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To Be Lost, Heartbroken and Suffer

Life has a way of throwing a lot at you at once. Suffering, heartbreak, tragedy, etc is all within the realm of possibility. Some days, I’ve felt better and wonder why me of all people. But this is necessary when we’re all given the gift of life. To live is to feel and sometimes we must all suffer — even if it seems like there is no end in sight.

My look at the world has always been bright and optimistic, but I wouldn’t want to be shielded from all the ills, vices, and temptations life brings. Reality hurts and I rather firmly put myself out of the Matrix or the Garden of Eden if given the false alternative. A life of nothing but joy and happiness is a lie — the biggest one there is. We all exist to have experiences and not all that we feel will be good ones.

Your closest friends and family are the ones you hold most dear to you. Yet, the reality is they will all go someday — not now but much later. Death comes and goes much like the changing tides or the many phases of the moon. Laughs are shared, hugs are exchanged, and bonds are made knowing one day, the very people that are a part of your memories will go. I’ve always felt knowing we all won’t be around eventually would make us want to get up out of bed and feel the urge to live now — not later. Time is of the essence and it trickles down the spout. It’s a slow leak, but the water will run out.

To some and some months — myself included, the world feels empty and devoid of joy and happiness. It’s all elusive and much like a quest for discovery. We want to be happy, but it never finds us. Some months it quickly goes as soon as you get a taste of it. All good things are only that — temporary. It doesn’t deter me and shouldn’t anyone for that matter. Feel thankful for the days you do feel your absolute best and hope it comes more often. There are billions of people out there who at one point have felt the same way. For that reason, we should never feel alone. We get better eventually. It may not be a full recovery, but behind every sliver of sunlight piercing through the crack, is a bright sun.

Anyone who’s afflicted with sadness, greif, or depression might feel the days are grey and the world is cruel. You’re right actually — the would is cruel. It’s the only honest and correct response for anyone dealing with days, weeks, or months of crippling depression. Thoughts manifest into habits and those habits keep you a prisoner of your own body. Truthfully, some days I dread at the thought of getting up in the morning and having to show myself to the world. Yet, I find the strength to keep pushing forward. I have responsiblies, duties and ambitious goals to accomplish. I’d feel worse knowing they’re slipping from my grasp by feeling sorry for myself. Your view of the world is never accurate to how you’re feeling this way. If you know this, then get up and go about your day. Odds are, it’s not as bad as things seem. Friends, family and co-workers are there and many have words of advice to keep you moving. We’re all interconnected and supported in that regard. That’s the beauty of life — feeling connected.

For some, years might slip by. It’s only inevitable. Most people are on auto-pilot and have no clear direction or idea what their future holds. It’s why I’m so goal oriented. Goals set the future up and with an expectation of it occurring. It grounds you in the present working up towards something you want to happen or transpire. Without goals, I’d be nobody or the person I am today. Give yourself ambitious goals that’s within the realm of possibility. Find all the areas or ways you can be set back and think of alternative solutions. Plan B is needed as is plan C. There will be bumps in the road. All you’re doing is preparing for the journey. It’s not a full trail you’re following in the woods. Some days, you’ll veer off into the wilderness, but you still have an idea of the destination no less.

With every journey, we all get caught up with unhealthy distractions. They’re littered everywhere and at anytime, will try to deter you. Stop to smell the roses. They look beautiful and smell great. Give time to be mindful of where you are and where you want to be. The more mindful one is with their actions and behavior, the more likely they are to reaching the finish line. Two steps forward and one step back is still a step in the right direction.

Some people suffer their entire lives, which is disheartening to think about. My only advice is to take a step back and reevaluate what’s important in your life. Find what makes you sad and by all means, do something about. It’s always easier said than done, but any solution to a problem requires thinking about it. No one likes to think about the very thing that makes them sad or causes issues.

Do I want to admit I have a few issues with addiction? No. Do I want to admit I needed help? No. If I could have it my way, I’d be just an average Joe trying to find his place in the universe, but I’m far from it. I tend to gravitate towards one thing after the other and fall victim to new traps. Shit, everyone does. If you’ve yet to feel depressed for weeks at a time or wake up and tell yourself you fucking hate everything, then my god, you’re just lucky. Life can be a bitch, but how you deal with it makes all the difference. I’m not Superman and my friends have their own issues to deal with. I’m the end, we openly talk about them and give each other a hand.

The world can be a scary and awful place, but there’s two sides to every story. Dark clouds lead to brighter skies. I can’t say I have all the answers or is immune to my list of vices, but I’ll listen to everything my friends tell me and follow their word. Everyday should be looked upon as a chance for self-improvement. Old habits die hard. The feelings that harm you fade. Memories that keep you up at night grow fainter every month. Shit gets better once new experiences take over. No one remembers everything forever.

There are people I miss. Some everyday for almost ten years. There are words I wish I could take back and said differently if given a second chance. There are times I should of stopped myself but didn’t. I’ve let my closest friends down numerous times. Some have cried, felt betrayed and been belittled in my presence. I’ve failed most my life and am racing to undo it all. But this is the nature of living. It’s an imperfect world and truthfully, there’s no better time to be alive than now. Anyone who says or believes differently hasn’t seen the bigger picture.

Live now and not later, but always onwards. Later world.

