Category Archives: Depression

Dealing with Darkness, continues.

And, the saga continues…

I do hope it stays that way.

So… It’s evident I’ve been a little bit lost for sure in this endeavor of sharing my experiences and images from that span in time, mostly from November 2016 to March 2017 (if new to this blog, please take a read of Dealing with Darkness, a year later, two years in fact… ). Just as in the first weeks of 2017, this initial part of 2019 has been complicated, not in the same way as 2017 however -even though I haven’t been feeling so good lately- This previous weeks have been swarming with a lot of ideas, tasks of my soon to be released projects, and several decisions to be made.

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To keep telling the story about my struggles with depression and anxiety is one of the most important things in my life, truly!, the thing is that, after the great success of the previous chapter I found myself these weeks in between in kind of a shock and to be honest, I have not been sure about the best way to keep delivering the same level of quality, and also to be honest all the great support I’ve got through the very, very kind words I received in the comments section of the post and other places, while it’s been a great source of light to keep going, it has been also emotionally exhausting (keep that coming though!).

Putting into words my experiences, the things I went through is not easy, it also wasn’t easy the first time I tried to recall the details of things as they really happened and giving them the right order in time so I can explain myself better on how it all happened. I’ve taken a lot for this… well, I think the best way to get it done is by getting to work!

The previous chapter ends with 2016. With the advent of the new year I found myself (still far from recovering) with the will of transcending my mental health issues, to really fight back the demons, to connect deep within with my own light to strike the darkness I was in, to keep the strength to stay alive. The following months however, were not easy as you are about to see.

January.

The first days.

In the start of the year while at the same time I found myself looking hard for my inner strength I was still feeling in me the consequences -physical and psychological- of the darker previous months. I try hard to recognize myself, to plant the seed of a new being.

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The feel of a surrounding deep darkness still holds strong over me very often, the sensations of despair and of being locked inside by life itself is very much present, I wish I could be set free.

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January.

A regime of strenuous physical activity does not keep me from sensing that I’m immersed into a great void, anxiety is still overwhelming at times.

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January, towards the end.

I’m still yearning to find the light of life, some of the images I make are of myself surrounded by lights trying to fight the feel of being tired of living, sometimes I’d just like to say goodbye…

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I’ve used my bicycle for my outings here in the neighborhood for my exercise routines. While recovering from a fall several days ago, watching at the results I cannot help to think that damage to the skin and bones are just piece of cake next to the wounds that pierce the mind and the soul…

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I find myself really frustrated by the fact that being in such a bad need of exercise, having to stay in bed asleep til very late into the day gets in the way far too often, I feel stuck without any progress…

Still, the basic instinct of life makes me keep on fighting.

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February.

Highs and lows.

However I’m eating a lot better than the previous December and November, after several weeks I find my weight has not yet recovered enough, being 1.76m. tall my normal weight sits at around 70 kgs. I know I need to eat a lot better yet, I try, not easy though, my stomach does not agree completely.

Luckily something happens then, a very good friend (one of the very few friends left by now) invites me to go to the beach in there and her mom’s company, it was just for the weekend but the change of environment, exchanging the four walls of my room for the road views along the highway and later the tropical open air, the good company, some hours inside the swimming pool and the Sea are nothing short of nourishing. The most delightful moments are the two mornings I am so lucky to be able to run over the sand at the nearby beach. Finally, being there step by step, hearing my breath along the sound of the waves I feel life inside me again.

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Back at home the nourishing effects of the Sea vanish away soon, but not completely…

 

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Omens were true.

No more delays for Dealing with Darkness, it’s unavoidably here…

Bad omen

Almost normal. The struggle of going out.

Almost normal, like the life of everyone else.

Perhaps I shouldn’t be saying this, should I?

Mind and body playing tricky games with me lately, many of the things that should be on track are stuck, holidays are over, so the machine should be on full throttle right? Even here on the blog some posts should be already published by now, and they’re still pending… Inspiration, concentration, focus, energy, not very much on my side lately.

