Shocking! Misunderstood. Illness. Deviation. Problem. Many words describe what first flows through your mind when you hear the word. In this week I had been confronted with the reality of it, or rather and attempt at it. A family member of a colleague had been under treatment for bi-polar disorder and had taken an overdose of her medication. Luckily the attempt was just that and the quick actions of people in this persons life saved it. I remember going ice cold. Like a part of the arctic was pushed into my core.
Several years ago, I had suffered from severe depression. To the point where taking my own life was not something to be feared, but sought. Anything to just feel again. It is hard to describe to anyone the feeling of not feeling. It’s much the same as explaining the concept of a world where God is not present to someone that devoutly believes. You just cannot fathom the depth of despair when you cannot feel joy again. Everyone is used to these emotions in their lives and having to do without them simple is unthinkable.
Lucky for me, I took the direct route and spoke with my doctor before I did something drastic. Probably the only time I was thankful for being a procrastinator. That I put off acting of the feelings of despair until I’d gotten help. For six months I was on a string drug regiment to re-balance my brain chemicals. An easy fix it would seem. Pop a pill and your fine. But your not. Whilst popping these pills I still did not feel, happy or sad. You existed. You were always sad, but now on medication there was nothing. Empty.
You are, for the first time ever, an empty husk walking amongst humanity. You look at what they are looking at and can’t see what they are reacting to. You cannot see the funny in a cartoon, or the hilarity in someone’s dress sense or the horror, depending on what dress sense you were looking at. Where you once enjoyed the hour or two while the sun rose and set, marveling at the colors the sky is painted, you then see the sunrise with your eyes only. No response from anything inside. No answering emotion at the wonder of this daily event, but then again, most people hurry through their lives never once enjoying these little gifts.
This must be what is meant with living in the now. In the here and now. Enjoy what you have now. Don’t lament that which you didn’t get, or won’t have. Appreciate the here, the now, the people with you, the life flowing in and out of your lungs, the rush of your blood around your body. The feel of the air against your skin, the sound of all the people around you and if you are alone, the sound of the cosmos as it wraps itself around you. You are part of all the life. I can enjoy these again. I came through that ordeal with a new zest for life. I was one of the lucky ones. How many were not so lucky?