Ride it out.

February 8, 2010

I have written about this before but since its February and suicide month I thought I would refresh the topic.

First of all, do I get depressed that no one comments on my blog?  Nope.  I switched to WordPress and it publishes how many hits you get.  The last few posts got just under 100.  Not bad,  means people are reading and coming back.  Even if it’s just spammers and Google spiders, I’m cool with that.

Now onto the main topic.  People are depressed.  People get depressed. People are depressing.  Yup, and that is never going to change.  But we all like to be HAPPY!  We would like to stay happy,  hell we want to be happy ALL THE  TIME!

We do goofy things to get happy, like drink… but that’s actually a depressant.  So we buy stuff or go on vacation or have meaningless sex with strangers.  But it never lasts.

That’s because it’s not supposed to.

I had a bad patch in my mid-twenties.  I was living in Vancouver (Vangoovey).  Arguable the best city in Canada.  But I went through one job to the next. Always short of cash and never being able to get time or money to take the big bike trip to Alaska (still haven’t by the way)

I got depressed, I mean really depressed.  So depressed I couldn’t get out of bed, feed myself or give a damn about anything.  I had hit bad spells before and gotten through them but this one was bad.  I eventually worked my way out of it, or so I thought.  I went to therapy, group sessions, read books, attended seminars and as a last resort went to a doctor.  He diagnosed me with depression and put me on some drug (the name eludes me right now).

I call this period in my life “the lost 6 months”.  Everything was ok, it was alright, it was fine, I was fine.  Then my prescription ran out.  And I crashed. I mean I really crashed.  I mean standing on the Granville Street bridge over False Creek crash.

But I chickened out.  I gave up and slept on the beach, roamed the streets, drank heavily. Then one day, I felt a bit better.  And the next day I felt a bit better and then eventually I got on with my life.

Things went along very well for quite a while and then I got depressed again.  So I started the whole cycle over again, books, seminars, therapy. Right up until I thought I should go to the doctor.  I was walking to the clinic when I just kept on walking.  I walked, and walked and walked until I could literally walk no more.  I collapsed from exhaustion.  I lay on the trail in the forest for a long time, several hours at least.  There, unable to move, I was only able to think.  And this thought came to me.

Do you get depressed?  Yes.  Does it pass?  Yes.  Always?  Yes.

Yes, yes it does.  So all I had to do was wait. But knowing that it would pass, gave me hope.  And hope it seemed was all I needed.  I rode it out.

As I got better, things really got better.  I mean it got awesome!  I was on top of the world! I had energy, I had plans I had things to do.  And I did them. 

But a few months later I felt the crash coming.  But this time I said OK, I am about to get depressed again.  But that is OK.  It really is ok.  I know it won’t last long and I will come out of it.  And even if it lasts a bit longer or at an inconvenient time, that is ok too.  It will pass.

And the crash did come, and it didn’t last long but I tell you,  I wrote some really awesome stories.  And some pretty decent poetry  (yeah yeah, how very bohemian of me)

And when I felt better I read some of my black stories, written on black paper in a black room with the lights out. It was then that I realized something.  I needed my depression.  It was a part of me. 

The “lost 6 months” while I was on the pills was the worse period of my life.  I realize that now.  It robbed me of me. I walked around in a haze.  Everything was just ok, nothing else.  My world was beige. I need my lows so I can appreciate my highs.  I need my depression to take stock of my life, converse with my soul so that when I emerge, I have a plan, a purpose and I know myself.

Now I’m not going to lie to you and say that religion did not play a part in this.  When you are down, really down, you usually only have one person to talk to and only one person who will listen.  I’m not going to preach but I wanted to be clear, He helped, He may have even been the one who asked the questions while I was lying in the forest in a heap.  I don’t know.

So now I realize that depression is a part of me. I will never be happy all the time.  And I don’t want to be.  I need my depression so that I will know when I am happy.  And let me tell you.  When you are in a deep valley and then climb the highest mountain.  The trip is worth it.  And to look down to where you have been, and how far you have come, that distance is far greater that the drug induced plains of stability. 

So when you start to feel depressed, like I am feeling right now, know that it won’t last.  Know that you should embrace this opportunity to know yourself, revel in the black, drink the misery and have your fill because it will go away soon and when it does, you will miss it.

So for me, tonight, I am getting the black pen out, and will open my black notebook with black pages and I’ll turn the lights out, and I will be BRILLIANT!



  1. Light cannot exist without darkness, good without evil.

    You know all that dark, depressing music I listen to? And then the high energy stuff I listen to?

    I tend to choose music that complements my mood. So if I’m down, I listen to something that would make most people set themselves on fire (like Xasthur, perhaps, or Paradise Lost…)

    And guess what… it makes me feel – okay.

    And when I’m happy and chipper, I listen to something that makes me want to break shit, and I feed off of it (like Nile, or Hatebreed).

    And then there’s Pink Floyd… 🙂

  2. Dude, it’s good that you feel you’ve learned to cope with your depression and that you “need” it to truly be yourself, but those dark places can also be very dangerous places and I’ve lost one too many friends to those places not to beg you to find some way to get some sort of balance. I’ve heard this story so many times (the creativity of the dark, etc.) and you must know that sometimes the low will get just that much lower — low enough that you don’t want to be there – or anywhere – anymore. This isn’t just “moods” as Brett suggests. What you’re talking about is a chemical disturbance in the brain and it should be treated. Just because your one experience with meds was a bad one doesn’t mean it has to be that way. They can find something that works for you. Really. I’m sorry if it seems like I’m sticking my nose into this when I don’t even know you, but this post really scared me. Take care of yourself.

  3. hey man. you know what your problem is? you living in canada man! its cold and it snows, get your ass down south, we ain’t never sad here.


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