I’m going to put myself out on a limb here, because that is where The MI Experience is heading and that is also where my book is at: I don’t like anti-depressants. If you’re on them, fine; if you’re thinking of going on them, fine; if you know people on them and it is helping, fine, great. But I didn’t like being on them and I don’t like the after effects.
In my book, The Self-Harming Pacifist, I explain what I went through and how I have now used my unique emotion to get ahead in life. It may not be textbook; it may be chaotic, but it is mine and that is the message that I am aiming for getting out there with the book, with my one-man show and with my workshops.
We are all chaotic; why is that an issue? Who is it an issue with? Well, to make a start on giving my answers to those two questions I am going to quote from Jurassic Park:
“Your scientists were so preoccupied with whether they could, they didn’t stop to think if they should.”
I know, that’s about dinosaurs. But I also think this is about us and our society. I am of the belief that mindfulness and getting to know yourself better, to acknowledge your emotions is a far better way towards positive emotional health than drugs. Having had experience of AD’s, I have concluded that I like me better when I am whole and not the half-being the drugs made me. By removing my emotion, yes it stopped me harming, but it also stopped me feeling anything else. I didn’t want that; I wanted to:
LOVE – LAUGH – CRY – FEEL TENSION – TASTE LIFE AND BE HAPPY
Question One: Why is it an issue? The universe is chaotic, and the chaos theory affects our world, the famous bit being a butterfly causing a hurricane. Humans are not great at chaos, so we try and create order. Order = control and control is good, so we can predict weather, or traffic, or how people behave. But the universe is chaotic, the weather is chaotic; human behaviour is chaotic because we are a part of the universe – made up of the same stuff as stars and planets. What happens if you behave with chaos? They come and get you. People get scared and you get put on drugs or told you are ill. Yet we are all unique and think in unique ways. I don’t see the world the same way you do and you don’t see it the same way your dog does, or your friend does, or your partner. We are all different. Society is the order and while it is good to have laws and boundaries, I don’t think that our minds should be controlled. If you are depressed, is the answer really to take a drug that makes you fall into zombie mode. We say yes because that is the condition we are told to be in. What is wrong with feeling sad? What is wrong with contemplating suicide? If we remove the stigma, would more people feel comfortable talking about it?
That sort of answers question two as well; it is society that has created the reality that we have fallen into. Society is good, it gives us community and protection and brings us together. But it is also a form of control and when we are told that we are not behaving according to whatever expectation that has been set, decided by someone unknown, then we are not deemed to be a fit for society.
What happens then? Well, it’s the lunatic asylum for anyone who wants to be different. In my book there is a list of things you would have been incarcerated for, and a lot of it is masturbation. Sex is bad, you are allowed to breathe, and that is it.
With all that control though, there is still the chaos; we can’t get rid of it. We can’t predict absolutely what is going to happen from one day to the next, so why should we bother? Today I feel good, and have not considered harm or suicide. The sun is out, I am enjoying life, hey let’s grab a beer and talk crap. However, tomorrow will be different, tomorrow will be a new experience with new emotions; and if I consider harm tomorrow, then that is my choice as much as it is my choice to acknowledge and choose my reaction.
Being put on tablets was not my choice it was the choice of the doctor. It was the choice of a society who thinks everything is cured with a pill.
When I discovered the art of mindfulness, I realised that my emotions are mine. I have full ownership of what I am feeling – good or bad. If I am happy, it is because I have chosen to be that way. I am to blame, I have full responsibility over me. My depression is mine, and once I got that into my head I felt free of it.
I still have depression, because my mind is chaotic like the weather and the universe. Now though it does not scare me because it is my emotion. The high and lows are mine, I own them and I choose how to react to them. If I feel like shit I feel like shit and I just acknowledge and then see if it goes. Mindfulness has helped me far more than any AD’s or CBT has. It has taught me that my thoughts are just that, thoughts, they do not make me a bad or ill person.
If you need any help with your emotions please seek it out. Mind are a wonderful charity, and there are many others, like The Samaritans. If you want to see what I offer, my mindful workshop uses the arts to boost our emotional wellbeing. You can find it on the Home page above. We all have a choice, and I choose to live with all my emotions knowing that happiness will always move into sadness. That is life, and I want to live all of it.
Mind are @ https://www.mind.org.uk/
The Samaritans are @ https://www.samaritans.org/
To find out about my latest workshop, and purchase it, click here