I Am Depressed, But I Am Human Too: Love

Love is a state of emotion that involves having affection for someone, something or the self. I am not sure if I have ever felt the feeling of being in love with someone, or know how to love myself. However I know that I am learning and getting to understand the meaning of love. I sometimes hear a voice that tells me that I don’t need to love myself and that hating myself is better. Pity pulls me down and lies to me and makes me feel like it is something that I should be comfortable with. My motivation to become better is not an easy thing, because I still struggle with having a positive perspective of myself.

I have not reached a moment of clarity with self-love, but I have learned that music has helped me learn to discover love within myself. When I recorded my first studio record, Island, I felt that I was able to pour a part of myself into music. I consider “A Day Without Love” (my band) a reminder of learning the meaning of love.

The band name, “A Day Without Love” comes from a time that I stopped a spousal abuse incident in college. I wrote a poem called “A Day Without Love” which is about learning that the day that you stop loving yourself, is the day you allow chaos in to your life. I didn’t want to become like the man who I stopped from beating his girlfriend. I didn’t want to consume my life with anger and rage.  I didn’t want to become a corrupted soul.

Since that incident, I started to write songs about loss, struggle and confusion as a reminder to never give up. I want to share my story with others because every time I sing a song at a show I am telling myself that I am worth it. I knew music would be my way of taking a risk to talk about pain that I experience so that I know that my story can empower others to feel better about themselves. The act of sharing my painful story in an artistic form helps me to find love within myself.  

Love is not something that happens immediately, but it is something that is developed over time. I take time out of my day to focus on what actions I need to take to become a person who loves myself. I forgive myself of the failures I have made so that I know how to detach and move on.  Self-love is learning to forgive myself so that I can let myself heal from years of pain and self-deprecation.

Self-love does not come from a book, program, intervention, or a system, but by practicing it. I fight through the darkness so then I can love myself. I have been able to separate myself from times of difficulty by letting myself feel. The same head talk that has controlled my feelings of misery is the same head talk that I have used to help myself recover. Instead of pretending that I don’t feel good about myself, I admit my pain and push through to let myself heal.

My relationship with myself will continue to grow. I have been able to respect myself in things that I enjoy doing without the dependency of others (cooking, writing music, exercising, etc.). These hobbies have allowed me to grow and feel that I have more value to provide to myself and others.  Finding growth in the things I am passionate about not only provides self-worth for myself, but it allows me to love myself for who I am and what I can provide for myself and for this world.  

               Love and Women

As I have said before, I am not the best when it comes to having relationships with the opposite sex. I never was the man who was considered to God’s gift to women, I never was even considered a lady charmer. I was only a friend, a temporary fuck or considered a disease.

I have lost many relationships with women. By relationships I mean platonic friendships. I believe that I have had a long streak of bad luck. Some girls have rejected me because of my race, others have said I was too fat, some said I was too smart.  I have taken just about any route that you can think of to pursue a relationship from the bar scene, libraries, coffee shops, online dating, not trying at all, to swiping myself into carpal tunnel and I have still experienced failure.

I am not a very patient person, I cut myself and other people off before giving them the chance. My lack of patience comes from years of rejection, and being misled by women. I don’t give many people the benefit of the doubt which has caused me to cut many women off before even realizing that I may have a chance with them. My negative outlook and perspective has kept me from having tolerance for wanting to play games with women. I am a very straight forward, old fashioned person who does not like to play emotional games just to be considered attractive.

For a long time I have felt that I was incapable of finding love and undeserving of being loved by women. I have been disrespected and rejected so many times, I didn’t think that there would be a girl for me. I still don’t have anyone, and I still am not in love and I have not experienced love, but I see things differently.

I used to think that I should have a relationship because I lost many of my guy friends to their girlfriends. I would cope with that by having short term friends with benefits type of relationships and one night stands at bars. I was confused about whether or not I was deserving of a relationship. My perception was that a relationship, was another stepping stone in the American life as opposed to being about two people who were engaged in becoming emotionally invested in each other.

As I am going through a journey of emotional recovery I realize that my previous perspective keeps me from finding enjoyment in the woman who would want to date me. I don’t believe in being entitled to having the same types of relationships that my other friends have. I believe in getting to know a girl and being her friend instead of jumping straight to sex and one night stands like I used to do. I am learning to be patient, tolerant and persistent.

