Stigma. Shame. Truth.
Chaotic emotions of admitting, I’m a man who suffers from depression. A dank spiral of darkness ignited by the simplest and most complex of triggers – known and unknown.
These days I’m much more a master of my own depressive destiny in identifying my known triggers of the wicked aggressor of depression than I used to be, mostly as I’ve seen the value of obliging my depression rather than entering into the arena to attempt to fight a losing battle with my foe.
No, I don’t roll over and beg, “Take me depression. Take me and be done with me!” In that depth of surrender, I’d have every reason to own the damage done to my sense of self by weakly inviting the depression to be the victor.
Instead, I found power in surrender. Strength in obliging my truth. Vulnerability in shining a bright light on why I and many other men have found redemption in admitting that depression is simply another facet of who we are, that makes us the men that we are meant to be. Although, my dirty little secret is this; I didn’t always walk this walk and talk this talk.
Honestly, time for the naked deep reveal had I not been such a son of a bitch to my Mom and ex-wife about their depression, I don’t believe I would have gotten to this point where I could lovingly oblige my depression.
Ass assholery as it sounds, if I had a dollar for every time, I said to both of them – out loud or in my head – “Just get over it and put your depressive self-back together,” I’d probably have a nice little nest egg for a rocking vacation around the world. Of course, that little savings account would be tainted by my own egoic misunderstanding that depression just doesn’t magically lift itself up by the bootstraps! Instead, depression was lying in wait, to snare me and take me on a trip around its world for being such a snarky SOB!
While I don’t believe that my ghastly treatment towards my Mom and ex-wife concerning their depression was 100% the culprit for my own diagnosis, I now realize that through my cocky posturing, I was meant to learn deep lessons that now graciously serve me in embracing my own state of being in this disease.
Eating one’s humble pie and not being afraid to admit, “Yes, I suffer from depression,” is a freeing experience, but only if you oblige the truth. Denying, being angry, and bargaining with a higher power, will not get you to acceptance of your condition. Obliging that each of those emotive states are meant to kick your ass into reality is a blessing of acceptance.
The more I oblige myself to admit depression exists in my DNA, the less I feel the calling to fight it. Echoing the chant of The Handmaid’s Tale, I find myself often saying, “Blessed Be the Fruit.” In those moments I realize the fertility and futility of my depression. My depressive states must be allowed life so that I can give birth to rebirthed essence of myself. A stronger self that learns from each depressive experience, enabling me to grow stronger through the next incubation and birth of future depressive episodes.
Utilizing obliger energy to confront the “Big D,” I make room for it, thus shortening the cycle that it is given to run its course, an ironic parallel to making room for other things in life that need to be given room to run their course so that we can consume the lessons of life and be nourished to become our higher, better self.
While I used to fight the depressive state, mostly out of an unjustified belief that I was well above the depressed loser state, I now surrender willingly. Why surrender you might ask? It’s quite simple. Nothing in life is certain. Learning to live in a state of uncertainty as to when my depression will overtake me has taught me the beauty of surrendering to uncertainty and lessened my need to be in control – a narcissistic tendency that runs through my veins thanks to my Father’s DNA. The less if feel the need to control, the less likely I am to pick the door marked, “Studio D – Welcome to my Depressed Reality.”
The greatest lesson I’ve learned by graciously donning my superhero cape of depression and allowing it to become, in a very twisted way my superpower, is the lesson of acceptance and compassion. You’d think I would have learned those two lessons long ago as a gay man. Of course, now you may make the assumption, “Well no wonder he’s depressed. He’s Gay!” Blasphemous. For me, there is nothing depressive about being gay. That’s in the past. A past that was fraught with a lack of acceptance and compassion for me. Which Ironically was a great training ground, little did I know, for the onslaught of depression that was headed my way.
I give thanks each day that I found myself through my true sexuality, battling through what I now know was my own depressive thoughts so that I could be true to who I was. I had to oblige my sexuality in the same manner that I have come to oblige my depression. Both are simply a part of me, and with them, I am less of who I am meant to be. In both instances, I fought the truth, until the truth set me free.
Maybe it’s time for you to oblige your truth that you suffer from depression and wear it as a badge of honor and discover your own superpowers that make you the beautiful man that you are meant to be in this world. Break free of your fears, make your bold move, and live life without apologies for having a relationship with depression.
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