I grew up in a loving home, better than most, yet we didn’t have much material-wise, but we made do. It wasn’t a hard life but it wasn’t easy either, at least for me as a child. My parents did their very best at providing with what they had and for that, I would never complain or compare. It taught me money isn’t everything and family is. My father was my best friend and someone I was close to for as long as I can remember. The knowledge he imparted to me, I still use to this day.

However despite everything, I always felt like I had a cloud looming over me, from very young. My mother attributes this to her depressed state while she was pregnant with me, since money wasn’t coming in and my father was doing his best at the time. I’m not sure how much of that had an impact on me, yet for no particular reason I was in a state melancholy most of the time. I wasn’t a “troubled child” nor did I do harmful things to myself or others. I didn’t get caught up with the wrong crowd or become dissident, in fact I was well liked by many and didn’t struggle to socialize.

Eventually that state of mind spilled over into adolescence and I started having low self-esteem. I wasn’t visibly depressed nor did I behave like someone who was struggling mentally, but deep down inside I was. I realise that now, so I understand when people talk about suicide, that there were almost no signs of it prior in the person who committed. I wasn’t suicidal or anywhere close to that, yet I wasn’t as cheerful on the inside as I appeared to be on the outside. I didn’t intentionally put on a “show” or was pretending, I just felt I needed to be strong since I’m male and also I love being around the right people which usually puts me in a better state of mind. Alone is where the I felt my lowest.

Maybe if I had grown up in a toxic home, that might have escalated things for me and fueled my inner demons, luckily my loving home kept me and still keeps me happy and away from making emotional mistakes.

By not addressing and admitting my mental state of mind I avoided opportunities to seek help or find ways to improve, something now I wish I had done. That eventually lead to me to making bad major life decisions in adulthood based on sadness and depression, which affected me gravely and still do till this day.

With my low self-esteem I struggled with romantic relationships, although wanting it and having numerous opportunities, because I failed to see my worth. I was surrounded by people at that time who, unintentionally, fueled my negative tendencies, which didn’t help, since they too were negative in other ways. Looking back now, that was not good for my improvement and I didn’t, until I broke away. Unfortunately by the time I did break away I had attracted yet more negativity into my life without knowing it.

Due to my inability to see clearly and think positive all the time, the little happiness I got, I clung on to dearly. I was somehow trying to escape my past and felt my new future was promising. However, since I never addressed my depression or sought help to heal properly, I was attracting the same personalities and negativity in different persons and scenarios. I had progressed, but not enough to escape my past.

This is how I learned about the power of attraction and why we attract the things we aren’t aware of, inside us. Not just what’s in our minds or what we desire, but I’ll get to that another time.

What was yet to come would be some of the worst experiences I’ve had in my life till this day, and I lost my father to cancer during my teenage years. These experiences were worst than what we faced as a family battling his cancer.

My father was my best friend and his passing left me somewhat lost for a very, very long time since I had to figure things out by trial and error. It fueled my already existing depression for years and I welcomed a short lifespan. Again I wasn’t suicidal but started living carelessly and unhealthy, smoking, drinking, partying non-stop, etc. I continued this lifestyle of self-destruction for quite some time until I stumbled on to what I thought was a better life for me. The promising future I mentioned before… boy was I wrong.

Those following years I faced my toughest trials, despite being married to someone, it even brought me to a point where I had actually considered suicide for a brief, brief moment. Luckily my son was in my life and I snapped out of it the moment I saw him. The only good thing to come out of those turbulent years was him.

After my marriage met its expected fate, I moved on thinking life would get better. After all that I endured, it had to be better right? Well the Universe doesn’t work that way. For a moment it was better, but little did I realise how broken I was and a few months could never be sufficient to heal properly. I felt like the world had screwed me over for nothing and almost went down a path of hate and vengeance, and the ones who were to pay might have been innocent. Then without realising I had attracted yet another batch of people over a period of time who weren’t as bad as my distant past, but not much better either.

This is where I started to question things. Why, despite all that I was doing and accomplishing, did I attract the “same people” all the time? My life was vastly different, I felt like I had moved forward superficially and my circles were totally different, then why was I facing the same dilemmas all over again and again?

This is where I decided to turn inwards and realised that what was happening to me wasn’t a consequence of my outer life but instead my inner. My surroundings wasn’t the problem, it was me. Everything had changed except me. This is where I became introspective and honestly after doing and failing for so many years in my adulthood, I felt like I finally understood life.