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It’s Okay to Be Sad

To be human is to have the capacity to express all types of emotions. I’ve come to realize the following:

  • It’s okay to be sad or depressed. I’m inclined to believe everyone is a little bit sad. You cannot see what lies ahead of you and on some days, something tragic or terrible happens. Everyone will be affected by depression at some point of their lives. No one is immune to sadness. One in four people suffer from depression in some form. Struggling with depression and feeling at your lowest of lows is just another part of life. It doesn’t mean you’re broken and there’s no quick and easy solution. Whether it lasts a day, a month, or years depends how you deal with it.

If anything, being sad humanizes you. Being able to feel sadness means you are just has human as the person next to you. It’s a normal human emotion that’s part of life. There are some, like my best friend who chooses to numb all his feelings with drugs and alcohol. That’s no way to live and likely makes the road to recovery that much more difficult. Being aware of your behaviors makes all the difference. I recall one time, while he went through a very hard break up, he essentially drown out his sorrows with alcohol. He went as far as to trash his place — even with his mom home. You can say he didn’t take it so well and I don’t blame him. I (meaning we) should have not let him have alcohol.

What Helps With Depression

  • Talk About It: I do this all the time with my group of friends. Being able to vent out my frustrations with the world gives me a brief, but satisfying feeling of relief. Does it completely remove all my lingering negative thoughts? No, never. It’s not easy opening up to someone, even if you’re close to them. You have to willingly open up and it shouldn’t be forced. It’s worlds better than keeping to myself and having the same thoughts on repeat all day. Your greatest enemy is your own mind. For days I don’t feel talkative, writing makes a difference too. I only publish 1/3rd of all the things I write about, but putting words on paper is another avenue to help with sad thoughts.
  • Good Habits: I’ve noticed good healthy habits are essential to a happy life. Smoking and drinking feels great, but the health risks outweighs any momentary feelings of sedation.

1) Exercise is important and is often my way of  distracting myself from intrusive thoughts. After every run, my mind is clear and it’s incredibly satisfying to know I got a few miles in. Runner’s high comes is real and it’s well-worth it.

2) Eating right: Reduce your sugar intake, reliance on processed foods, caffeine, and switch to food made of real ingredients. There’s that saying “You are what you eat” and it’s true. People with a high sugar intake are more prone to depression. Switch to fruits or vegetables for the road to recovery. My friend suggested I completely stop eating out to see if it helps with my mood and my God — it did work.

3) Positivity: I like to think my optimistic view of the world helps a great deal. My one friend is the definition of a Debbie-downer, so I stopped talking to him for a couple weeks. Bad news and people who can’t see the bright side negatively affects you. Take a break from all the terrible things the news or internet tells you everyday and focus on yourself. That’s not to say I think every day will be a good day. Perspective is everything and you shouldn’t go about your day blindly.

4) Laughter is good for the soul. Whether it’s a video of someone falling over or the hundreds of mini pig videos I have bookmarked, find something that brings you joy. Spend time with someone who makes you laugh and watch your favorite funny movie. Everyone needs a good laugh even if you’re not depressed.

5) Enjoyment: Do something you enjoy. For me it’s running, reading, and watching old black and white films. My hobbies are niche — if you consider stocks and investment tips niche. Taking walks around my favorite city costs nothing, but I find it incredibly relaxing. Some days I take photos of any interesting subjects or scenery I see and go back to them to marvel at the natural beauty around us.

Getting out of bed some days is a monumental challenge. Whether is going to a job you cannot stand or the dread you feel in having to put up a smile for everyone, get out of bed. You can either dwell on your thoughts and be a prisoner of your own domain or go outside and experience the world around you. With enough time, sadness fades. It may not be gone completely or perhaps make a return in the future, but three things are certain. Everyday, the sun rises and sets, and with every month, there’s a full moon to gaze up at.

Everyone will suffer. Everyone will be sad. Happiness is illusive. The road to feeling better is met with bumps and cracks, but don’t never give. Hope is within reach and never think otherwise. You’re not invincible and can be quite vulnerable, but there are friends and family who care about you who’ll lend a helping hand.

Later world.

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Death Comes Knocking

Today, I came home from work to some hard news. My “Grandpa” from my mom’s side of the family passed away…

He was in his 90s, always told me to work hard, make money, and buy a nice car — something every Chinese family says is a measure of success. I knew him all my life since I could remember. He always had the nicest things to say about me regardless of how I was doing — impressed even. I’m a little shocked by the sudden news.

I’ve noticed when you’re a child, your family tends to shield you away from someone’s passing. As you become older, you hear about it more and more — making an impact to your year. I suppose by that reason, I don’t deal with losing family members too well. My mom is sad. I am sad. We’re all a little sad. Death comes knocking.

I’ll never forget the last time I saw him. It was a Saturday. He came over and sat across from me. Asked me what I did for work. I told him marketing and he enthusiastically replied, “Marketing? There’s a a lot of money to be made doing that.” Indeed, there is. He was a good man.

It’s a cruel world we live in. You really don’t miss them until they’re dead and gone.

Throughout life, you go on living missing those you wish you saw once more. It’s a reminder just how short life is and how precious the time we do have is. It grounds you. Gives you urgency. It’s motivation. Nevertheless, a very sad and tragic one at best.

I often wonder who’s next. If I had the ability to see into the future, would I spend more time for them knowing their fate? Would I change anything about myself now to appease them? Would it soften the blow of having to say goodbye? Life is a journey afterall. People come and people go. Sometimes you’re not ready to say goodbye.

Later world.