“Did you hear about that guy who could teleport himself into really, really bad places, but couldn’t always control it? I heard he was bipolar.”
The mirror seems to show me everything on days I’d rather not even see a reflection. In high definition, the problems in how I look, feel and think—and all the things I’ve done that have led me to this very moment are as transparent as a glass ceiling. Not that it’s my fault I still exist, but I do. Instead of being able to celebrate the accomplishment of being able to disappear completely or transcend my physical form… I’m still alive. It’s amazing how much you can feel, see, hear, touch and taste in a moment.
When it comes to depression, you can run but you can’t hide. Whether it’s the uncomfortable comforter keeping me in bed, paralyzing me with the past while predicting my future, or “the something” beyond the front door that I’ll eventually have to confront at some point, it’s always there. I foresee a sinkhole happening beneath my feet, a fire in the sky, and a volcano within me eventually erupting as I begin going through the motions. As usual, I’m apparently in a rush to go somewhere that I really don’t want to get to.
“Meaningless” and “hopeless” are playing in my left and right ear at full volume; as if I had noise-cancelling headphones on to prevent the outside from making me irritable and seeping through my skin, contaminating the exterior world that I hold so dearly. I can’t control my emotions but I’ve been clinging onto the ability to choose how I react to them—most of the time.
Cognitive behavioral therapy feels like a way of systematically lying to myself while manipulating the truth. “This isn’t really happening. I feel this way because I currently have a shortage of dopamine, serotonin, and possibly GABA. I have a biochemical dis-regulation, a neurological shape-shifter and a shortage or abundance from time to time. Something is up with my neurotransmitters; life isn’t really that bad.”
For the times I’ve felt so good that if I felt any better I’d be twins, to the times where I’ve felt so low that if I were twins, one of us would violently put the other out of their misery, in order to spend some of the seven digits worth of self-loathing I have in my savings account—while affording the other one of us some peace. Self-destruction often feels productive because it’s easy to make a lot of progress quickly when you’re passionate about it, and the more you do it the better you get. Despite this, I don’t recommend it.
Even though I’m probably one of the lucky ones compared to my unrelated relatives, I experience depression almost every single day, in a variety of forms. Almost every single night for the last 16 years that I haven’t lived at home with my father, I’ve dreamt about being home with my father who wasn’t a good influence on me, despite his best efforts. I’ve done my own clinical research on a variety of coping mechanisms that have allowed me to borrow against myself, to the point where I owe myself so much joy, love, comfort and compassion that I don’t know if it’ll ever happen in this life. And I’ve generally attempted to get women to unconsciously help me pay some of it off. It’s a touchy subject. Their contributions have been invaluable. But even all our combined efforts haven’t seemed to have even made a dent in the deficit.
In the few minutes you’ve taken to read this, I’ve teleported myself to traumatic events in the past and the foreseeable future, full of conflict – firing squads of friends and family, the conviction of something I’m totally innocent of, the punishment of someone else’s perception, a judgement from a jury of people whose empathy is not for me, and the constant pressure to purge my soul and just become a battery for a society. Where have you been?
What if you found yourself teleporting to really bad places on a regular basis—feeling all the guilt, shame, pain, discomfort, torment and anguish of all of those moments, heightened by some sort of turbo charger in your brain? What extents would you go to in order to make it stop? Would you consider a permanent solution for a temporary problem? Or would you, like me, keep working towards an answer, praying and hoping that eventually you’ll find yourself in a better place?
About Mickey Von Bron
Mickey Von Bron is a certified personal trainer who specializes in nutrition, supplements and natural methods of improving health and wellness. Having experienced and overcome many obstacles associated with mental health and addiction, he is committed to inspiring people through his own example. His first book, Drug Free June: A Hypomanic Episode, is soon to be published. You can read some of Mickey's other writing about mental health at AliveAndAwake.ca and Light Way of Thinking.