Nebraska and Iowa

Destination Unknown

June 24-25, 2019

Trigger warning: if you are suffering from depression, suicidal thoughts or simply hate everyone and everything around you, read this post at your own risk.

Driving through Nebraska and Iowa drained my soul. Maybe not even in a bad way, I probably needed it to let out a few of those demons I do not even hate that much anymore. A never ending parade of blue sky and green land simply deactivated me and, in addition to the lack of proper sleep with my constant ups and downs, I broke down. Can you be a human being who thinks about death on a daily basis without being depressed? Many think it is impossible, that there must be some sort of mental illness behind it, causing unbalances on a mental level and whatsoever, but after years and years of research, therapies and experimentations, I am confident to say you can. I apologize in advance if this post will cause some distress but hey, deal with it or leave.

First things first, it is not easy to actually finally open up about it, but considering I am a nobody in front of a computer screen, yes I feel a little ashamed, but not even that much. I am not even looking for any sort of understanding, pity, sympathy, whatever really. This is my place and I can use it however I want.

What I have been dealing with since a very young age is not a disease nor some weird form of dysfunctional part belonging to the emotional sphere, it is just who I am. We all have monsters hiding underneath our skin (not literally) — sometimes it’s anxiety, or depression, or BPD, or PTSD, OCD, secrets, traumas, past events, and whatsoever. But my monster is not a monster, it’s just… me. I could try and explain how I feel on a day-to-day basis, or even hour-to-hour, but it would not make much sense, and most of all, it is always changing. “I am moody” we say, and yeah, let’s stick to that. Although some days are better than others. You wake up and you are ok, you do your things, you even interact with other people, and others are just a no. Like no. For real.

What I do not absolutely want to pass with this post, is the message that all this could be the consequence of some sort of recurring trauma, or all due to past events perpetrating through time. No. Mother, I know you may be reading this so stop with whatever you may be thinking. Realizing you are NOT ONLY the result of what happened in your life and in your past is a very big step to take. Because at a certain point in life, it is YOUR responsibility to take action, and either react or just succumb to whatever has been going on, supporting you or taking you down. In any case, that sense of guilt, of impotence, of unworthiness, of being the victim, of not having the possibility to escape the current situation, yadda yadda, all this has to stop. I made it stop and I started researching. I understood why I have specific thoughts, why I cope with emotions with binge sessions (of any kind as of right now) and, most of all, I learned to accept myself with flaws and all.

Having suicidal thoughts does not always mean you are depressed. Thinking of ending this momentary situation on Earth does not always mean you are suffering from pains inflicted by others, or that you are seeking for attention, or that you have a mental illness that has to be cured, or that you hate yourself, someone else, your life, your past, your traumas, your whatever. Sometimes you are totally fine, even content at days, but you are simply aware of the fact that you may totally be a human being that does not completely accept this mortal condition, and being a mortal sucks more than anything else in the whole world, so much so that you start wondering, imagining, picturing what it would be like to not be around.

Oh well, once you drop the bomb it’s kind of annoying to deal with people’s reactions so feel free to judge without necessarily reaching out with whatever messages or advice you may have. Just keep in mind that whatever you or we are going through, doctors can misdiagnose, medications are not always necessary, some therapists do not know shit and they simply want your money, family is not always to be blamed, friends neither, and society simply sucks. Last but not least, if you realized that you may resemble whomever I tried to describe above, welcome to the club. You’ll end up comforting others, reassuring them that you’re fine, that no, you are not going to cut your wrists, swallow pills or jump off that balcony, or something. And by the way, all this is simply weird and confusing and exhausting at the same time because you are retracing thoughts you actually had, and the discomfort you are feeling right now is normal. Again, deal with it.

Wow, who would have thought Nebraska and Iowa would have done this to me? Ha. I guess I should have seen it coming while absorbing the nothingness around me for miles and miles, and after passing the border between the two states, the radio in Iowa started blasting rock and metal music like there is no tomorrow, finally ditching the country music radio stations that, for whatever reason, always have receptions, along with the Christian Music ones. I mean. Ok but …no. Music apparently is my actual true and real therapist. I’ve been to therapists that simply cannot help. No hard feelings guys, you simply cannot. I’ve always denied permission to offer me medications. I know how those work and… they don’t. I mean, for me. I’m not saying you all taking medications should ditch them, but talking for myself, no thank you. I’ll pass. I see how things affect me, things like …actual things, but also people, situations, emotions, food, drinks, books, anything. I am a constantly open lab, I am experimenting on myself and I am learning something new every day, and I am actually glad I can do it.

