I’m desperate to find my tribe
I’ve been depressed for about a year and a half.
This is probably the longest I’ve been depressed without any kind of substantial period of reprieve.
And even if it isn’t the longest, this is the worst. Because I’m older, more tired, more cynical, and more worn out than I was during past depressions.
There’s nothing to grab onto, no future to strive for. I don’t have energy, trust, or focus to put into relationships. I don’t feel close to anyone, and the thought of feeling close to someone makes me feel uncomfortable. Yet the thought of staying this distant is unbearable.
It’s flabbergasting, being this depressed, and then realizing that I’m not in a vacuum. That my brokenness hurts other people too. Being told basically, “This needs to change right now, I can’t take your stagnation anymore.”
It doesn’t help. It just makes me want to disappear even more.
There’s nowhere to go, and no ambition to take me there.
This is not my world. People whine about how Trump is not their president. Well, this is not my society. These are not my people. This is not my world.
And I loathe having to endure this shit show.
I am not this way by accident. This is not some random chemical imbalance or a hereditary ailment.
I can retrace my steps all the way to the formation of this affliction. There’s no mystery here.
A childhood of feeling strange and different, given no guidance or encouragement towards developing an authentic self. Being ridiculed and disciplined for not fitting into the rigid philosophic and theological notions of my socialization.
I know, many of us go through this. Many of us transcend this. Maybe to a large extent, I have. I didn’t start developing my own sense of autonomy until my late 20’s and early 30’s though.
By then, I’d already launched myself down various entheogenic rabbit holes and come to see society as so superficial and misguided that I didn’t know how I’d ever participate in it on any kind of fulfilling level.
Do you know what it’s like? To fall to your knees, screaming in frustration and bewilderment, that there doesn’t seem to be a place for you to be yourself?
That when people say they understand, what they mean is that they are doing their best to understand, but they can’t truly imagine the raw pain and agonizing chaos that echoes through your every cell?
And you cry to the heavens and pull your hair and sob hopelessly.
Because you’re an anomaly. The purity of your intentions, the vigilance of your vision is shat upon and cast aside by a society largely ignores you in your isolation, or throws you into a psychiatric hospital and feeds you pills until you’re disconnected from the only part of yourself that’s ever felt like home.
Don’t you get it?
I hate this. I abhor it all so much.
It’s not all right. It’s not OK.
In my early 30’s, I went back to school. Laid off the entheogens for over five years. Sometimes, I almost felt like a participant in society.
But I was also empty. Because I couldn’t save or do anything meaningful with money. I wasn’t self-sufficient at all.
But I had some friends. I had some pride. I’d managed to build a little something in life. A little bit of a reputation, some positive regard from others.
2013 was the last time I was in love. Since then, my heart has been sealed up tighter than a dolphin’s butthole.
In 2015, my life as I knew it fell apart.
On the surface, may be tempting to blame my use of the drug, dextromethorphan. But no. That was just a symptom of my restlessness. A symptom of my searching.
I needed to go back. I needed to escape the superficial. And reconnect with what I had once known to be real.
Back to that inner space, where society’s lies become transparent.
If I’ve ever come across as a drug-pusher, it was because I wanted others to see through the illusion too.
If I’ve ever been so radical you just couldn’t stomach me, it was because I cared about you with all of my fucking heart and I wanted you to see the hope and global prosperity and peace that I lived and breathed.
Throughout 2015, I experienced ego death over and over again. I felt my inherent oneness with you, and everything that ever was and ever will be. For several months, I walked the earth without fear, as one and in synergy with the living organism of the cosmos.
Those months were an experience you don’t just wake up from one day, and move on with your life, business as usual.
It changed me, permanently.
It was an experience that fully disintegrated the veil of society’s illusion.
All the double-standards and hypocrisy in society became intolerable and 100% solvable from that vantage point.
A godly compassion for all matter in the universe, which was also a form of self-love since it all flows from the same current.
No one has to believe any of this is true objectively. Just know, this was my absolutely true subjective experience, and I can’t come back from it. I wouldn’t even if I could.
But that leaves me in a space between worlds.
Unable to function in society. When I try, I am overcome by crippling anxiety and depression.
Why? Let me say it as clearly as I can: Because I cannot ethically contribute to and participate in a system that sustains inequality, greed, corrupt power differentials, and blind complacency.
I’d rather die the most painful death imaginable than be out of alignment with my values.
Please understand. There is no pill that can fix this. There is no anti-depressant or chemical cocktail that can make me unsee what I have seen and unfeel what I have felt.
I’ve spent the past few years seeing several psychiatrists and therapists who have inadvertently but thoroughly destroyed my faith in professional help for my mental health concerns.
If I could afford to go to a holistic facility that has ideals that resonate with me and that I can trust, I would consider it. No mincing words: My insurance only seems to cover the absolute bottom of the barrel when it comes to healthcare paradigms. That’s been my experience, anyway.
There are those who would say, I just need to have a so-called reality check. Get real, get on meds, shift my perspective, accept conventional treatment, etc.
It’s not that simple. I understand that some concession on my part, some humility and receptiveness, could be in good form and be beneficial. What you’re not seeing is what’s happened the last several times I’ve conceded, humbled myself, become more receptive.
I am tired of getting burned. Tired of feeling misunderstood. So, so tired of feeling out of place.
One thing that some people have said to me lately has truly resonated:
“You need to find your tribe.”
Ain’t that the truth.
I need to find a way to be me.
A way of life where being me works.
Without having to sell myself short, or hide my authentic truth.
We should all be able to live this way.
So if you’ve conceded to a life less than that, please don’t act like I have to do the same.
We’re not going to make a better, more congruent world by accepting the bullshit of the one we’re in.
If I hadn’t spent these last two years depressed, I might have fooled myself into thinking it was OK to concede to less than I deserve.
This depression is a blessing. It keeps me accountable to my higher truth.
And somehow, I am going to get through this.
If anyone reading this feels like you’re in my tribe, and you want to come together and build a life with me, please let me know your ideas, thoughts, and feelings.
Originally published at Andrew L. Hicks.