The moment things started going downhill for me, I knew it was happening. I knew how to stop it, and I knew how much it would hurt me.
Doing the right thing, taking the right actions, and letting the wrong arrows of other peoples choices pierce through your heart in order to make the better choice rarely feels like it’s worth it until later.
I made a choice. I chose to do the right thing for the situation I was put in, but I also made a very active choice not to do the right thing for myself. I was tired of taking care of myself, and always looking at the bright side. I was tired of being nice to everyone else and receiving the shit end of the stick in return. I made an active choice to not go through the right process of grieving and pain and to let myself be bitter instead, because it felt better. All I knew that I wanted was temporary ease. I hadn’t felt like I had been able to be angry at God or people or circumstances previously because I always knew it wouldn’t be the right thing to do, and because I have always wanted to do the right thing for the longterm. This time, I was taking anger at full force. You fuck with me, you lose me and I didn’t care at all.
It’s amazing how fast anger can take hold of your thoughts, your lifestyle, your being. I felt pain at every turn. I saw words twist from helpful to detrimental in split seconds as they soar from one person’s mouth into my ears. I’ve never known myself to be as cruel as I felt or as careless as I was. I didn’t care about anyone else, and why would I? No one stood up for my character when I was being torn apart and for that I was angry. I didn’t want to care.
Anger puts this film over your eyes that causes every wonderful thing to look harmful. It changes every friend into a foe, and every light into fire. No one is safe.
If only I had chose to grieve, chose to deal with my anger, chose to silence my bitter thoughts. Had I, I wouldn’t have gotten to the point of contemplating death every moment of every day. I became defeated.
If you saw me, you would know. I could not stop the tears and I could not stop the pain; all I wanted was for it to end. I understand depression. I understand suicide. I understand pain.
There was a time I would have asked of a depressed friend to live, even only if it was for me. I now know I can never ask that of anybody. I cannot ask for someone to endure pain for my comfort, or live through terror for the “someday” that might come and be peaceful. I cannot ask for life of somebody else, I can only enter their space and give them everything I have to give. It’s crucial.
Depression is a hand, holding, crushing, dragging you into the depths of the earth, into the pit of despair, with no branches strong enough to break your fall and no comfort long enough to take a deep breath. Depression is a weight of a hundred horses treading on top of the canopy of blankets you try to hide under just to find a moment where your mind can be silent. Depression is… a venomous snake wrapped so tightly around your body you cannot breathe but with every pulse of your heartbeat you know it’s the end… Depression… is an ocean of breathtaking pain.
I see the world with that pain in my eyes, much in the same way I used to see it with beauty.
If you know how I feel then you know what I mean. Good things that happen don’t make up for what we see behind the wall we’re so desperately trying to build to keep the horde of pain and anger at bay. It’s terrifying to watch that wall being broken apart and running out of the strength to keep building. It’s almost as if you drop that wall and run as fast as you can to add distance before turning around and building again. It’s coming and you see it; you feel it… and then you make one mistake and it swarms around you from all sides; all you have left is a little tent to cry in.
If you know then you know. And if you don’t, now you do.
I have done so many things in 2018.
I started the year by opening a restaurant with one of my favorite people. Led by the most heartbreaking betrayal of my entire life. I left the state, then the country, followed by my niceties, my positivity and my trust. I said, “fuck you” to the world for being so unkind to me, and I started checking things off my bucket list.
- London… Royal Tunbridge Wells… Edinburgh… Dublin… Bogotá…
- I got my motorcycle license and bike (thank you, Christian).
- I got halfway through writing my own book.
- I started learning guitar.
- I learned how to do spray paint art.
- I flew to other states; sometimes for one show, one person, or one night.
Nothing that I did could help the aching feeling I had. I lost all hope. I couldn’t get off my floor. I was at the airport every week. I couldn’t breathe. I couldn’t find peace. Nothing made me happy. Every good thing was too late. Life was too hard. Running was too hard. Staying still was defeating. I didn’t think I would make it one more step. I ran out of tears. I ran out of pain. I ran out of feelings.
