I didn’t want to write this post especially–not during the public’s outcry n’ healing process over Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain’s suicides, I don’t wanna be a big fat downer…who needs more of those? But I feel I must since I write on this viscerally morbid subject and have for a while now. These suicides have been triggering for those who suffer suicidal depression and rumination for sure, but more outstandingly, they remind people like me how vulnerable to mental disorders we are…human beings I mean. Dogs too. But not like people. It’s our cross to nail ourselves to since we have no other defense mechanisms aside from foul language and the ability to critically think and yep, change the world. However, we are built for suffering. Just like the Buddha says. And in our quest in western society to rid ourselves from our own internal suffering, we can sometimes cause only more suffering.
The yin and the yang of eastern philosophy (concepts of Taoism) essentially embodies the concept you cannot be whole without the light AND the dark, that a whole person is the expression of both. To take that concept even further, in east Indian metaphysical metaphysics, depression is actually a highly spiritual state of being, a time when your soul calls on you to look within, to be with your heart, to work shit out. When you’ve done so, you get to reemerge with a knowledge you didn’t have before and like, go help people n’ stuff. That’s a normal sense of depression I can get on board with, not my bipolar 2 depression that runs it’s time clock 24/7. That’s of course different. In this instance, such an ailment needs medical attention including the spiritual as well, and I feel meditation is paramount in re-wiring the depressed brain, so does UCLA and their Mindfulness Meditation program alive and well at the SEMEL institute to be exact. Mindfulness Mediation along with proper medication and lifestyle changes, is a first line of defense against clinical anxiety and depression for psychiatric in-patents at UCLA and if it’s working for them, then dammit it’s gotta work with the rest of us. I mean, UCLA would know, right?
(attaching the Mindfulness Meditation link I swear by for depression and anxiety…I love the Mountain Meditation especially https://insightla.org/Media/Audio-and-Video/Series/SeriesID/10)
Back to the yin and yang. Our western suffering comes with the expectation this state of ill feelings is undesirable in all it’s natural forms (not talking clinical suicidal depression folks, I’m referring to the normal 7 bouts of near clinical grade depression the average person will experience in their lifetime), and is something we need constantly rid ourselves of, or to immediately over-medicate till its existence can never be felt ever again. Not so fast. And no, in no way am I referring to, again, I will reiterate this so there’s no confusion–Americans love to be confused, me included–to living in chronic clinical mental illness as so many of us do. I’m merely pointing out that western culture is UN-accepting of any level of depression and has villianized it’s more spiritual meaning of a wholly integrated human manifestation–a being of light and dark in which a balance is created with no one ‘vibe’ tipping the scales in either direction. Make sense? Course it fuckin’ does…unless you are totally like, bible inclined and that’s not bad if it makes you happy, non-judgmental, open minded and super altruistic! I’m Jewish, we love to suffer then come up with the best goddamn jokes on earth to counterbalance our annoying kvetching. But I kinda secretly love to complain, it’s super fun sometimes. I’m also half Irish Catholic, or protestant as my grandma Kitty used to hit me over the head with. So naturally, all this SFV original valley girl knows is us Irish-catholic-Russian Jews are a funny fucking bunch. Anyway, I like the Buddha best, he was money.
So, you guessed it and or you couldn’t care less but your reading my blog, so you gotta check it–I’m in a depression, a really fucked up one n’ it’s affecting every part of my daily functioning, self conceptualization, and that includes the professional writing project I’m super excited and privileged to be involved in…yet, I realize I have the best damn people in my life and I’m not embarrassed to pontificate over that at least, even if I hate myself so much of the damn misconstrued as indulgent, time. I’m blessed. My kids–I will say it again, my kids are here to do great things and they’ve chosen me as their momma to go out and be great, so that right there is reason to celebrate. I do subscribe to the notion children choose their parents, and mine chose me…hope they weren’t asleep when they did that, but regardless, I’m not gonna let them down, not ever, n’ neither should you.
However, this depression sucks all kinds of dog balls and the anxiety it invokes is no barrel of monkeys either. Not that many of you would suspect I would suffer the way I always have (n’ I’m referring to the people who know me casually), for by my outward appearance and exuberant dark n’ witty humor has misguided you to,either think I’m 1–a rebel with a cause, 2–full of myself (so not, just terrified of aging which is stupid) and or 3–out of my goddamn mind but super intellectual and you’re maybe really jealous of my…mind. I know some people that wish nothing but ill will for me or anyone they find threatening, especially on social media–the very fact they keep you around to stalk but never support in any way shape or form is just an indication of their small existence yet I feel compassion for them. Do these people go beyond themselves to help other’s in need for no profitable gain? Do they simply exist for themselves to be recognized for only their work output and not the parents they can be or the great friends and family members they are born to embody? Could this be you? Or me? It was me at one point at the peak of my depression and addiction, years ago. But I had a choice, and I chose the best fight against suicidal depression was to reach out and be someone other’s could come to. Do I have all the fuckin’ answers? Hell no, no one does. But I know more than a few things, and what I don’t know I study.
So, I decided one of the best depression cure aside from the obvious, is to be altruistic, to help someone worse off than oneself n’ you know what? That works. Or you can just continue to wallow in your self hatred, hatred for others, and offer nothing but being a useless eater with a paycheck…go for it. And my last thing will be thus—parents. If you are a parent, god please do as much as you can to be with you kids in these years till 18, I swear the adults you will unleash upon society will be better off for it. Kids need their folks, even when pushing you away like the teen years presents itself as, but trust me, the pushing away is sometimes to see if you’re still gonna be there–chasing after you’re little rabbits. It’s not fun if you’re too busy with work, or getting ahead, or whatever, but you gotta do what you gotta do to pay the rent, I get it. But let’s not turn out this next generation of kids to be as depressed, lonely and isolated as my generation has…let’s change that karma for our little ones, they deserve it.
(My daughter, the light o’ my life, with her amazing alternative band “Tempo Infidelity” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AbeTeBn0SbY (Recorded at Atlantic Records) photo cred…momma)