I started spending a great deal of time by myself and truly understanding my past experiences. I had understood why things happen the way they happened but now I finally came to terms deeply, with the numerous pains, failures and even unresolved feelings I endured early on in my life. I started appreciating my “failure” of a life.

Those experiences defined me. They tested me and pushed me to my limits, yet I never gave up. I swam through treacherous waters and arrived on the other end, a survivor, stronger and wiser. I ultimately believe everything happens for a good reason and it did, although it sounds cliche, nothing is truer.

Had I not been through so much and thankfully did not become permanently broken, I wouldn’t be here talking/writing my truth to you. A lot of my fears have now stripped away and I’m living my best life with so much potential to create a blissful path forward with all the knowledge I’ve gained. Things have started falling into place almost magically for me. However I know better and why it’s happening. It was always my mental state of mind.

No one came to save me, I saved myself by turning inwards and I believe we all need to save ourselves. I stopped waiting for moments to turn my life around for me. I began turning life around myself.

The moment I looked at my life logically and deduced the one constant in my life was me, therefore my behaviour and mental state of mind, which is essentially me, was attracting what was happening all the time. It didn’t happen overnight. In fact, it took about four years and more, of serious introspection and reflection to finally release my poisons which surprisingly wasn’t difficult, it just took time.

We are what we consume and also what we produce. Our thoughts and emotions is everything, it defines us, it allows us, it makes us… It’s easy to blame others for your situation, however the longer you hold on to that, the longer you’re denying yourself moving forward. It’s time to start admitting we are not only the creators of our destiny but also our failures. We cannot control the outer world, therefore the safest and most effective course of action is to fix the inner world. Us. Our mental state of mind.

– Feature image by Silviu Zidaru

Depression doesn’t discriminate, it affects all of us, in some way or the other. Whether, thin, tall, small, poor, rich, famous, non-famous, religious, non-religious, male, female or otherwise, we’ve all experienced some sort of depression. There are many triggers for depression, and like the common cold, it’s always evolving and there’s no real man-made cure.

We’ve developed medication to curb symptoms of depression, but never really to solve it 100%. I personally believe religion can’t solve depression one hundred percent either, a lot comes from within you. Religion may provide methods and some solace for depression, and may get you thinking that a higher power is helping you, but it’s almost like the power of positive thinking, except you don’t acknowledge it.

Depression has no quick fix, otherwise we would’ve been practicing it all the time.

Depression can happen to anyone, even the ones who seem to be the happiest. It literally affects our entire body when we are depressed, it’s not just a mental thing. We are less enthusiastic, less hopeful, less driven and many more negative emotions wrapped up in one. Depression feels like a heavy boulder we can’t carry everywhere, yet we’re forced to.

During a Depression
People do all sorts of weird things while depressed, and that’s okay, once it doesn’t involve self-harm, harm to others or further pushes you down. If you need to watch or read copious amounts of horoscope readings, drive around a lot, read a lot, avoid friends or family, eat chocolate, exercise a lot, seek unorthodox spiritual guidance, whatever it is you need to do, that will help you get over your depression, then go right ahead.

I repeat, once it involves no self-harm or harm to others, do whatever it takes to get over depression. It’s a silent threat as well since some people are depressed and don’t even know it. Yes this actually happens.

People have done some extreme and harmful things while depressed, knowingly and unknowingly. In these cases, some commit suicide, some harm others, some continuously cause others harm (mental or otherwise). This is why the conversation needs to happen. If we continue to pretend to be okay and we’re not, this denial can lead to a build-up of an extreme case scenario, much like I previously mentioned.

So let’s talk about it.

My Personal Experiences
I personally have experienced severe depression and thoughts of suicide once. This, while (unhappily) married, and had a healthy, happy baby. So depression can hit the hardest, even when we think we have our affairs together and it appears we are on top of our game.

Another time I felt like I couldn’t get off the bed on mornings. It was a daunting task to merely start my day and do simple things. So I know the “boulder weight” feeling. Your chest feels heavy, your body feels weak, your mind is consumed by mostly one thing, the source of your depression.

Once I spent an entire year keeping to myself. I kept interaction to a minimum and resorted to interacting on my computer and listening to music for solace.

Another time I barely ate for days.

What was funny, if I dare say that, was that most of these problems could’ve either been avoided or were not life-threatening as in a terminal disease, etc. except for the year I spent by myself, when my father passed away; I was 16 at the time.