With all this experimenting, well, I learned. I learned that I am in part my emotions and in part I am not, but what I feel and think in particular moments, are not necessarily real or reality. My perceptions can at times be deviated and may be “capturing” things in the wrong way, so I simply have to be patient and observe. I learned to check facts, to study, to do research and learn more. But most importantly, I learned I’m not “the only person with these things in mind” just like Chester used to sing.

This thing I am doing, traveling without a fixed destination is a clear representation of who I am, of what I am capable of doing, and how I deal with things. I needed it to remind myself that yes, I may have to heal from some pain I endured, yes I may have to face some thoughts I always tried to ignore, as well as accepting that other thoughts I had before are TO ME, simply normal, and NO ONE has the “power” to be labelled as “guilty” for this. Not my family, not my friends, nor other humans, not even society (wait, I am really saying this? Yea, ahh emm) it is just how it is. Every day is different, every day I AM different, and I am still here, I am still living, and at this point, I am simply appreciating the fact that, at least, I realized this world is worth living in. This Earth is a planet worth staying on for as long as we can. And beware of this: I may be saying something completely different in like, a minute or two, but that will just go away, because the truth is that I like this place, in its whole. It’s just that humans are kind of a pain in the butt most of the time.

Last but not least I will conclude with saying that Edwin Schneidman, author of Autopsy of a Suicidal Mind (read it!), notes how there are indeed cases of individuals having spontaneous suicidal thoughts, without depression. Statistics say that “90% of people who die by suicide have a diagnosable mental illness” which leaves a gap of at least 10% of people who dies by suicide, as individuals who are not depressed or having mental illness. You can still think of letting your body sink into the dark waters of the Reservoir next to Brookline, or jumping off the balcony of that seventh floor apartment in West Hollywood. You can still think of swallowing all those painkillers knowing their side effects and consequences of overdosing with them in L.A. You can still see yourself hitting that wall with the car in Italy or crossing the highway while there’s a red light for pedestrians in Melbourne. You can. Let that thought travel through your mind and don’t lock it up. Let it flow. Don’t choke it or it will suffocate you. Embrace it, accept it, let it go.

The first time I thought about death and willing to die I was around 7 years old. I know this for sure because I read it on my first “secret diary” as we used to call it, or journal, that I found and took with me to L.A. last summer. Eye opening. This is who I am, who I was and who I will always be, and I am OK with it. Thank you Nebraska and Iowa for reminding me that. Sorry folks for not having taken pictures of these two States, which I am certain they have cute little areas to be spotted, but I guess it was more important to me, at this point, to take care of this “situation” first. Off to Illinois. See you in Chicago where I’ll be reporting on less serious matters. Cheers.

If you are suicidal, depressed, dealing with any sort of illness and need help, look for your local organization or hospital. A quick google research will open up several possibilities. USE IT.

The day part of me died

Haircut Madness

Everybody has monsters inside pushing from underneath our skin, or that’s what we used to sing along with you. These demons we learned to dance with, like you did sing. We were on the verge, one step closer, about to break, we all wanted to heal, to feel, to find somewhere we belong… when you guys were saying that you knew you were not the only people with those things in mind, we felt it, we knew back then that someone else could finally understand.

Chester Bennington of Linkin Park Portrait SessionI could write my whole biography by just quoting every single word of your songs, I do too have memories tattooed upon my soul (DBS). I still cannot believe that the voice I kept hearing in the back of my head in those dark days, your voice, is now gone. And I hate that I cannot see what I am writing because my mind is foggy and my eyes are casting tears. Those tears I could hide day after day, sitting in my room, listening to you. Over and over. But now I just can’t hold them in anymore. No. Not today. I can’t.

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I remember those days I was being laughed at because I was listening to “that kind of music”. Can’t you hear they’re just shouting? How can you call this music at all? And I explained to those who could understand, that there was more, that you knew better, that you were… well, couldn’t you just sense it? And this is how I ended those explanations, because you can understand only if you feel it too. Even my mother eventually got to know you. Chester Bennington and the Linkin Park are part of my soul, that part of me that I wish I could say “won’t go away” but instead, today has died.

