starting out

hi there, i am a depressed person.

i’m positive i’m not the only one.

i was raised in an abusive, conservative southern baptist household. i am mostly gay. i live in a blue city now, thank god. i have little contact with my family, barely know anything about my family history/origins — i know nothing about my father’s side, and that makes me feel pretty lost.

my personality is nice and funny, but i’m shy and have many insecurities. i’ve let them go ‘untreated’ for far too long despite some attempts to get better. so i’ve hidden away for most of my life — i’m 26. this habit is mostly an environmental cause i think, because i was not allowed to go out, drive anywhere on my own, hang out with people much. i was mostly in very controlled environments or kept at home. i wasn’t even supposed to go on walks around the neighborhood by myself. this made me feel farther away from my friends and people my age, and i just stopped asking if i could go hang out. the answer was no — you want to go somewhere? with people who aren’t me? it’s 9 pm, it’s time for bed.

but i was 16 haha. people just don’t get what it’s like to be raised by someone like that. most people had much more freedom. they don’t know what it is like. they also do not have much self discipline or ability to delay gratification, but that is another story.

but i hid in college and since then as well. it is a lot of effort. i like hanging out with people i know well and click with.

people can be really mean and not very understanding. i think the struggle here is for me to know myself and be patient, and to just let them think what they want to think without accepting any judgment from them. easier said than done.

i am here to share my story, but hopefully to mostly share my journey to recovery, because i am tired of being sad, lonely, regretful, resentful, bitter-and i am young! it is time to live life because it is such an incredible thing to be alive, even in terrible circumstances. just to feel the sun warm my body when i step outside, makes me grateful for life. i’m smart, thoughtful, good-looking, nice, and lucky. so here i am. this is my pursuit of happiness, which i don’t assume to be achieved as if it’s this thing i can grasp and hold onto once i’ve got it. no, i think it is a way of life, and a choice. i want to choose to be happy. by the choices i make — the way i treat myself physically and mentally, the way i treat others, the way i see the world. it is REALLY easy to wallow in my self pity and say my misery is the world’s fault and that i hate being alive. i do that too often.

i believe my depression is the result of: environmental factors (my family life, childhood, social elements — pressures, “norms,” media), lifestyle choices (lack of sleep and exercise, diet, supplementation), psychological struggles which are clearly related to the environmental factors, but I can separate the fact that bad stuff has happened to me that wasn’t my fault — my destructive thought patterns are technically in my control, even if they were caused or set off by elements outside of my control. This last part means changing my thought patterns, going to psychotherapy, that kind of thing. Lastly, of course, there may be a biological element that is unknown or outside of my control. One can reasonably conclude that a biological element could have been caused by the environmental factors themselves.

My problem is that I blame a lot of my problems on my environmental factors instead of focusing more on what I can control or influence. I can’t control my past environment, nor can I control every element of my current environment, and I especially can’t control what other people think, say, or do. Maybe I should get the word “control” out of my vocabulary?

i want to be happy that i am alive.

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