“My boy, smile for me. And can you take that black bag from your window”.
You see, the black bag my pops was talking about was one of the black hefty ones. I used to get the most ragged tape, and literally put it over every window in my small by insignificant room.
“I’ll smile for you pops, but the bag stays. Deal?”
He came to me, hugged me with this willingness to never let me go, kissed me in the forehead and told me, “that’s a deal, but you always know I’m here”.
“I know that pops. Now go to work, I’ll hold the fort down”, as I said it to him with a wink.
He felt relieved. And so did I. Because as soon as he left, I could drown myself with self hatred and disgust.
Let me let you in a little secret ladies and gents. Those who suffer from depression, the disease, that degenerative disease that eats your personality and soul away makes us who suffer or have suffered master manipulators.
You know why, because we have fooled ourselves to live every day.
People say it’s hard to describe it. Describe the feeling of depression. But I never had an issue with that.
You know why? Because I knew what it was.
Ok let’s play a game. Think about the person you cannot stand. Some maybe say hate. Imagine staying in a room with them, alone and having to stick it out.
Now, I bring this up because there has only been one person I GENUINELY hated. And that was myself. And that is what depression is. You fool yourself to live and you fool yourself, because whatever the trigger was to get you depressed, it has forced you to live a lie with yourself.
To HATE yourself.
When I came out years ago to some people about my depression, they said how you? They said “I looked great”. They said “You have everything going for you”. They said, “how is that possible”. “You’re brilliant, loving, caring, there is so much potential”.
I used to say that in my head. Just SHUT UP.
But all I can muster was, “it’s a process and we will shift a degree a day, to make the full 360”.
But you see, depression has the power of making 1,000 great moments just disappear because you had one bad moment. And then you end off worse than you started because you have been blasted and battered by yourself.
Well here I am to tell you, I don’t care who you are. Because you can be the star basketball player, you can be the greatest DJ whoever lived, you can be a trailblazer for an entire gender and the fashion industry, and you can be a world traveler and renown chef. I respectfully say, I don’t care who you are when it comes to depression.
Because like the evil shadow that it is, no one is immune to it. And you have to work through the nights, so the sunrise the following day has meaning. Or just to see it rise. And metaphorically, yourself.
Depression is the cancer to your soul. And it’s an arduous road to get out of. But from someone who now considers himself the most blessed man in the world, you are worth it. And life is very much worth living.
To those who have read this far, I leave you this. If you do suffer, you just need ONE person in your life. Find him or her. Find them. And live happy. And see the greatness you can create.
And to everyone else, the easiest thing to do in this world is be a good person. Always remember that your heart can make a wave of difference. And as vast and desolate as the ocean can be, the waves of positivity and kindness can lead us all ashore.
Look, when it comes to this topic I’m a realist. I know the blood I have spat because of my own doing. The long minutes I put my head under a pillow, just to pull out the last second. And the pharmacy aisles that had options galore to end it all.
I know. I know. Listen, please listen to me, I know. But I also know life is worthy to live. And live it with glee. For we are destined to succeed if we choose to.
So when my mom and pops want to go out and take their boy out, I’m there.
When my family decides to get together I’m there.
When friends want to play a sport or party, I’m there.
When I want to travel, I’m there.
When I bought my house and adopted pets, I was there.
When I married my soulmate, I was there.
You see I made it. I was present and there. I was one of the lucky ones. And I’m blessed.
And I’m only going forward. Because I love me. And that does not make me selfish. Love yourself and watch how you end up knowing what true love is.
What you can’t see now are my tears flowing down at this moment. But I now wear my emotions on my sleeve, because I know what can happen when I don’t.
So why do I write this. I write this for one call to action.
Ladies and gents. Let your humility and love shine. The easiest thing in this world is being a good person. By doing that you will save a life. Trust me, I know. I know because I’m here.