There was a time when meadow, grove and stream,
The Earth, and every common sight,
To me did seem
Apparell’d in celestial light.
The glory and the freshness of a dream……..
– Intimations of Immortality. William Wordswoth
This poem is recited during the last scene of one my favorite series ever, Penny Dreadful. The main character life story, Vanessa’s, reminded me of different passages of my life. Just like her, I have always been attracted to a certain kind of darkness and at times in my life I have had periods in which I have felt very comfortable in that darkness. Since an early age I knew there was something different about me. I felt this underlying sadness that I couldn’t explain. I felt that if I moved a lot maybe my body could silence that sadness so I started ballet and tap dancing when I was very little, then became a cheerleader and eventually a runner; practiced martial arts and more recently for the past seven years I have practiced Yoga. Always moving, trying to handle that restlessness and perhaps my survival instinct has chosen healthy ways of dealing with this, but there have been times in which I chosen very toxic ways too…. During my troubled teen years I got very sick and discovered art, which saved me (with the help of my angels) but also started taking anti depressants and was sent to a shrink. Back then my rebellious spirit refused to accept that indeed there was something wrong and in the process I picked up a lot of bad habits; drinking, smoking, bad relationships. Medication helped for a while, but it numbed me so I knew I had to turn to something else. I must admit that during those troubled teenage years I had suicidal thoughts, they came like waves. I had stable periods but I would go back to the sadness. Sometimes I would act out in anger to mask that sadness. I think anger is the strongest feeling there is. You loose control. It just drives you in a very bad way. Sadness drains you and you feel powerless. They are very different. Through out this whole process I have learned to accept that my brain is wired in a way that sometimes the sadness will come. My whole life purpose now is getting strong so that when it comes I can deal with it. Depression is no joke. It destroys people. It doesn’t matter if you are rich, poor, tall or short. It doesn’t depend on external circumstances; it sparks based on the chemical composition of the brain. Last year was not easy for me. It was one of the saddest moments in almost a decade. Ironically it was triggered by a situation with someone whose father had committed suicide when he was very little. Can you imagine the pain he had to go through? I just can’t judge his actions towards me because I don’t know the place where he was acting from. Yoga has given me the ability to step out and observe things with more compassion. Up there in the Himalayas in India I prayed for him and hope that someday his sadness will go away too……….
People are very keen to give opinions lightly. When I read about Chris Cornell I felt so bad. Sometimes there is no explanation. Now more than ever, depression and suicide are taking a high toll on so many lives. Drugs, over medication, etc fuel it. So we have all these beautiful, talented souls dying, unable to connect. It is a sad reality. But I think there is also hope. What I call recipes, like mine; yoga, meditation, therapy, plant based diet, running. I want to give others hope through my healing process. What works for me might not work for others and in my case I was able to stop taking medication a long time ago. I know some people must take it. But Spirituality helps so much. It heals……I think is both a blessing and a curse; having this sadness, for without it out I would’ve not gone to India looking for answers, without it I would’ve not have this awakening. I want to teach others that is possible to live in a more positive, healthier way. I had to take a long journey to the other side of the world to discover this and all I can say is that life is a precious gift that must be celebrated everyday…..