When life becomes difficult, so does my depression. I cannot say that my depressive episodes are triggered, because my depression is not post traumatic, however certain events in my life have caused me to feel helpless. When I feel helpless, I lose sight of having the perspective that I have the ability to cope with the things that I cannot control.
I used to believe that if my situations change then so would my emotional state of being. I believed that if I would be given the things that I wanted then I would feel better about myself. I thought money would be the cure to my problems and I found that was not the answer. A void can be filled temporarily with material goods or by temporary connections with others, but it does not mean that the pain will go away. No matter how much my life changed, I still felt that I had problems with myself. It didn’t matter whether or not my life changed for the best or the worst for me, I still felt that things were not okay, especially when I experienced situations that I could not control.
I have experienced death from family members, friends and have unfortunately been the witness to many incidents of murder and suicide. Death is something that we cannot control because it is an inevitable part to life. Unfortunately as a result of experiencing a lot of loss in my life I have felt that death was a punishment for becoming close to people. I didn’t think death was about celebrating the conclusion of someone’s lost. I thought death was God’s decision to make my life miserable and keep me lonely.
Since the death of my grandfather (three weeks after writing this book). I realize that death does not mean the termination of the relationship with a person. Death is the ending of the physical embodiment of a person’s presence, but it doesn’t mean that the relationship is over. I believe that I have been able to cope with the death of my loved ones by living through their legacy via the pursuit of my passions and remembering the lessons that they have taught to me to be a better person.
I have spent much of my life trying to make myself fit into a mold to be socially accepted. I didn’t know how to accept myself, because I believed that no one accepted me. I spent more time trying to mirror what others did to feel accepted than finding myself. I didn’t give myself the chance to discover myself. I have learned that there are going to be people out there that don’t like me and there is nothing that I can do to stop what they think of me. I believe that learning humility has instilled confidence within myself and has helped me learn that I can’t leave a person’s opinion to determine my value that is beyond my control.
When I was homeless during Hurricane Sandy, I thought God was punishing me for taking things for granted. Even though 17 days is a very short period of time, I felt that there would be no end to my condition. My grandfather said that I should take this time as a time to build character. Instead I took this time as a time to create self-pity and misery within myself.
I didn’t think of this as a time to take appreciation for the blessings God has given me. Instead of taking each day and being grateful for the couch I was sleeping on, I wanted the world to pity me so that I seek attention instead of thinking about what I could learn from my difficulty.
I have experienced earth quakes, hurricanes, been the witness of gunshot incidents, and have even been shot at. I don’t let catastrophe consume myself worth or my perspective. I don’t think that when bad things happen it means that my life has reached the bottom. Instead I let my bad experiences be used to help others who are going through similar times of struggle.
I understand that I am not able to control everything. If I did, then republicans would not exist, college student loans would not be a generational problem, and I would probably change our entire economy to an economy of sustainability instead profit. I use the serenity prayer to communicate with God to remind myself that I don’t have control over everything. It is inevitable that I may experience difficulty again at the age of 27. I understand that there will be plenty of times where I will face difficulty in my life. Instead of letting my self-pity and misery take over, I use humility, patience and persistence to be able to take over the unfortunate events that I have had to face and will face in my life.