Let’s Be Honest

Many of you that know me personally know about this, I’m a very open person and I’m not afraid to talk about things, but this is something I’ve never really publicly talked about. I want to be honest and not hide, and talking helps so here we go…

To be honest, I’ve been struggling with depression for quite some time now. Both on and off of medication and both in and out of counseling. Some days I barely have the strength to drag myself out of my bed and show up for work. It affects everything I do and has for quite some time now.

To be honest… I’m scared. I’m scared that I won’t accomplish these dreams that God has given me, that I won’t be able to function socially in a healthy way again, that I won’t be able to bring the music that I love to you guys, and that I won’t thrive in life. The words of Switchfoot’s song Thrive come to mind. I’m a musician, so I process the world in music. “I wanna thrive not just survive.” That’s me right now. I can survive just fine, but what kind of life is that? That’s not the life I was intended for and I know that.

“I’ve been awake for an hour or so
Checking for a pulse but I just don’t know
Am I a man when I feel like a ghost?
The stranger in the mirror is wearing my clothes”

To be honest I don’t feel like myself. I miss the hope I once had. I miss the wide eyed naive teenager I was that believed he could do anything he set his mind to. Deep down inside I still believe that, but its hard for to live like I still do. Another song that’s really been resonating with me lately is “Late Nights in my Car” by Real Friends. Fair warning there’s some language in this song.

“I’m not where I should be
I’m not what I could be
But I’m not who I was

Nostalgia gets the best of me
When I wake up it’s the same day
It f—s me up and makes me miss who I used to be
All I have are thoughts of me from back when I was eighteen and my bony knees”

To be honest I feel beat up. 6 years of adulthood have been nothing like when I thought I’d be looking at when I was 18. I’m 24 years old and I’m where I thought I’d be when I was 19 or 20. I’m still here, I’m still fighting, and I’ll never give up; but often I feel like I lose more than I win. I want to believe in the future like that again, and I know that someday I can.

To be honest, I so often feel hopeless, like nothing I do helps or makes things better. Like I keep crawling through a dark cave and there isn’t an end in sight. Like this will be how I feel the rest of my life and nothing is scarier than that!

To be honest, doing anything, even entertaining myself can be a massive struggle. I once heard someone compare depression to having every single food you eat no matter what it is taste like mashed potatoes and this is such a great analogy. Even things I used to love: stories, socializing, songwriting, gaming, sports, practicing instruments… they all have had so much joy sucked out of them. They don’t taste the way they used to and I so desperately want them back.

To be honest, I hardly see or talk to my friends anymore. This didn’t happen overnight, it happened slowly and gradually in a way I didn’t even notice until I found myself feeling completely alone and isolated. I stopped cultivating friendships that were good to me. I cut people off and I pushed others away. This is one of the worst things I’ve ever done and something I’m trying so hard to remedy. If you feel like I just dropped out of your life I am so sorry, please know that I still love you and haven’t forgotten the great times we used to have.

This is not the end of my story, its only a momentary pause, a side quest in this grand adventure we call life! An adventure that won’t end with me stuck in some dark dungeon but triumphant and full of life! I’m not there yet and I won’t be overnight, but this can be defeated and it will be. Depression is my dragon, my monster to slay, and even though it’s huge and scary and its claws and flames hurt me over and over again, the dragon will not win. I’m still here, I’m still alive, I’m still fighting and I won’t stop until I march out of this dark hole a champion. You don’t get to be called a champion for doing something easy, and this isn’t easy, this is the hardest thing I’ve ever done.

But to be honest… I don’t feel like a champion, I don’t feel brave, and I don’t feel like I’m going to win. I know I will, but I don’t feel like it. Right now I feel lost and alone, hurt and exhausted; and that’s how I feel most of the time day after day, week after week, and month after month.

If you feel like this… you’re not alone I promise. You are not alone and we don’t have to suffer alone. One of the biggest things I’m trying to do is stop pretending I can do this on my own… I can’t. I need help… and that’s ok. Its ok to ask for and have help guys! Please don’t forget that and struggle alone!

Thank you guys for reading this and for hearing me! Thank you for allowing me to spill my heart to you! One last final “to be honest”… this was hard for me to write. Not because I’m afraid to share this with my friends, but because depression takes away motivation to do even things that are good for us and because I’ve had this strange fear that being so open about this would hurt me as a musician trying to make it in this industry. But that’s silly… I value honesty and openness in my music to pretend this wasn’t happening would make me feel like a fake… and being honest with you guys is way more important than any strange fear of looking bad for a label or whoever it is I shouldn’t be worrying about. Thanks guys 🙂