During Depression
One thing I have personally observed when depressed is to never look for love, if you’re single. Another is to not make any major decisions or take it out on people. Depression hurts a lot, but it doesn’t mean we need to increase the pain around or in us. Don’t pretend either. Acknowledge you’re not in a good state right now and seek help if you must. Sweeping it under the carpet only snowballs the problems.

My method to dealing with depression was to stay by myself. Not everyone is like that. Some states of depression require different methods, depending on who you are, your personality or your surroundings.

Energy has a lot to do with depression as well. Your inner-energy as well as the energy around you. Proper sleep and rest I think helps alleviate depression. Sometimes fatigue will encourage negative thoughts. So it’s best to be well rested during these times.

Sometimes you need to be out to avoid being depressed, sometimes you just need to talk to someone willing to listen. But the place or people you choose to be around may not be ideal. Sometimes the environment you choose may push you further into your depression rather than alleviate it. Clubs or parties I realised are not conducive to helping depression. When it’s done and over, you’re right back where you started.

People who have a “perfect” life or not empathetic are not ideal to talk to about depression.

Ironically sometimes a place of worship can be depression inducing. I visited a place of worship during a major depression and when I came out of it, the act of going back to the same place of worship reminded me of my time while depressed. Luckily I was able to observe this and make changes.

If I had to recommend anything to get out of depression, is to rely less on people and make yourself stronger. Easier said than done of course. But I think depression is somewhat necessary on a low level. It helps us grow, mature, evolve and more. After a state of depression, at least for me, we appreciate certain things more.

What it does
Depression makes us more empathetic. It doesn’t mean we are weak. It simply means we are human, we feel. Not everyone can pretend to be as perfect as their online persona, all the time. We have our good days, we have our bad days, and that’s okay.

Claiming you’ve never been depressed is the same as saying you’ve never lived life. And some people who claim to get out of depression quickly are probably just shoving it down more.

Material possession is never a means to get over depression. There are those who have a lot of possessions and are terribly depressed or have committed suicide or harm to others. Depression is state of mind, not a state of ownership.

The things we own, own us instead.

Depression I believe, and this is entirely my opinion, is a jolt for us to let go of what we thought was idealistic, or something we wanted, but not what we needed. Instead we should pursue our true passions and goals. That’s what worked for me at least. After a state of depression, I’m at my best apparently. I behave as though I have nothing to lose and focus on what makes me happy without making others unhappy.

It’s okay if people are a bit uncomfortable with your progress. The right people join us in our journey when we pursue what we love doing and the ones we thought were right, that were not, automatically fade away.

If something (not someone) makes you truly happy to pursue, then you should definitely chase it without hesitation. My logic is this, if we’re going to suffer no matter what, why not suffer for the things we love doing rather than suffer for some promiscuous ideal.

Final Note
Don’t pursue people, pursue dreams. It should be your dreams and not someone else’s. What is truly “you”. What brings happiness to another won’t necessarily bring you happiness. Figure out yourself in this journey and slowly but surely I believe your depression will automatically fade away.

That’s it for now, but I’m no where near finished talking about depression. This is a topic I will come back repeatedly to discuss or reference time to time so hope you keep checking back and reading my articles.

We were all brought up to see the world through the eyes of those around us, figuratively speaking. Till we reached a certain level of maturity, we realised how much we were “brain-washed”, never really seeing the world through our own eyes.

Conditioned to behave a certain way and follow a certain path that some believe would lead to stability, which may lead to happiness. At least that was the belief. Only to realise, it doesn’t work this way for everyone. We’re individuals with different hair, skin, eyes, height, even unique fingerprints,  how could “one way” be “the way”?

Some of us are expected to become a certain way eventually, due to the lineage or area we grew up in, household income, skin colour, etc.  Never really given a chance to explore and understand what we were destined for. From birth we were sort of boxed into a path chosen for us, it seems.

Sometimes we conform not because of our immediate surroundings, but by the media we consume. Mimicking or literally following those we consider more successful than us, living “the dream”. This is a type of conformity. It’s not an unhealthy practice, however there’s a limit to how far we should go. Losing ourselves in the mould of another, denies one’s needed self-discovery.

Finding Ourselves
Now, abandoning all that didn’t work for us as individuals is considered “finding yourself”. Ironic since we should’ve been finding ourselves from the very get-go, we should have been given the tools to do this from the start, rather than after we’ve already been conditioned to think and behave a certain way without realising it.

