I’ve struggled with depression for a great deal of my life but, thankfully I’ve almost always been able to pinpoint the things in my life that were causing the problem. Being a pisces as well as obsessive compulsive by nature, I’ve always tended to over-think things as well as be very aware of how I am feeling and acting at all times. The trouble though is that along with my consistent self-analysis a new I’m starting to realize that I’m becoming increasingly better at hurting myself…
Now, when I say “hurting myself” I’m not necessarily referring to causing oneself physical harm or simply calling yourself a “dickhead” while looking in the mirror but, I’m speaking more in terms of over-eating, over-drinking, smoking too much (drugs included), and simply doing things in excess with little to no regard for your own physical well-being. I believe these to be simple tell-tale attempts to shut off some troubling emotion that you can’t digest and, while such a claim might sound rather simple and non-insightful, I’m only now beginning to really struggle with these issues for the first time.
Having been aware of these “masking” behaviors the majority of my life has always made them easy to understand and even avoid for the most part. I’m even equipped with a body that has always provided me with a great deal of feedback in regards to the food and substances that I put into it. For years I wouldn’t drink alcohol because the “reward” part of it was never even close to the resulting hangover. I would actually get hung-over about an hour after even one drink which was similar to my body getting right in my face and saying “What did I tell you? I said it was a stupid thing to do but you had to be an asshole didn’t you? Well, here ya go…enjoy the headache. I’m gonna play Nintendo while you think about what you’ve done.” (my body plays Nintendo).” As I’ve gotten older my body has gotten even better at telling me when I’m being an “asshole”. “You’ve had enough cookies dude…you can stop now… Alright, seriously one more and then… You can’t eat cookies by the sleeve man! Alright, now I’m gonna have to hurt you again.” As I mentioned though, now I’m getting better at telling my body that it can screw right the hell off. I’m drinking more, smoking more and I’m having cookie get-togethers… Full blown cookie themed parties with shrines of cookie monster and cookie flavored beer with a new artificially flavored cookie crunch topping. The best part of it all is that I’m getting better and better at telling those bad bodily feelings that they can kiss my cookie lovin’ (fatter than normal) ass. As most of us may have already realized by now though, you can’t “outfox” your body for too long before your pants start getting too tight, you start taking random painful shits, and you have the physical energy of a person with tight pants that just took a random painful shit (I’m not good at analogies). Either way, I refuse to believe that any of these behaviors have anything to do with some kind of genetic predisposition to being fat or have a drinking problem. They’re simply little band-aids that we’re putting on to try to cover up our past “boo boos” and emotional traumas.
While I’d like to apologize for saying that, (because I know it instantly offends people and god knows people love to blame their problems on anything other than themselves) I can’t really do so because it’s something I believe rather passionately. I actually do not lend much merit to an alcoholic being so because their father was or a fat person being fat because their mother was. That’s not to completely deny that there are genetic codes laid out in your DNA by your parents and so forth but I personally find that environment seems to play much more of a significant role.
I believe that people tend to adopt, via their upbringing and environment, more of their parents emotional and habitual patterns. Basically, if you’re not taught or don’t personally learn how to deal with certain aspects of life, you will most likely deal with them in similar if not exactly the same ways that your parents did/do. After all, how would you really know or instinctually react in any other way? So therefore, your fat Mom literally teaches you on an emotional and even subconscious level how you too can someday grow up to be a big chunky monkey while your Dad teaches you how to get angry at your eventual wife/husband and then shut life out with 16 beers and a solid nap in front of the television. To always blame genetics for such behaviors seems to suggest that a seemingly healthy and happy person that had a family of alcoholics in their bloodline could be living well until one day after accidentally taking a sip of a beer their life crumbles into madness because the “genetic band-aid” has been lifted off. Here’s another example of my “flawless logical ” point:
A good friend of mine who suffers from alcoholism has gone through their entire life and never struggled with any tangible addiction. They would have drinks on many occasions (sometimes even daily) but it never once became a problem. I literally can’t even recall one single time where I remember them being even remotely drunk. Cut to a few years ago, they began struggling more and more with depression. As a result, eating more excessively and drinking came to the rescue with the over-drinking relatively playful and light at first veering into an almost every day pass out drunk evening now. At this point the excuses start rolling in in “I work hard. I’m tired. I can’t sleep without it. I deserve it. I don’t do it that much. My back hurts. It helps me relax.” and so on. Now, am I really expected to believe that this person literally or almost even “accidentally” pulled off some genetic band-aid or does this sound a little bit more like someone simply masking their feelings with an addiction? I’ll even take it a step further with smoking cigarettes (get ready to be pissed off)… I know a lot of people that starting smoking at an early age (12,13,14). Now, why would any kid want to do something like that at an age when they’re just starting to mature and figure out who they are? It simply masks a troublesome emotion. Perhaps they feel young, small, powerless and out of control. Well, smoking takes care of all that because it makes you feel empowered and what’s even better is that while you smoke you don’t ever even have to figure out why you felt that way in the first place because you have the emotional fix right in your hand. Obviously, you’re an adult now because you can make the conscious choice to do something harmful to your body.
I realize now that this is becoming rather “winded” but the summary of all this is as follows… I’ve noticed lately that I’m getting better at hurting myself and as I’ve been practicing this age-old approach to fixing problems the blinking red light in my head has begun to burn brighter and brighter. The depression is still there and so are the problems…and getting fatter, drunker, and dumber doesn’t seem to be helping but yet hurting me even more.
So if there’s any advice or point that hopefully shines through this elegantly written passage it’s simply to look at your habits and study your addictions because as soon as you take one of them away (sometimes even for a day) you’ll probably begin to breakdown. You’ll get crabby and bitchy, you’ll get depressed or you’ll just instantly flock right to another habit because you’re emotions are inside of you calling out for your attention and your answering the call with yet another smoke, drink, piece of cake, sex with the neighbor lady, episode of Breaking Bad (god that show is good) or some other nonsense. What are you trying to cover up? I know what I’m trying to cover up and I’m ashamed for not being strong or smart enough to know how to rise above it… Thankfully that shame is still there and driving me to try harder. :)
Lastly, understand that I’m an emotional based and sensitive artist and musician. These are my thoughts and musings about life contained among my own personal website. If my thoughts offend you or fill you with the urge to launch an avalanche of bullshit scientific data and life stories at me…then once again realize that I’m a MUSICIAN and not some kind of doctor or life coach. My writing hopefully inspires playful thought and contemplation not anger and retardation.