small little people who get together to form the whole, which we call an individual. The formula of water is H2O. Now play with the molecules. Take away only a hydrogen molecule from this formula to see what happens: it turns into hydroxyl: HO. Same way the difference between graphite and diamond is only the way the molecules of Carbon are grouped. I’m very geek, I know!
But the point is: when we move these small parts of ourselves or when we reject them, and delete them from within us, what we are doing is completely reshaping the concept of us. And just as with the molecules, this has a price: Reject many parts of yourself, and you will lose your essence, turning into something else, anything else. Then, when we get into something else, we often don’t understand why we are so sad “even having everything to be happy,” we do not understand why we’re in the middle of the bar, listening to Daft Punk, being hugged by the man you love the most, and you can’t have fun, and by the way, you look all around and you just want to die.
You think you have a problem in your brain and that it cannot produce the hormones or neurotransmitters able to give you joy again. You ignorant, do not know you’re sad and miserable for a single hard truth: NO ONE CAN BE HAPPY WITHOUT HIMSELF. But you don’t know that putting all the unwanted little pieces of you in the garbage, you ended up with only a small percentage of yourself, and now you are miserable.
When I started with the tablets, it was the day I felt more empty of my own self, I was not there, my soul was gone, but I could not understand or point out the problem. I had rejected so many parts of me in order to live a great love story, that then I had a great love story, but I was not there to enjoy it. I had fired many “mes” from inside me. I cannot blame anyone, the person I loved, also not understanding what was going on, did all he could. And from him I got the greatest advice of all: “baby – he said, lying in bed with teary and tired eyes – when you’re in the loop of bad feelings, do the reverse way: if you feel guilty for making my life difficult with your bad moment, know that I’m fine, it’s fine, then remove the guilt away from your shoulders. Then what comes before this feeling? Is it the frustration for not being well? look for the solution: accept that things take time, and take the frustration away from your shoulders. And do the reverse loop, and one day you will get the exact cause of this, will remove from your shoulders, and will get back to the point before the depression. ” He was so right! The exact cause, though, would need a blood sacrifice: our separation.
But it would still take some months before it happened. Until then, it was just a complete lack of understanding of myself and the world. I took the medicine. It was a desperate dark night in which I just wanted to stop that agony. And the medication helped me to keep alive for one night. And then for days, but it sucked when it turned into months.
Unable to understand what was going on and being totally ignorant about self-healing or self-awareness, I took the medicine to make it easier to others the burden of dealing with me. I would numb myself, I was in the air: a way of never really solving the problem. Tablets only made me being ok in not feeling whole. You don’t take medicine to cure depression, but to accept that you have depression. When we finally ended the relationship, the first thing I did was throwing that box away, I always felt that whatever I was feeling, I really needed to feel it with all of my heart, so then I could understand why and where that pain came from, and find my way back from graphite into diamond.
It takes a lot of willpower and courage to look inside ourselves in moments like this, because usually, it’s so dark. It takes a lot of bravery to be able to see in ourselves the things we don’t want to see, our shadow, our ugly side. I realized that I kept the label of depression for a while because it put me in a very comfortable position: “I wouldn’t have to fight for life: I had depression. I will stay here in my little corner enjoying my miserable self, and I hope you to understand”. Buying that label, I had thrown away another part of me: my hero. Also, I, in my medicated depression, got the laziness to live, lazy to strive, to make or keep friendships. And then, I also complained of loneliness. What a wonderful vicious circle. But when we’re in the shit, we do not know.
No one likes to suffer, but do you really think that if the pain had no use for us as species, we would still feel it? No, friends, pain is a great partner, a great friend: pain, sadness, dissatisfaction is what moves the world: it shows us what we don’t want for our lives, and stays with us until we get the other life we really want. The snake, if it doesn’t change the skin, it rots. Each stage of your life will demand another different version of you, and it’s not taking medicine what will help turn whatever you are into what you need to become. The medication only keeps you ok in wanting to grab the un-updated version, that is already in the past time. What will turn your sorrow into a friend and not an enemy, is to stay present with it, and listen to all your littles “yous”, and what they want from you. Bring back those ones you’ve fired and shine bright like a diamond.