8484c67d8c6442e8858d143a070ae09fI was in high school when a new friend, who crossed my path, made me listen to this brand new American band: the Linkin Park. We spent hours sitting in his car listening to their songs on repeat, and the one I always wanted him to play first was “Crawling”. Why? He asked. This is how I feel, I thought back then, until each and every word of all the other songs, one after another, one album after the other, started sinking in my brain, feeding my soul, healing my wounds, leaving only scars, and above all, making me feel I was not alone. Because you were there. But you are not anymore.

450845802I want to write more, and more, but nothing makes sense now. I keep picturing you in that room, eaten alive by those thoughts you tried, we try, to fight every day. But we are, were, doing it thanks to you. We have semicolons spread all over, through the lines of the book of our life, because of you; because where there could be periods, ending it all, we took a break, we breathed, we shouted, and then we kept going. Why you decided to write that period though, to end it all, we will never know until we are here. And it hurts. Like hell. It hurts to know those thoughts were stronger than you, because now we think they could be stronger than us too. They took you, and Chris, and all the others like you, like us, and if there is just one little positive side of this fuc*ing coin is that, as of right now, we hate those thoughts even more. We hate they took you from us, you let them take you instead of fighting them, again, again, and again. We wanted to fight them with you. And now you’re gone. Just gone.

Were there signs we ignored? And we’re angry, and we should be, it’s not fair… You said this, right? You said it. It is not fair. Who is going to catch us when we fall? I can’t think straight, and I do not even know why I am doing this because, after all, I am just talking to myself. In front of a screen. The voice bouncing back is not yours, anymore. You’re gone. That part of me is gone. The one screaming that I wanted to heal, although these wounds will never heal, and that I was paranoid, but your paranoia was probably worse, saying I were numb, that I wanted to be more like me, I wanted to be in the energy, not with the enemy, is gone… I did not want to let it go, let it go, let. it. go. But you let it go.

“The sound, of your voice, painted on my memories, even if you’re not with me, I’m with you” kept me alive. I wish screaming it all out, all that pain, the frustration, would have kept you alive too. Inside crying “save me now”…

Like a punch in the face, this hits hard.

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I know I’ll be with you soon, we all go back to the whole, where everything started, the energy of our souls, and I’ll be looking forward to that moment. I’ll kick your energy’s ass because how could you? Leaving us here, all alone again, without a light? But you know? You taught us better. So after that, I’ll hug you so tight, that we won’t be the one to leave this, in pieces. You are gone, while we are here thanks to you, because of you. We love you Chester, always will, and if you’re still asking who cares if one more light goes out? Well I do. Too.

You were that foundation
Never gonna be another one, no.
I followed, so taken
So conditioned I could never let go
Then sorrow, then sickness
Then the shock when you flip it on me
So hollow, so vicious
So afraid I couldn’t let myself see
That I could never be held
Back or up no, I’ll hold myself
Check the rep, yep you know mine well
Forget the rest let them know my hell
There and back yet my soul ain’t sell
Kept respect up, the best they fell,
Let the rest be the tale they tell
That I was there saying…
In these promises broken
Deep below
Each word gets lost in the echo
So one last lie I can see through
This time I finally let you
Go, go, go.

Test my will, test my heart
Let me tell you how the odds gonna stack up
Y’all go hard, I go smart
How’s that working out for y’all in the back, huh?
I’ve seen that frustration
Been crossed and lost and told “No”
And I’ve come back unshaken
Let down and lived and let go
So you can let it be known
I don’t hold back, I hold my own
I can’t be mapped, I can’t be cloned
I can’t C-flat, it ain’t my tone
I can’t fall back, I came too far
Hold myself up and love my scars
Let the bells ring wherever they are
‘Cause I was there saying…

No, you can tell ’em all now
I don’t back up, I don’t back down
I don’t fold up, and I don’t bow
I don’t roll over, don’t know how
I don’t care where the enemies are
Can’t be stopped, all I know; go hard
Won’t forget how I got this far
For every time saying…

In these promises broken
Deep below
Each word gets lost in the echo
So one last lie I can see through
This time I finally let you go, go, go.

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Th1rteen R3easons Why and Depression

Reviews, Tv Series

Isn’t it absurd and hilarious how a tv-show can wreak havoc on the teen-age world of the twenty-first century? Ok, no. Wait a second. I know even the Huffington Post talked about it several times and I wanted to publish this post sooner, but when life gets in the way, there is nothing you can do about it. Indeed. Life has nothing to do with tv-shows or movies. Young teens or young adults, who commit suicide, do not decide to end their lives “just because Hannah did so”. The tv-show is based on a book by Jay Asher anyway, how come nobody killed themselves when the book got published? Oh wait, are we saying that teenagers do no read anymore? Hmm. Watching a movie is definitely faster and more up-to-date considering the way our brain and our attention span got shaped with time and technology, but still, do we really want to believe that young people are stupid enough, in 2017, to actually end their lives because of a movie? To put a period and the end of their story just to emulate a character? I honestly doubt it.

