Inside the Rebellion of Saints

this is for all the kids who glow in the dark. I'm the narrator and this is just the prologue.

Posts tagged life

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The Happy-Sads

official-gerardway:

I was having a conversation with someone important to me a few months ago and they said something I had never heard before.

We were talking about depression. More specifically- the flash-flood of bulletproof mania, and it’s inevitable descent into lengthy, paralyzing anguish- our shared condition. 

“The Happy-Sads.” they said. “That’s what my doctor calls them”.

 I rested in the hum-quiet lapse that happens every so often on the phone. 

It seemed such a simple way to put it, but it summed it all up. I hear these little pieces all the time- I think we all do- someone says something, a turn of phrase, or a sentence fragment- and it sticks. It resonates. It becomes a short story or the subject of a comic, a song title- sometimes more.

The Happy-Sads.

It felt like something larger and smaller at the same time- it made sense of everything, boiling it down to a simple phrase- and I laid down under it’s gravity. 

I remember being a boy, and the times where everything was quiet. Those were the briefest moments, and you had to catch them like comets. Then came chaos and noise- reckless, indestructible enthusiasm. That part lasted longer than the quiet, but not nearly as long as the empty.

I think it was easier for those older than me to say I was simply shy, and I wasn’t to hear the word “introverted” until I got to high school, and I didn’t hear anyone seriously talk about “depression” until I was in college- and even then it was just something you could “will away”. No one’s son or daughter was “crazy” or a “manic-depressive”. Labels. From youth to adulthood I would bounce back and forth from “very artistic” to “quiet”.

If my depression was robbing the bank, then my anxiety was waiting in the get-away car outside, masked and armed. There would be stretches that would go on for weeks where I thought I was going to Hell. These would segue into stretches where, knowing that everyone was going to die eventually and I would lose everyone I knew, I couldn’t spend more than 2 minutes in school before going home in hysterics.  I just didn’t want to lose a single moment with people I loved- moments I could never get back.

My anxiety found different ways of manifesting itself- more subdued versions as I got older, but the back and forth, the up and down, stayed the same. You couldn’t wind a watch to it, but you could see it just over the hill, and you’d wait for it to hit.

Years of it.

Then I learned to use it, to tap into it, but I was hiding, not facing.

Being a singer in a band allowed me to tap into 2 very extreme emotions, and ones I knew very well- violent happiness and theatrical despair. This worked for me for years. And the more I could use them every night, the less I had to deal with them during the day, or night afterwards. Zeroes in a bunk, zeroes in the morning, drinking coffee, watching mile-markers. 

Zeroes. Years of them.

I then decided to deal with it.

I had another conversation, again with someone important to me, but this person was life-threateningly ill. They said to me one thing that was the most important.

 “Everything is temporary. When you’re happy- it’s temporary. Sad? Temporary. Job? Temporary. Bought a house? It’s only yours until you no longer need it. “

There were two ways to look at it- happy or sad. But everything was temporary.

In your worst moments, where you are staring into the blackest hole, the razor-lined mouth of a vicious, rabid animal- when you aren’t good enough, pretty enough, thin enough, smart enough- when the worst thing inside you chooses to attack- it is temporary. Likewise, when you are in those moments of pure joy, surrounded by your loved ones, high scoring skee-ball, holding your best friends hand at a concert- it is also temporary.

And that is ok. 

It is life, and living, or the closest thing to it- but more than that there is help.

I go to therapy- my doctor and I don’t use labels, because she believes that every single person is a different case. What one person has more of, another has less of.

And in the differences, we are all the same- imbalanced, and some of us need an assist. I grew up in an era that came off the tail end of damning the notion of mental treatment, so it was a dirty phrase. Unfortunately it still is today. The labels linger, the stigma exists, and all of it keeps help further away.

This is the part where I get serious and say that if you suffer from severe depression, you should seek treatment. If no one takes you seriously- find someone that will. Knowing what I know now, I wouldn’t fear a single repercussion for taking my mental health seriously and in my hands. Nothing would stop me. Not a label, or a joke- nothing.

I hope you find comfort in this. I hope you know that a lot of people, including myself, battle the beast all the time, and we win. I have finally gotten myself to a place where I no longer face the extremes, but it takes work, every week- I get up, and I make sure I am at my session- even the days where I don’t want to be there. I would imagine you’d feel the same way sometimes, and that is ok. Maybe it’s even hard for you to take the first steps- and that’s ok too. 
I know you can.

^^^ this might be the most perfect and beautiful way I’ve ever read depression described. 

I became a My Chem fan later in life (as in just a year ago) but I really fell in love with their music at a dark point in my life. Gerard has been such an inspiration. He’s truly such a beautiful soul with a heart for those who really suffer with this. If I could ever meet him I’d give him a big hug and thank him for encouraging all of us who have ever lived life in the dark. Keep doing what you’re doing, Mr. Way! You are a light in the darkness. 

To all my followers, if you are struggling with depression know that you are NOT alone. There’s a hope and a way out. Keep running!

Filed under gerard way inspiration killjoy happy-sads blog hero my chemical romance depression life help

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Today - September 13th - is a milestone for me. For so many reasons.

It’s important today. The past year has been one of the hardest. I lost everything and gained so much more in return. I’ve lived more to my potential then ever before - because each day has counted. I’ve wanted to put every day behind me with purpose.

I’ve come a long way from the little girl I was one year ago. And as the woman I am today, I wish there were things I could tell her. How could I have known back then, just who I would become? 

But no. If I could tell myself then what I know now I would say that’s it’s going to be okay, you can be happy and alone. 

I’m so proud of the woman I am today and that is something I’ve never been able to say before. 

Filed under milestone year one year life personal womanhood

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Today is the day. I honestly don’t remember a world without terrorism, or where the TV could be turned on without hearing anything to do with war. But such is our world today. Most people will say they remember where they were when the towers went down. I’m no different. I was 7 years old, sitting in daily mass. My mom later would try to explain to me what was going on and told me that I wasn’t allowed to turn on the TV. I found out that the first plane crashed during the words of consecration. Knowing this, I remember feeling a sense of hope - that 13 years later truly hasn’t left me.

Filed under 9/11 memorial memory catholic childhood terrorism war mass consecration life Jesus Christ hope in memoriam war on terror attack twin towers