I was numb.
From looking at all the things that I did, it looks like I had a good year; flying all over the world, accomplishing goals and meeting new people. I can tell you I don’t give a shit about any of it; from my point of view, it was the hardest year of my life. Although the trips were good, and I have memories that I will keep with me forever, in my personal life I’ve never felt more alone and I’ve never felt more defeated. I was mentally at my end. Five months ago, I couldn’t even hold a conversation because my mind would go blank the moment I tried to think words. Today, I can finally write about my feelings. It’s insane to me that I went through what I did. Life can change in a moment, and sometimes there is nothing you can do to prepare for it.
I got very angry at a lot of people; for good reason. I reached out to people for help every step of the way and got shut down by 80 percent of them. If I let those statistics be my ground for trusting people, I would never trust again. My anger was affecting every good emotion I had left. Soon, I had nothing but anger and pain mixed with my numbness.
I am still dealing with my anger, my pain, and my numbness. I may not always have the kindest responses and I may still burn with anger inside at the smallest things. That’s what anger does, it kills you from the inside out. If you let it keep growing, it will eventually take over every bit of you until you are only bitter.
I’m on the upside. I am learning to stop and breathe instead of letting the anger continue. It still hurts and it still feels good to let that anger out, but I am choosing to kill it with kindness once again.
In case you see me around, remember to be kind to me as I am still getting through this. You never know when people are really hurting inside.
P.S. Thank you to everyone who took me in, fed me, kept an eye on me, and loved me in the days I couldn’t love myself.
We go through life a lot of the time very unaware of our surroundings. Walking down the street or interacting with the cashier at the grocery store, we are generally just going through the motions and not acknowledging what is around us. People have feelings, and we ourselves have feelings. I’m not sure about you, but I don’t want to be 50yrs old and finally realizing that I haven’t been aware my whole life. I’m a generally aware person, paying attention to other people and their reactions and lifestyles, but I encounter a majority of people who are not aware of their surroundings at all. Why is that?
Everybody’s lives revolve in their own head; what they believe is their own life and experiences. We can’t assume that they are being rude when really they are only unaware of things around them. Is that selfish? Maybe. But how would they know any better if they don’t realize themselves that they are unaware? I think it takes an eye-opening experience to understand that you yourself are unaware. In the same way that people don’t know what pain really is until they have experienced it, and in the way that people don’t really know how to truly live until they know death. Not have died, but have experienced a death or a near death. Life is so unbelievably awesome and we don’t understand it until we experience it.
I want to bring to your attention that people who you think are being rude, may not actually think that’s what they are doing. Even this morning, at my hostel in Dublin, one of the people in my room got up at first light (5am) and proceeded to pack all of his stuff up in the center of the room, hitting the bed frames and not paying attention at all to how loud he was. Now, I thought about it for a little bit because I wasn’t sure if I should peak around my curtain and say, “Uhm, excuse me… are you serious right now?” But then I thought, ‘I don’t think this man is actually trying to be rude, I think he is genuinely unaware.’ And with that in mind I could smile and feel at peace and just wait it out.
Why does that make me feel any better? Because he doesn’t know. How can I possibly be mad at somebody who doesn’t know? Should people have common sense? Yes. But who am I to know how they have grown up and what their life experiences are? I got to look at it this way – I was awake early; more time to explore the city; and I got to have another moment practicing peace.
Life is uncomfortable, but learning peace in the discomfort can be an incredible experience. I’m not worried about losing two hours of sleep, because there is no point in being upset and something that happened. It happened, and now it is my goal to find peace in it.
I love getting to practice what I preach, it reminds me of the journey that I am on to always be better. When I am not growing in myself, I feel more dead than ever.
Growing, learning, experiencing life; all change who you are and the life you will continue to lead. Find peace in the moments that you could be frustrated in. Have grace for people who are unaware and understand that they need help in that area, just as you need help in another. We are all learning and growing in life, let’s be patient with where other people are at in their process.
With love, Makari Asriel