Freedom, to me, is a strong term. It means to be free to breathe, to speak your mind, to stand up for what you believe in. It is the freedom to be human and experience a spectrum of emotions if you will. For me, freedom is powerful because it means being free of the dark depression that once haunted me. Depression is like a reoccurring nightmare that will never go away, even if you try to suffocate it with your biggest pillow. It is a battle I will always fight at varying degrees. However, I thank God that it is not as bad as it used to be. It brought me to such a dark place. So dark in fact it is difficult to put into words the magnitude of its effects. This was a place that was dizzying. I often had prayed to die when my thoughts would bring me back here because the sadness was nauseating.
Imagine being pounded in the head, day by day with a sledgehammer. Imagine the pain this would bring about, paralyzing and possibly even defeating you. Imagine being swallowed up into the monster that has laid dormant under your bed for many years. Imagine swimming around in the pit of its stomach, unsure how you will escape and if you ever will. Screaming for the light when you are infinitely swallowed by the darkness, not knowing your worth, and even worse, not realizing your quality of life. In fact, you feel like your life is devoid of quality and worth. You are struggling to find out just why you were placed on this Earth, but every option you have to choose from just seems more and more senseless to you. This hurts and stings badly, probably even worse than the world’s biggest wasp sting.
You want to find your way out, but the maze before you winds and weaves, just making everything infinitely more complicated. You feel much like a hamster on its wheel, just running as fast as you can, only to get stuck in the same position time and time again. What makes it even worse is the fact that I had never experienced anything like this before, so I had no idea where I was headed or why I was going in this particular soulless direction. I needed something to give me both hope and rest from this emotionally provoking and anxiety ridden situation. This is when music took my hand and became my best friend. It opened up my heart, little by little and showed me what a good and valuable person I was. It unlocked the hope and the love that had laid stationary in the pit of darkness for so long. I felt the chains slowly falling down my back, unleashing the new version of me!
My overcoming of the deepest and darkest depression of my life has lead to many paths of freedom. The freedom to become an all loving and all accepting person, which of course first began with my own individualistic love and self-serving acceptance. The freedom to become an inspiring writer whose stories may one day touch and impact millions of people. The freedom to live and breathe as I am without second guessing and contradicting myself, and most of all, the freedom to be human and feel loved despite all of my shortcomings and flaws!
It is funny how life works. However, one thing will always remain true. You experience the darkness so that you can be granted the freedom to experience the light and happiness! Behind each hardship lies a valuable lesson, and that lesson will likely be one that alters your life not just today, but forever!