So much has happened,
yet so little at the same time.
I don’t know what this space is now. So many years ago, this was where I discussed art, the tapestries of words and film that intertwined itself with my heart, made me feel alive. It was a podium for posturing, a metronome of melodies and meanderings, a lexicon of letters and lessons learned through film, sports and my life. It was how I expressed myself, explored myself. It was how I said I love you to me.
It was taken from me, not by anyone or anything. I took it from myself. I told myself it didn’t matter, I didn’t matter, that what I said, what I conjured, painted and crafted with all the passion I could produce and all the breath I could breathe, wasn’t good enough.
I’ve dealt with depression most of my life, all throughout my 20s and my way of dealing with it was to not, to not only allow it to speak but to offer it a seat at the table it did not deserve, to let it spew self-hate, disgust and distaste without so much of a retort in protest. Depression is a sickness, a poison of the mind, a creature whose sole pleasure is destruction of the soul.
I allowed it a platform by shaping it as motivation initially. I used it as fuel for my ambitions, energy for my academic endeavors, protein for my physical aspirations. That worked for a time but hate corrodes all. Like a medication, a little self-deprecation to motivate me wasn’t enough anymore. I needed more and like an addict, I despaired for it. No one was going to give it to me. Few people then went around telling people they sucked, they were garbage, they should quit. Even now, strangers don’t generally bump into you and call you a slur that should walk into traffic.
But I did.
If I did poorly on an exam, if I fell short in basketball practice, if I performed poorly in the studio or messed up a relationship, I said those things and so, so much more.
“You’re a disease, a tumor, a cancer. You need removed and tossed away.”
“Your friends don’t even like you. They’re embarrassed by you.”
“Your family is ashamed of you. They’ll never respect you. You’ll never bring honor to the family.”
When the girl I loved left:
“No one’s ever gonna love you.”
When I lost my scholarship:
When my grades fell:
“What a sad excuse for a creature.”
When I failed to develop a career:
“Your whole life is a mistake.”
Every pitfall, every misstep, whether small or large, I lit fire to myself.
“It’s all ruined. It all needs cleared, burnt to ash.”
But I couldn’t. For all my shortcomings, I’m a person, not a piece of lint or a slice of timber.
And so I shamed myself more. I hurt more. I struggled more. I tortured myself emotionally and psychologically to the point of no return, to the point I lost joy, happiness and most important of all, hope.
I had dug a hole so deep trying to take myself off this planet that I forgot the sky. It was just filth, worms, gnats and sewage and I was just stuck in the muck, telling myself if I just dug a little further, there’d be air on the other side. The air was above and behind me, it had always been there but I had forgotten. I had left it behind.
My life had been like this for so long, for so many years that I could barely see the stars in the night sky, the wonders of light that used to speak sweet nothings in my ear: “You can be anything if you put all of yourself into it. You can be the star of your own sky.”
By the time I looked back and realized what I had done, it was too late. I was too far gone.
Friends and family tossed rope down the hole but I was crumbled on the floor, stuck in the quicksand of negative self-talk I had foolishly fed for so many moons. I couldn’t even muster the strength to move let alone stand. The shovel laid in front of me, covered in blood and gunk, chipped and hacked through all the rubble I’d fought through. It was like the nub from Shawkshank Redemption (spoiler alert but if you haven’t seen it yet, it’s on you.) What was I to do with that?
With hope sniffed out, I lived in the darkness I allowed depression to manifest. People begged me to change and I wanted to but I didn’t know how and even now, I still don’t.
Eventually, many of the people I grew up with, who loved me, gave up. There’s only so much yelling down the pit one can do. The pen is mightier than the sword but I was the one with the pen, the one least equipped to write the messages I needed to hear, needed to echo echo, needed to believe.
Now the loneliness I had told myself I had, that no one was there for me, was more honest than ever.
I have lost so much. I’ve lost everything.
Turns out you can burn it all away. Some days I feel I don’t even know myself, like my id left me with everyone else.
So I’m rebuilding, assembling what I can with what I have to try and get out of this chasm. I want this blog to be one of those tools.
So expect more pieces like this, ones with depth discussing not just my life but so many other lives. I have some sports stuff I’d like to get around to, some films I’d like to ponder but I truly don’t know where I go from here. Learning to stand again as a 29-year old is pretty humiliating and it will be some time till I can walk.
I may never run again. My younger self was so much smarter, so much stronger. I wish I could apologize to him. Maybe that’s what my next piece will be,
If you’re reading this and you relate, feel you may be in this hole with me, know I believe in you. Whatever you’ve done, I believe in your redemption and salvation. You have talent, skills lost but that can be regained.
The prefix “re” comes from Latin and translates to “again; anew.” You may never be who you once were. A sorrow and sadness comes with that, an emptiness which may never be fully filled.
But rebirth, renewal, refresh? Those things ARE possible.
I find it so easy to believe in others, a Herculean task to believe in myself. So do me a favor. I’ll believe in you. You believe in me.
Together, we’ll see the sky again and rejoin the stars.
Love, Peace and Respect,
Tim (No one likes this photo because I used a filter on it but I always have)