|Happy in 2012, outside a house in Japan... aka The British Museum|
“If you only had one day left to live, would you go to war, would you search for peace, or would you just waste time?”
Twelve months ago, I was living a daily hell, deep in the heart of the devils rectum; commonly known as clinical depression. For anyone unaware of this place, it goes beyond the stereotypical prototype of feeling shit about life. And while I would happily roll off the never ending list of symptoms which hounded me inside the illness, this is better suited for another time. However, there is one particular element I would like to focus on, related to the private internal war of this disease; the notion of existence, and how it challenges the way in which you both see it, and live it.
In a healthy mind, we live with hopes, dreams, aspirations, and a host of plans to set up a more productive future. In essence, we concurrently live by day, by week, by month, by year, and by decade; each avenue changing, along the advent of time. At the very worst of depression, you are not living by day, hour, month, or year, you are living moment to moment. There are no thoughts of the future - for there is no future. There are no weekend plans, daily tasks, or happy memories of all the wonderful achievements in our lives - there is nothing; just 95% ever fluctuating forms of suffering, and 5% survival - the most important 5% you may ever discover within you.
Looking back, I can remember strands of time where daylight fell, genuinely believing I may never see the light of dawn again. Writing this now, it sounds ridiculous, but at the time, I was sick, very, very sick; I honestly believed I was either going to die, or be struck by a sudden impulse to take my own life. I wasn’t bitter, or angry, I was only scared and upset; knowing I was going to miss all the wonderful experiences of life I constantly took for granted - most of which were free, simple, and easily discarded for some pointless thought of wasted negative garbage.
I missed hearing the passion of my brother over the phone; as he asked my opinions on the latest newspaper scum story of the week. I missed sitting on an outdoor bench by myself; drinking a diet coke, people watching, and pondering pointless philosophical notions of life. I missed the moment of opening my netbook in Starbucks, before writing whatever come to my concious. I missed the final steps of a long weights and cardio workout. Most of all, I missed the random adventures with my girlfriend; laughing and joking, as we ripped into every passing weirdo. All the arguments, wars, and battles I had been involved in - many self-created, seemed futile. I saw them for the complete waste of energy they were. I guess it is really a question of time; the less you feel you have, the more value it attains - why allow it to burn in the hatred of destruction, when the bridges of love build a path everybody can benefit from.
The illness taught me many harsh lessons – some of which I am only now beginning to fully accept and understand. It taught me how I am a mere part of a greater whole, and the only true enemy of life is when we lose control of our ego. It taught me how all human beings are incredibly sensitive, fragile creatures; everyone is a rich ball of mesmeric, positive light - it is just some build the wrong type of barriers to protect it. They are human, they make mistakes... we all do.
When you live in a world where there is no tomorrow, today becomes everything. When today becomes everything, your mind has no intention on making it a place of anger, war, and general negativity. Since this period, I reconciled a stupid disconnection with my eldest brother, and let go of every last issue related to anyone I ever fought with; if they are willing to accept me as I am - which isn't hard, as I am quite lovely, then I do the same. If they do not, I will still accept them anyway, and hope they one day do so too. For this, I am much happier. For this, I can never see myself burning another bridge, for the rest of my days; for purely selfish reasons, it is a massive weight off my shoulders - stagnant burdens are heavy bastards to carry.
I no longer live life day to day, and have slowly spent the past year building myself back to a life with both a past, a present, and most importantly, a bright, hopeful future. I have a girfriend who may have saved my life without knowing it, a family who may never stop functioning on dysfunction, and a receding hairline. But its all part of the beauty of life. It is a gift; just presented to us in a funny kind of wrapping paper.
If I only had one day left to live, I would not waste time going to war, I would search for peace. But this is just me; I only know it works, and I am much happier for it now, than I was in 2011...