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Thirteen Reasons Why  may or may not have “something to do” with recent suicides of teenagers, because what lies beneath and what has not been taken into consideration enough, is the so-called depression. I do not even like to call it that way, because most of the times, diagnosed as a mental condition, seen a disease that can be cured, it gets underestimated, passed unnoticed, and people die in their depressed state, without showing any sign of being ill.

Let’s see. Have you ever had the feeling of each and every bone of your body aching because of all those days spent laying in bed, doing nothing? Have you ever forgotten the sound of your voice because you haven’t spoken in weeks? You might have even communicated with your acquaintances, sent them text messages, but you have not actually talked out loud to anyone? Have you ever heard someone say “you are so strong and brave, I wish I were like you” while you were broken in pieces inside, holding them back together with a sort of spiritual duct tape that only God knows how you did it? Have you ever wished you were dead because being alive in this world does not sound that appealing to you anymore, for whatever reason? And now, have you ever wondered, for once in your life, how would it be to be dead? If we turned into energy back to the cosmic state, or if we would simple be eaten by worms while lying six feet under ground? Have you ever thought about suicide? Never? Well, I guess many from either my generation, the previous and the following one would say yes to at least one of these questions, and as far as I’m concerned, depression is not “only” a disease, it is a “way of being”, it is part of your personality, it is rooted in yourself. Boom. Dropped the bomb. Yes. I know, someone got healed. Psychiatrists and co. can help… if you ever started therapy. But then explain to me why the majority of today’s human beings are depressed, suicidal at times, and in general not feeling happy. Content. Satisfied. Glad to be alive. And nobody knows this about them. Go ahead.

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This said, is it really a tv-show’s fault if teens kill themselves? Do movies suggest you for real how to use a knife, or a gun, or pills? I mean, I’ve seen plenty of movies where people were killing or getting killed, and this did not make me a killer. Or a cheater. Or a princess. Or, a suicide. Yet, we want to read that this or that caused somebody else’s decision of liberating themselves from the burden of the mortal condition. Fine, believe what you want, but here’s my review.

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Thirteen Reasons Why

Genre: they want to call it “teen drama”
Based on: Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
Starring: Dylan Minnette, Katherine Langford, Christian Navarro, Alisha Boe, Brandon Flynn, Justin Prentice, Miles Heizer, Ross Butler, Devin Druid, Amy Hargreaves, Derek Luke, Kate Walsh
Watched on: Netflix
Season One, Thirteen Episodes binge watched in: less than 15 hours

Clay Jensen (Dylan Minnette) is one of the main characters of the story. He finds a box with seven double-sided tapes recorded by Hannah Baker (Katherine Langford), his classmate who committed suicide two weeks prior to this moment. On tape, Hannah talks to specific people in her life, building up a sort of audio journal, or confessional, more like audio letters if we want to say so, explaining the reasons why this person is on tape and why he or she is part of the reasons why she killed herself. Each person who receives the package plays a role in the “game” of these thirteen reasons, thirteen people who are “guilty” in their own way. Twelve recordings are dedicated to her classmates, lovers, abusers, rapers, all of them around her age, but one, the thirteenth is eventually for an adult. Here, is where my attention focused, at the end of a binge watch session that lasted a whole night (it actually started right after lunch time and ended the morning after). This tv-show is not meant to be educational, is not meant to be seen by kids who need to understand what bullying is, what respect is…, to my humble opinion, it should be an eye-opener for adults. The exact same adults you turn to when you’re in danger, when you tell them that something is not right, but you do not know how to express your feelings. And they do not believe you. They minimize the gravity and they release you in a world that is, still, treating you wrong. Exception made for her parents. Olivia, Hannah’s mother, played by the amazing Kate Walsh, is the one who finds her daughter dead. Both parents never realized she was suffering. Most of the times, parents can’t see, and I believe this is what the whole tv-show wants you to ponder on. All the drama, the request for attention, the teen-age useless fights, are secondary. As Antoine de Saint-Exupéry tried to teach us, through his Little Prince’s story “what is essential, is invisible to the eye”; nevertheless a lot of us are still terribly blind.13rw_104_02536r_-_h_2017