Now to the point.

Solitude, which turns into loneliness easily is something my psycho doc and my therapist have told me to strongly avoid. The latter has said: “don’t get locked at home, go out with some friends, to the movies, to museums, for a walk at a nice park…”. The idea is not bad at all, not so practical though: closer to where I live aside a few shopping malls there’s not much action, for that the Centro Historico (Downtown), Coyoacan or the areas between and close around from there are the way to go; talking about culture and art this area nearby is metaphorically speaking, dead really.

Not only that, I used to go to train rope access techniques one, two, or even three times weekly, the place is across the city from home, which can take, making use of suburban bus and subway, on the short, at least 1:45 hours, on the long, close to 3 hours!

I did it for years, never reluctantly, never feeling public transportation was not good enough for me, going training or other places, by myself.

Since late November 2016, for those who haven’t read about it here on this blog, when that bad depression and anxiety relapse came, the first months I remained locked at home with the exception of going with the doctor or the therapist, by car or with the aid of Uber once, just a few subway stations, picked up by friends and family on the way home. A couple of months later the idea of getting into the subway was still not pleasing at all, but I had to anyway.

Long before the darkest months, more than a year I think, taking the subway meant a small degree of uneasy, kind of anxious sensations, something to deal with… After the falling though it turned into a dark, confusing experience, a sordid trail. The long waits for the train to arrive, minute after minute after minute of facing somber thoughts and anxiety while surrounded, pushed, crushed by human masses, loud, really loud noises, the overwhelming load of people coming and going, chatting here and there, guys with huge loudspeakers selling “music”… unbearable cacophony…

Some degree of recovery has allowed me to go inside the dark alleys again but the fact is that getting in there is still not nice at all for me, so I try not to take the plunge that route. For months I’ve stayed at home most of the days, for me going out is a possibility of finding restlessness and exposing myself to very stressful moments, wether facing the city traffic while driving or making use of the “Metro” as we call Mexico City’s subway the sensory overload is something I’m not so used to anymore. In fact some have invited me to join them going making photos, to chat for a few hours or the like and I’ve had to decline more than once since the experience is not pleasing for me, nor is very healthy.

For long I’ve wanted to share this very short series of images of what that experience has been for me. I carry a camera almost everywhere I go, images are an easier way for me to communicate what I feel or think so I portrayed some of those anguishing moments months ago. The images are from February 2016.

Un espinoso lugar…

No, no subo hasta el cielo, ni se ha roto la jaula…

Eslabones de infames cadenas aglutinados por sangre y pellejo en algo que se parece a un cuerpo mantienen el soplo vital de millones de células tercas, soplo que ancla mi existencia a lo terreno, a lo no sublime, a las miserias humanas… ja!, “humanas”…

…las horas, los minutos, cada uno una disyuntiva entre dos planos…

Pesados andrajos de carne y sombras, dilúyanse , evapórense en pencas de maguey, transmuten en vapores de savia y dejen atrás las espinas de ese espinoso lugar…

…ese lugar llamado vida…

The greatest possible happiness.

“…You have given me the greatest possible happiness. You have been in every way all that anyone could be. I don’t think two people could have been happier till this terrible disease came. I can’t fight any longer.

If anybody could have saved me it would have been you. Everything has gone from me but the certainty of your goodness. I can’t go on spoiling your life any longer…”

V. W.

A foot in front of the other 

Is it possible to see the light after being crawling into darkness?

It’s been about a year since a mind collapse struck me the hardest in November 2016 after almost another previous year the symptoms that something wrong was about to happen were arising. I’ve learnt so many things, I’ve been through several ups and downs, feeling better and then relapsing… at times I’ve felt as if I could fly, at times I remember that even placing one foot in front of the other is like hauling around a ton of iron chains…

Photography has been a translator of my mind and soul during the hardest times, in the following days I will be sharing here and on my personal instagram account a sort of photo essay which includes many of the images that tell my journey.