When I open my mouth.
My whole heart comes out.
I don’t even care what the world thinks about how I sound
Christina Aguilera, Sing For Me
Anachronism (noun): an error in chronology; a person or thing that’s chronologically out of place
I put my hand under the faucet, letting cold water touch my skin, skin warmed up by my boiling mind. I am here. The really cold water reminds me of this simple fact that we often forget. I close my eyes a bit, to enjoy the sensation.
Closing my eyes brings back memories from other times when I was not in the here and now. When my chaotic life consisted of more tomorrows and yesterdays than life today. That was the time when my colors were grey, my mood black and my road consisted of an invisible color. I made no sound then, only some lamenting noises that I`d rather mute.
We come to this world from a watery place that feels safe like a warm, cozy house. There we are all alike, we know nothing more except what our fluid surroundings tell us. When we finally come out to our version of reality, we have to find our place in it. Some of us, never quite do. At one point we`d rather be at a mountain top, smoking plants with ancient monks, at another rather lie burrowed in the earth we supposedly come from. We swim upstream and downstream, seldom relaxing to just float. Bubbles burst, and shattered pieces remind us of who we once were.
Last year I got the chance to travel to dream-destinations of mine. China. It was my chance to be in my tomorrows, walk on my mountain-tops and my chance to just be. From early on, I feel in love with simple life-views portrayed in movies like Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter and.. Spring and books like “Eat pray, love”. The first steps to some of these philosophical views were mapped out by Asians, so the wish to walk at the same earth as they did, grew until the turning compass-needle in my heart pointed directly at Asia. What would I see in my own personal mirror?
One of the many places I got the chance to touch with my Norwegian shoes, was Hong Kong. There I enjoyed an extraordinary experience where I sure felt out of place constantly, silently enjoying it.
When you eat, do you taste every bit like it would be your last? When I was a child, I remember how I enjoyed a German chocolate after coming back to Norway. I saved it as long as I could, prolonging the joyful taste and thereby squeezing more happiness from it. I did this since I knew it would be long until next time a piece of Yogurette could melt on my tongue. The more grown-up and richer one gets, the less one savors what enters our senses. For this reason, “Dialogue in the dark” was just what my under-stimulated nerve-cells needed. Before I attended this unorthodox tourist-experience, I just knew that it was created by blind people, and that we would learn something from it. My inner owl hooted in satisfaction, even when someone put a blindfold over me over me and 9 other unknown people’s eyes. It was pitch dark, but the next hour were filled with so much color that it felt like I finally could see again.
I heard a classical piece of music that whirred up strong emotions, I touched objects that made my senses boomerang in wonder. I heard sounds never noticed before, and my body was drenched in water that almost crept under my skin. The excitement I felt was doubled by the mere presence of the strangers around me who had their own surprised exclaims and sounds. Although I`ll never meet those people again, their voices and laughter has left an imprint on my soul.
The exquisite meal we had at the end, felt like it must have done for the 12 disciples. With no sight and no disturbing white noise, I could fully appreciate what I tasted and how lucky I was to be there.
I sure felt the truth of this after we had touched, tasted, felt and walked in the dark, but shining, room in Hong Kong. In the loud silence of our journey through the dark, I could focus completely on how the food tasted and felt. I also had time to appreciate the fact that I sat there, completely free from inhibitions and restrictions, enjoying food some children never get to taste. I am one of the one percent of the population with this chance,
Even if this can be categorized under the most disorganized experiences of my life, I have never felt so clear about anything before.
Where have you arrived, and what is the sound of your symphony in the dark?
- What if I felt like I didn’t belong? (okaywhatif.com)
- Out of place (hopethehappyhugger.wordpress.com)
- Dialogue in the dark (An activity that puts people in the shoes of blind people)
- the one percent of us
I have just eaten an ice-cream. Ice-cream is, and will always be, my band-aid for all ailments. If I feel tired, my energy level rises to impressive levels, and if I feel nauseated, I immediately feel better. People usually look at me like I`m an alien when I confess my unhealthy sin. They tell me that ice-cream actually make them nauseous and deplete their energy levels, but ice-cream is for me what coffee is for others. My taste buds and neural chemistry has often been at odds with what others like. For example, I have never understood why pizza and strawberries are so popular. For me strawberries have a bitter and sour taste, while pizza is tasteless. If no one puts pizza on my plate, with expectant looks, I avoid it. I also can`t stand coriander, because to me it taste like soup.
