So, this has been weighing heavily on my heart and on my mind the last few weeks. I have decided to spill the beans so to speak. I have asked several people close to me over the last few weeks whether they thought I was an emotional person and the overwhelming majority answered “no.” This might come as no surprise because most guys in this culture are macho and showing emotion is a girly weak thing to do. I don’t think emotion is girly or even weak, yet I hide my emotions because I care too much what other people think about me and I want to fit in. So the big news is I am big sack of emotions. You might be thinking, “Okay so he has emotions big freakin’ deal.” Normally I would say duh, of course I have emotions, I am a human. But earlier in my life (High and Middle school), I would have fits of depression that I would keep to myself. “Hold on, a preteen/teenage boy got depressed…no way,” you might be thinking while rolling your eyes in a very vaudevillian way, but in my depressed moods I would often think of suicide.
My depression would often stem from a sense of low self esteem. I think most people who know me would say that self esteem isn’t something I lack, but under all my swagger, confidence, and arrogance (sometimes) I am really scared and putting on a show. I pretty much felt that anything I do was inadequate and completely common place. There are three ways to know who you are as a person. What you believe you are, what you say you are, and what you do. These don’t have to agree either. The last way is the only true way to know who a person is including yourself. When reflecting on yourself though, your actions can always be dismissed through excuses if you don’t like whom you are. I want to be an unselfish, loving person who is slow to anger, but the truth is that then and now I am selfish and quick to anger. My actions in my mind prove this, yet I say the opposite to others. I used to hate myself for knowing this and would become angrier with myself. I felt that I was a disappointment to others and wanted to rid them of that disappointment. I think we have all come to the conclusion that I never made a successful attempt to kill myself and luckily I never attempted at all. The only reason that kept me from taking action was a belief in God.
Before I truly knew Christ and about his life, I knew about God and believed in His existence, and that taking my own life would be a very erroneous thing to do because it would violate God's commandments. So here I was trapped, I felt by the one belief I could live up too. I hurt from depression. I can’t speak for others, but they say depression hurts and it is true. I felt trapped in that pain and it made me angry. So now I am angry for being trapped in addition to being angry at myself for having these feelings. It was a very vicious cycle for me and I would hurt myself in non lethal ways. I won’t go into details because they aren’t needed, but the physical pain would make the emotional pain less and that was important. Then one morning I would wake up and not feel this for a week or two, then for several days I would feel this pain all over again. I am lucky that it wasn’t prolonged periods of depression and maybe I was just another melodramatic teenager, but the feelings, pain, and memories are very real. I say this because objectively my life is really good.
To further explain my moods, I would be dissatisfied with my life because my actions hurt and disappointed others. This would disappoint me and make me angry with myself. As a teenager I wasn’t the best at controlling my passions with reason, so even though I knew better and wanted better, passion would overrule sense and I would say mean, hurtful things and act selfishly because it brought immediate pleasure. So I was angry and hurt for being a disappointment. I hated feeling angry and would get angrier for feeling that way, but in feeling angry and worthless (for disappointing people) I would come to the conclusion I deserved the emotional pain. I wasn’t worthy of feeling good. My anger wasn't always layered on top of my depression. Anger was usually the last stage of my depressed states, but for a small time they would overlap. The depression felt heavy and constricting. Every part of my body felt heavy and much like a stress ball like it was being pressed towards the center from all directions. To describe it sounds silly, but it felt like my personal existance had been compressed into a lump in my diaphram while my limbs were hollow and lifeless belonging to some one else. Yet my anger is completely different. My anger feels like a swelling. My body seems to swell and all I can see is destruction and annoyance. By destruction, I could only see how I wanted to hurt and display my dominance over what angered me and everything else became an annoyance. Fortunately I wouldn't destroy everything in my way, but sadly because I would waste that destruction on something other then my source of anger. More often then not until I would kneel in the floor angry, depressed, crying, and slamming my fists into the floor. That is where physical pain comes in.
When you are hurting yourself whether it is cutting, self strangulation, etc., the pain stops the emotional constricting and swelling. I would instantly bring me back to my self. The sensation of feeling emotionally normal and the residual tingling as adrenaline rushes through your viens is completely intoxicating. The emotional pain was gone and what does physical pain have on emotional. The pain isn't pleasurable like physical love, but something still euphoric. The closet I have come to that feeling unintentionally was before and after I passed out from giving blood. The drop in blood pressure makes reality hard to grasp and understand and when your reality is pain who would hang onto that?
It all seems so stupid in retrospect now that I am in a better place. Now when I feel depressed it is never for more than an hour or so, but it is usually about the same content. Still seems stupid in retrospect.