I read somewhere recently, “Happiness is an inside job” – It’s true on the most part. Many people simply let happiness flow freely from their minds and envelope them like a warm blanket. I have to believe I have the power to not let sadness predominate my perceptions of the things around me. I have to believe that I have the power to cage the monster, the predator stalking me inside my head like I’m its prey.
Depression is an actual medical condition due to the chemical messengers of the brain and it should be addressed seriously as such. I am not depressed. I spend most of my time being thankful for the life I lead. It’s a mess but it’s my mess and it’s as much a part of me as anything else. Sometimes though, I find myself staring off into space gripping myself trying to keep the random waves of sadness from overtaking me, trying to not let my heart crumple under the sudden onslaught of grief. It’s like this rapidly spreading forest fire threatening to take over trying to set me aflame in my own head, destroying the peace.
It’s the sort of feeling that never gets a name because you can never understand it. It’s faceless and it wants every peaceful part of your mind. It duels with the internal satisfaction and peace that you’ve worked so hard on building up trying to defeat you and swallow you whole to keep you in an abyss of eternal sadness inside your own head.
The geek that I am, it somehow feels like a dementor’s kiss, taken forcefully without warning. It grows more and more sucking the light out of you giving you no chance to run. You try to gather all the strength that you have and reach for the place you keep your memories. Where you keep your reserves of strength and go to replenish yourself when you’re lying bloody on the ground. This is the place you must go and pick the strongest sensation of hope that you can find to fight back. You can’t hide, the place singed by the fire isn’t one where you can stay after slamming the door to the thing stalking you. You go out and you stand up with all the strength that you ever had, lift your head high, take a deep breath and bring out your strongest weapon. And; You smile.
Loss changes you. It might not be a change as visible as a splash of colour on a black and white painting but its definitely as if there is a slight shift in everything around us. As if the molecules disassemble and rearrange themselves, changing everything even as life moves on the same way like before, leaving us stranded on the shore.
You can pretend all you like, but the person looking back at you in the mirror is no longer whole and the empty place echoing within you does nothing to hide it.
You never really recover from some things. They call it heartbreak, because that’s exactly what happens. Your heart breaks and you’re never whole again and you can live or mask the scars with laughter and happiness but it sneaks up on you; The absolute cruelty of it all, the woes of your depraved soul desperate to find itself again and its all you can do to take a deep breath and smile.
Loss does one of two things to those it leaves behind – It meshes us together, forcing us to let go of every feeling we know to form some semblance of an existence again, or it tears open the wound, making us slowly bleed out, widening the divide so much that we’d do whatever it takes to try and pretend that shit’s not real. We know better though. Its a nightmare you cannot escape, no matter how much you scream and beg to be let out off. You’ll always be the person holding your war stories close, proud of your scars even as you lock them away within the confines of your heart. Always, at the precipice of insanity and even you go back to life, you know, in reality, there is no going back.
Recently, while looking up on Vincent Van Gogh, I came across some things that spoke to me.
“Proper self-respect, however, is also very dependent on relations with others.”
It got me thinking; for all that we say about people, we are inadvertently connected to them, even in our distrust or hopelessness. When one lives with others, he is bound with them for we are all like a mass of atoms, mismatched but existing together as a whole, each of our actions, affecting the other, fueling us forward, setting us on our way. As for the feelings of affection binding us, they make us aware that we have a reason for being, that we might not be entirely worthless and superfluous but perhaps good for one thing or another. They keep us believing in all this universe has to offer, in the magic of being.
No matter what we say, we need one another and are making the same journey as travelling companions. To share your thought with people is the most vulnerable you can be. It’s like offering your soul to them to do what they want with it, judge it, label it, read into it – However they want to. Conversation is the most magical of human interactions for it’s the most intimate you can be. In one of her sayings, Amanda Palmer tells about the difference between wanting to be looked at and wanting to be seen. When you are looked at, you can have your eyes closed. You suck energy, you steal the spotlight. When you are seen, your eyes must be open, you must see and recognize your witness. You accept energy and you create energy. You create light. One is exhibitionism. The other, a connection. Not everybody wants to be looked at. Everybody wants to be seen.
Life’s a game. We being simply the little objects on the screen played by God’s joystick, controlled by the buttons fate and destiny. We try doing everything our way, try to deflect our fate, to screw it in the face. What we don’t realize is that no matter which path we take, which jump we make our every action leads us back to that same destination and that is where we are all ultimately headed. We plan and plan and set our aims high, dreams flying and soaring high up in the sky. Fighting all sides, up, down, jump! Destiny making us go along, completing each stage, making us think we are winning, that we have the upper hand. You take shortcuts, use cheats, all to defy fate, to throw it off guard with our oh so genius moves smiling inside sure that you have now won.
But you are wrong. Cheated by destiny which makes you think it’s leading you towards victory. After all, fate is the essence of the game, written by God himself. Going above all our tricks and schemes, striking down the game we built bit by bit and we’re helpless watching it all go ablaze the bright colors in the sparks of light. You shiver as you feel the cold wind bringing our very end. Blowing away the smoke as the embers die. The notes of the song fade away. The trumpet blows. The fanfare tune that signals Game Over. Signals ‘The End’
They say that battles make people stronger; whether they are physical or spiritual. Who defines strength? Who is there to decide whether someone emerges out stronger than before and does that mean they weren’t strong before or is it so that they are just accustomed to it by then and have experienced it before such that things of that nature don’t faze them anymore? Who would be the judge of it all and who sets the standards? At what point are you allowed to ask why? Ask why you are thrust into one battle after another. At what time are you justified to scream ‘Enough!’ What is strength really and till what point can you keep up the delusion and reassurance of it. What happens when you let go, does that mean you failed and aren’t as strong or does that mean that you finally broke the illusion and accepted the broken pieces of your soul as they are. Isn’t being broken better than the false illusion called strength?..
The dry ground embraces the rain as if an old lover, letting it caress it, coaxing from it a smell that’s as new as it is familiar.
Rain has its own melancholic symphony; One that forces you to face the darkest crevices of your soul and bares you to the point that when the sun finally comes out, you embrace its rays and let them filter through you. The green of the trees seems darker, brighter. The air seems fresher, better. The dusty film on the past seems as if washed away and you get to start anew, the prospect of a brighter time seeming within reach, the shining sun hard to ignore and the lost will to thrive brought to light, unable to be stashed away.
For, every storm hints at a beautiful day where, despite the wreck and the destruction around us, the world starts to live again and we, with our damaged souls and battered hearts are allowed to heal and bloom once more.