We all have different preferences, and that reflects our personalities and genetic make-up. This is actually what makes the world wonderful. Without us liking different things, there would be little variation in the world. Imagine the chaos if everyone ate pizza and nothing else? The queues to the pizza-places while other restaurant-owners stare wistfully at the crowd? Or what if everybody wanted to have the same jobs? How long would it take before society as we know it, broke down? How would be get food on our plates, the garbage emptied or electricity if everyone wanted to work with the same things?
So if you ever feel like a freak because your friends are different from you, remember how this might be an advantage. When we are not enmeshed in group-thinking, we are able to see clearer that there are so many ways to approach a problem, and that there might be several ways to live a meaningful life. Who am I to demand that restaurants only should serve ice-cream for dessert?
Appreciate your own taste, because following your preferences and being satisfied with them, might be just what you need.
So, what is your taste?
Some people are courageous. They struggle every day to get out of bed, and find it hard to take another breath. Living is agony, and still they do. Some even find the strength to write about it, and inspire others in the process. Danny Baker from Australia, is one of them. I am impressed and sad at the same time. Sad because he has lived with one of the deadliest health problems, but impressed that he has managed to get through it at the same time as he has chosen to give hope to others with depression. I have included one of his personal posts, and do also recommend the book “I will not kill myself, Olivia”
Depression is a Liar. It IS possible to recover and be happy again – even if you don’t believe it right now
Posted by Danny in Recovery From Depression on January 7, 2015
One of the cruelest traits of clinical depression is that it can often make you feel as if there’s no way out. It can convince you that your despair is eternal, and destined to oppress you for the rest of your days. And it’s when you’re in that horrifically black place, staring down the barrel of what you truly believe can only be a lifetime of wretched agony, that your thoughts turn to suicide.
In that moment, it seems as if it’s the only way out.
I’m so glad I didn’t kill myself
Unfortunately, I know that place well. I’ve been to that place where all hope is lost, where death seems to be the only salvation. Below is an excerpt from my memoir where I write about what that was like. It was April 2010, and at the time I was a 21-year-old university student and aspiring author.
The days dragged along. This was the worst I’d ever felt. Period. There was no relief from the ceaseless dread. I could barely function. Paying attention in class was almost impossible. Studying was too overwhelming. I’d fallen absurdly behind. I hadn’t touched my book [that I was writing] in days. I’d quit my [part-time] job at the law firm, too – needed all my free time to try and catch up on uni. But there was never enough time. I was constantly exhausted. Drained of life. Depression sucked at my soul. My spirit withered. My goal for the day got broken down even further: “just survive the next six hours,” I’d tell myself, “the next four hours. Hold off killing yourself until then.” [At which point I’d tell myself the same thing over again.]
I’d previously thought I’d get better. I’d always thought it true that hope and depression were bitter rivals until one inevitably defeated the other, and I’d always thought that hope would win out in the end. But for the first time in my life, I was void of hope. I honestly believed that being depressed was just the way I was, and that being depressed was just the way I’d be, for the rest of my life. And because I was so convinced that I’d never get better, there seemed no point in fighting my illness. Instead of willing myself to “hang in there” because I believed that my suffering was temporary and that everything would be better one day, I comforted myself with the knowledge that human beings are not immortal. That I would die, one day. One special, glorious day. Then I could spend the rest of eternity moulding in a grave, free from pain. You might be wondering why I didn’t just kill myself if I wholeheartedly believed that my future consisted of nothing more than excruciating misery. Well, first of all, I still was not a quitter. But more importantly, I didn’t want to hurt the people that loved me.
“It’s not fair to commit suicide and ruin their lives,” I thought. “So I have to hold on. No matter how much it hurts me I have to hold on.”
Hence why I drew comfort from the thought that one day I’d die and finally be free.
When you’re that depressed, that insanely and utterly depressed that you genuinely believe you’ll suffer that acutely for the rest of your days, life seems to lack all purpose.
“After all,” I remember thinking, “what’s the point in working, fighting, striving for a better life if I’m sentenced to one of chronic anguish and despair? There is no better life. There is no life outside of pain. So what’s the point in doing anything but waiting until death finally arrives on my doorstep and whisks me away to the Promised Land?”
I was still studying, and I still planned on finishing my novel and trying to get it published, but it was more out of force of habit than anything else. My passion had been drained. My zest for life asphyxiated. I was like a ghost, just drifting through the ghastly days.
“Shit! What’s wrong, mate?” an old friend once said when I ran into him at uni. “Perk up, brother!”
I was shocked. One of the most well-known attributes of depression is that it is entirely possible – and very common – to suffer horrifically without anybody knowing. But somehow without realising it, I’d crossed the line from a place where I was able to put on a front and fool people into thinking I wasn’t depressed to a place where I was so sick that it was obvious to people I hadn’t even seen for a year. When I got home I looked in the bathroom mirror, and realised that I was staring back at a man whose eyes were exhausted slits, whose whole face shrieked of agonising misery. I was staring back at a man whose spirit had been broken, whose soul had been destroyed. I was staring back at a man who, for all intents and purposes, was already dead.
