I had depression once.
So glad I did.
Best thing that ever happened to me .It completely changed my life and saved me from myself.
Thank God I didn’t take any medication for it or I would probably still have it today.
That depression took me on a deep journey within myself, where for the first time in my life I started to questions everything.
Why? Because before, everything seemed to be “right” in my life, but with the depression, everything now seemed to be “wrong”. I didn’t know who I was anymore and the future just seemed like a dark, black hole in front of me.
Before the depression I was living life like any other teenager. Drinking, partying, chasing women, trying to scrape through college doing as little work as possible. It was the “Summer of Love” in 1989 when acid house parties were happening all over the country and I couldn’t get enough of them. Nothing had ever given me such an intense feeling of euphoria and happiness before – I thought I had found heaven.
But in a world governed by opposites that reality soon began to change.
Too much acid started to affect my mind in a very negative way. I became paranoid, anxious and dependent on the high. I stopped going into college, failed my exams and found myself working as a petrol pump attendant at a service station.
I broke up with my girlfriend, fell out with my friends, was kicked out of the friend’s house where I was living and have never felt so alone.
The depression got worse over time. I became more and more alienated from the world and everyone who I was once close to. I remember thinking to myself, “Is this it? Is this the way the rest of my life is going to be? Paranoid, anxious, alone, unhappy, hating myself and life?”
I had to find a way out, but I didn’t know how. So, I began to look around for answers.
I remember going to a Scientology meeting once. I was the only one who turned up. I had one guy poorly explain to me what Scientology was, and then desperately try to get me to part with £500.
I didn’t go back again.
But there was this shop I used to pass sometimes in Brighton that always played this beautiful, calming, spiritual music inside. Every time I went in there, I felt a few moments of peace and hope. It fascinated me. It was here that I picked up a book on Meditation one day and that changed everything.
It was about 3 months of daily meditation practice after that when the depression lifted and I started to feel myself again. BUT I wasn’t my old self. I was a different person. It had changed me.
For the first time ever, I began to question who I was, what I was and why I was here.
The rest of my life before that, I had never, ever even questioned these things. I just lived, without any thought, without ever really thinking about life and what it was all about.
I just did what everyone else around me was doing – surviving and chasing after things in life I thought made me happy; women, drugs, alcohol, partying, anything that gave me momentary pleasure.
But these things I chased were what took me into the depression. So they couldn’t be the answer.
What the depression did was to make me stop and question. Realize that what I was chasing wasn’t bringing me happiness and start to look for those answers in other areas of my life.
It made me question everything that I had previously took for granted: Who am I? What am I? What is happiness? How does a person become happy? What makes a person unhappy? What is the mind? What are my thoughts? Where do they come from? What is this thing around me called the world? What is life all about? And is death really the end?
Questioning everything has given me a much deeper appreciation of life, clarity of thought and the ability to understand and work with my mind.
I am not perfect, I don’t understand everything about life and I still have a lot to learn.
But focusing on what happiness is and where to find it, allows me to wake up in the morning and work towards experiencing more of it.
Yes, I face difficulties, but the more I learn about my mind and how it works, the easier it is to work with.
So, for any of you who are experiencing depression now, or if you do experience it in the future (yes… it can happen to you or anyone), or you know someone going through it now, please remember this article.
Because it may not be a bad thing, but the best thing that ever happened to you.