Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Naked Depression

The room was full of people – family, friends, strangers. I was running late for a concert. As I headed out the door, my mom yelled, “Be careful!” I heard someone ask where I was going, and my mom replied “She’s going to Hard Rock with a group of friends to see bare naked ladies.” The room was suddenly silent until mom explained ‘Barenaked Ladies” was the name of a rock group. Even outside the room, I heard heavy sighs of relief.
Yesterday, I thought of that incident from 10 years ago after I read how the lead singer recently got busted with cocaine and is now facing 15 years in prison! Fifteen years for cocaine possession? Geez . Further reading divulged his struggles with clinical depression, and things started to make sense…. the lyrics he wrote, the comments he made, the cocaine.
“Every night after we were through recording,” he said, “I would walk across the Burrard Street Bridge , back to where we were staying. And every night I would hang on to the side for dear life until one night I realized I wasn’t frightened of falling, but rather I was frightened of jumping. And I lay down on the sidewalk for probably ten minutes, but it felt like an hour, until I gathered the strength to stand up and trust myself to cross to the other side of the bridge.”

My heart goes out to him. Really, I thought about him all night, playing his songs and hearing the lyrics in a different way. Wow. Boy, I understand. Depression makes you consider things – even illegal drugs – that normally, you would never consider. You just want the pain to go away, and sometimes, the only options you see are drugs or death. It is a scary place.

I read the following from a fellow blogger who also suffers from depression, all while saying, “yes! Exactly! EXACTLY!” He hit the nail on the head. I wanted to send it to all my friends to share this wonderful description, but ended up only sending it to one… a close friend with depression himself. I knew he would understand.

I hope you do too and don’t think I am insane… this is a perfect portrayal of depression.
Steve was picked up earlier this week at an apartment outside Syracuse and charged with cocaine and marijuana possession. I suppose I shouldn’t be shocked, but I am. The last time I saw him, he was happily married, with a couple of kids, and living in the suburbs of Toronto. He’d survived all that crap and carved himself out a nice little life. We should have all been so lucky. How it was he’s found himself dating someone a decade younger and (allegedly) doing rails off a kitchen table, will make for an interesting record in a year or two. I’ll certainly buy it.
But why? What in the heck was he thinking (allegedly)? My guess is he’s going through the same thing I am. Here we are in our late-30s. We’ve tasted a little success, but that stuff is in the past. We’ve checked a bunch of stuff off our respective bucket lists, but somehow it’s still not enough. What the heck else is out there?
It’s thoughts like these that lead men to leave their wives and start hanging out in places they really shouldn’t. Places like an apartment in Syracuse with two girls you met on Facebook.
Thinking about it today, I thought about my own struggles with mental health. The thing is, no matter how sunny things are in your life, and right now it’s nothing but blue skies and ocean breezes in mine, that little black cloud is always around. And you’re always aware of it. It could be over your shoulder. It could be way out on the horizon. But it’s there. It’s kind of comforting in a way, because you know you can always run to it and find refuge. You can hide inside it and shut out the rest of the world. Sometimes it’s a struggle to keep looking ahead, goodness knows I’ve had my moments. Page discusses the struggle at the end of “This is Where it Ends”.
I have loved and I have waited
Been picked up and been sedated
Mental health is overrated
I’m guessing he’s right back where he was in 1995. That’s not good. Life is meant to be lived in the sunshine. I thought that, like me, Steve had found his spot in the sun. Apparently he’s given it up for the ease of the moment.


1 comment:

lex said...

The name of the group is very is good,but everyone will shock when we suddenly say that name means.And taking cocaine is a very bad habit even though government taking action,they failed to prevent.
Clinical Depression