I meant to make this linear, but I screwed up and I can't figure out how to change it. Check out "Aimless Introduction" for the real thing. (I'm not deleting this because the obsessive-compulsive part of me doesn't want to get rid of the comments.)
I was sick of everything. Sick of waking up; sick of thinking; sick of watching TV; sick of being overlooked by everyone who stood to profit from my skills and talents. I felt like the entire world had turned its back on me, and I couldn’t take any more of it. No longer comfortable within my own skin, my life seemed to have lost all direction. I didn’t necessarily want to die, but I most certainly did not want to continue living this way.
A lot of people would say I was depressed. They’d be wrong.
Depression is a clinical word. It describes a state of unreasonable sadness and unending hopelessness. When used to define someone’s mental state, ‘depression’ implies that the person in question is broken or defective.
The latest incarnation of “conventional wisdom” has brainwashed us all into believing we’re supposed to be happy all the time. You shouldn’t need a reason to be happy; you should just be happy because we told you to be happy. If you’re not happy, it’s because there is something medically or fundamentally wrong with you. Thankfully, though, your good friends in the pharmaceutical industry have engineered a smorgasbord of mind-numbing pills that can trick almost any depressed chump into forgetting why he or she ever became unhappy.
Unfortunately, anti-depressant medications do not eliminate the causes of unhappiness or emotional pain; they merely mask the symptoms of what we now term clinical depression.
I knew why I was unhappy, and it wasn’t because my serotonin levels were low, nor was it because I have a genetic predisposition for depression. No, I was unhappy for actual reasons. I was unhappy because I’ve been ripped off by every employer I’ve ever worked for. I was unhappy because it costs a lot of money to create the job I was born to do; money I’ve never had. I was unhappy because there seemed to be no avenues available for me to get what I wanted from life.
For me to have any chance of becoming happy again someday, I needed to make some major changes in my life. But I didn’t know what to do; I didn’t know where to start. I was stuck in a rut, and I couldn’t get out of it. I did know what I was not going to do, though. I was not going to zap my brain with anti-depressants, and I was not going to go out and get some crappy job where I’d be overworked and underpaid solely for the sake of having a job.
As my condition further deteriorated, I began thinking seriously about disappearing; just leaving everything behind and dropping out of society. I know it doesn’t sound like an attractive lifestyle, but anything is better than rock bottom.
Maybe the human mind needs to hit rock bottom once in a while. Maybe we need to experience the lowest of lows to fully appreciate life’s highs and middle ground. Maybe that’s how we learn to face adversity and become stronger individuals. If I had never hit rock bottom—if I had instead allowed some psychiatrist to zonk me out with happy pills—I probably never would have found the inspiration I needed to embark on the incredible journey that ultimately led to the stories within this book.