As you can see, I was so convinced that I’d never get better. I was 100% sure of it. But after a while, one of the multiple medications I’d tried started to work. I started benefiting immensely from therapy. I committed myself to eating well, sleeping well and exercising frequently. And over time, I began to recover. Towards the end of that year and throughout 2011, I also made a number of positive lifestyle changes, and by early 2012, I’d kicked my depression for good. Ever since then, I’ve been feeling great.
And I’m hardly the only person who’s recovered from depression. I’m just one of thousands – 10s of thousands – probably millions.
Depression is a maestro at suffocated your hope, but countless people have proved that Depression is a liar. It IS possible to recover and be happy again – even if you don’t believe it right now.
If you enjoyed reading this post, you’d probably also like my memoir Depression Is A Liar: It IS possible to recover and be happy again – even if you don’t believe it right now. Recounting my struggle and eventual triumph over depression, I wrote it so that sufferers of the illness could realise that they’re not alone – that there are other people out there who have been through the same excruciating misery, and who have made it through to the other side. I also wrote it so that I could impart the lessons I learned on the long, rocky, winding road that eventually led to recovery – so that people could learn from my mistakes as well as my victories – particularly with regards to relationships; substance abuse; choosing a fulfilling career path; being a perfectionist; seeking professional help; and perhaps most importantly, having a healthy and positive attitude towards depression that enables recovery. Lastly, I wrote it to give sufferers hope, and to show them that no matter how much they’re struggling, that recovery is always, always possible.
Grab your copy here.*
*When you purchase a copy of my memoir, you’ll also be invited to join the Depression Is Not Destiny Private Facebook Support Group. Additionally, I will donate 10% of my royalties from the book to my charity, The Depression Is Not Destiny Foundation, which helps people who wouldn’t otherwise be able to afford it to crowdfund the cost of their therapy.
The decisions of our past are the architects of our present.” D. Brown: Inferno.
Have you ever seen the skies draw apart revealing the image you longed to see? Your very own personal mirror.
Have you ever felt sure on what your mission in life will be?
I`ll confess I`ve had several strange insights and thoughts through my life, often after waking up in the morning after my eyes have fluttered from side to side like they do when I do EMDR.
After working with EMDR my insights happen more often than ever. Sometimes it`s hard to follow my train of thought and ideas. Butthat`s okay, my ideas usually organize themselves and become more understandable when I give them time to grow. I`ve realized that sometimes I have to draw my breath and let the ideas I present settle. I have also tried to learn the art of grounding, and most of the time I manage to live without floating too far from the earth.People around me know I`ve been working on something important (to me).
I have put a lot of time and effort into many of my ideas, and that also rings true for the kindness project. I have interviewed people, made a new blog and used time to plan everything. I`ve put a lot of energy into this, but it doesn`t mean that I`ll poured over books too heavy to lift. I`ve lived my life to the fullest while letting my (surprisingly clever) brain do its magic consciously or unconsciously.
Not everyone knows I`ve asked myself the same question countless times: Why is life so short? until I figure that one out, let me continue with what I`ll learnt so far:
“Denial is a critical part of the human coping mechanism. Without it, we would all wake up terrified every morning about all the ways we could die. Instead, our minds block out our fears by focusing
on stresses we can handle—like getting to work on time or paying our taxes.”
(I am fond of his books, but not denial)
I’m a fan of the truth… even if it’s painfully hard to accept.
I also have some bad news that might frustrate some. Maybe your thinking: “I`ve been waiting for this “revelation” for WEEKS now, and this is what I`ll get in return? If this rings true for you, I do apologize.I can only assure you that the waiting will be worth it. ff course, you can shorten the waiting time by writing an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) and I`ll give you the password. Some might even have an inkling what my new project will be (I have belief in the fearless conscious and unconscious mind) and tomorrow you`ll know for sure. Until then, we all make our small steps that sooner or later, might alter the future of humanity.
“consider this. It took the earth’s population thousand of years-from the early dawn of man all the way to the early 1800s- to reach one billion people. Then astoundingly, it took only about a hundred years to double the population to two billion in the 1920s. After that, it took a mere fifty years for the population to double again to four billion in the 1970s. As you can imagine, we’re well on track to reach eight billion very soon. Just today, the human race added another quarter-billion people to planet Earth. A quarter million. And this happens ever day-rain or shine. Currently every year we are adding the equivalent of the entire country of Germany.”
— Dan Brown