We must unlearn all that we’ve learned.

This is actually where our journey begins. The journey of discovering us. Our nature, our likes, our dislikes, our fears, our comforts, our crowd, our interests and more! Not just following what everyone does and what everyone likes or dislikes, etc. While some is necessary to mesh with society, it’s not recommended to deny yourself all your preferences just to fit in. Doing so may lead some of us to become irate or angered. Some become depressed or lost.

Standing Out
We then learn, that what we’ve been ridiculed, laughed at even taunted about, a simple unwarranted stare, the things that made us stood out from the crowd is actually what makes us who we are! It’s what defines us as an individual. Without these unique traits and features about ourselves, we would be like everyone else. Boring!

Yet, peer pressure, social constraints, expectations or otherwise, made some of us feel bad for being unique, being different, essentially being us! A dancer by nature who can’t stop moving is considered attention deficit. An artist who can’t stop drawing on everything is considered a vandalist (I fall in this category). One who doesn’t follow some arbitrary set of rules, a troublemaker and so on.

We’ve all experience this on some level. Some of us fall prey to these constraints and give in, unknowingly thinking it was the right thing to do, while some of us, like myself, try to adopt these behaviours only to realise it doesn’t work, it didn’t feel right. Like trying to wear tailored clothing not made for you.

Limited Time
Maturity comes when we realise what works for others doesn’t necessarily work the same way for us. Others may find joy in some things and appear to be gleefully pursuing them, however, that isn’t necessarily what will bring happiness to us. We also realise a lot of people are faking it. The sooner we realise this the sooner we find a little bit more of ourselves.

Our time on this earth is not unlimited. Some have shorter, some have longer, yet none of us have forever. So why waste it fitting into an arbitrary mould we don’t even know will work for us, until its too late? Don’t let sadness determine and overcome your beautiful life. Let go of some fears as much as you can.

Let the fear of knowing your time is limited here, drive you to discover yourself sooner and break free from the constraints you’ve acquired and accepted your entire life thus far. Be the best version of yourself and the truest form of yourself.

It’s easier said than done, however why would you deny yourself the adventure of discovering your innate nature in favour of living a life not meant for you? The future will become terribly uncertain once you head down this path and seem less attractive than what others have been portraying and promising. But it will be truer than anything you’ve ever known and experience.

An uncertain future may be scary at first, however when you’ve discovered your true nature it’s clearer than any moulded path unsuitable for you. However the feeling you get from achieving your true self is almost dizzying at times. You feel free, so light and at peace it’s almost unreal.

Trust the Universe
I personally have felt lost in the past, trying to fit into society since I’ve always been very different from those around me. I soon learned to accept my “flaws” or what I thought were flaws and break free from the expectations, and ideologies I’ve grown up with. It took time, years actually before I soon learned this. It was terribly scary, and at times I felt like going back to the “mould of society” and what was expected of me, however, I knew that life was not for me. Deep down inside I knew.

I kept at it despite the uncertainty and sometimes solitude, sometimes sad moments. I’ve lived no perfect life, however I’m at a point where I’m the happiest I’ve ever been. The future is more hopeful than it ever was and I’ve attracted all I’ve ever dreamed of so far.

I trusted the Universe and believed heavily in Karma! I kept at it constantly and developed, over-time, the will-power to continue along this path. Every time it became uncertain and it seemed like the floor would fall from under me, somehow a new platform presented itself. Thankfully I knew how to spot the signs and went forward without fear.

So how did I realise all of this? I spent time alone, a lot. A lot more than others. Which is a form of meditation. My mind wasn’t my worst enemy anymore. I designed a life, though simple and unflattering, that I was happy and content with. It’s not everyone’s cup of tea, however, it’s my cup of tea.

Through this I’ve attracted all the right people, vibrations and lifestyle even closer to me and an amazing thing unintentionally happened! Automatically, all the negative aspects and people who I thought were meant to be with me, kept falling away, one by one.

The process wasn’t the easiest, nor was it the most attractive, however through grinding and tumbling, I was able to smooth out my life and abandon all the ugly aspects that kept me from becoming my true me. With time and effort I believe if you put the same amount of energy into breaking free from the rules of your mind you’ve acquired over this lifetime you will find your true self and live the life you were meant to have.

The best is yet to come, and the journey only starts when you want it the most. So let’s get started shall we?

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