My understanding of relationships in today’s millennial society doesn’t exactly fit the mold of others. I feel that more relationships are based on material factors and sex than valuing a person. I am not looking for someone to marry or the one, I just want to be able to date. There are many ways that I could try to analyze and rationalize why I have experienced so much failure with women. I could choose to lose weight, I can try to change my appearance, but it won’t mean I will be happy. I have done these things before and I found disappointment. Changing yourself for the sake of finding romantic acceptance won’t solve anything.

I would be lying to you if I said I found the key to working things out in relationships. I don’t know the best way to attract a girl. I don’t get the female attention that I desire either. I somehow have managed to go on some dates, but I have experienced more failure than success. I need to focus on is making myself happy and finding someone who I can find comfort with. I hope to be married some day and I hope to live a traditional life to make up for the lack of structure I had in my own childhood. But for now, I can’t let these failures and past mistakes hurt me or affect me in a way that will consume my negative perspectives of myself.  I haven’t given up on myself, but I know that I have to learn from my mistakes and make myself a better person.

               Friendships

Most people who know me consider me to be a very well connected person. What people don’t realize is I may be known by many, but very few people really know the real me. I am not sure if I have met the friends that I deserve and I am also not sure if I have become the best friend I could be to my friends. But there is a lot that I have learned about the value of friendships.

I have learned to appreciate people for who they are. My friends can’t always give me the attention I desire. I want to always have people around me because growing up I was alone. The only two people I had were my grandparents and all the kids in school and my neighborhood bullied me and treated me like an outcast. So I do everything in my power to surround myself around people to feel comfortable. The compromise to this sort of social life is that, I sacrifice the ability to be intimate with a few friends for having friends in different places. If this were a psychology book, we can call this “Extrovert’s Fallacy.”

I have been able to have a large network in my professional and musical life. It has benefited during times of need. However, I still feel that I have not been able to be a close friend to the people who do know me. I am often stretched out and have to spread myself thin during social gatherings because I want to share my presence with people. Doing this has been emotionally draining and has left me confused.

Instead of trying to push for an ideal friendship, I have changed my perspective on how I view my friendships. I have learned to see my friends as experiences. Experiences are don’t last forever, but they are remembered. So I remember my friends for what they can deliver and I find love in experiencing that relationship.  

I reach out to my friends when I need support, and I reach out to other friends when I need other things (food, company, someone to party with, etc.). I don’t know if I will ever have a set clique, or a tight circle, but I do know that I can share my passions with my friends. It adds value to myself and it adds value to my own life. Being able to have friends to share my hobbies and passions adds value to my life and keeps my mind off of negativity.

Family

I don’t feel loved by my family, instead I feel like I am a part of a system that consists of familiar strangers. I don’t feel included in family functions and when I do attend them, I don’t feel like I am welcome anyways. Every time I do make an effort I find myself getting frustrated because I get ignored and made fun of for who I am. Contrary to that notion, I understand that I can’t choose the family that I am born into. I can’t change them either, just like I can’t change my friends or the women I attempt to pursue. But what I can do is accept them.

I don’t know what to look forward to when it comes to receiving the love that I want and desire. I am not exactly the ladies’ man, but I am doing my best to make myself seem more attractive by becoming the man that I want to be. I don’t know if I will ever have one tight knit circle of friends, or a best friend who is constantly concerned about my well-being on a day to day basis. But I am thankful for the friends I do have and I appreciate them for helping me throughout my recovery and becoming a stronger person in my passions. If I ever get lucky enough to start a family or fall in love, maybe I will find my own family that I can start on my own terms

Love is something that I am still getting a grasp on. I don’t know if I ever will be able to improve my love life. I am not certain if I will ever find love with someone else. I know that my heart is heavy and it’s got a lot of love to give. I am unsure if I ever will become closer with my friends or if I will have a crew of friends to take over the world. I don’t even know if my family will ever treat me like a human. I am not very sure of much, but what I am sure of is that the more I begin to love myself the less I will focus on being reminded that I don’t have love like others do.